Enlarger troubleshooting

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by nealjpage, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Ok, so here's the new scenario: I might buy a Beseler 23Cii from a guy down the road. It's cheap ($65) and it's got a color head. Now, I don't do color enlargments, but maybe someday....

    Anyways, the enlarger was left behind by a former owner of his house and it's been in his way ever since. We plugged it in to test it but it doesn't seem to work. The power supply hums slightly and the timer seems to work, but the light doesn't come on. Pulled the bulb and it looks ok. Am I doing something wrong or do those power supplies go bad? Where should I start? I told the guy that I'd check with you all before I make him an offer on the set. Thanks in advance.:D
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A hum is a good sign. It is possible that you have a poor plug connection. The best way to check this out is to take the cover of the power supply off and check the voltages. A simple VOM set at 250VAC will do. Look up the bulb voltage.

    A color head is the way to go for VC B&W. It's far more convenient than individual filters. There are tables available which allow you to change contrast without affecting the exposure.
     
  3. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    You probably have a power supply problem. The power supply is getting the voltage from the wall but not distributing it to the other parts of the enlarger. You could check it with a voltmeter if you are comfortable doing that. You would need to check to see if you are getting voltage up to the lamp. Usually 36 volts. Also you can't tell if a lamp is good from looking at it, it's not like a regular light bulb. If you are getting the 36 volts at the lamp then your lamp is bad. If there is a chance of getting a lamp to check that would be the easiest way to check, if you put a new lamp in and it doesn't work it is definately your power supply. Hope that helped.
     
  4. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Horray! It works very well. I mounted it to a rolling tool cart, cleaned out the dirt and dust, plugged it in, and, viola, it worked! Not sure what I was doing wrong, but it's no matter now.

    One question: For those of you familiar with the 23C series, what's the little door in the front for? I opened it up and there's a gel holder in there and there's a flimsy plastic gel with the number 3 in there. What's this for? Should I use it or get rid of it? It's pretty dirty, but that's ok. It kept the dust from falling down in the condenser.
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Oh, and I was able to talk him down to $35 since we weren't sure if it worked or not.
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It's a filter draw. It can be used for multigrade filters when printing B&W. Sounds like the previous owner left one in there. Pinkish, right?
     
  7. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Pinkish is correct. Do I need it with the color head? Or should I toss it?
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It's junk.
    You can use multigrade gels instead of using the colour head - sometimes it's easier and quicker. Ilford used to do a pack that went in 1/2 grade steps.
    But the gels scratch easy and can fade.
    I'd also recommend stripping the beast and giving it a thorough clean before use. You should do that to any enlarger at least twice a year. More if you are anal like me.
    And check it for alignment, wear and crap build up.
    Sounds like you got a bargain.
     
  9. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    well being an electrican I can tell you exactly why that power supply was "humming".. transformers do that all the time.. they hum.. only because they just don't know the words!

    as mr. anal said.. junk throw it out! we finally agree !
     
  10. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    Hertz, is there an easy way to check for alignment? Do I use a carpenter's square to ensure the lens is square to the base or something?
     
  11. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    that is what it says to do in the instructions. but you don't have any.. but yes that would work and also to make sure the lens board is "plumb" when you flip that enlarger up for wall projections... but more IMPORTANT IS THIS>.. QUESTION ?

    what do you do . if it is not perfectly square ? or plumb ?

    what do you do? if it moves out of square when the enlarger is brought to its maximum height !
     

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