ZBE Oriental VC-CLS Cold Light Head support

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by vzatse, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. vzatse

    vzatse Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Multi Format
    Greetings All,

    I recently purchased an Oriental New Seagull (manufactured by ZBE) VC-CLS variable contrast cold light head which lacks a footswitch. The footswitch is a necessary component as it is the only way, to my knowledge, to activate an exposure sequence. I have contacted ZBE for parts to no avail. It seems possible to piece on together from generic parts, and any advice or support is greatly appreciated. Posting JPEGS of one's own ZBE footswitch, as I have never seen one, would be great. Better yet, does anyone have a spare footswitch they wish to sell?

    Thanks for all the help.

  2. Donsta

    Donsta Member

    Jun 11, 2004
    Multi Format
    The supplied footswitch is here: http://www.linemaster.com/treadlt2.shtml

    The model number on mine is T-91-S Mine is black, not stainless steel. Linemaster is still in business so I am sure they will be able to tell what the cord configuration is that they supplied to ZBE. I assume you have tracked down the manual - if not that is available here: http://www.zbe.com/support/vc-cls/manual/vccls_vcscan_p01.html

    It's an amazing head - The Scan unit is great if your unit was supplied with it. Also, the lamps are made by Aristo and are available from them should you incur a failure (they do last a long, long time). Drop me a PM if I can help.
  3. Marek Warunkiewicz

    Marek Warunkiewicz Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    Toronto, Can
    Medium Format
    Does anybody have a manual for this unit? Got one of these recently with the foot pedal, probe, control unit and head but have no idea how to make it work!

    Thanks to you if you can help.

  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Apr 18, 2004
    Med. Format RF
    I hate to put a damper on this Item.

    I owned this cold head unit and as well the powerful color head 1200 watts or so.
    I paid full pop in the day which was big time.

    Both units within a year had problems, getting help from ZBE was impossible and I am going back 15 years when these units were new.

    I eventually threw both units in the garbage.

    If you do get hold of their service dept, they will want you to buy a service contract and you will be behind all the chromira unit owners.

    good luck , but I would throw those units where they belong, worst enlarger support I have ever encountered in 35 years of professional printing.
  5. frotog

    frotog Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    third stone
    Large Format
    ZBE made some cool stuff. But as Bob said, their enlarger head, while super trick, was frought with programming bugs and prone to mechanical failure. Shutter failures and overheating were common problems. I've seen quite a few starlights chucked out studio windows in my day. I still use their cc readers - very useful piece of gear. Had to beg and plead with their customer support to get a copy of the original manual though.

    If you're really bent on using closed loop, look for a Beseler universal and put aside another $300 to get Eddie Falco to hop up the eprom for you so the damned thing works like it's supposed to.