Remote safelight suggestions needed

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MattKing

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I need some help finding something that I expect exists out there, but I've not been able to locate.
In my temporary bathroom/darkroom, there are only two power outlets, and they are somewhat separated. In one corner, I place my enlarger and timer, on a rolling cart.
My safelight is great - a 16' red LED rope light that is mounted up against the ceiling. It is over top of both the counter and the tub/shower enclosure, where the trays reside. Onre end of the safelight is within a short extension cord length from the power outlet across the room from where the enlarger is. I currently have a switch on that cord.
My problem is that I would like to have the safelight controlled by the enlarging timer, which has a power outlet for that purpose, but I have no practical way of running the safelight power cord to that corner of the room.
Does the following item exist:
1) "a "base" unit that plugs into the enlarging timer's safelight outlet, and
2) a "satellite" unit that plugs into the other wall unit, and has the safelight plug into it, that turns the safelight on and off when the timer tells the "base" unit to turn on and off.
I wondered if there might be something that is mains powered and designed to remotely control outdoor lights or somethin similar.
I don't want a smart phone controlled switch - I want the enlarging timer to do the controlling.
Cost is important. If it isn't cheap, I'll stick with manual operation of the switch.
Any suggestions?
 

koraks

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Hm. I understand what you mean, but haven't come across it.

The closest match in commonly available stuff is a simple remote control switch. If you check eBay, there's a plethora of gadgets that come with a receiver that switches a relay and a keyfob that sends the remote signal. Of course, this doesn't 'listen' to your enlarging timer, so it's only a partial match with your needs. It's how I do it in my darkroom and for me, it works fine, but my requirements are slightly different than yours. I want to be able to switch several light channels remotely and independently from what the enlarger is doing, so for me, the manual remote control works better.

One might hack one of these devices into doing what you want, but I'm not sure if you'd be willing to entertain a DIY solution. If so, it's not particularly difficult to put something together that does what you want. But I'm not aware of any off the shelf solutions.
 

ic-racer

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How about a separate safelight for the enlarger.
 

Paul Howell

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There is a device sold on TV and at some retail shops called the clapper, one clap on, two claps off, just plug your LED rope into it.
 
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MattKing

MattKing

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I can take 1 long step across the room and manually operate a switch fairly easily. so anything that involves a separate switch or fob or a hand clap doesn't really make much of a difference. But thanks for your suggestions.
 
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A long extension cord.

It is a temporary darkroom - and an extension cord that spanned from one side to the other would be either an eyesore involving holes in the ceiling or a tripping hazard.
 

Kino

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I have worked in darkrooms that had a long cord run through eye hooks along the ceiling that terminated on the safelight pull chain switch. Kind of like a train-stop pull cord, you just pull down on the string to turn the light on or off.

Nice thing is the safelight can be controlled along the entire length of the cord...

(OK, scratch that idea after just reading above post...)
 

Pieter12

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I have worked in darkrooms that had a long cord run through eye hooks along the ceiling that terminated on the safelight pull chain switch. Kind of like a train-stop pull cord, you just pull down on the string to turn the light on or off.

Nice thing is the safelight can be controlled along the entire length of the cord...

+1
Or run the extension cord along the baseboard. Gaffer's tape can hold it in place so it doesn't become a tripping hazard.
 
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Kino

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I have this switch on my main darkroom white lights because I didn't want to run a wall switch through an existing wall.

Remote switch

You could take an extension cord, a dual gang wall box and an AC outlet and build a remote controlled ac socket with the switch near the enlarger timer. No, it wouldn't automatically control the safelight, but it would be there adjacent to the timer and better than having to walk across the room.
 
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MattKing

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+1
Or run the extension cord along the baseboard. Gaffer's tape can hold it in place so it doesn't become a tripping hazard.

The doorway and traffic pattern gets in the way of this good idea.
 
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MattKing

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I have this switch on my main darkroom white lights because I didn't want to run a wall switch through an existing wall.



You could take an extension cord, a dual gang wall box and an AC outlet and build a remote controlled ac socket with the switch near the enlarger timer. No, it wouldn't automatically control the safelight, but it would be there adjacent to the timer and better than having to walk across the room.


I'm not sure that I'd want to explain the operation to my wife, given the fact that the outlet gets used for a hair dryer, toothbrush and my shaver at various times :smile:.
The joys of a temporary darkroom/bathroonm.
 

