Fujimoto CP-31 setup with W/D and Replenisher
I've got my CP-31 working, finally, after acquiring it nearly a year ago. I also have the Washer/Dryer module and the replenisher module as well. I plan to use all three of them. I've tested the main processor with plain water and a sheet of RC paper, and it worked like a champ. The pump flows and temperature controls all work properly too. The mechanical hookup from the main unit drives the gears on the W/D. To finish testing, I just need an input water supply line and a longer drain hose. Then the final part will be the replenisher, and I believe I have all the parts I need for that too.
My main questions are about the power and signalling setup between the three units. Can someone confirm if this is correct?
1) The replenisher has a two-prong power cord that must be connected to the 100 volt outlet on the back of the main body of the CP-31, and NOT into a regular 120v outlet.
2) There is one single three-pin DIN plug on the back of the main unit. The W/D unit has two identical looking 3-pin DIN plugs on its back panel. Both the W/D and the replenisher module need a signal from the main unit to know when to turn on. I believe the proper signalling hookup when all three units are in use is to connect a signalling cable from one DIN plug on the the W/D to the DIN on the main unit, and another signalling cable from the other W/D DIN plug to the DIN plug on the replenisher uint. From the parts diagram, it looks like the two DIN plugs are connected internally in the W/D. Neither is labeled, so I also assume it doesn't matter which one connects to the main body and which to the replenisher.
Next questions are more about cleaning and normal use:
3) The CP-31 Operating Manual says that clean up sheets should be run through the processor at the start of each session. In the troubleshooting section, it calls them cleaning sheets and says to run them through when prints come out dirty. I ran a sheet of B&W RC paper through the unit, and it came out with a lot of dust embedded in the emulsion. Are the cleaning sheets still available? Or how can I keep the paper path clean?
4) If I'm going to be printing a lot over several days, is there any harm in leaving the tanks full of processing solutions? Or is it best to drain and fully clean tanks, rollers, and crossovers at the end of each day?
By the way, how do I set up the replenisher? I don't have any instructions for it.
There are two rows of three tube connectors on the replenisher, an out (top) and in (bottom) to replenish each tank. There are long clear plastic tubes at the back of the processor that hook up to the replenisher. I think these hook up to the top row of top connectors on the replenisher. The bottom row of connectors is for the solution intake? I have some tubing consisting of a short tube connected to a white plastic filter, then at 90 degrees there is a longer tube connected to the filter housing that terminates in a 12 inch long rigid gray plastic pipe.
Does the replenisher pump solution up from a bottle through that rigid gray plastic pipe, hose, and filter, then out to the processor via gravity? Does the replenisher need to be positioned above the processor? Or is gravity actually needed? Could the replenisher be mounted below the processor?
I've a cp-51 that I use for ra-4 and a cp-32 that I use for rc b/w. My cp-32 does not have the wash/dry module so I cannot answer your questions about the linking cables with any certainty. Having said that, most of the connections are labeled and if not, fairly intuitive (One cable links to the replenisher pump and the other cable goes to the wash dry module to send signal to turn on dryer). Yes, those clear plastic tubes with the grey plastic wands at the end are for replenishment. The wands go to your replenishment chem. bottles. The little barrels inline with these tubes are designed to hold filters. If you don't have them this is not a deal breaker so long as your chemistry is fairly fresh and free of particulates. If you want them check out mini-lab supply...I believe the filter is 3/4" in diameter and 1-1/4" long.
The replenisher containers (use half gallon containers) are meant to be situated below your machine. The replenisher pump goes between the replenisher tanks and the main body (n.b. this is not a gravity fed system). Before you turn it on you must prime the pump with a squirt bottle. Get this running with water and then use a graduated cylinder at the replenishment stage to determine your uptake setting.
The black hoses that come out of the rear of the machine are for overflow. As your replenishment pumps new chem. into the machine a small amount will dribble out the overflow. Some people tap the overflow directly to their drain. I simply use a five gallon bucket which I will reclaim from time to time.
