Anyone run a Kodak 16k Rapid color processor? ?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mshchem, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I know everyone makes fun of Kodak's old in the dark drum processors . I have been using a model 11 for decades . I am looking for any technical info , manuals, schematic etc . I think I have managed to take 2 and make 1.

    I have a big Jobo so I am doing this purely for the joy of playing around

    I'm especially interested in the heater / pump it seems to work fine , however is there a breaker ? And what is the red light supposed to do ? I am assuming it's supposed to light up when the heater calls for power? Mine doesn't light , I'm investigating . Any observations would be helpful . I found a source for the netting it's for aquaculture , looks identical but need to develop a green rubber coating .

    I'm going to start a club the K.R.C.P. Club only for the most crazy fans of Apollo era cool stuff
    Best Regards Mike
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    Update, Took the outer case off the heater box. It is a thing of beauty, all electro mechanical. The lead wire had become detached where the red light attached to the Gray rubber button on the Heater box (Earlier models had the Gray button on the front panel between the two switches) When heater is on and you PUSH the Gray button the neon Red lamp lights. If NO power going to the heater you push the button and you get no light. You can adjust the thermostat via a small hole in the back of the heater box.

    The "span" of the thermostat is 1 degree F Now you know where Kodak came up with the +/- 1/2 F spec for development . I think someone set this up for RA-4 because it reads 95.5 with my "trusty" dial thermometer. Varies from 97 to 98.1 F with a digital thermometer that agrees with my Kodak Process thermometer.

    Fascinating piece of history. These things were 1800 bucks when they debuted in 63. You could go to most bank the and trade a dollar bill for a silver dollar. So adjusted to todays silver price that's about 14 bucks times 1800 roughly 25000 USD in today's phoney Money
    Best regards Mike
     
  3. twelvetone12

    twelvetone12 Subscriber

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    Could you please lost a couple photos? I'm very curious to see such a beast :smile:
     
  4. fdonadio

    fdonadio Subscriber

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    +1

    Curiosity is gonna kill this cat, sooner or later. :smile:

    Cheers,
    Flavio
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I'm working on it, found the original fabric netting for the blanket that holds paper on drum. It is a polyester netting that is used in aquaculture. I need to fabricate a blanket fortunately I have the Stainless steel bar that is used to attach the blanket. They entire thing is made from 316 Stainless Steel. I should have taken pictures of the control box when I had it open. Looks like a switch watch. Every component old school US made electro mechanical switches and thermostats. This is definitely late 60's machine. The Drum is 24 inches wide, I looked inside and there is a bulkhead halfway down with several holes . The water is pumped about 16 inches into the drum via a rigid plastic tube. The bulk head insures even temperature distribution over the entire width of the drum. These machines were used to develop display transparencies. I am sure I could cook develop sheet film on it, However I have a Jobo CPP2 and expert tanks for that. :smile:
    So much fun playing with this old stuff.
    Best Mike
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I worked in the department that developed the model 11 and inspired the 16. They did need a revamped color developer, so I am curious about how they work with RA4 paper. With a normal developer, there was severe bromide drag and bubble marks on the leading edges as well as overdevelopment of the top layer. This was overcome by several changes to the EPC developer to rematch the 3 layers.

    PE
     
  7. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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  8. darkroommike

    darkroommike Subscriber

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    I briefly used a Model 11 in the 70's. As I recall, an "improved" blanket was introduced that had some kind of green rubber like coating made so the blanket grabbed the prints a bit better. Maybe that blanket came along about the time that RC paper was starting to show up?
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I used the Ektaprint 300 developer when it was the standard. I haven't used the 16k yet. The Model 11 works great with RA4. I have a rapid process for Black and white (RC) as well that includes a Se toner step. Takes about 4 min. on the machine. I have 4 model 11's that I have picked up over the years two with the Simmons heater, 3 serve as back up. I'm still using the one I bought new with the heater in 1973. I had occasional problems in the old days. RA-4 seems fool proof. You would know but there is real genius in that process. At 95F you can develop in 45 seconds, but if you leave the print on the machine for twice that long there is no discernible difference, it just develops to completion. If I had all the paper exposed I could develop a 11x14 every 5 minutes easy. With Thomas safelights closed down with the color filters you can see just enough. No real need for safelights though. Bert Miller had a good suggestion put the paper on the machine while it's running with WATER in the tray, this gives you a no worries approach to getting the paper on in time. When you are ready for the developer, just dump the water and pour in the developer.
    For printing these are much much faster and repeatable than a tube like a Jobo. The temperature is dead on agitation is dead on and you can slap a print right on the wet processor and keep going.

