Beseler 45 Condenser Lamp

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by CMoore, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    As i have said in other threads, i am down to my Fourth and final Color Head in two years.
    Am preparing for number four to also fail..... so i am getting my Condenser Heads in order.
    Circa 2017.....what Type/Wattage bulb are you guys using in your Beseler 45 Condenser Heads.?
    Thank You
     
  2. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning,

    I've always used what Beseler specifies: a 150 watt PH212 bulb.

    Konical
     
  3. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    I've only ever used the standard PH212 as well. But I have been thinking about giving an LED light a try to cut down on the heat. With 4x5 negatives, it might be worth messing with the changes in multi grade filter performance. I had been wanting to experiment with that in my Beseler 23c III, but unlike the 45M, it doesn't have the space for the larger bulb.
     
  4. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    I did try the regular household LED bulbs. They work just fine. The 4000K color temp, 60 watt is the one that gave me good results.

    ALSO... while you have the head apart, paint the interior of the light cone and teh condenser holder flat black. I found that helped reduce some of the halo around the light circle when testing the results with noting in the neg carrier. I found the condenser height was critical so you dont get the corners of your image clipped.

    My recommendation... get a cold light! Ive been using both the Arista and the ZoneIV with the W45 and the V54 lamps with equally good results for the past 30 some or more years and no problems at all. I started to switch back to condensers but I gave up with adjustments each time I use different formats. I also dont see much difference in picture quality. That so called increase in contrast can be made up with the cold light using contrast filters.

    Whats going on with your color heads? I remember when we talked about the electronics of one of them going.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    Same old story.....I bought my Fourth Color Head about 2 moths ago.
    After about One Month of use, i start to notice (the now familiar) a lag when you push the timer. It takes a second or two for the light to come on. It varies. Some times the light hits right away, other times there is a lag...then it gets worse...then it will not light at all.
    I am now using my Fourth and Final Color Head. I was thinking about switching.....maybe to the Saunders/LPL Enlargers.?
    Thank
     
  6. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    Are you sure it's not an issue with your timer? Or maybe the power in your darkroom isn't very clean and causing your electronics to short early. I lived in a house many years ago that was like that and lost one electrical device after another, until I moved. A good power regulator would have been useful (not just a surge protector or power conditioner), but those are expensive, and I wasn't planning on staying in that house any longer than I had to. Are you buying these heads used? If so, it could just be bad luck with old electronic components. Electrolytic capacitors (if that enlarger even has those) tend to dry out or leak, especially once they get past 10-20 years old. If that's the case, it may be in your best interest to just have one repaired with new components. In any case, I'd be afraid after all of that bad luck that you've got something else going on.

    The good news about condenser enlargers is they're stupid simple from an electrical standpoint. However, my Beseler 23Ciii is giving me trouble at the moment. The light sometimes won't come on unless I unscrew it and screw it back in several times. I've checked the connections, and they're fine (there's very little to them). I've cleaned off the contacts on the bulb (they had a good bit of corrosion on them), but that didn't fix it. I'm starting to think there's something wrong internally with the bulb, so I bought some new ones and will give that a try the next time I print. The good news is, even if I have to scrap everything, I can DIY a replacement with some parts from a hardware store for just a few bucks.
     
  7. btaylor

    btaylor Subscriber

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    Cmoore, I don't know which heads you're using, I have a couple of 45s heads. I have the second as a spare and every time the primary one gets wonky I think I am going to have to swap them and hope I can get some time out of #2. But each time I remove the circuit boards and clean the contacts and the problems (no light at all or delayed "on") go away.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    All i can say is that others have had The Same/Similar problems.....:wondering:

    https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/timer-enlarger-delay-with-activating-light.146151/
     
  9. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    Vactrol CMOOR sent me, the light source in the vactrol is a neon mini bulb.... pic below.

    CMoor, have you cleaned all the contacts in the head to the board and check the bulb contacts, and maybe any relays in the system need cleaning? Try hooking up a regular lamp to your timer to make sure it is working?... use another timer to reproduce the problem?

    Odd you have had so many failures. Many people never see this problem in a life time... so far Ive only heard of 3 people with this complaint. they just replace the board and never see any problems after that. Neon bulbs like these are used in old florescent light starters... maybe strip one to get the bulbt?

    I suspect something is going on other than just the vactrol burning out. Perhaps you experienced spikes in your electrical system? Poor grounding? Reverse polarity in your receptacle?

    You really have to do some investigating besides replacing equipment.
    IMG_20180209_215257.jpg
     
  10. OP
    OP
    CMoore

    CMoore Subscriber

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    Yeah, i have 4 different timers and they all run a Condenser Head with no problems.
    Like i say...Four Heads, and they All Failed.
    The only one that has worked consistently (for the last year) is the One Head that i took the board out and replaced those Vactrol Parts with "New" parts that a forum member sent me.
    I am not an Electronics Tech or Engineer, but I do not think it is my house or the timers.
    I have all kinds of electronics at my house...never had a problem with anything like this before.
    These heads are all 20-30 years old. Who knows how they were Used, Treated, and then Stored over the years.
    The first one i owned, failed the very first time i used it. It Never Worked properly.
    The other Three worked for a few weeks to a few months before they died. :wondering:
     
  11. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    Chip, I'm the one that sent you the "new", never used, 25 year old Vactrol optos. I have fixed 3 45s heads by replacing that one opto coupler. Never had any problems with any of them for years. I do know one thing, if you want a repair on these things done right. I highly recommend Kevin Brown at KHB Graphix in Mississauga, Ontario Canada. He's the man with all things Beseler. There are modern, more reliable, opto isolator options. I found a guy 15 years ago, he sold obsolete electronic parts, out of a shop, on Long Island. I paid 200 bucks for 10 of those little buggers . These are the original part that Beseler used back in the day.
    I have a newer version of the 45s that is all modern, no PCB with optos soldered etc.
    Every single one of the old ones eventually will fail like this. Timers have nothing to do with it.
    Having said all this, the condenser head is a great head, get a set of 6x6 Ilford contrast filters, CUT THEM TO FIT THE FILTER HOLDER , and a 212 bulb and you will be set. And you don't have to listen to a cooling fan.
    I have 4 Dichro S , one beautiful Beseler Universal 45 with the VC and color controller ,and the color head from Mars ,the Minolta 45a. They all work fine . If you want a repair call KHB, they will fix it. There's nothing wrong with the old condenser head, just remember to adjust it to the right size negative.
    Best Regards Mike
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    you say the repaired one still works?... then what's the problem?

    didn't we find a link to those neon bulbs? get the bulbs and repair the vactrols? its a simple solder job.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    CMoore

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    Looking back on that old post now.
    I cannot remember if you found something that worked for sure.?
     
  14. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    I use the 212 as well, and very long exposures for lith prints - no issues, the condenser head always looks tight and snappy. Mine is all black inside, too. I do disassemble it and clean out any dust every couple months.

    I use a glass carrier for everything, so dust control takes some extra time, but well worth it. (I just made masks from exposed and fixed litho film for various formats).