Radio Shack foot switch--it works on Gralab 450!!

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by eric, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. eric

    eric Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks again guys, I love the McGyverisms on this web site. I bought the Radio Shack Recorder footswitch for $6.99 and it works just dandy on my Gralab 450.
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,607
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That has a mini phone plug, right? I wonder if one could switch out the plug and use it for an Omega timer .... Hmmmm.....:rolleyes:
     
  3. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

    Messages:
    1,691
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A switch is a switch is a switch - - - there may be differences in ratings, but I suspect the fundamental function is readily portable from Brand X to Brand Y.

    I found my foot switch in a dumpster. Many years ago, my employer had a photo lab in the first floor of the building we were in. Periodically they would clean house, and I would always make a point of glancing into the dumpster to see what they were throwing away. I still regret not glomming onto the old Kodak 4x5 tanks and hangers - - -

    I have no idea what brand the foot switch is. My timer is an old GE x-ray processing timer that wasn't equipped to receive a switch. But I found that I could add a jack on the side of the case, and a matching plug on the switch, and now everything works just fine.

    McGuyverisms rock!
     
  4. Reinhold

    Reinhold Subscriber

    Messages:
    757
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Washougal, W
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    My old Kearsarge footswitch works fine with my "new" used Beseler Audible Timer.
     
  6. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

    Messages:
    735
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota Tr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are they really? I truly need a footswitch a Chromeacontrol and, of course, the manufacturer uses a proprietary plug. It's just a mystery to me and as of recently, I've become reluctant to experiment with electrical things.

    Plans for a Chromegacontrol switch? Any out there?
     
  7. eric

    eric Member

    Messages:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It has the mini and the large.
     
  8. JHannon

    JHannon Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    You can also get a mini to 1/4" adapter plug.

    BTW, some switches are "normally open" (no connection until you press it). I have also seen "normally closed" (constant connection until you press then goes open). Depending on the design of the product.

    The switches are simple to adapt but some of the crazy custom connectors can make it difficult. In that case I just find the two switch wires on the custom connector and wire to a 1/4in or mini connector. This voids warranties of course...
     
  9. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

    Messages:
    1,691
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Saratoga Spr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    JJS -

    I presume that since you are in the tropics of Minnesota (I recall some miserable 90+ deg August days in Minneapolis - as well as freezing my tush in International Falls in January), your Chromegatrol is a 120v. model. If so, I would expect that ia 120V foot switch would work with it. I suppose that is it possible that it is designed to switch at a lower voltage, but even so, a switch rated for 120V would work at lower voltages.

    In that case, the only issues are to find a plug that matches the jack, and making sure that the switch "sense" is correct. Again, I would expect that the design expects an "a" contact (normally open), but it is always possible that it wants a "b" (normally closed).

    Do you have the user manual for the Chrometrol? It should include a circuit diagram that would help answer the sense question. Of course, the other approach is to purchase a switch that can go either way, and experiment. Several of the switches sold by the vendor Reinhold suggested are SPDT - single-pole, double-throw (form "c" for those familiary with that terminology).
     
  10. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,607
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Agreed. If all the timer needs is a momentary closure (short), than any switch works. It's a matter of matching up plugs, or opening the box to get at the wires.
     
  11. TheFixer

    TheFixer Inactive

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Thanks jamnut! I got one for my Gralab 505, and it works fine. Saved me about $17 - I was going to buy one on ebay.
    Maybe I should thank Gralab, for using a very common connector and switching system/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2005
  12. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

    Messages:
    1,064
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Fond du Lac,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Quick qustion. I have a 120v ByChrome Vacuum easel. The foot switch is dead. I need a switch that'll stay on when I click it until I click it again. What is the nomenclature for that type of switch?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  13. TheFixer

    TheFixer Inactive

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Peter,
    Not sure of the technical description, but, it connects to the timer by a mini plug, similar to the headphone jack on many portable audio players. It also comes with a 1/4" phono adapter.
    When I start the timer with the footswitch, it will count down until I press the footswitch again. It will stop; it will start again if I press the footswitch. I think it might work for your application, Besides, for $7, what ya have to lose?
     
  14. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "Latching" or "non-momentary" or "push on - push off". Obviously, any switch you get needs to be able to handle 120V. If it is connected directly to the vacuum motor, it needs to be rated for inductive loads at whatever the current rating of the motor may be.

    Bob.
     
  15. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

    Messages:
    735
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota Tr
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The socket for the footswitch on mine has four prongs; two fat, two thinner. I am not confident in just making presumptions as to what pair does what, and I would not be surprised of the maker mismatched the pair just to make their switch even more proprietary.
     
  16. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

    Messages:
    972
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    By the way, thanks for this tidbit. I was wandering through the local Radio Shack and found one of these goodies on sale (clearance...?) for $4.98. Works great on my 450.

    S
     
  17. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

    Messages:
    1,723
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Colorfull, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does anybody know if the Radio Shack switch could be made to work with an old GraLab 300 ? It is not set up for operation with a foot switch, but I believe it could be. I know very little about such things!

    Thanks,
     
  18. ootsy

    ootsy Inactive

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Yes, I have a 300 as well. I guess that the toggle switch would have to be replaced with a phono plug. Is it safe to do this? I think the footswitch would work then.
     
  19. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

    Messages:
    665
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    Erie, Pa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format


    So I guess the Time-O-Lite FS-65 Foot Switch w/adapter won't work on a Chromegatrol?

    Any other suggestions without forking out the $200+ for their 'proprietary plug'?
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,463
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just wire the 1/4" receptacle in parrallel with the toggle then you have both.
     
  21. philldresser

    philldresser Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How about fitting one on a Devere 504 timer. I would love to have a footswitch but refuse to pay £40 for one.
    It has a 3 prong plug at the rear. Any suggestions?

    Phill
     
  22. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,560
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Would that Radio Shack foot switch work on the main breaker of my house electrical panel? I need to flicker off and on the lights to get the kid to shut off everything and go to bed.
     
  23. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,560
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yea works great right? I just went to the darkroom and I have the three prong plugins for the:

    My old Kearsarge foot switch works fine with my "new" used Beseler Audible Timers.

    Yep I have both the Kearsarge and a Beseler Audible timer but no foot switch.

    Curt
     
  24. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,560
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Phill, are the prongs two horizontal and one vertical female type?

    Curt