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Thread: RE: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

  1. #1

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    RE: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Up to now have been using JOBO Expert drums on a pair of Unicolor Uniroller drum rotators. (Ironically for one of my JOBO Expert tanks probably paid X50 what I paid for my used Unirollers). Works but seems to me that I am overtaxing the Unirollers with large Expert drumss. Plus whatever I do, the JOBO tanks always creep in either direction. Also don't have a tempered water bath.

    So considered upgrading up to a JOBO CPP3. Major "ouch" at shelling out $4,299.00 for a CPP3. OK the CPP3
    "Allows for the use of Expert drums
    Allows chemistry to be introduced into the tank while the agitator is on
    Allows for more accurate processing times down to the second, as well as faster introduction and dumping of chemistry
    Alleviates pressure build-up problems in problem-prone process types
    Creates a nearly dry and clean work environment
    Is self-cleaning and helps prevent cross-contamination"
    All great... But some features I could easily do without.

    Then I came across the Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor. Essentially a drum rotator with a tempered water bath. Will have to manually drain and fill the tanks... no big deal. The SST4 in the end ran me a total of $1,790.00. For a CPP3, I'd have to add an additional $2,509.00. Ordered one from Germany and is in transit as we presently speak. German supplier couldn't supply me with a 110V version, so ordered the 220V version along with a TOPOW ST-200 Step Up & Step Down transformer. To my surprise, the transformer has no ground on the input plug, but a ground on the output outlets... interesting, Will have to add a ground wire to the unit's metal case, which is no big deal at all.

    Once I get the Stark SST4 and use it several times, will post my experiences on the FORUM.

  2. #2
    SE Penna.
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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Interested to hear about your experience and results. Take note of the performance of the unit while operating on the 110V supply. While the voltage will be corrected with the transformer, if the power consumption is in the range of 1.25 - 1.5 kW, current from a 110V/15A circuit may be a limiting factor. Just had this experience using German equipment at a trade show in the US. We had a voltage transformer, but the power required was not sufficient from a simple household circuit.

  3. #3

    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    The other thing is that in Europe, I believe the frequency is 50Hz and not 60Hz. This can cause a problem with the electronics. I had this happen many years ago, going to Okinawa with the Marines. Took some US stuff there, it worked fine, but when we came back and plugged our stuff into use outlets again, they fried. This warning was also given on the imaging warehouse about their Nova film processing gear. Hope it works out as I am trying to decide how I want to develop film, so your results will be interestiing.

  4. #4
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    The other thing is that in Europe, I believe the frequency is 50Hz and not 60Hz. This can cause a problem with the electronics. I had this happen many years ago, going to Okinawa with the Marines. Took some US stuff there, it worked fine, but when we came back and plugged our stuff into use outlets again, they fried. This warning was also given on the imaging warehouse about their Nova film processing gear. Hope it works out as I am trying to decide how I want to develop film, so your results will be interestiing.
    Depending on the electronic device, this often only affects the speed at which the unit operates, e.g., a turntable meant to spin a record at 33⅓ RPM at 50Hz will turn at ~40 RPM on US current.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
    seezee on Flickr
    seezee's day-job at Messenger Web Design

  5. #5

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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Quote Originally Posted by chassis View Post
    Interested to hear about your experience and results. Take note of the performance of the unit while operating on the 110V supply. While the voltage will be corrected with the transformer, if the power consumption is in the range of 1.25 - 1.5 kW, current from a 110V/15A circuit may be a limiting factor. Just had this experience using German equipment at a trade show in the US. We had a voltage transformer, but the power required was not sufficient from a simple household circuit.
    The unit takes a maximum of 660 watts (0.660 kW). When I wired the darkroom, I used 12-2 wire and two 20 amp GFI circuits for the room... it turned out to be an overkill. Although I put in multiple outlets around the room, once the darkroom was completed and I started using it, had to retrofit 2 more outlets in places I never thought I'd need them.

  6. #6

    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Quote Originally Posted by seezee View Post
    Depending on the electronic device, this often only affects the speed at which the unit operates, e.g., a turntable meant to spin a record at 33⅓ RPM at 50Hz will turn at ~40 RPM on US current.
    Does that mean then, I could possibly use this without issue if I step up the voltage to 220? For the price, this can't be beat quite possibly. I think the issue is going back to a different frequency, like if I plugged in to 50Hz after being plugged into 60Hz? But it has been 30 years since I did electronics so I don't know anymore.

    https://www.theimagingwarehouse.com/...ssors/ANFP-D54

  7. #7

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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    The other thing is that in Europe, I believe the frequency is 50Hz and not 60Hz. This can cause a problem with the electronics. I had this happen many years ago, going to Okinawa with the Marines. Took some US stuff there, it worked fine, but when we came back and plugged our stuff into use outlets again, they fried. This warning was also given on the imaging warehouse about their Nova film processing gear. Hope it works out as I am trying to decide how I want to develop film, so your results will be interestiing.
    Very good points that I had considered. Two things are dependent on the power source: motor to rotate drum and the temperature controller that regulates the tempered water bath. My better half's father is a retired electrical engineer. He told me that it should not be a problem. But in any case, purchased the step up transformer from the same dealer who sold me the SST4. If something does go bad, I have the dealer/importer to fall back on.

  8. #8
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    Does that mean then, I could possibly use this without issue if I step up the voltage to 220? For the price, this can't be beat quite possibly. I think the issue is going back to a different frequency, like if I plugged in to 50Hz after being plugged into 60Hz? But it has been 30 years since I did electronics so I don't know anymore.

    https://www.theimagingwarehouse.com/...ssors/ANFP-D54
    See the previous post, but I'll ad this: the motor will turn faster than intended if you plug a 50Hz device into a 60Hz power source. I know of no reason that "going back and forth" should be detrimental to the device; it's either going to fry, or it isn't.

    I am NOT a licensed electritian and advice is not intended as a substitute for one.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
    seezee on Flickr
    seezee's day-job at Messenger Web Design

  9. #9

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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    If the motor speed will be different really depends if it's a DC or an AC motor. Usually it's not specified and you only find out by opening the unit up and tracing the circuit to see how they designed it. This also goes for any other potential effects of a different grid frequency. In most cases, it won't be a problem. Back in the old days you'd have electronic clocks that based their timing on the grid frequency, which obviously resulted on problems.

  10. #10

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    Re: Stark SST4 Universal Film & paper Processor

    with a good step-up converter it should be fine. Most of them that are designed for that can handle a unit like this. You might look inside the unit to see if it has a universal primary on the transformer(s) - many have dual primary windings that can be configured for 110v or 220v with a very simple change from series to parallel connection.

    Also, re: 50 vs 60hz, generally a lower frequency will cause a transformer or choke to saturate quicker, but in this case it's probably a non-issue. Generally higher frequency means one can use a smaller/lighter core in magnetics like transformers and chokes. (Aircraft use 400hz AC for this reason). Putting a HF AC unit on lower freq. ac will result in the core being undersized, though in the case of 60 vs 50 hz it will probably be within the margin for error and a non-issue. that's assuming it has any transformers/magnetics in it to begin with.

    Also, at $1800~, you could most likely find a nice used Phototherm SSK-4 or -8, which is a far better and more sophisticated film processor. (though it's not designed for prints).

    -Ed

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