Source for Macbeth Densitometer manuals &/or parts?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Ray Rogers, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Anyone know if there is a source for MACBETH Densitometer manuals?
    I am looking for one for an RD 91x model.

    As well as the standard (Dmin-Dmax) plate.

    Thanks
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Sorry, no manual at hand. My TD-901 acquired a couple of years ago complete with a manual. My uint was made at a time that the MacBeth product line was owned by the Kolmorton Corp, or something of that name. I could find record of them with web searches at the time.

    I presume a reflection denistometer has some sort of integral light source of calibrated stable brightness (or perhaps with feedback to electrically regulated its intensity), and a photomultiplier that senses the reflected light intensity.


    Old Kodak darkroom Dataguides have a page in them that is a b&w (glossy I think) photo print that shows a b&w step tablet of about 4-5 steps with density printed to tell you how dense the different patches are.
     
  3. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Kollmorgen.

    ??
    Will your manual come any closer to your hand... eventually?

    I have found a general publication, one that includes the general type & several 900s...
    but a complete dedicated one might be helpful, even if it's the wrong #.

    Not in a big hurry so a few weeks/2 months maybe... it it turns up.
     
  4. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    I think that X-rite owns the former Macbeth business, but I doubt that they have old manuals. You can probably still buy calibration plaques, but they may cost more than your densitometer did - a reflection calibration plaque for an Xrite 810 or 811, etc, ought to work. (I'm presuming that you have a probe that can press down on a surface.) Something I've suggested to people, in the past, is to make a print with a near-black patch (density about 1.80 will probably work), then have someone take density readings for them, of both the white paper base plus the dark patch. Then use this as your calibration plaque.

    The normal calibration routine is that you would put your probe down on a white calibration target, while pressing a zero button. Obviously the white plaque is not supposed to read zero, but the aim has to be adjustable somehow (perhaps there is a "zero" knob on the back of the machine?). Then while reading a dark calibration patch, adjust a slope control (perhaps another knob, labeled "slope" or "calibration"?). Assuming that this is a color machine, you would have to zero color, individually. I'm thinking that you can also set slopes, individually, but not sure. Does your machine have controls like this? Note that there will be a limit to adjustability, so you might want to try a test to see what the ranges are.
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have had a PM on the manual as well. I will dig it up in a few days and get it posted. Nothing electronic in it, just operator settings and tuning of pots, which on mine I have not needed to touch.

    It does mention that the units shipped with a spare bulb in the base. Mine is no longer there. I am waiting to see if the photomultiplier tube dies first, before investing in tracking down a spare light source.
     
  6. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Yes, thats pretty right on.
    I would like to contact Peter DeSmidt (sp?) as he may have a manual...
    I can't seem to raise him. Anyone been in contact with him recently?

    The machine has cables for a printer and a computer...
    Anyone Know anthing more about these two uses?

    Software/Hardwaren needs?
     
  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Sorry, my manual is for tjhe TD-504. My oops.
     
  8. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    I don't know about the printer, but if the computer cable is hardwired into the back, it was probably an extra-cost option for use with Kodak's Technet service. Almost for sure it would be RS-232. If you wanted to play, you could rig up a minimal (3-line) adapter cable to the serial port on your modern computer, and run some sort of simple terminal program. But there's not much practical value - you could write down the numbers nearly as fast.

    Regarding the manual, it's probably not worth spending much time on a search. If you can calibrate, and know what the colored buttons on the turret are, that's about it. Plus how to change the lamp and any internal fuses.

    Hope you can get it all working and get some use out of it!
     
  9. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Holy cow, Mike, that's an oldie! I didn't know why you were talking about PMTs, now I see. Probably nixie tubes in the display, too, right? I guess I shouldn't laugh; I used 'em back when they had meter movements, with a mirror stripe behind to be sure you were reading it dead-on.
     
  10. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Actually this one has large LED digits. I do know what you mean by nixie tubes.

