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  1. #1
    kb244's Avatar
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    Got a new printer, may need rewiring

    So as we're packing up the store (yes the "Camera Center" I work in is finally closing it's doors, tho will try to stay online), I came across one of the items buried in the basement and decided to buy it primarily cuz of the aesthetics (it'll be prettier when I clean most the dust off the outside) but would also allow me a compact lil unit to do some 4x5 contact printing when I didn't want to have to worry about a light source to place off a typical contact frame.

    In any case I replaced the two 100W household bulbs with two 27W (equiv to 100W) daylight balanced florescent bulbs. Then I goto plug it in... oddly enough the switch is a direct on/off type of switch, well when I turn it on one of the bulbs lights up, if I turn it off then back on the other might turn on or the first one will light up again. Looking again I noticed that whatever bulb didn't come on looks like it's trying to come on, as if the path of wiring has not allowed the second bulb enough "juice" so to speak.

    issue 1 - wiring

    Now I'm assuming though since its all Alternating current that it should be fine in parrallel with each other. Right now its going from the wall... connects to the red bulb, which also connects a wire to one of the white bulbs on the same contact. from the one white bulb, it goes to another white bulb, then that one white bulb goes to the rocker switch, then from the rocker switch goes to the other contact on the red bulb area. The red bulb then connects into a push switch which then leads back out to the AC current.

    So basically push button turns on/off the whole unit which is connected thru the red bulb, and the white bulbs piggy back off the contacts on the red bulb being interrupted by a rocker switch.

    Now by design I think making one bulb follow the last is probably not the best way to do it, and that instead I should perhaps make a common lead to all the bulbs on one end, but then run then one after the other on the other line. (ie: they all directly connect to 1 wire, but run one after the other on the other wire). So basically looking for confirmation on rewiring.

    issue 2 - diffusion

    Right now the lid has a small 5x7 cut of frosted glass separated by about an inch from a sheet of clear glass. what I want to do is put four pegs in the corner down near the bulbs and drop in a larger peice of frosted glass in hoping of diffusing the light even further before hitting the negative. Also because I'm using lower wattage (27W each) bulbs and duration is not constant I could also maybe use a solid white lenoleum or some other kind of plastic/polymer block, kinda like what you see on those cold heads on enlargers.

    Advice on this?

    Pictures



    -Karl Blessing
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  2. #2
    Jon King's Avatar
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    If I understand your description, the two white bulbs were wired in series, so each gets half of the voltage. Incandescent bulbs would be dimmer, but perhaps they got a better light distribution that way. It looks like the ballasts in the base of the CFL's won't run on half of the intended voltage.

    I agree, I'd rewire the white bulbs so they are in parallel.

    (and perhaps splurge on a new cord and plug!)
    Jonathan
    -----------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    CBG
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    The output from CFLs is said to be unpredictable as they start up. You may find it difficult to get consistent exposures if that is true. It would be interesting if you followed up later to say how well the CFLs work in a contact printer.

    Best,

    C

  4. #4

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    I do know that the CFs I used in my house to replace my incandescent bulbs and stop global warming dead in its tracks take a while, quite a while actually, to come to full power. If the warm up time is consistent I guess you could "account" for it in your printing times. Can't help with the wiring I'm afraid - I'm clueless. But I do have to say that's a really cool looking piece of equipment!

  5. #5
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Agreed that it sounds like the two are in series which is likely to come to grief with CFLs.

    The picture brings back memories, as my father built something very similar to that circa 1948 or so. I believe it was from plans in Popular Mechanics or one of those legendary magazines of the era.

    DaveT

  6. #6
    kb244's Avatar
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    By the way what does CFL Mean....

    Also I assume #1 in the illustration I drew is what is meant by Parrallel, #2 is how the bulbs are currently wired.

    -Karl Blessing
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    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  7. #7
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb244 View Post
    By the way what does CFL Mean....

    Also I assume #1 in the illustration I drew is what is meant by Parrallel, #2 is how the bulbs are currently wired.


    CFL = Compact Fluorescent Lamp

    Yes, #1 is parallel and probably the way to go.

    DaveT - Apologizing for the TLA (Three Letter Acronym)

  8. #8
    kb244's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWThomas View Post
    CFL = Compact Fluorescent Lamp

    Yes, #1 is parallel and probably the way to go.

    DaveT
    Also given the possible age of when the contact printer was put together, I'm assuming that two 100W bulbs was bright enough to make an impression on contact printing paper in a couple of seconds, where as paper now days is 10x more sensitive than contact printing paper.

    Also my co-worker said the other benefit of putting a second sheet of frosted glass inside the box in the middle, aside from diffusing the light source even more, is that I can drop lil peices of paper or 'cookies' and such on the frosted glass to kind of 'dodge' parts of an image as the diffusion will soften the edge as the light travels and I can preview the negative with the lights on doing something like that (hell worth a try, and the method I'm gona use to float the glass I can easily remove the sheet if necessary without disassembly)
    -Karl Blessing
    Karl Blessing.com
    The Bokeh
    Color Film always existed. It's just the world was always black and white till recently.

  9. #9
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Karl,
    I would forget about CFL's and get a couple of 7.5w or 15w bulbs. try in series but even then the light might be too bright and you might have to use something to diffuse the light even more. When I was doing production printing I was using a 100w bulb reduced to about 20w but at about 5 ft. distance.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  10. #10
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Blaming CFLs is a red herring. Whether or not you use CFL's or incadescents - it seems there is a wiring problem.

    Which type of bulb is in the socket is immaterial once the CFLs warm to full light.

    I would first check the efficacy of your switch and also replace the main plug and wire. To begin with, they look like fire hazards.

    There's a reason that thing was stuck into the basement to begin with - and it was problem long ago - certainly long before there were CFLs.

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