The black hoses on the front of the machine are there to fill the tanks and prime the circulation pumps. Simply pouring chem. into the tanks via these hoses (hopefully you have the funnels which fit the I.D. of the hoses to make this process easier) will prime the pumps.
Cleaning the rollers of these machines to obtain a clean paper path can be an arduous task especially if the previous owner was lax in this regard. I like to disassemble the racks and clean the rollers individually, scrubbing them down with scotchbrite pads in order to remove built up gunk. If you're not into the elbow-grease method or if the machine is particularly dirty I strongly recommend Hydra sprint. Hydra also has a two part cleaner (dsc-100?) that does an even more thorough job. In either event, you'll have to run lots of sheets through the machine to get the path really clean (old paper will work just as well as clean-up sheets). I have seen rollers that are so roached from poor maintenance that the only solution is to purchase new parts (usually the last two rubber pincher rollers in the rack).
If you have a hard time sourcing hydra products (I believe they have a distributor in Georgia) you could try scrubbing with photo-finish.
With my 20" machine I'll remove and rinse the racks and put floating lids over the baths to keep oxidation down. With the smaller machine the quantity of chem is so small that I usually just empty into two litre containers at the end of the printing session. However, it would be more expedient to use floating lids (easily cut from foam).
The fujimoto is an excellent machine. Let me know if you have more questions as you get deeper into it.
That's a great deal of help, frotog. Thank you especially for the information about the replenisher setup. I know I'll have to experiment a bit to get the right replenisment rate. Does it hurt to have the replenisher bottles and pump above the processor? It may be eaiser to find space above.
This machine appears to have been well-cared for. The rollers all look good. There is nothing that looks like chemical gunk buildup. The dust is probably just from storage, so I'm going to remove the rollers and scrub them. I don't mind the elbow grease, and it looks like it won't take too much after all.
That's a great idea on cutting floating lids from foam. That'll be handy for those long printing sessions where I want to stop for a few hours sleep, but don't want to cleanup over the break.
I do have two filling funnels. The directions say to prime the pumps by putting the stem of the funnel into the hole in the bottom of the tank, then pour until fluid comes out the agitation bars. That worked well for my test run with water. There was no cavitation from the pumps.
I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go.
I run a cp-31. Yes the domestic japanese voltage is 100V ac, and all the control board step down transformers, and pumps use 100V . There is a 120 to 100V tx in NA units, and the heaters are fitted with 120V windings.
The replenishment signals daisy chain, as you have surmised. I don't have the OEM replenisher, but have played with a salvaged Kreonite pump pair. I just don't have the volume to make it worthwhile. I just pop the cover every few prints and pour in 20ml per 8x10; I have never seen a difference if I am pouring in as much as 120 mL at once.
The roller pinch springs on mine get brittle and break. I replace them with electronic gear drive belts of the sort found in tape drives, etc.
The electrolytic capacitors in the control boards dry out with time, and the units are getting older. If your wash/dry seem to run away with it's temp control, swap the caps, but take care there, as some of the hysterisis circuit uses bipolar capacitors.
My digital thermostat in tank 1 died, and I bypassed it. I now run tank 1 as a pre wash. It cuts the dye overcoat off the paper first, so I think the developer lasts longer before exhaustion. I run Kodak RA-RT, and never leave chems in the machine. Rinse with water every night. W/D stays filled. Flow rate for it is 100F at a very low rate that was tricky to achieve.
I find that if lightly used, kept in glass, in the cool dark of my darkroom, the RA-RT can last up to three months as working solutions , replenished as they are being used. I use a low turn over additive in the B/F, and would in the dev if I could find a small enough quantiy (6 bottles per Kodak case qty would last me several life times).
Have good darkroom ventialtion; you will need it.
my real name, imagine that.
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Good info, Mike, thank you!
