Sandy, I just mixed the Pyrocat developer for the first time and everything went into solution easily. I used a few drops of alcohol to get the phenidone to go into solution, I suppose that will evaporate out or is so minute a quantity that it has no noticeable effect.
I processed new Tri-X for 14 minutes at 70 degrees, it seems real close, depending on how much the stain increases contrast. The stain is a chocolate brown color, with none to not much edge staining at all. I really hate how Kodak is now exposing the film name into the rebate on the notch side, they started doing this with transparency film about when E100VS was introduced a couple of years ago. It doesn't matter with transparencies because not many people make contact prints of chromes.
I compared the freshly processed Pyrocat hd film to some previous PMK processed film and was amazed at the comparison. Pyrocat had much finer grain, I mean way noticeably better. It also appeared substantially sharper than PMK. The biggest deal to me was I shuffled through my eight sheets of film like I was using Rodinal, no mottling, uneven staining, no finger prints, nothing. I'm really happy with my initial results.
I want to mention this about the new Tri-X, this is the first I've used the new stuff and I usually use HP5 and occasionally Tri-X. Last year when Kodak was putting out the propoganda about the new films one of the things they were touting was less sensitivity to dust. Dust has always been a problem with me and several of my friends for B&W sheet film, never ever an issue with chromes. I load my film under identical conditions to the transparencies and always have some dust with B&W. I started being more careful with the B&W but it never really made a difference. The new Tri-X I just processed had not one speck of dust. I feel that Kodak was able to use existing technology that they borrowed from their transparency line of films and make improvements, in at least Tri-X in regards to dust. I can't speak for the other films that have transferred to the new facility in the last year because I haven't used them. To me this is a great improvement.