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  1. #1

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    Good stabilizer for enlarger

    Hi,

    I have Meopta Magnifax 4 and its original transformer for colour head. Lately I noticed light getting brigter and darker in nonregular short intervals (parts of second). I guess my house power lines or transformer doesn't give stabile power. What is best ways to stabilize power? My thoughts goes to two directions:

    1. Computer UPS,

    2. Do you remember in old days of vacuum tube TVs those power stabilizers, you connect them into power wall socket and TV into those gadgets.

    And what if house power is stabile, but transformer gives unstabile output?

    Any other efficient way, and does anyone tried to use computer UPS for enlarger? In theory it should work, but does anyone knows that in practice?Yes, I know there are stabilizers for enlarger transformers, but as any gadget which has "photo" label, they are extremely more expencive than same gadget without "photo" label

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    A UPS is probably the cheapest and it should work fine. There are more expensive stabilizer but I don't think you need it. The transformer should not cause the problem, unless it's about to go. I would not get one that has "photo" label on it though.

  3. #3
    RH Designs's Avatar
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    Haris - before investing in a stabiliser, check the lamp holder contacts and clean them if necessary. Corrosion is quite common and can cause the symptoms you describe - I have had this happen on more than one enlarger and it's easily cured by cleaning the lamp pins.

    Regards
    Richard

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RH Designs
    Haris - before investing in a stabiliser, check the lamp holder contacts and clean them if necessary. Corrosion is quite common and can cause the symptoms you describe - I have had this happen on more than one enlarger and it's easily cured by cleaning the lamp pins.

    Regards
    Richard
    The metal sleeves inside the ceramic block into which the lamp pins fit can get corroded due to electric "arcing". You might want to clean the insides of the sleeves. I understand there is a very thin file you can buy which is the thickness of a large sewing needle and will fit inside the sleeves. The less efficient alternative is a small sewing needle which you can wiggle inside the sleeves to clean the worst of the corrosion. If all else fails you can buy a new ceramic holder. Best of luck

    pentaxuser

  5. #5

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    Thank you all.

  6. #6

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    Most computer stabilizers/upcs don't really provide much stabilization. I once bought a $100 APC one, and it would only kick below 90v and above 140v. That's not much help. If you really have voltage problems, I recommend a used Sola CVS transformer. These are big and moderately expensive, but they actually work. They last a very long time.

  7. #7
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I agree with Peter about computer UPS units. Most are designed only to kick in under serious brown-out or over-voltage situations, relying on the tolerance of the computer's power supply for anything else. Even many "stabilizers" have fairly broad operating ranges, so checking the specs is a good thing.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #8

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    Thank you. Well, issue is not if I would stay totaly out of power, if that happens I would start printing session again. Problem is, during printing session, small and fast changes of light from light bulb, which of course make exposure timing unreliable.

    I will first try to clean bulb contacts and bulb housing contacts as Richard (RH diesigns) and pentxuser suggested, and if that doesn't help, then I am in search for good stabilizer

    Thank you all again, best regards.

  9. #9

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    Dear Haris,

    Although my wife Frances Schultz and I run our enlargers through a UPS (unreliable power), I strongly suspect that over a 10- or 15-second period, variations are trivial in MOST countries (experience based on rural California and rural France, but e.g. India looks different). If you are really suspicious, connect a voltmeter across the supply then start worrying if it varies consistently.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  10. #10

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    Thanks Roger,

    Well, I noticed this first when tried to make proof sheet. I waited for some time hoping light will stabilize, but it constantly blinks, that is light doesn't go off and on, but it goes dimmer and brighter in very short intervals (parts of second), and irregulary. This is independent of days or part of the day (no matter if it is morning or night or beggining or end of the week...)

    I will try all suggestions I received from you good people, and see what works.

    Thank you all very much, best regards,

    Haris

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