    I do have a mid 60's Melico analyser that uses a vaccuum phosphor glow tube that is used to balance the bridge. That is a hold over from 30'/40's radio tuning dials last used to centre on FM staions, I believe. It will be sad when one of the tubes in that thing finally burns up.
     
  11. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    You are probably right about writing... but I do like the "systemized" feeling and automation of it all... wish I had a cuve plotter to go along with it, to make life simpler; I tend to spend an inhumane amount of time drawing a decent curve!

    Humm, well there is a problem with the reflection reading head turret...
    as is typical with these Macbeths, the polka dotted disk has turned into a UFO
    and is now MIA.

    Underneath where the disk is supposed to rest, there is a flat region,
    (looks like a circle with it's top 20% cut off) that must be up or down
    (lets say down)
    when ever the densitometer is set to one of its options (C, M, Y or Vis).

    If someone's is loose and they don't mind looking,
    it would be nice to know which way the flat piece is supposed to face when the machine is set to read "visual".

    Right now I am optomistic.

    The only two real issues are the missing disk on the turret and
    a dislodged diffuser on the "null density" switch light.
     
  12. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Should be a piece of cake to identify the "who is what". Temporaily mark the turret with some sort of ID. Then, find a few color samples to read: red, green, and blue. Not too critical, photos with a bright red ball cap, green leaves, etc. Reading the red object, whichever turret position gives the LOWEST DENSITY is the red-filter position, likewise green test target for green-filter position, and same for blue. The remaining turret position is the visual filter. If there's any question about the blue filter (a lot of people would identify a cyan test color as blue), try reading a yellow test patch - this time the HIGHEST density reading identifies the turret's blue-filter position.
     
  13. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Yes, I have a "sense" that it should not be too dificult...
    There are a few complications that make it less clear to me however...
    perhaps you can follow the logic "deeper" than I can and point to the light
    at the end of the tunnel? At least I hope so.

    Complication 1:
    I don't have the model specfic data,
    so I am not sure the locations on the turret are in fact R,G,B & Vis or Ortho....
    some 900 series machines are c,y,m & V/O
    (although most do seem to be RGB & V/O)

    If the machine I have is not RGB how will that affect our "Who's Who" test if I use Red , green and Blue-ish quick and dirty test objests and don't bother to use known real samples...
    More over, what is it good for?

    (For what it's worth I do have a macbeth color card - if that might help)

    Complication 2:
    To read ANY channel, The machine has to be zeroed.
    Since I don't yet know which channel is visual, will zeroing on one of the other channels (of either R,G,B or C,M,Y) somehow invalidate the results of our
    "Who's Who" test?
     
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  15. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    Hi Ray,

    Complication 2 - Just zero and calibrate ALL (4) channels. At the end of this post are results I get on a Macbeth ColorChecker (the full-size one, not the tiny one). You should be able to "zero" all of you colors, individually, on the "White" patch - check your calibration on the Black patch, at about 1.52.

    BTW, the color signals should be so strong, that even a large calibration error won't matter, with respect to finding "who's who."

    Complication 1- All densitometers I know of work pretty much the same - they insert some sort of narrow band filter, either red, or green, or blue, into the light path, so that the result effectively tells how much of a dye, cyan, or magenta, or yellow, is present. That is, a densitometer who's turret is labeled CMY could just as well have been labeled RGB. In general photography, we would use a set of responses they call "Status A" for things we visually observe, such as prints or slides. "Status M" would be for color negs, which are intended to be printed, not directly viewed. I know that there are some graphic arts versions, such as Status T and E (?), which used slightly different versions of the red, green, and blue filters.

    Here's the data I get reading one example of an actual Macbeth card - I used an X-rite 810 (Status A)

    Results are listed, for each Macbeth patch, in order of: R,G, B, then Vis.

