PDA

View Full Version : Help With a Beseler-Minolta 45A system



fuegocito
27-May-2017, 19:50
Hi all,

I have adopted a Beseler 45 enlarger ststem that came with two heads, one is an older Cold light head and the other is the Minolta 45A head. I am completely baffled by the Minolta head as I have just found out, it flashes for light output(?)

So at this point I don't know if it's working, or not working, or maybe partially working. When I plugged it in the controller shows a very faint display, not enough to read but it does flickers something. The head pops when I press the on/off switch and that seems to be all it is doing now. My question is, is this normal operational condition or I need to replace some if not all the tubes? And if so, how does one know which one needs replacing?

The cold light head is a bit on the dim side but it seems to work as it should...

thanks in advance.

Robert

Gary Beasley
29-May-2017, 20:11
So I take it you dont have a manual? Try toggling the focus mode on, should give you a more or less continuous white light. If not tube is shot. This is an additive color system so the controller runs three different flashtubes behind red, green, and blue filters, any of which can go bad. Usually abad tube will be blackened severely or cracked. I may have a digitised manual on my other computer I can upload to you at some point, have to get to it and do a search.

fuegocito
29-May-2017, 22:39
Thanks Gary, and yes, the head didn't come with a manual. I think I must have played around with the focus mode and it didn't do anything...I have open the unit and the tubes does not appeared to be burned/cracked but it/they could very well be dead anyway. There is one longer tube that runs perpendicular to and on top of a series of five slightly shorter tubes sitting underneath red blue green filters. And the display on the control unit is so dim that it's unlegible, is that normal? or that should work once the focusing tube is working?

cheers

Robert



So I take it you dont have a manual? Try toggling the focus mode on, should give you a more or less continuous white light. If not tube is shot. This is an additive color system so the controller runs three different flashtubes behind red, green, and blue filters, any of which can go bad. Usually abad tube will be blackened severely or cracked. I may have a digitised manual on my other computer I can upload to you at some point, have to get to it and do a search.

EdSawyer
30-May-2017, 07:41
the display is dim by design - it's to be used in a color darkroom - you don't want a bright display. Try it in the dark and see how it is. It should be usable.

Sometimes the buttons get sticky and non-conductive, and require internal cleaning. That could be why the focus button is not working.

I have a full set of manuals and docs posted here:

https://pubpages.unh.edu/~eme39/beseler_45A_manual.zip

-Ed

fuegocito
30-May-2017, 10:55
Thanks a million Ed!

This is certainly one very funky head design to say the least.

EdSawyer
30-May-2017, 12:17
Glad to help out! It's such a nice head in many ways. I used one at work back in the 90s and came to love it (well, most of it). They are so cheap now it's almost comical. It was $2600+ when new, now you can get them for $100-200. The built-in analyzer and ring-around system is excellent, and that's just one part of it.

Gary Beasley
30-May-2017, 15:21
if you find your head is dead I would sell my 45A with spare tubes, I quit using it after I got my DG head. its an interesting concept but I find no real advantage to using it.

keithboston
1-Jun-2017, 05:34
Turn it on and hit focus - if it starts to flicker and then goes out quickly with a pop, it may be damaged or bad capacitors. The focus function should stay on for almost a minute before turning off quietly. At the current cost, it was easier to just find another one that did work. Don't worry if you didn't get the color meter, it's not necessary.

fuegocito
1-Jun-2017, 16:27
Thanks for chiming in Keithboston. So the lastest development, I plugged it in and powered it up in semi darkness and sure enough, the display works fine. It is a bit on the dim side, with all the sophistication electronic factoring into the design, I am somewhat disappointed that it does not have a display dimmness control like the Gralab timer does :-)

I still have not read the instruction manual yet, my excuse is that I am testing the intuitivess of the design and I must say, it's not like anything I have play with it before and I don't think I can fully make it work without reading the manual. One thing is certain that the focusing light tube is either burned or some sort of malfuction within. I can fire the the exposure flashing tubes by turning the power switch off so that seems to be working, assuming all five of them are firing.

