Tray heaters anyone? Or how to hot lith.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Robert Hall, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I have been looking for years for a decent tray heater. I bought one years ago from Nova. The guy told me it was the last one and it was 220v. I was lucky because I have 220 for my light sources in my darkroom but it was also about $200. ( yeah, back when I was more easily parted with my money ).

    Well, I seem to be the Salt Lake City repository for old darkroom stuff and a batch came my way the other day with what I thought was a tray warmer. it was older than I am, that's pretty old, and gave it a try. it heated to 125f and did a great job of heating my developer for doing hot lith prints.

    I started doing a web search and found that submersible heating pads only turned up junk for turtles, not what I was looking for. Then I looked closely at the pad I was given and found it was a mat. It's a heated floor mat for standing on cold cement floors.

    Now this was hardly submersible, but boy, did it do a great job of heating my soup. Now... forewarning: In no way did this say it was submersible, but one claim said it was waterproof. So if somehow you end up electrocuting yourself, don't blame me. I do stupid things all the time.

    So consider this link a suggestion: http://goo.gl/j8H3b

    Anyone else thought of this or a better solution for our solution? :smile:
     
  2. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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  3. Bob Carnie

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    I bought one of those pig warmers, I could not get it to give me adjustable temps and abandoned the idea. Murray M came up with the original post on this one.
     
  4. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Thanks Andrew, I remember these now. I don't see a stock item or price on them however. Do you think they are no longer available?

    Have you used them?
     
  5. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Thanks Bob,

    Good to know. I can tell you I sure like this mat I found. At least so far.

    I hope things are well your way.
     
  6. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    This, btw Bob, would work with a light dimmer switch. Man... I'm brilliant today! :smile:
     
  7. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Depending on what temperatures you're trying to reach, I used to use a heater that basically looked like a long U that was submersible and had an adjustable thermostat. It had a minimum temp so I didn't use it much but it was great for heating Tmax dev to 100° for processing 3200 T Max. Will probably use it this winter to help keep my water bath at a steady temperature while printing. Can look it up later when I get home.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I use a wierd combo when I need a hot tray. Made this up doing c-41 8x10 negs re-shooting a dupe of a collage of hundreds of small photos using a process camera.

    No film holder for that camera, just a vaccuum back holder, so setting it up to work in total darkness was actually the bigger part of the problem with the project.

    The tray was a food service stainless tray. It sat on top of a water bed heater. The temp sensor for that heater sat with a bag of ice on top of it to make it run to hotter than normal.

    The heater sat on top of a piece of drywall to even the heat out. The foam pad to drive the heat up sat on the drywall. The drywall was cut away in places like where the power cord connectd to allow the pad to lay flat under the tray. Definitely flaky, but the end result was satisfactory for that project.

    Since then I have removed the bed thermostat and occasionally put such a heater in my darkroom sink, but then laid a heavy plastic liner in the sink, since this heater is not rated for immersion. thus, filled to 2" with water works great for getting all trays to the same temp, but is a pain to take down; you have to bail the water bath since the sink drain is covered.

    It is most handy when I have a backlog of 4x5 e-6's to process. My tanks are hard rubber, and without thier own water jacket. I keep most of the e-6 chems in them with floating lids, and then microwave them to get things up to temp, and the water bath keeps them at that temp.
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    I guess we are hearing from our friends to the north, who else would know so much about needing to heat the soup. I bow to your experience!

    (thanks!)

    :smile:
     
  10. MaximusM3

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  12. Thomas Bertilsson

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  13. olleorama

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    I have done exactly this for c41 processing by hand. If you search my posts you will maybe find it. I list cheap components too. I used a imersion cup heater as heating element. I made my thing for less than $50.

    edit: I see now that that site also does it, and they did it before me! Hey! whaddayaknow, somebody thinks the same way I do.
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I spent all day Sunday getting caaght up on a backlog of at least three months woth film processing.
    Funny how home renos can slow down what is really important in a photographers life

    I had the radio on and tuned to CBC, and spent an hour listening to people talking up sous-vide cooking.
    At the time, I was working away on C-41, and was fishing chems out of the tempering water bath.

    My regular tempering bath is an about 14l 'lunch box sized' cooler/esky wfitted with a modified aquqrium heater and aquarium circulation pump.

    I was thinking that all it would need to turn it into a sous-vide rig would be to wind the thermostat a bit higher.
    I don't think I would show the dinner party guests how thier mean was prepared though.
    By now the cooler is slime and spilled chemicals stained beyond any desired food storage use.