A Gralab type timer with green "glow in the dark" hands should not be a problem. Also, you can simply make a cardboard baffle so the light from the timer doesn't shine directly on the developer tray (the film is most sensitive to light before and during development; after it's in the stop, you don't need to worry as much).

I have used a number of things for my tray developing timer. My permanent darkroom in Oregon has a Zone VI compensating timer with red LED readout, but that is not really necessary.

In Austria, I simply use a digital kitchen timer (Pakeha, you beat me to it, this is exactly what I have). It has a countdown function which I use to pre-set the developing time. I put it next to the developer tray so that I can easily find the "start" button in the dark. For agitation, I use either a metronome or a loud clock that ticks in seconds, since the time is quiet till "time's up." In the past, I have used just the metronome, counting the entire developing time in my head, however, counting 720 seconds for 12 minutes and keeping the agitation scheme going gets to be troublesome. I prefer a timer to beep at me or have a number to look at at the end of development. BTW, the "beeping" of my kitchen timer is once per second and lasts exactly one minute, which helps timing the stop bath in the dark. I usually transfer to the fix at the end of the beeps and then count seconds (the metronome is still going) till I can turn on the light. The timer is now reading now many minutes past the "time's up" mark; I can simply subtract one minute (the beeping time in the stop) to check exactly how long the negs have been in the fix.

I tried using my cell phone to time development once in a pinch, but was dismayed when it lit up like fireworks at the end of the developing time! I suppose you could put it in a drawer...


Doremus Scudder