View Full Version : Help me troubleshoot this X-Rite 810 Densitometer

18-Jul-2016, 19:32
I've got yet another attempt to buy a densitometer on ebay that hasn't worked out. This time the seller told me to throw it in the bin, so I'm at least going to poke at it and see what I can figure out. The video I'm including shows me flipping it on and demonstrating the problem but that's just so I can show that the passes the self-test. When the unit is properly warmed up before trying anything, things go wrong even faster. As you can see, the readings gradually climb the entire time the read button is held down. When you enter the transmission calibration routine, you can see it throws a Error #6 Read Lamp code as you take the first reading. The manual says Error #6 can be either a bad read lamp or a bad reflection circuit board. Read lamps are $505! However, since it's doing any sort of reading at all, that makes me think that the read lamp must be working at least somewhat.

Any idea what's really going wrong here?


Randy Moe
18-Jul-2016, 19:36
Whoa, thanks for posting!

I wish we had more usable experience like this.

I'll make my own before I buy one of those.

Jim C.
18-Jul-2016, 23:19
It may be worthwhile before tossing it, is to open it up to see what type of lamp the read bulb is, you may be able to find a
bulb only replacement that you could solder in yourself. While it's open you could also check that all the connections
are clean and tight, the Xrite user manual shows that the read bulb is on a circuit board that connects to header pins.


20-Jul-2016, 21:00
I have a similar experience. My ebay densitometer works - same model - but it won't save calibrations when it is shut off. I keep it on for long periods of time. :) If I had to do it all over again, I would use another method to test film. There are a lot of basic empirical methods that one can use to test film and they cost a lot less than a densitometer.

Peter De Smidt
20-Jul-2016, 21:34
Hmm. I gave my 811 away. It had a spare bulb factory sealed, perhaps more than one.

I would look locally if looking for a densitometer. Call photo labs, camera stores, photo clubs....

But as has been stated in another thread, densitometers are a luxury not a necessity.

For me, it's the fastest way to check my development time.

AJ Edmondson
22-Jul-2016, 09:22
For anyone having problems retaining the calibration values when the unit is turned off, this is usually the backup battery (located on power supply board). Some of these are soldered on the board (pigtail wires on battery) while others are held in place with a spring clip.

Joel Edmondson

Kevin Crisp
22-Jul-2016, 09:26
I don't have the schematics, but if not an actual battery many devices, like FM digital tuners and receivers, have a special capacitor that charges up in use and maintains just enough current to hold the memory for a significant period of time. I've replaced many of them in NAD brand receivers. It will be that or an actual battery.

22-Jul-2016, 09:48
You gotta love 40 year old electronics! Good luck! I would check with one of the independent repair folks like Sam Coniglio. Peter, I've bought two X-Rite densitometers on the 'Bay, but I've also only bought recent (less than 15 years old) X-Rite 301's. I feel there are too many problems with the older units which I suspect may be why X-rite no longer services them. L

Peter De Smidt
22-Jul-2016, 10:20
Sam Coniglio is the guy for repairing densitometers. I hope he's still in business.

26-Jul-2016, 03:49
Can't help you much but I also bought a 811 off ebay. It has the same Error #06 on the Self test but it calibrates and read correctly. At least when I get it to read the calibration strips, it gives values similar to what was written. Not sure how accurate the reading is but I will hang on to it until it fully dies on me.