    White = 0.05, 0.05, 0.06, 0.05
    Black = 1.53, 1.52, 1.51, 1.52

    Red = 0.23, 1.36, 1.34, 0.79
    Green = 1.08, 0.50, 1.23, 0.70
    Blue = 1.43, 1.31, 0.54, 1.36

    note: this is just one sample, there is probably some fair amount of variation in cards. Nevertheless, there is never any doubt about which turret setting has the lowest density, for Macbeth red, green, and blue.
     
  16. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Definitely send X-Rite an e-mail and ask them. They were very helpful to me.

    Ed
     
  17. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Mr. Bill,
    Thanks for going to the trouble.
    I pulled out my MCC today;Was going toi do today, butgot sidetracked when I found software fore putting the measurments into excell, but discovered my cable seems not to be the RS232 Dsub25 nor the Dsub 9, but an HRS (Hirose) RC40-24PR for which I have no idea what to do with....

    I should to the MCC testing tomorrow, or at the latest, sometime thereafter.

    Mr. Neanderman...
    Thanks for the advice... is that the same as Sam C... or, to be more clear,
    How did you contact them?
    (Do you still have their email address?)

    Thanks,

    All...
     
  18. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Member

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    You're quite welcome!

    Hope you can find the cabling parts. If it IS an RS232 line, I would expect it to have the 25pin connector.
     
  19. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    Might be IEEE-448. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE-488
     
  20. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Gee my last post had quite a few typos!

    Sorry--

    OK

    Well- I sought confirmation from several angles and it seems things are straightened out.
    I used Mr. Bill's data to cross check results obtained from trying to follow one (official) repairman's help.
    There are/were 2 issues:

    My lowest values were obtained when the complementary color
    to that indicated by Mr Bill, was set.
    According to the comments about RGB and CMY being sort of interchangable,
    perhaps this is a non-issue.

    The other issue is that I seem to get a stronger M & Y response
    (G & B according to the above mentioned logic) in the MCC White patch.

    My Light is quite yellowish... is this normal?
    Are they generally useable till they die?
    Or, are they supposed to be used for some % of their entire life?

    Anyway, here is the data I got with my set up and color checker.

    (I will follow Mr. Bills layout)

    Here's the data I get reading one example of a Macbeth card
    Results are listed, for each Macbeth patch, in order of:
    R,G, B, then Vis.
    (actually in my case: C, M, Y then Vis.)

    White = 0.06, 0.09, 0.15, 0.06
    Black = 1.53, 1.53, 1.51, 1.52

    Red = 0.25, 1.38, 1.31, 0.82
    Green = 1.11, 0.50, 1.20, 0.66
    Blue = 1.37, 1.28, 0.60, 1.24

    Different machines, different cards yet fairly close.
    The one white patch does look a bit (0.15) yellowish;
    The card is old, yet nearly unused and was stored in the dark, in original pkg.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  21. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    RC40-24PR is probably the venerable GPIB, common in older lab equipment.
     
  22. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    You just might be correct...

    If so,
    Can I convert this somehow to RS232 Dsub25 ?

    What can I do with this?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2011
  23. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Ah, yes. The good old GPIB interface. As a parallel bus, it's not directly convertible to serial. Check out National Instruments, they probably have the largest support for GPIB, including (at one time, at least) a free library for developing code to support it. The downside is, this stuff is EXPENSIVE if you buy it new. A better bet is to look for a used card out on one of the Internet dumping grounds for stuff (i.e., 'the bay'). If you have a card, NI is pretty good with support.

    Ed
     
  24. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    ?

    Card... What's this? Can you explain your suggested approach in more detail?
     
  25. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Sure, it's an add-in card for a computer. They are available for the 'old' ISA or the newer PCI or PCI-E busses. You then use software on the computer to read and interpret the data from the device (in this case, a densitometer).

    I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do via the cable.
     
  26. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    I want to connect a densitometer
    (wh. has the cable in question built into it-male connector)
    to a laptop (which has an RS232 type (female) connector.

    Software then feeds the measured data into excell.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2011