What are you using for basic timer?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Loose Gravel, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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    What are you using for a basic in the dark timer? I have an LED alarmclock that I modified years ago. It counts up in seconds. Gets to 9:99 and rolls over. I have a footswitch on it for a reset. The new clocks I haven't been able to figure out how to do this modification. I have a Graylab that I use in the kitchen and it is okay for the darkroom, but I'd like something that I can reset with a footswitch. Analog or digital ok. I prefer count up. This is for developing paper, film, timing washing, all that stuff, but not enlarging.
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    I have a metrolux II for enlarging and a zone 6 timer for processing and it counts up. both are digital.

    lee\c
     
  3. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Interesting switch. Darkroom timer in the kitchen and a modified clock in the darkroom. I picked up an older model Gralab I think model 500. I later picked up a foot switch. It is a universal foot switch which works on all of the digital Grablab models. It works the same as the switch you would use to start the timer and resets the timer. I have a color enlarger and can make infinite contrast adjustments and appreciate the 1/10ths of sec in a darkroom timer.
    I forgot to add that this is a digital timer. I also have the 300 which I mostly use to time print development and finishing.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Have a basic GRALAB 300 for film and paper development.
    A Zone VI timer on one enlarger and a Beseler digital on the other. Everything counts down. Tone is shut off.
     
  5. erickson

    erickson Member

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    My nerdy timer

    My enlarger is plugged into an old Time-O-Lite 60 second timer. My wall clock makes a mechanical click every second and has a safelight pointed at it. I use that for paper develop/stop/fix timing.

    The thing is, I'm a geek/nerd afflicted with two conditions. First, I can never remember simple things very long (ex: "Is this the third or forth time I've pressed the 60 second 'time' button?"). Second, I can't leave things alone - I have to improve/break everything I come in contact with. I wrote software for my laptop that gives me audible beeps for timing enlargements and paper development. It gives me sounds for:

    Start enlarging - 5 seconds remaining - Stop enlarging
    Place paper in develop tray - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
    Place paper in stop tray - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
    Place paper in fix tray 1 - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray
    Place paper in fix tray 2 - 5 seconds remaining - Remove paper from tray

    In the future, I'll probably modify my timer software to time film development and remind me when to agitate.
     
  6. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    A Zone VI Compensating development timer. Has setting for "Film-Paper-and-RealTime".

    I highly recommend this timer!

    Jim
     
  7. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    For fixing, washing, etc. I use my basic gralab.

    I develop film by inspection, so I usually set the gralab to something like a half hour so I can, in effect, count up to know when's a good time to peek and finally, how long I ended up developing.

    For contact prints and enlargements, michaelandpaula have converted me through their writings to using a metronome. I used to use metronome software on my palm pilot, but I've since found the metronome that my wife used in high school. Lets me wait until the bulb warms up to start exposing my paper, lets me use both hands without mucking with some gadget, and I don't need to reset anything between base exposure and burns.

    For developing prints, I've got a countdown timer on my watch, so I just press the button on my watch for a 2-minute timer. I use rapid fix and confirm the strength wtih a film clearing test before each session, so I know that by the time I've exposed and developed one print, the previous print is ready to leave the fix for the holding bath.

    -KwM-
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Gralab 545 and Metrolux II compensating timer for enlargers, and a Gralab 625 for timing developers, fixers etc. All three are digital.

    Michael
     
  9. eric

    eric Member

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    timer for washing?

    A timer for washing? Okay, I don't get it. I use a Gralab 450 for prints. A radio shack $10 digital timer for film.

    For paper, I have an old, old 60 second timer. I put paper in, press the button. If RC, I wait 30 seconds and put in stop, bounce paper up and down 3 times (I'm using a NOva) and put in fix, turn on light. For fiber, I do the timer 60 seconds sometimes more, don't need to be perfect. But for washing, anything more than 5 minutes, I don't see the point in timing it. As soon as I put prints to be washed, I watch a TV show or check email and in 15 minutes, I take it out (for RC) or dip in HCA and wash again.
     
  10. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I use a GraLab for enlarger & mechanical metronome for Azo contact prints. After reading Way Beyond Monochrome , I'd like to get an f/stop timer because I'm always having to guestimate number of seconds +- to change for 1 f/stop of print exposure.
     
  11. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    For the enlarger I use an EPOI electronic analog timer, purchased deffective and fixed.
    For film & paper dev (daylight tank, safelight) a kitchen count down timer.

    Jorge O
     
  12. kwmullet

    kwmullet Subscriber

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    My chosen criteria for washing is time, not changes in water or turbulence
    I've got one of these:
    http://www.fineartphotosupply.com/printwashers.htm
    and follow it's instructions for a half-hour soak in one tank of water, replacement, followed by another half-hour soak. Also, I only use FB paper. I haven't gotten around to using HCA yet... sure i will soon, once I initiate my bottle of selenium toner.

    -KwM-
     
  13. mwtroxell

    mwtroxell Member

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    I can't remember the model number but I use the Graylab timer that also has a metronome built into it. It gives me the best of both worlds. While I do still watch the timer, I've found that I feel something is missing unless I can also hear the metronome.
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use only a metronome - if I can find it. My wife often borrows it for practicing (cornet), or I take it out myself for practicing (song).

    If I can't find it, I count. After 30 years of music I have no difficulties in counting at a steady 60 bpm...

    Apart from that, I use a wrist-watch - in daylight.

    I've tried (briefly) working with an enlarger timer, and couldn't get used to it at all.

    Edit. Try removing the dash in wrist-watch. Amusing :surprised:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2004
  15. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    An RH Designs Process timer for film and a Stop Clock Pro fstop Compensating timer for print exposures, again by RH Designs.
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    On my enlarger, I use a a digital timer that dates back to the dawn of digital timers. It looks as if was constructed in someone's basement. It works fine but I find it's controls inconvenient to use and it has a weird footswtch plug. For burning and dodging I'd rather have tones than an LED countdown. If I'm concentrating on on the easle, I'm not looking at the timer. I'd like to get one of those Beselar Audible timers, they're all over Ebay but I haven't managed to snag one yet.

    For process I use a old Gralab Dial timer.
     
  17. brimc76

    brimc76 Member

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    I use a GraLab 300 for film and paper and for the enlarger an LPL 500 with a footswitch.
     
  18. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    For processing, a 10 buck talking count-down timer.
     
  19. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

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    I use an old laptop, with red film over the screen, a SSR driven via the parport switches the enlarger and some home brewed software (DOS based).

    If anyone is interested then pm me and I'll send you a copy and details of the interface. It could use a little refining but works OK.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  20. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Heh, I have to put another shameless plug - I use Palm with FotoTimer software and a DIY relay to hook it up with enlarger - see my DIY projects for Palm in the Darkroom.

    Only downside is that it counts in full seconds. Good enough for me, though.
    The same software is used for both negative and positive work. Lets you "chain" processes, so you can prepare the whole shebang in advance (pre-wash, development, stop, fix, rinse, whatever) with adjustable pauses between processes. In short, once you start it, your hands are free.
    Quite a nifty program - and freeware, too!

    Denis