NOVA "SPRHC1" - What is it?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by youngfilm, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. youngfilm

    youngfilm Member

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    Hi there!

    On Friday I bought a "NOVA Deleloping machine" on a local marketplace in the internet. I was pretty cheap (100€ incl. shipping) and darkroom lamp and a thermometer was also included. Now, this huge machine is standing in my darkroom, but ONLY the machine, so with no floating lids etc. When I search for the model no. (SPRHC 1) I just find some old ebay entries where someone sells a "washing tank". Did I buy a WASHING MACHINE?! It has a four slots and a temperature control from 20-45 C (too accurate for a print washer, isn't it?)

    So, what is this machine?
     
  2. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Maybe someone at http://www.novadarkroom.com can help you out with what it is? A photo of the contraption would probably help in indentification.
     
  3. youngfilm

    youngfilm Member

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    No, on the NOVA website I don't find anything... It's probably an old model. Here are some pictures...

    nova1.jpg nova2.jpg
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Looks similar to the Trimate, tho I'm not familiar with the controls in that position, probably very old model. Floating lids may be made by cutting lengths of 3/4"dia. PVC water pipe, Nova charges far too much for new ones.
     
  5. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Aha, when you wrote "huge" I thought it was room-sized! :D Drop the people at Nova an email and they probably can sort out exactly which model it is.
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear youngfilm,

    Your processor is very much like the current Trimate, but it was designed for printing color as well. The heaters are to bring the chemicals up to the level specified by the process. Essentially, you have purchased heated vertical developing trays. It can certainly be used to process b&w RC paper with or without temperature control. The heater might be handy in a cold darkroom.

    Neal Wydra
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    It's a Nova quad processor, the last slot can be set up as a washing slot, using the small spigot for incoming water, and the larger one at the back for the outflow. I have mine set up for two-bath fixing, that is, I have fixer in the last two slots, then pull the fixed print out and into a separate holding tray.
    As I recall, these were originally sold for color work, so the final wash would be short. For B&W, and especially fiber papers, using the last slot for washing isn't very practical, so I use it for the second fix bath. If you don't use 2 bath fix, just put water there, but you'd probably want to wash prints in a separate washer or tray.

    The two holes on top are for filling the water bath, on the side under them should be two rubber plugs, you fill the water bath until the water gets to the level of those holes then insert the plugs. Do not operate the heater without water in the bath.

    Your unit (like mine) has Nova's older style heater. They have an upgrade kit with a different style heater that has just one green block, as I recall. I leave mine near the minimum heat setting to maintain 68F/20C which is nice in the winter when the room temperatures are a bit lower than that.

    Nova's web site has replacements for the spigot tubes, valves and the short rubber hoses. The glued-in tubes that are under the rubber become brittle after a while from the chemistry and need to be drilled out and replaced. I've had to do do this with two of mine so far. Just be careful to not stress the tubes if you move the unit around.

    The also have an outlet kit for the large outlet in the last slot if you want to use it for a wash.

    Your pictures don't show them, but it should have come with clips that hold the paper in the slots. If it didn't you'll need to buy some from Nova, or else cobble up substitutes. It would be difficult to work with without them. The clips are available on Nova's website.

    I really like mine, and it saves a ton of room over 4 equivalently sized trays. I keep mine plugged in an on all the time, so to start a printing session I just remove the floating lids and turn off the lights. Most developers will last a good while in in the slots. Depending on how much printing I do, I've gone as much as three weeks between developer change-outs.
     
  8. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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  9. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    The Nova vertical slot processor is great.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    If it is fully operational and takes 10x8 prints it is very good value at $100. If it is 12 x16 then it is exceptional value by U.K. standards.

    There really isn't much to know about it. It is simply 4 trays on their sides. Just make sure that the water jackets are kept full, the tubes are kept on the slots when not in use( get some tubes if none came with the processor, set the temp for B&W or RA4, fill the slots with chemicals and GO!

    pentaxuser
     
  11. RH Designs

    RH Designs Advertiser Advertiser

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    Assuming the heaters are in working order I think you got yourself a bargain :smile:. Bdial has covered pretty much all you need to know, but it's not a Quad - those have four heated slots. I think this type, which is three heated slots plus a wash, was called an RA4 and as the name implies they were designed for RA4 colour printing. I have a Quad which I've used for RA4 and Ilfochrome in the past, but I use it just for monochrome these days. There's no need to upgrade the heaters, the old design works perfectly well. If you don't have the "floating lids" a trip to a plumbers' merchant to pick up some plastic water pipe will sort that out. That's what Nova uses. If you email Nova you'll find them very helpful and able to advise what else you might need to get the most from the unit. It'll work fine for b+w, the built-in wash slot is ideal for RC papers.
     
  12. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    There was also a "Chrome" model: Slots 1,3 and 4 heated, slot 2 running water rinse and slot 5 also running water rinse. Slot 5 was a separate unit that fitted snugly against the right hand end of the main unit. I have a 12"x16" one, and I think they also existed in 8"x10" and 16"x20" but I'm not really sure.

    The lids that Nova supply don't really protect from air very well. I prefer that the slots be quite full and then I stretch plastic cling wrap over the whole unit. My linked heaters failed and the replacements were rather expensive, but the whole setup is super and the cost worthwhile. I chose two separate heaters so that if one failed then that would not take out the other, which is what happened with the original linked pair.

    I have blocked the top drain of slot 2 and use metabisulphite stop because I found that the water rinse had to be very thorough (i.e. long) to avoid a chance of staining.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Every time I see a thread like this, I start drawing up plans to make my own slot processor... then I don't get round to doing it. I will one day!

    Can somone who owns one tell me what width the compartments are?


    Steve.
     
  14. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    They aren't wide, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, but to help guide the paper in, they are rounded out at the top. They also have textured walls to prevent the paper from sticking to the sides.
     
  15. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    They're made from the "waffled" acrylic, and the actual chamber is V shaped. Or really more U shaped. Wider at the top than bottom.

    When I looked at making my own I decided that unless you can get the acrylic cheap it isn't worth the labor. The cost savings isn't enough to justify the effort.

    If you can get the materials cheaply then that changes the analysis. I'm relating my situation.