Really need help, Totally bummed...

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by kjsphoto, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Man do I need some serious help. A friend of mine whos dad passed away sold me all his darkroom equiptment. Everything was boxed up but it looked good. But now I am very upset as some of the items seem to be broken :sad:

    I turned the timer on but all that happened was the hold light was on and I saw an F and now the screen is blank. I tried to use the keypad but nothing...

    Any ideas?
    http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/1.jpg

    Then I opened another box and pulled out this cold light head but it was busted and I have no idea what the stablizer is for. How can I fix this head?

    http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/3a.jpg
    http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/3b.jpg http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/3c.jpg

    So at this point I was totally bummed then I found another box and pulled out a VC head! ANd then things I thought were cool. I attached the cord to the VC controller and plugged in the enlarger and the controler. I flipped the switch from print to focus and this weird purple / blue light came on. So fine. Then I tried to adjust the light with the center dial and nothing, the light stayed constant and did not dim and the direction said it should dim. Any ideas???

    http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/2a.jpg
    http://www.kjsphotography.com/help/2b.jpg

    If you could help me I woudl greatly appreciate it. I just want to print! HELP! What do I need to do....

    Thanks everyone in advance,

    Kev
     
  2. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    I can't help you but perhaps these guys can. Were a great help when I needed it.
    www.photografix.com
    Good luck and may your repaires prove to be easy...
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Kevin, I would not be too bummed - you can get a replacement lamp for the cold light head and hopefully someone here will help you out with the stablizer - Think once you get it all together you will be happier. The VC cold light - the last set of pics, is a nice head so don't let someone talk you out of it..they are not cheap. Do a few searchs for Zone VI VC head, etc - bet you can find something.

    Oh! And Good Luck-you have some really nice stuff here.
     
  4. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Kevin,

    I have the Zone VI VC head you show in the images... This is what it SHOULD do... and what I would do to check it.

    The middle dial, crank it up to 10 and leave it there (you mentioned this part didn't seem to work... The left dial (green tube) and the right dial (blue tube) control the contrast. If you're used to using yellow/magenta for contrast... This is just the opposite...

    I did put a piece of black plastic over the on switch (way too bright) and I painted 90% of the green light (consistancy idicator) with dark nailpolish so it didn't shine down on my print adding fog... (But still wanted to see if it worked)

    Here's what I would do... Either on or off the enlarger, but you need to look at the quality of light.

    Leave both soft and hard dials set to min. (Off is really only good if you're split contrast printing)

    Flip the focus switch. Then roll the left dial on and to the max... The light should get progressively deeper green. Bring it back to min. Then do the same for the hard dial... The light should get progressively bluer.

    Does this happen?? Or are you only getting variation of one colour? If so, then one tube might be out... Give it a try and post what you find.

    I've been using the head for years now and can intuitively jump to the correct contrast/density after the first test strip... It didn't take much getting used to.

    Lastly, I bought mine from Calumet. They may offer service on it if needed, so I would contact them first.


    Hope that helps you,

    joe :smile:
     
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Kevin, The tube on the broken cold light should be replaceable. I would imagine that if you were to check with Aristo Grid Lamp Products that they will be able to supply you with replacement tube. In lieu of that Calumet purchased Zone VI some years ago and they should be able to direct you to a replacement.

    The stabilizer works to stabilize the output of the cold light by means of a sensor/feed back circuit. There should be a cable that attaches the stabilizer to a sensor in the cold light, another cable that attaches to the lamp itself, and a third cable that supplies power to the stabilizer and is plugged into 115 volt power supply. I have the old Zone VI newsletters and should have one that covers the actual stabilizer operation if that would help. It would take some time spent in searching for me to find it though.

    The VC head should be straightforward. There should be a change of light color as the contrast is adjusted from high to low contrast. The high contrast light color should be blue in color and the low contrast green in color. If you fail to realize that then one of the tubes may have failed.

    This will take some sorting out but probably not an absolute bust. I don't know what you paid for all of this but I paid something over $200 for the stabilizer used by itself. If you don't want to deal with it then give it all back to the seller and ask for your money back.
     
  6. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Ok I just went ou tand check the head. I put th ebrightness all the way up. I then changed the dials on left and right. And still nothing. I did notice that in the head itself there is green and purple light. Could the controller be broken?

    It seems that the control box just isnt making contact with the cable going into it...

    Ideas?

    Thank you again,

    Kev
     
  7. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Donald,

    If you could that would be awesome. I cannot return the items as I bought everything as a package deal. I was however under the impression that everything worked...
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Kevin, dont be totally bummed, depending on how much you paid, you might have gotten a very good deal. The equipment you have is very good and all you need is to work out the problems.
    For one, Calumet has very good customer service, given them a call and ask them what can be done.
    The stabilizer is needed for cold lights to have a constant output. What your does is tell you when the lifgh head is warm enough to have a constant out put.
    The VC head, could have two problems, one of the tubes could be bad (the green one) or the controloer could be making false contact. I bet it is the tube.

    I dont know where you are, but the best bet would be to send it to Calumet and have them fix all of it. Depending on your purchase price, this might be the best option.
    Or, if you have a friend who is an electrician, have him check the controler for the VC. These are very simple systems and maybe he can tell right away what is the problem. I would try this first before I go sending it to Calumet.
     
  9. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Hmmmmmm...

    My first inclination is yes, but then you mentioned that the light is on. Turning it on means you can use the control panel to switch it on from focus to print right?

    Does the light stay on always or only when you switch it on with the control panel??

    So you can see both tubes and you can see that they are both on?

    I'm not at home in front of the enlarger so I can't remember... Isn't it like a category 5 computer cable??? (mine is grey and flat but I think it has more wires than a standard telephone cable) If it is, do you have something like this on your computer?? Do a swap and see if anything changes...