My roller springs are all good right now, but I will buy some small electronic gear drive belts of the right size to have on hand for when I need them. I think I have some kind of round profile flexible plastic cord that I used to make custom length drive belts for my movie projectors. You can cut to length and melt the ends together. It's a green color. I don't remember what it's called, but I bought it from smallparts.com a long time ago.
When the capacitors go, I'll find someone who can fix it for me. That's not something I care to learn how to do.
I've got a Delta Model 800 flow and temperature control vavle, so hitting the right wash temp won't be too hard, but the very low flow rate might be. There is what appears to be a restrictor in the intake line. It's a grey plastic plug with a very small diameter hole in it.
I found the replenishment unit instructions in my stack of documentation. It says "CAUTION: When installing the replenishment container, make sure the container is located as high as or lower than the main body. A failure to do so may cause the replenishment pump does not operate properly." Curiously worded (or poorly translated, perhaps), but I understand it to mean that the replenishment containers should be no higher than the main unit. So I'll put them below it just to be safe. It says nothing about positioning the pump itself, so the pump will go above, due to space considerations.
The green belt material I was trying to think of is called polycord or dura-belt. I found some at McMaster Carr here. The hollow 3/16" might work, but it says minimum pulley diameter is 1.5 inches. The roller pulleys measure .75 inches. So the solid 3/32" cord might be best, but it could be tedious to use since it doesn't stretch. You'd have to cut to length and weld the ends together in place, then cut it to remove it. I guess that's why Fuji used metal spring belts. Titanium is resistant to chemicals, and the spring belts have some give.
McMaster also sells steel and stainless steel spring belting on that same page, and connectors. The 3/16" stainless might work to replace the titanium springs. Sold in 10 foot lengths, somewhat pricey, but you could make a lot of little spring belts from 10 feet. Edit: 3/16th too big. 3/32 would work, if it could be found.
Last edited by SkipA; 07-03-2012 at 04:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Are your pincher roller springs broken? If not there's no need to worry about replacing them. I've never had to on either of my machines in the 13 years I've been running them.
A traditional mixing valve will have a hard time hitting and maintaining accurate temps at a low flow rate of ltr/minute. Life got a lot easier for me in this regard when I picked up a used digitally controlled mixing valve. Now I just set it and forget it.
However, water bath temp is nowhere near as critical as the processing baths' temp. So long as you're in the ballpark you'll be fine.
Are you planning on using this machine as a color processor or b/w? If b/w it's important to get proper chem. for RT as standard tray developer formulas won't work well at the temps you need for the short processing times of the fujimoto.
BTW, don't know if you've got the room for it but setting up on a rubbermaid commercial kitchen cart can be a slick way to use this machine and then get it out of the way when you need to. The bottom shelf works perfectly to hold both the pump and your replenisher bottles.
This machine will be used for RA-4, with replenishment. I prefer fiber paper for B&W, and I don't believe the processor is well-suited for that. If I had a high volume of B&W to do, say for some special project, then I might use RC paper and the processor to save time. If I could get Cibachrome materials, I'd try that too. But mainly this will be an RA-4 setup.
My springs are all in great shape right now. A number of people have mentioned that this is a weak point in the system, so I wanted to have something on hand to replace them with if one does break. It is good to hear that yours are still fine after 13 years.
I'd love to have an Intellifaucet. I'll install one in my next darkroom for sure. I think I'll be able to get close enough with my manual Delta 800 mixing valve. I control temp at the mixing valve, and flow at the hose bib (faucet).
The cart would be a great idea if I had space to store it outside the darkroom when I'm not using it. My darkroom is pretty small and crowded, but I'm using my largest countertop, which just fits the processor and dryer. I hated to give up that space because I use it for so many other things, but it's for a good cause.
Not to get hung up on the springs, I did manage to break one by taking it off. Best to leave them alone. If you can find a shop selling O-Rings I found an "A-MOR24.2x3 Metric O-Ring" is a good fit. A whole 32 cents each. I bought 20, used 1 and have no idea where the rest are now. At least I filed the invoice where I can find it!