    You and your associates made the best darn little machine I've ever used for printing. My first box of paper was Ektacolor Professional F (Fiber Base) I still have some prints they look good last I checked.
    Any history on these machines would be appreciated! P.S. What's the secret green coating that made the blankets work for RC?? I'm thinking about tring the Flex Seal wonder spray they advertise on TV.
    Best Regards, Mike
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    Here's the beast, Cibachrome 8x10 tube for scale. That mixing valve is a Genuine Lawler made Kodak mixing Valve that I got from a guy in Rochester brand new 40 years old:D. The bearings were broken from rough handling found a company made exact replacements. I trimmed the fishnet too wide it needs to be about 3/4 inch narrower on both ends. Looks pretty good for being close to 50 years old NO ONE made equipment better than this. 316 Stainless, magnet wont pickup a screw, washer bearing nothing it's all 1st rate. Best Regards, Mike
    16k w blanket.jpg
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    You are correct, I have the fiber paper blanket and green "RC" blankets. I'm looking for a formula of a coating I can roll on the net to improve "grab" I may try the miracle Flex Seal the pitchman on TV uses to make a boat with a screen door, HA!
    Best Mike
     
  13. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Oh dear, you have one of the early ones. The later processor designs were totally different. I'm glad it works with RA4. The processes and papers are totally different.

    PE
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    Do you recall what the green coating was that was used to increase the grip of the blanket for RC paper? There are several "consumer" products. Flex Seal is a "rubber" claims to be a moisture cure. I'm thinking some sort of polyurethane coating? I have found a source for the netting it looks identical, I just am trying to figure out a coating that will be chemical resistant etc. This is a labor of love. I'm trying to keep a working museum of analog darkroom technology.
    Best Regards, Mike
     
  16. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This was the first system I worked on , second was a calumet nitrogen burst basket system. Thanks for posting.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    By the way Mike, do you think you have enough stirring paddles?:whistling:
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Sorry, but I don't even remember a green coating. Our blankets were white and our drums were experimental with no diamond bumps. They used special teflon coated strips.

    PE
     
  19. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    thanks for the pics, looks like a nice beast! so cool that someone is keeping things like this going.
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    A interesting machine, the inversion of todays rotary processors.
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I remember that the green coating was referred to as "Teflon" way back when I first got my model 11, I have plain no-green (Fiber base) original and then the green coating on one side was supposedly Teflon. It sure would be chemical resistant. I found a liquid air cure "rubber" coating I'm going to experiment with. It looks pretty good with the plain white polyester netting.
    Best Regards Mike
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    Those are just the tip of the Iceberg, You should see my boxes of Negative pencils.:angel:
    Mike
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I fired up the Beast today! works lie a champ. Picture is from a roadside display of big round bales of straw, ANF Minion, (ANF, America Needs Farmers). 4 minutes on machine, 38 seconds through my rescued Ilford dryer. Machine is ready for next print as soon as one comes off. No cleaning or drying tubes. If I had a two person crew I think I could turn out a print every 6 minutes. Best Regards, Mike
    Minion 16x20.jpg
     
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    mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    PS. I've got three Thomas super safelights with color filters. You can see everything quite well (well well enough):D
     
  25. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    We had a film version that was never sold. I've seen it running E6 film.

    PE
     
  26. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This brings back fond memories of my first two years at photo school, two people per room, just bigger than a room closet, Chromega enlarger with storage underneath, and a K 16 in a sink, we really could pump out the prints with this unit.. I am really surprised home darkroom workers have not tuned into this great machine.