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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Boone, North Carolina, USA
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    If I were going to design a processor it would be a small robot dip and dunk line. It would be very easy to control such a processorer with and old computer. It ould only take 2 servos, one to raise and lower the rack, and one to move it from one tank to the next. Put the film/paper in the hangers, close the lid, turn it on and walk away until a beep tells you it is done. A temperature controlled bath would be optional, as would an automatic replenishment system. I see no reason why a 3 bath system would need to be bigger than about 1-1/2 cubic feet. The basic system should only cost about $300 to build, as long as some currently available off the shelf tanks are still available.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Australia
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    You've had the same thoughts I had Tom! I was doing the dip and dunk in the dark with stainless reels and tanks listening to a recording on my iPod for timing, and started daydreaming about the same thing.

    What I'm coming round to thinking is there are many ways to actually process the film and prints, but the first thing to develop would be a way of making things work together. I play in a band where I control my lights using DMX - regardless of what the lights can do and who manufactured them (dim, change colours, rotate) the controller can control them because they follow the DMX protocol. New devices can be added, the controller can be changed as required, or it can be controlled manually with footswitches that issue DMX commands. I wonder if there are other process control protocols that could be easily adapted. Time to start hitting google.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Boone, North Carolina, USA
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    Lowly, I was thinking in terms of CNC (computer numerical control) machines. There is an immense hobby presence about that on the web. Parts, controllers, and software is readily available. Look up "CNC routers", to get an idea. A temperature bath tub with a simple gantry above it. A servo to move the rack along the gantry, and another to move it up and down.

    You load the rack in the dark, close the cover and hit run on the computer. The gantry servo moves it to the developer tank. The lift servo lowers the rack into the developer, and jiggles it up and down a few times, then jiggles it a couple of times every 30 seconds or so. That is you agitation. When the developer process is done the rack is lifted and moved to the stop bath, then to the fix.

    And then to the rinse. If you want to get fancy you could rig the rinse with a solenoid controlled dump valve and do a few automatically controlled fill and dump cycles, and then move the rack to a hot air film dryer section. There you have a fully automatic processing line, although I was only thinking of the develop, stop, fix set up when i wrote that post, it would be fairly trivial to design such a system.

    Optional would be a light tight cover for the line, that would mean the only thing that would need to be done in the dark is load the film into the rack, and hang the rack in the processor. Need a 9 bath transparency processor? It would be easy to add stations to the basic design, and reprogram the computer for the additional stages.

    By comparison, a rotary processor is complicated as heck.

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