I will have to dig into the manual to see how the thing suppose to attach to a timer, and how does the flashing suppose to work in relation to linear time exposure.

Sigh, this is one of those instance freebie does not equal to free sailing....

EdSawyer
2-Jun-2017, 05:46
Just read the manual - you will need to, for sure. It doesn't use a timer per se, it does it's own internal calculation for number of flashes needed for a given exposure setting. You can ratchet up the numbers (in 1cc increments) to add/subtract density. You can also use the meter to determine exposure and color balance, once you have calibrated it for whatever you want. When I used one professionally, we had 3 channels set up for color balance for white, black and fleshtones. It worked great, nailed exposure and color on the first print (this was for a newspaper so working fast was critical sometimes).

my workflow is standardized on a couple different films, so usually I am not using the color ringaround or metering functions, once I get the exposure dialed in it doesn't change a whole lot from print to print, presuming film is correctly exposed.

Also remember it is additive, so works the opposite of subtractive heads. But once you get used to that, it actually makes more sense and is easier to conceptualize, I think. Plus additive heads with narrow filters will have better results with color materials than subtractive heads with wide filters.

-Ed

fuegocito
24-Jun-2017, 15:23
Update, so I got a hold of some focusing light tubes, and it turns out the probem was the focusing tube. With the new tube in, the focusing light comes on fine, but it's not a steady light, it sort of a rapid flickering that can pass for a steady light, complete with a hum/buzzing sound, this is normal right?

Pali K
24-Jun-2017, 17:32
Update, so I got a hold of some focusing light tubes, and it turns out the probem was the focusing tube. With the new tube in, the focusing light comes on fine, but it's not a steady light, it sort of a rapid flickering that can pass for a steady light, complete with a hum/buzzing sound, this is normal right?

Perfectly normal :)

fuegocito
24-Jun-2017, 19:19
Perfectly normal :)

Thanks for the confirmation!

Man, what a weird bird, this head, I still haven't actually use it yet so I am not seeing the advantage(s) to warrant such a complex design. I mean as an enlarger head, all it needs to be is a steady source of light(halagen bulbs), and if you want to get fancy, cold steady/bright source of light with MC light mix. And as a colour head, all the above with a consistent color temperature output... This head seems to be way more complicated than it needs to be.

Well now that it's working, it's time to read through the dreaded instruction manual to see how it actually works. So, to be continue :-)

Tracy Storer
24-Jun-2017, 19:25
I used one several times in a friends darkroom, really nice for color printing once you got the hang of it. We called it "The Disco Head" because of the flashing lights.

Pali K
24-Jun-2017, 21:18
It takes some getting used to but if you get the workflow down, you will never look at another head for color printing. It's actually very easy to use once you realize that it works in EV stops with numeric adjustments. Its also excellent for split grade BW printing.

Tracy, Disco sounds about right :)

EdSawyer
25-Jun-2017, 08:26
agreed, read and understand it before judging. It is the best color head for the 45 series, no doubt.

fuegocito
26-Jun-2017, 15:08
agreed, read and understand it before judging. It is the best color head for the 45 series, no doubt.

Thanks Ed, point taken :-)

I am happy the unit is working as it should. It seems to be a solid system, weird as it may be compare to most conventional units :P

Gary Beasley
27-Jun-2017, 13:48
Glad you were able to get it going. Another thing to watch out for is sometimes the system will crash and you will need to reset it by pushing a paperclip into the little hole on the control box. Playing possum like that has gotten a few good units handed down as broken to a lucky few.

fuegocito
27-Jun-2017, 20:57
Thanks Gary, that is great to know. I'll report back once I have it going.


Glad you were able to get it going. Another thing to watch out for is sometimes the system will crash and you will need to reset it by pushing a paperclip into the little hole on the control box. Playing possum like that has gotten a few good units handed down as broken to a lucky few.