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  1. #11
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    For developing film, I use a programmable kitchen timer I got from WalMart. Cost less than $10.00.

    For printing in the darkroom, I use my GraLab. I set it for an hour and let it run.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #12

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    There is a synchronous gearmotor inside. You may be able to put light oil on the visible ends of the gear shafts, but there is not much else to try.

  3. #13
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I dunno. I've never had a throw-it-away mentality. Got that from my dad, I think.

    My main darkroom timer is an ancient GraLab Model 168 stamped as having been manufactured during, I believe, the Eisenhower administration. Got it as a hand-me-down.

    It contains a very simple synchronous timing motor. I opened it up and let the entire motor/gear assembly soak in some acetone to strip away any old dirt and goo. Then I put it back together and gently lubricated a few points with some machine oil. Turned it on and it started right up.

    It has worked without any problems now for years. Matches my RF-set quartz wristwatch perfectly. I even use it to adjust the internal calibration of my Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer both for real time and compensated time.

    I once visited the majestic Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. During the tour an engineering fellow described the painstaking procedures they used to bring generators back online after maintenance cycles. They feather them in very precisely because they are aware that there are a large number of synchronous timers still out there, and they don't want to mess them up.

    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  4. #14

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    What do you got to lose? I would just open it up and take a look.... My guess will be dried up oil is binding up something. You may be able to visually identify the problem and use some common item to remove it. Tooth brush, tooth picks, etc, etc, etc comes in handy sometimes.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #15

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    Thank you winterclock and Ken, for your thoughts on maintaining the gralabs.

    I'm in a large community darkroom, where in the past if the timer stopped working it was just chucked out "because there are plenty more". Now we are realizing that, in fact, there are very few left!

    I'm going to try and salvage a few when I go down this afternoon.

  6. #16
    fotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    WD-40
    Nothing will ruin a clock movement quicker than WD40. I would guess the same applies to the Gralab movement.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  7. #17
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    I am so embarrassed.
    Oh, WD-40 will get it running right quick. But after a few days the light volatile penetrating oil will have evaporated, leaving behind a yellow-greenish sticky goo.

    The stuff was designed for preventing rust on machined steel: Water-Displacing formula #40. It gets into tiny pores and cracks and then seals them. Great stuff for freeing rusty bolts. I used to use it on wheel bolts, but now I use nickel anti-seize. It's good for mechanisms if you follow it with a few drops of SAE-30 after things are moving freely.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  8. #18
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Pulled it apart today. Pretty well made, I would say. I couldn't see anything obviously wrong so that is where I left it. I'll keep it for parts and try to get another one.

  9. #19
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    i had one with the same problem, but i just ignored it and kept using it. it grew out of it eventually. you could gralab in ohio take a look at it, but i' think, they folded some time ago, hope I'm wrong, because, they did a good job converting mine 110/220 V.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  10. #20

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    Ralph, Good news! Their website is still up & running, so it looks like they're not dead.

    http://www.gralab.com/

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