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  1. #11
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    One more time -- I have very little money to spend. $350 is more than I have into my enlarger to date, close to my total outlay on processing equipment in the past two years including tanks, reels, changing bag, etc. It's probably more than I'll be able to spend on my initial supply of paper, filters, and paper developer. If I need a $350 timer to get good results from the Zone IV head, I'll spend $200 to replace the missing condenser glass and reinstall the hot light head, buy a cheap metronome at a music store for $30, and wire up a foot switch for $15; at least I know for certain I can get good prints from a condenser head, having done so more than twenty years ago.

    What I had in mind was a way to simply stabilize the head temperature using the built-in, separately powered heater. My head has an output for an integrator or stabilizer, but didn't come with anything but a pair of power cords, one for the light and one for the heater. If it would be adequate to wire a simple thermostat into the heater circuit, which I could do for $25 to $50, only power variations would be an issue for the head, and I can handle those with a $60 computer UPS, I think (I'd have to check if the "modified sine wave" output is actually capable of operating a cold light, but I have no reason to believe it wouldn't) -- though there is the issue of whether a UPS can supply enough current to meet the lamp startup draw (I don't know what the Zone VI draws, but I can easily find out what a UPS can supply).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  2. #12
    lee
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    "to your question, I think that if you cycle your Zone VI head occassionally by pressing expose you can regulate the output and keep it warm without any trouble. Years ago, the first Aristo head I bought had a temp control built in it. You had to leave the head on in the focus mode for about 15 minutes at the start of the session to warm it up. I don't remember if I had to recycle thru out the printing session or not. I probably did not and was probably not told to do so at that time."

    well, you asked a question as to how much they cost and I gave you an answer. I am sorry you dont like this answer. In the body of the answer I gave you a way to regulate the cold lite head which may help you and your photograhpy. You seem to want to "geek" the thing up and that is your right. I also went on to tell you some of the other things this time would do. I also never said that you had to have something as well made as the Metrolux II timer to get good prints. That is your statement.

    lee\c

  3. #13
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Sorry, Lee, you weren't the only one I was responding to -- I mixed in responses to other answers about how my light output would change with this and that. If the light output isn't steady, I won't get consistent print exposures, which means the information from a test strip won't be valid ten minutes later when I'm ready to expose a whole sheet of paper -- and did I mention I'm on a very small budget, such that a dollar a sheet for 8x10 multigrade RC is a strong temptation to continue my existing, hybrid workflow (and buying in larger quantity is practically impossible)?

    So no, Lee, you didn't tell me I needed to "geek" the thing up to get good prints -- but that's the gist of the combination of the responses I got. Unfortunately, this head does not have a temperature "control" as far as I've been able to tell, just a heater.

    Hmm... Perhaps I shouldn't assume, but actually open the beast up and *see* if there's already a thermostat in there. If so, it'd probably be adequate, barring voltage fluctuations, to simply turn on the heater as soon as I wheel the enlarger into the "darkroom" and let it warm up while I get the trays and such ready.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  4. #14

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    When I was using an Aristo cold light head with heater, I made sure that the heater was plugged in 24/7.

  5. #15
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    I think all modern Aristo heads have thermostats. But that won't keep the temp accurate enough to keep the light constant. Years ago I had an Aristo, and used it without a compensating timer. I installed a cheap dial thermometer in the head, with the probe just above the light tubes. I aimed for 100 degrees. If too cold, I turned on focus a few minutes. If too hot, I waited. Not at all satisfactory, but better than no thermometer (I guess). Voltage stabilization isn't the problem. As the tubes are illuminated they get hot, and heat affects the light output. Best solution--get a compensating timer.

  6. #16
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    It a matter of degree. How consistant do you need it? I use a MetroLux because I couldn't get repeatable highlights with a coldlight without it. A percent change will change the highlight. If you don't care about that, you might get a thermostat to work, especially if you had a fan blowing air around in there. IMO the biggest variable to affect light output is the phosphor temperature. One can cool a tiny spot on the grid of the coldlight and there will be a little dim spot there until that part of the tube warms up.

    I know that $350 is a bunch, but you might try to find a used MetroLux 1. Seems like I saw one here for sale a while back for $80. They can be made to plug right into a Zone coldlight.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  7. #17
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    Watch for Loose Gravel

  8. #18
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Okay, $75 is still out of my range (yes, I know photography is supposed to be an expensive hobby -- but I have to do it cheaply anyway, and while I can't cut costs much on materials, I can and must on equipment), but it looks like he's now talking about trades -- I dropped him a line.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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