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  1. #1

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    Deliberations on building a UV light box

    Using Jean-Bernard Roux's article on building a UV exposure unit as a starting point, and along with Sandy King's various contributions, I've been planning the construction of a UV exposure box.

    My intention is to use twelve 24" black light blue fluorescent tubes installed in close proximity to each other. In Jean-Bernard Roux's article he places the ballasts and wiring etc. on the other side of the board to the tubes, which seems a sensible option.

    I managed to find separate 'T8' tube sockets and 2 x 18W ballasts which should reduce any excess unit size. My plan is to paint the inside of the plywood white and varnish the outside.

    Ballast:
    http://www.screwfix.com/prods/66598/...-Tube-2-x-18W#

    'T8' tube sockets:
    http://www.firstlightdirect.com/scp/..._End_Caps.html

    Wiring the ballasts to the tubes is done in something approximating my following diagram as far as I'm aware:



    This would be repeated six times to cover all twelve tubes.

    Maplin sell this fan (120mm model): http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=1810 which looks suitable for cooling purposes.

    French article:
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/constru...phie_roux.html

    I was planning on the black light blue tubes being situated approx. 120mm from the print surface / contact printing glass, is this a sensible distance?


    Tom.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post

    I was planning on the black light blue tubes being situated approx. 120mm from the print surface / contact printing glass, is this a sensible distance?


    Tom.
    I have my BLB's 150mm from the print surface and get good coverage, am sure 120mm would be fine also.
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

  3. #3

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    I used 10 24" tubes spaced about 20mm apart, which used to illuminate a 50x60cm area very well. At first it the contact frame was around 120mm from he tubes, but then I made a vacuum frame that brought it to around 90mm. Still very even across the bulbs, but the ends of 20" long prints have to be burned in slightly, even with 24" long bulbs. I might make an extension to mount the vacuum drawer in to get the extra distance back.

  4. #4

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    Colin,

    Which alternative process are you printing in your unit? I know David Chow prints cyanotype and pt/pd.

    Tom.

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    Sorry, should have mentioned that. Kallitype and carbon transfer, a bit of albumen as well.

  6. #6

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    Colin,

    Thanks. I'm also considering a HID lamp system which I posted about on the Bostick & Sullivan forum but haven't received any feedback yet.

    Tom.

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    I'm following that as well. Many of the industrial fixtures seemed to have a longish warm up time when I was building mine, that's what made me decide on a blb unit. Seemed like the best all around compromise at the time.

  8. #8

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    I suppose the unit could be left on, the tissue only exposed when ready. I would be installing the HID system in a separate room adjacent to the darkroom, so could possibly get around the issue of UV exposure.

    Tom.

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    Tom, this may be of interest to you?

    http://www.lightbulbs-direct.com/pro...-uv-reflector/

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Crone View Post
    Tom, this may be of interest to you?

    http://www.lightbulbs-direct.com/pro...-uv-reflector/
    Thanks for the link Trevor, I had spotted that. I'm following the thread on the Bostick & Sullivan forum re: HID lamp systems, which has now generated some very helpful responses. Some indicate that 400 watts would not provide particularly short exposures, and encourage the use of higher wattage systems.

    Tom.

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