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  1. #1

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    anyone tried a water purification UV light for an alternative process UV light box?

    have not been able to find a Nuarc UV plate burner in my area yet, but still looking…

    I know some people have built UV light boxes (i.e. UV exposure units)
    using a variety of different UV bulbs (aquarium lights etc)

    it occurred to me that I could try making such a light box using the bulbs from a UV water purification system
    these bulbs are typically changed once a year and the local maintenance fellow can supply me with the discarded bulbs
    at no cost
    the challenge now is figuring out how to light up the bulb using a cheap ballast

    the water UV purification installation uses a ballast for a single bulb that looks similar from the outside to the ballast
    you would find in a typical fluorescent light bulb
    unfortunately aside from the bulb wattage (39Watts) there are not markings to indicate how they differ
    it would be prohibitively expensive to purchase new ballasts made for these bulbs for this purpose
    they are $250 each

    what I thought might work would be to "repurpose" the ballast from a normal fluorescent fixture
    and try it with one of these bulbs. The connections are different but I think can be "jury rigged" to be made to work.

    I plan to try and experiment and hook up one bulb to see if it will work

    if the experiment works
    I would make the box using 6 or 8 bulbs side by side
    and the try to figure out how many ballasts I might need
    through a trial and error process

    obviously I would be careful to shield myself from the UV light
    because I expect these bulbs throw off more UV light than other bulbs
    they are in an enclosed housing when used in the filtration system

    has any one tried this or have any words of advice?

    thanks
    Frank

  2. #2

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    Can't imagine why you'd have a hard time digging up a printing plate burner. Unless all the printers have already hauled theirs away to the scrapyard by now.

  3. #3
    NedL's Avatar
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    That's a very interesting idea. I didn't realize the wattage was so low. I'll bet there are some short wavelength UV coming from that, so do be careful please. I'd think if a normal balast has enough of a "kick" to get the gas lit up, it would probably work. Again be careful with high voltages and if there is a big balast transformer, exercise caution because the HV winding could have enough inductance to hold a big charge.

  4. #4
    Hexavalent's Avatar
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    "Germicidal" UV is typcially a much shorter wavelength than what is effective for most alt-process.
    Common CFL or straight tube 'black lights' (BL, or BLB), as well as "Bug Zapper" bulbs work very well.
    - Ian

  5. #5
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    My understanding is that germicidal/purification lamps work because they put out sufficient UV C to break down the cells of bacteria in the water. UV C is very bad for you because what it does to the bacteria, it will also do to you. It causes cancer.

    It is a really bad idea to use germicidal/purification lamps. Alt processes generally only need UV A which is closer to visible light. UV A lamps are commonly available and fairly cheap (often labelled as black light or black light blue).

  6. #6

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    I don't know where the guy (OP) is, but if he was anywhere near me I'd practically beg him to come haul off my platemaker. Why anyone would want a piece of printing equipment is beyond me. Strangely enough I still like photography, but as far as printing equipment, I have an understanding with God. And that is that I will keep my eye on the ball and gain my spot in heaven. And when I get there, they won't have any printing equipment.

  7. #7
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    As an afterthought, here is a simple memory aid for the effects of the different bands of UV: A is for 'ageing', B is for 'burning' and C is for 'cancer'.

  8. #8

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    glad I posted the question. I didn't know what frequency germicidal UV light works at. Now I know the difference between UV A, B and C. So will now abandon this idea.

    Tom, I am located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada near Nanaimo BC, so I doubt that I am anywhere close to you. But thank you for the offer.

    I very much appreciate all of the responses
    Frank

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Frank:

    Somehow, I would expect that the thriving "hydroponics" industry near Nanaimo would provide you with excellent sources of UV illumination. If I assume correctly that you are actually on Gabriola Island, you may have neighbours who can help you with that.

    Are there any police auctions coming up in the near future ?

    Have you spoken about this with Lillian Sly (sly here on APUG)? She does wonderful Alt Process work in the Nanaimo area.

    Matt


    Quote Originally Posted by Gabrioladude View Post
    glad I posted the question. I didn't know what frequency germicidal UV light works at. Now I know the difference between UV A, B and C. So will now abandon this idea.

    Tom, I am located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada near Nanaimo BC, so I doubt that I am anywhere close to you. But thank you for the offer.

    I very much appreciate all of the responses
    Frank
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #10

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    MattKing,
    thanks for your response
    very interesting perspective on this

    and yes Lillian and I have corresponded
    I agree she does very nice work

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