    Don't despair... If it is something in the controller, it seems like a very simply made unit. Someone trained in electronics could easily upgrade some dials I'm sure... Just try to eliminate as many variables as possible right now.

    joe :smile:
     
  10. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello Joe,

    The cable is not removeable from the head... I just called calumet and I am goign to send it in, both the head and the controller. They said it would be between $150 and $200. So I will have it packaged up and ready fro FedEx on Monday... Now I need to find a box :smile:


    Thanks,

    Kev
     
  11. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Any recommendations on a timer?
     
  12. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Zone VI Compensating Enlarger Timer. They show up on eBay every so often.

    Jim
     
  13. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Sorry it wasn't something easier for you... But good luck with the repair.

    When it's up and running, it's an easy to use and a nice light source. (Although I find it not the brightest for 35mm)

    Wish I could have been more help,

    joe :smile:
     
  14. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Thanks Joe,

    I have one more question though. When you change the dial will the color change be noticeable? If so how much?

    Thanks again,

    Kev
     
  15. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Hello JIm,

    Thank you for the feedback! Now I am going to start searching for a timer!

    Thank you again,

    Kev
     
  16. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Hi Kev-I have this same unit. As I was getting improper output from one of the lights I sent it in to Calumet. They fixed it el-pronto. Their head repair guy is very knowledgeable. Personnaly I would buy a metrolux timer as the zone-VI is no longer made/god knows when you'll find one on Epay and Metrolux is still in business and will back it up. The last time I sent in my Compensating timer to Calumet the repair dept. was ripping parts out of any old pieces thay had to repair it. It seems the parts suppliers they sourced from are no longer there. I guess my lifetime guarantee from Fred Picker is now officially over! These units are quite good but mine doesn't really give a grade 5. Always preheat the lights and make sure the green lite stays on when you print or you will not get consistant results.
    Regards Peter
     
  17. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    When you change the dials you will see subtle colour changes from green-blue to blue-green... Now if you turn one of them off, you'll get GREEN or BLUE...

    BIG jumps of TOTAL colour.

    That subtle colour does a big difference to VC paper though.

    As for contrast... If I use max soft with no hard I get very low contrast mud... If I use max hard with no soft I get crazy amounts of contrast. Having used the unit for some years, and have tailored negs to print well with it, I'm usually somewhere in the equal amounts range... Figured I'd give myself room to stretch my legs in either direction.

    It is true about the green indicator led. It is the indicator that things were on track with the exposure... Usually I'll set my timer to the maximum print time and hit it a bunch of times while I'm setting up my trays etc... That seems to warm things up. Every now and then I'll also do an exposure with no paper... Just to make sure. Even if the first one does fail, the next one always works. It is remarkably consistant so long as the green led stays on.

    Good luck,

    joe :smile:
     
  18. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    If you use the Zone VI stablizer or Zone VI Compensating Enlarger Timer would this still be true?

    Jim
     
  19. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    My guess would be no... That you'd probably not have to even think about it... It would print till it gets the correct amount of light and then shut off.

    (That's only my guess though from what I know about the timer)


    joe :smile:
     
  20. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thanks Joe,

    Thats what I thought. I picked up a compensating timer on ebay last month, but haven't had a chance to try it on my V/C head yet.

    Jim
     
  21. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Not true about the compensating timer. This is one instance when the timer is NOT in control. I have the head hooked up to the timer and you must still pre-warm the head each time before printing. It's no big deal. I just turn it on at the start of the printing session to get it going. Then afterward all you need to do is hit the switch for the time it takes to write the info on the back of the next sheet of paper. I have the exact settings for each grade given to me by Calumet. Alan Ross was the person who did the calculations. While not exact for all papers,lenses,etc, this info is good enough to get someone in the ballpark instead of fiddling with the dials. I am not home right now or I would put the settings up here. If anyone wants them they can PM me.
    Regards Peter
     
  22. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    Thanks for the info Peter.

    I have chart from Calumet:

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/resources/images/pdfs/zonevicontrast.pdf

    But it was done by John Siebert. I would be interested in seeing the one done by Alan Ross.

    Thanks,

    Jim
     
  23. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Jim-I'm just out of town right now so I have no way to make the comparison to the adobe printout. I can get to it on monday.
    Regards Peter
     
  24. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Jim-finally had a look at the Calumet chart you posted. Way over my head.Here is what I was given:
    00 H Off
    0 H A+1/2
    1/2 G+1/2 B+1/2
    1 F+1/2 C
    1+1/2 F+1/2 D
    2 E D+1/2
    2+1/2 D E
    3 C+1/2 F
    3+1/2 B+1/2 F+1/2
    4 B+1/2 G+1/2
    4+1/2 A H
    5 Off Max
    This chart will get anyone into the ballpark to begin. One issue is that the head doesn't have the greatest output so I proof for grade 1.
     
  25. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Try to keep your negative densities up a little higher for this lamp that way you will not be stuck trying to use the 4.5 and 5 settings too much. I want to go back and clarify something about the compensating timer. Last week I made several (10) contact prints under the lamp. It is my observation that once the lamp is heated up the timer can do its work but I ALWAYS hit the lamp ON button while I pull the next piece of paper.The timer did its work and all the prints were matched densities. If anyone is using a V-54 lamp and the zone-VI timer you must always leave the lamp OFF for twice the time that is used to expose. The timer will NOT compensate for the lamp being heated up. So just process each sheet and by the time you finish the lamp will have cooled off.
    The chart I posted is just a guideline-no 2 brands of paper print the same but by proofing with a 1 filter I have learned to compensate very quickly among brands.Hope this helps out and save someone Time!
    Regards Peter