Kino

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I'm not sure that I'd want to explain the operation to my wife, given the fact that the outlet gets used for a hair dryer, toothbrush and my shaver at various times :smile:.
The joys of a temporary darkroom/bathroonm.

No, take the short extension cord and cut the end off. Run it to a free standing wall box from the hardware store, place the receiver in the 1st bay of the dual gang box, and wire it to control the AC outlet in the 2nd bay to simply turn it on and off with the remote. When you are done printing, uplug it from the existing wall socket and store it away.

Basically a (grounded) extension cord with an electrical outlet on the other end with the transmitter controlling the AC to the outlet.
 
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Pieter12

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Have you looked at a smart plug you can control with your phone? It wouldn't hook up to your timer, you'd have to deal with that manually.
 
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MattKing

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There is no issue with controlling the safelight.
The issue is with automatically controlling the safelight.
It becomes most important when doing multiple prints that involve burning and dodging.
A footswitch operated safelight switch might be an improvement.
 

wiltw

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Most folks would want to switch OFF the safelight while the enlarger is exposing the paper...the safelight is on when you place the paper in the easel so you can see what you are doing. So in theory the outlet on the enlarger controller is ON, but shuts OFF when you press the 'expose' button on the controller.

So you need an outlet for the safelight which is On only while the transmitter is On, and it shuts OFF by default whenerev it is not getting getting a signal from the treansmitter.
 

momus

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It is a temporary darkroom - and an extension cord that spanned from one side to the other would be either an eyesore involving holes in the ceiling or a tripping hazard.

At first glance, this sounds true. But I've run cords around the perimeter of a room along the baseboards (or even pry them away from the wall a little and slip the cord behind it. If you pick a cord that is close to the same color as the baseboards, or close, it wouldn't look unsightly.

The doorway should not be an issue, any home supply house will have an attractive threshold that is made specifically for that use. Or run the cord over the perimeter of the door frame. Both ideas are cheap but involve a bit of careful work.

Otherwise, wireless? No cords, but not cheap either unless you're good w/ that sort of thing. The ONE contractor who knew what he was doing when we rehabbed our money pit house simply took a power saw, cut a narrow strip at the bottom of the walls, and ran additional wire and outlets in that gap. Then he cut new sheetrock ( all you need is a box cutter to score and break it), placed it into the gap he had cut, smoothed it w/ sheetrock tape and a little bit of plaster and painted it. Yes, a lot of work, but he did it in no time because he did that sort of thing every day.

You can avoid all this by simply prying the baseboards away from the wall, running the wire/cord in the gap, cutting a hole in the wall toward the bottom for an outlet, and sticking the baseboards back where they came from. Doing it that way couldn't cost more than $25-$40 or so, at the most.
 
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AZD

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Perhaps an old Time-O-Lite enlarger timer? They have two outlets, one for the enlarger, one for the safe light. When the timer circuit is engaged the safe light is off. If you need the safe light off for additional time, an inline switch on the cord could be useful.

I have two of these timers, they’re excellent. The safe light circuit is set up as above, I’ve never had any issues with fogging. As a side note to that, my safe lights are all ancient red glass, not amber.
 
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MattKing

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It is probably cheaper and more reliable to put a small safelight near the enlarger.

It is a room with partitions and a tub surround and a cupboard that the enlarger and cart needs to be partially in.
A safelight near the enlarger doesn't illuminate the tray areas and doesn't effectively illuminate the paper cutter.
The safelight that illuminates the paper cutter and tray areas also illuminates near the enlarger - I need it to turn off while I am focusing and dodging and burning during printing.
 

mshchem

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Home Depot and others sell surface mount wiring. A simple metal channel that holds the conductors, surface mounted outlet boxes.

You either need to bring the safelight to the timer or the timer to the safelight with a hardwire. Probably 14 AWG would be called for with 15A 125VAC.
 

Bill Burk

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Hear me out. I use X10 but it’s not “fast” so I wouldn’t rely on it for what you’re trying to do.

But here’s the solution:

Flap, string and pulleys.

Run a string to a flap that covers your safelight when you want it covered and opens it when you want the light.

In my darkroom I have a computer running CompnTemp in the rafters behind some Amberlith but you could have a safelight there.

Tied at the end of the string is an X10 remote that I use to turn on and off the white light.

When I lift the string and put the remote in the pocket I made in the curtain… the flap drops and I can use the timer to develop film. With the flap open I can time prints.

9BC7BBE2-9920-4101-A664-062B2C484659.jpeg
 
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