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  1. #1

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    De Vere 504 problem: counterweights removed

    Hi,

    I know hereīs a quite few experts familiar with De Vere 504 enlarger. I wish you could give an advice how to fix my enlarger.

    I recently bought one with cream/beige dichroic head. As I was assembling the parts I noticed it has something missing which has something to do with counterbalancing the head when turning the focus lock/friction knob. As I turned the knob without the head in place the bellows got stretched and the upper part of the bellows was flown up until the columnīs end.

    I know thereīs something missing (the weights perhaps) because thereīs a cable hanging loose inside the column. Iīd love to fix it. Otherwise I believe I will eventually break the bellows when forgetting not to touch the focus friction knob.

    I know that when I have it assembled with the head, it will counterbalance more with itīs weight but does anyone have an opinion or explantion why thereīs that mechanism removed? Or was it broken?

    I would be very grateful for your help or experience with this particular problem.

  2. #2
    Ian David's Avatar
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    Hi. Probably what you are seeing inside the column is just the spring. The Devere top stage will always want to shoot to the top of the column when it doesn't have a head attached. When you put your head on, it will contain a counterweight that should solve your problem. (The counterweight on my Ilford head is about 5kg of steel.)

    Ian

  3. #3

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    Hi niina, the behaviour you are seeing without the head in place is what I would expect. So I do not think there is anything wrong with the counterbalancing.

    The cable you see hanging down inside the column should pass through a hole in the lens carriage, and it should have a cylindrical fitment on the end. The fitment is too large to go through the hole in the lens carriage, so when the head is raised it reaches a point where it pulls the lens carriage up as well, preventing the bellows being overstretched. It sounds as if this part is missing on your enlarger.
    Steve

    "You don't need eyes to see, you need vision" - Maxi Jazz

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  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Niina, you should NEVER release the knobs without the head in place, that's what happens when you do and it's potentially dangerous, I've seen it happen and put a hole in a ceiling above.

    As Steve says it's normal, there should be no problem once you attach the Dichroic head.

    Ian

  5. #5

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    Ian makes a very good point. The springs that provide the counterbalancing are VERY strong, and can move the unloaded head carriage at a heck of a speed.
    Steve

    "You don't need eyes to see, you need vision" - Maxi Jazz

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  6. #6
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I have a 4x5 and the 8x10 and both will launch the carrier stage as if shot from a catapult with no head in place. Be careful, you can get hurt..Evan Clarke

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by iandavid View Post
    Hi. Probably what you are seeing inside the column is just the spring. The Devere top stage will always want to shoot to the top of the column when it doesn't have a head attached. When you put your head on, it will contain a counterweight that should solve your problem. (The counterweight on my Ilford head is about 5kg of steel.)

    Ian
    Nice to hear it has a safety mechanism although mine might not work at the moment.

    Also with this particular column it is actually impossible to fly out because the column is not open from the top. Only danger is for the bellows.

    Now I have finished assembling it and everything seems alright. In fact I am thrilled with my enlarger and itīs so much brighter than I expected. And the knobs beneath the board are a bliss. Upgrading from Kaiser to De Vere is a joy.

    My only minor inconvenience is the fan which is very noisy to my ear. Perhaps the cooling fan is exhausted. It seems to do itīs job but is very loud. Have any of you guys changed it? Perhaps a regular computer fan could work?

    Please let me know if you have tips for this one. Thanks everyone for the previous replies, I am very grateful for your time and effort!

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The fans used are fairly standard and easy to get hold of, but computer fans are low voltage, De Vere fans I think are mains voltage.

    Removing the fan and cleaning might help, there's possibly a filter pad that gets blocked.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    With most pancake style fans, there is a rubber plug on the impeller you can remove and oil the ball or sleeve bearings. The plug usually hides under a sticky label. BTW most computer fans usually die from lack of oil. Mains voltage fans from a company named PA-Motor are usually noisy and move a lot of air for the size, hence the noise.

  10. #10
    Ian David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niina View Post
    Also with this particular column it is actually impossible to fly out because the column is not open from the top. Only danger is for the bellows.
    Glad you have sorted it out - the 504 is a very nice enlarger!

    BTW, even though the carrier stage cannot actually launch out of the column, it is still bad for it to slam into the top of the column (or any part of your body that happens to be in the way!). When you don't have a head on the enlarger, it is best to store the 504 with the carrier stage right up at the top so that there won't be an accident if someone loosens a knob...

    Ian

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