What would be a good alternative to a JOBO TBE-2?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by lomomagix, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    I'm interested in the hybrid route and would like to develop my own negatives/positives (35mm and MF) and then scanning them afterwards. I was concerned with temp control so I browsed the net and I came across the JOBO TBE-2 which got me interested. However, not only is it out of production (that's what I found out, so far) but the prices of the few that come out in Ebay are still prohibitive for me.

    Any suggestions as to nice and affordable alternatives? I want something where I could set the desired temp instead of having to manually measure the temp in a water bath and regulating it by pouring hot or cold water.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    You can make a water bath and control the temperature fairly accurately with an aquarium heater & thermostat. I acquired colour processor that had been adapted by adding 2 heaters & a separate controller.

    Ian
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Chest picnic cooler and aquarium heater. Get a biggish cooler. I'd say 50+litres but bigger is better within reason. Get one with a tap to drain off the water. Cheaper and if you get a get heater [Won bothers makes or made a good cheap one. Avoid the more expensive digital] better then the Jobo setup.
     
  4. domaz

    domaz Member

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    You could make one that's probably more accurate than the Jobo by getting a titanium aquarium heater with no thermostat (~$15), a Solid State Relay (~$10), a Universal PID controller from Ebay (~$50) and some thermocouple sensors (~$10).

    The basic idea is that the PID Controller reads from the temperature sensor (thermocouple) and then adjusts the "ON" frequency of the Solid State Relay which is connected to the heater. If properly calibrated it could probably hold a constant temperature better than the Jobo TBE since I believe it can just turn it's heater full on and full off, while this system can turn the heater partially on and off.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you're really worried add a small pump to circulate the water. Otherwise you'll end up with dead spots. Add something like a brick to the bottom. It'll hold temp better then the water will when you open the lid.
     
  6. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    I'm not sure I've seen an aquarium heater & thermostat, Ian. Are they sort of modular (meaning, they come with ports to connect with each other when bought)? And I suppose I can use any deep enough container as a water bath, right? (And hopefully I don't have to use a real aquarium)
     
  7. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    I may already have that type of cooler, Nick. As in my reply to Ian, I'm not sure I've seen an aquarium heater. Will it be a permanent attachment to the cooler, or will it be detachable when we need to use the cooler?

    However, this setup looks too bulky for me (I was hoping for something that I can easily lift and put up on a table).
     
  8. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    Very interesting! Can you be a little more detailed on how I connect each of these parts? And what type of receptacle do you suggest for this?
     
  9. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    What exactly are dead spots? Portions of the solution that are colder/hotter than the rest? And I'm kinda confused on how the brick will affect the temp. But thanks for your replies, Nick, and all the others as well!
     
  10. willem

    willem Member

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    I often see processors like the TBE-2 here in the Netherlands. The prices differ a lot I think from what you encounter on ebay. Here they go for about 35 euros. The -semi- and full-automated- types like cpa and cpp and the atl 1000 and atl 1500 are more expensive but within reach of amateurs also. I have bought a atl 1000 for about 300 euros.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2008
  11. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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  12. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    Very interesting! I want to know how you maintain the temp in the Tupperware tub. And I suppose that motor base (I've only seen one on pictures) shouldn't be submerged in the bath, right? So how long do you put your tank in the motor base before having to return it in the bath for the proper temp?
     
  13. lomomagix

    lomomagix Member

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    Wow, that's a nice price Willem!

    Okay, to make it simple I guess, would anybody know of an inexpensive water bath with a built-in temp regulator (I'm not very good at DIY's)? But, if that aquarium heater/thermostat turns out to be really simple to set-up, I guess that would be a nice way to go.
     
  14. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The heater element is in the bottom of the TBE, therefore it 'mixes' via convection (it works very well BTW), without a motor. An aquarium heater hanging on the side of a container may need some help distributing the heat, as has been pointed out.
     
  15. jwil6969

    jwil6969 Member

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    Water Bath

    There is a company in New Jersey that makes water baths called Photo-Therm. They come in different sizes and prices. Had one of the original models for years (over 25) and when it quit I contacted them and brought it over. Gave me a real good deal on a new one. Found these baths to be very accurate. Another alternative is go to RHDesign, they have a timer that is regulated by the liquid being used (water in a small stainless tank-the same as the developer) and it regulates the time. The hotter the liquid the faster the clock moves, the cooler, the slower. Have a Zone VI timer similar to the RHDesign and have had no problems in getting consistently good negatives.
     
  16. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You fill the cooler after it's in place. Don't use the same cooler for food and chemistry. Really don't mix darkroom stuff and food stuff. It's not worth the risk.

    When you open the lid the water starts cooling down. The brick takes awhile to heat up and takes awhile to cool down.

    http://www.wonbrothers.com/product/heater/ICHEATER.htm

    That's the one I was using. 300watts I think. Bigger will react faster then smaller. Even with the heater on the bottom of the cooler I found the pump helped. It sped up the mixing of the solution and helped keep the temps constant around the whole cooler. Plus a small aquarium pump isn't very expensive.
     
  17. domaz

    domaz Member

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    The PID controller idea is something I researched heavily but never actually tried. The people using this kind of setup are usually espresso afficiandos (aka coffee snobs) who can tell a difference between one or two degrees of brewing temperature. So if you google pid controller and espresso you can find a lot of info on this- here's a good link detailing the connections.