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  1. #1

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    polysales timer/meter - can anyone help to make it work?

    RIGHT! that's it... i've had just about enough of this thing....
    It's a polysales automatic meter/timer - i've got it wired up to my ancient enlarger and safe lamp.. not sure if i've wired it correctly...
    anyway, the enlarger bulb comes on when you switch the unit on (and never goes out)... the timing durations seem to be accurate, but they don't control the enlarger!
    also the safe light comes on when you turn the selector switch to 'time'.

    you might realize that I don't know what i'm doing. could anybody provide some info on how to work this thing?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    oooh yeah... it looks like this (picture addendum)

  3. #3

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    I can't help with this specific timer but....

    A while back I aquired a Kearsage timer that did the same thing, I was stumped until I opened it up.

    Some previous owner had un-soldered the wire for the enlarger output and soldered it to the safelight output.
    So, when turned on the enlarger and safelight were both on all the time. When I would hit the expose button both would go out.
    I re-soldered the enlarger wire to the correct output and it now works as designed.
    I don't know why someone would wire one this way.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwdake View Post
    un-soldered the wire for the enlarger output and soldered it to the safelight output
    Most timers sold for photographic use are really industrial timers that have just had a new nameplate stuck on them.

    In a turn-round, it sounds like this Kearsage timer was converted from photographic to industrial use.

    As to the Polysales timer, from the looks of the age of the unit, and the rust on the screw heads, it may not be worth the time and money trying to fix it. Electronics that have suffered water damage are often unrepairable. You can get an old Patterson or some such in reasonable shape and for not much money on ebay.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  5. #5
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    Well, Google only got me this post and your one on Photo.net until I remembered that the owner of Polysales was called Alec Fry, at which point Google got me http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk...hreaded&page=0 Best of luck if you do contact him!

  6. #6
    RH Designs's Avatar
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    Judging by the apparent condition of the unit, and the connectors in particular, I wouldn't recommend persevering with it simply on safety grounds. Those old Bulgin connectors, while mains voltage rated, I don't think have been legal for use in new equipment for years. The combination of sockets that point upwards and liquids that can fall downwards doesn't strike me as a happy one either!
    Regards,
    Richard.

    RH Designs - My Photography

  7. #7
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    Most timers sold for photographic use are really industrial timers that have just had a new nameplate stuck on them.
    That's a bit of an odd statement, all the Photographic timers I've ever seen or used have been designed specifically for photographic use. That includes a Rayco timer dating back to 1953/4 in it's design. I've definitely never seen anything that's been re-badged and I still have at least 6 timers.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Grant; 02-19-2009 at 05:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    my 2 cents worth - I think it should work this way, based on a similar style Melico unit I own and use, dating to the early 60's for it's design:

    Your unit has two modes- one is a straight timer (Time), and the second is an analyser function (Balance).

    Time operation shoud be straight formward - set the seconds dial for the time you want, hit the expose button, and the safelight power goes off, and the the enlarger button goes off for the amount of time set on the dial. Note that the time dial has a logarithmic scale; this is what gives me the clue to the next functional mode.

    Balance mode puts the thing into an analyser mode. I presume it has a photo sensor - the thin wire coming out of the unit I suspect might be related to this function (The photo sensor you normally set under the enlarged image projected on th base board, usually on the densest part of the negative that you still want to preserve highlight detail in.)

    You make a print for calibration purposes, using the fixed time mode dial, and note where there is a part of the print that shows the slightest detial in the highlights. Dont change the time, enlarger head head height, aperture or type of paper being used. Also develop the prints for a consistent fixed time, agitation, etc.

    Put the unit into balance mode, and put the sensor under the projected image where the slightest highlight detail falls. Don't have any filters in the path when doing this calibration, and subsequnet analysis. Insert filters only after the bridge has been balanced.

    Turn the paper speed dial until the thing is balanced - this may be when one or both of the lights go out; one might be for over balance, and the other for under balance, or perhaps one light tells you that the thing is turned on and the other light will come on or go off at some point when you rotate the paper speed dial.
    My Melico uses a fine tuning indicator tube of the sort found in old tube radios.
    Once the indication of whatever form is found, the unit has 'balanced' - likely a balanced wheatsone bridge for the electrical engineers out there.

    Then, note the setting of the paper speed dial, and don't move it for as long as you are using this type of paper and developer combination.

    Then while in balance mode, on the next negative, or the same negative at a different head height, you put the probe under the area where you want highlight detail, and turn the time dial unti the balance indication happens. Press the expose button, and the right amount of eposure will be given to get the detial in the highlight to the same tone as the test print.

    The negative, if different, may be needing a different contrast range. There can be different effective paper speeds for fixed VC filters, so if the need is past say #3 in Ilford, you may need to double the time after balancing if you initially calibrated on aneg that printed well on #2. If using a dichroic head, I would urge you to test per 'the variable contrast printing manual' by anschel to get the filtration at constant spped settings figured out for your particular dichroic head.

    There are also more advance ways to use the analyser to figure out the contrast range of the negative (ie when the probe balances on dark areas as well as highlights, and how far apart in time that they are (fixed paper speed) or how far apart in paer speed (fixed time)) to guide you to a good filter for the first test exposure.

    There is a good chance that your unit, if mis-bahaving may just be suffering from dried out electrolyic capacitors. They typically poop out from old age after twenty or more years. These can be replaced if you are electronics handy at reasonably low cosy usually. I recently replaced all of the caps in the power supply part of a favourite old stereo receiver for $8, rather than figure out which ones were causing the supply to take a long time to stabilise and power up after turn on.

    Hope this adds some clarity to your situation.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9

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    I personally wouldn't use the timer for real but it's interesting to find out how it is supposed to work. You can get good timer quite inexpensively or not using a timer at all. I doubt that the timer is any more accurate than simply counting.

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The meter/timer is quite sophisticated so it must have been made by another company and badged for Polysales, who were a sort of UK version of Spiratone with a smaller range. There catalogue was very interesting.

    It's not Rayco style but it might have been made by Melico.

    Quote Originally Posted by RH Designs View Post
    Judging by the apparent condition of the unit, and the connectors in particular, I wouldn't recommend persevering with it simply on safety grounds. Those old Bulgin connectors, while mains voltage rated, I don't think have been legal for use in new equipment for years. The combination of sockets that point upwards and liquids that can fall downwards doesn't strike me as a happy one either!
    The meter timer should have been used well away from the dev trays, anyway any timer can be dangerous near water/chemicals regarless of the orientation of those Bulgin connectors.

    Ironically the outdated Bulgin plugs & sockets & old 3 pin 5 & 15 amp UK mains plugs were far safer and less prone to problems that the current ones, andas for the European ones they are even worse. I've never seen the old UK 3 pin plugs burn out, but it's common with the current ones, and the frlimsy 2/3 pin European ones.

    I'd rather have a solid Bulgin plug than the flimsy DIN plugs

    Ian

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