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  1. #1

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    C-41 Temperature control unit - found this on Kickstarter

    Aside from the price (currently $145, shipped), what do you think of repurposing this sous vide cooking device for the darkroom?

    Its chief advantage is precision temperature control and water circulation, and it needs only 2.5" - 7.25" of water depth.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...e-with-your-ip

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Way more difficult than it needs to be. What do you tell it to cook, chicken? Fish? All the temps that sous vide run at are much higher (like 55-80C) than needed for developing film. C41 and E6 develop right in the never-keep-food-at-these-temperatures bacterial-danger-zone so if the device is any good, it will prevent you from selecting 38C.

    Just buy a $20 PID controller with thermocouple off eBay and wire it up to a water-boiler element. Stick an aquarium pump in too (makes the heating uniform) if you're feeling fancy. Or you can wire up a slow cooker/crockpot to the PID controller and use the slow cooker as your temp-control bath. Try to use one with a low thermal mass (aluminium liner, no ceramic crock) though, because that may cause PID instability and/or inability to respond to temperature changes in a speedy manner.

  3. #3

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    Be that as it may, the stated range is
    Temperature Range: 77°F to 210°F ± 0.01°F / 25°C to 99°C ± 0.01°C

  4. #4

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    there was an article on MAKE for the same thing

    http://makezine.com/2011/02/17/75-so...ersion-cooker/

    I've put together 2 of them from ebay parts for way less than what the article states by the way

  5. #5

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    Ok, my original question was "aside from the price"...

  6. #6

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    I built myself my own. Mine has dual PIDs for two baths (say if I wanted a C-41 and a warm B&W path for push processing).

    But this one is slick looking, compact, and I would gladly trade in mine if the price were under $80, and it had a PID controller (it may?).

    Cut around $200, there's no way I would justify the novelty of it.

  7. #7
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    Sheesh, I just use a plastic cooler my late father had. I fill it with hot tap water, add my bottles of chemicals, and about twenty minutes later I'm ready to go. If the developer temp is a bit too high, then I leave it out of the cooler while I do my presoak.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Cunningham View Post
    Be that as it may, the stated range is
    Temperature Range: 77°F to 210°F ± 0.01°F / 25°C to 99°C ± 0.01°C
    I doubt the specs is accurate. To get a temperature control/indicator to that kind of accuracy and temperature range is not cheap. Not for $140.

  9. #9

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    You can get a PID module off evilbay for 25 bucks and it comes with temperature sensor and SS relay. Buy a water heating spiral or an aquarium heater + a circulating pump for some 10-15 bucks to the set and you are good to go. Or do the cheap and cheerful version - take a cheap cooler and fill it with warm water. I get my ECN2 chemicals up to required temperature in 10 minutes with the hot water coming from the tap at 45 degrees centigrade; required temperature is 41,5C so I can let it cool a bit. So far no problems. Churning out 200 bucks for something you don't need at all or can assemble from crap off evilbay is silly.

  10. #10
    Jaf-Photo's Avatar
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    I think it's an excellent idea. The only question mark would be how efficiently it circulates the water in a tub rather than cooking vessel.

    But it looks convenient and if it saved you a lot of fiddling with water temperatures, then the price is not really that high.

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