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jp
13-Jun-2014, 07:32
I've used exclusively the 300 analog timer since about 1989 (which is decades older and acquired from a photographer's widow). Simple and iconic. For timing film developing, enlarger, alt proecss exposure, etc...

I have gotten with the times and moved ahead a couple decades or so. The 451 is my new favorite. It is available with membrane buttons that should be water/chemical resistant. It's easy to set and repeat, plenty of options. Monster start button, different brightnesses. Worth the <$100 used.

Makes a nice controller for my UV exposure box. Got another one for the enlarger. Will keep the 300 around for developing sheet film in the dark.

Richard Wasserman
13-Jun-2014, 08:32
GraLab 300s are indestructible. I have one that I bought in 1972 and while it doesn't glow quite as bright as it used to (who does?), it still is working perfectly. I too use it for timing film development.

DannL
13-Jun-2014, 09:35
I once had a GraLab 545. What a horrible, horrible experience that was. The buttons were not back-lit, and in a darkened environment you had to guess what button you were pushing. I can't count the times I inadvertently hit the reset button, which of course was one of the biggest buttons right next to the start buttons. No wonder I have so little hair. I can recall once when a button popped off the timer in the dark. Just lovely.

I prefer the timers that have rotary dials, such as the GraLab 300, timo-o-lite, and Beseler timers that I have now. Are the membrane keys on the 451 back-lit?

Oren Grad
13-Jun-2014, 09:46
I guess my darkroom is GraLab City. I have a 900 timing the enlarger, a 645 for process timing, and a 505 that I use as a secondary process timer, and my very first timer, a now ~35-year-old 300, still lurks in semi-retirement in the corner just in case. They've all served me well.

EDIT: Forgot to mention - also have the foot switch, which I keep connected to the 645. Very... ah... footy!

Jmarmck
13-Jun-2014, 10:21
I have a well used 300 that needs a mending on the minute hand. It will set time and start but it will not move with the second hand. I have to shove it over to 0 at the last minute to get it to stop. Busser works like a champ................I turn it off.

Leigh
13-Jun-2014, 10:27
I have two Gralab 900 timers. I think they're wonderful.
116679
The 900 provides nine independent programmable steps with automatic advance from one to the next.
I use them primarily to time the entire workflow when doing tray development. You can turn the display off.

- Leigh

jbenedict
13-Jun-2014, 10:31
For the enlarger, metronome and foot switch. For the processing, GraLab but have been known to use a plain old wall clock.

John Olsen
13-Jun-2014, 10:37
I've got a couple of 20 and 30-old GraLabs. Last year I gave the older one a new toggle switch from Radio Shack, but otherwise they're hanging in there. Mine don't have reset buttons; maybe simpler is better?

Jerry Bodine
13-Jun-2014, 11:24
I have an old Model 68, new in the 60's, and a recent used 300 (like new). Both are wall-mounted over the trays, buzzers OFF. I check them for accuracy with a stopwatch occasionally, and they all are identical within a fraction of a second. I also have a two-channel 655 with dimmer that I use for tray developing film when I prefer the timer to count UP rather than down. Have footswitch that is never used. The metronome is also handy at times.

Heroique
13-Jun-2014, 12:34
...buzzers OFF...

I don't think I've ever used my Gralab 300's buzzer – after all, the big-glowing analog face is so easy to read from near and far – but it's kinda cool that you can control the buzzer's volume, from ear-splitting fire-alarm level to scarcely audible.

Heroique
13-Jun-2014, 12:36
BTW, I'm certain my beloved Gralab 300 will outlast me, my children, my great-grandchildren.

However, my Master Time-o-Lite (M-72) just might outlast the human race, and might still work when alien explorers discover it among the ruins.

Love 'em both! ;^)

jp
13-Jun-2014, 12:47
http://i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/grinders/graLab451_zpse1d3824f.jpg shows the chosen button selections glowing. (and there are brightness settings)

Jerry Bodine
13-Jun-2014, 13:00
....my Master Time-o-Lite (M-72) just might outlast the human race, and might still work when alien explorers discover it among the ruins....

I agree. As will my Pro Time-O-Lite (P-59) from the '60s.

Jim C.
13-Jun-2014, 13:37
I don't think I've ever used my Gralab 300's buzzer after all, the big-glowing analog face is so easy to read from near and far but it's kinda cool that you can control the buzzer's volume, from ear-splitting fire-alarm level to scarcely audible.

I use the buzzer all the time, especially when my Gralab timer is used for vacuum bagging.
Unfortunately the older metal cased 300's aren't volume adjustable compared to the plastic cased ones
I've been thinking of changing the buzzer in the metal cased one to a electronic chime.

Heroique
13-Jun-2014, 13:58
I've been thinking of changing the buzzer in the metal cased one to a electronic chime.

That would be nice on the ears, compared to the buzzer.

On the newer plastic-cased Gralab 300, a change to chimes might be dangerous. At least the Gralab makers want you to think so. On the back it says, "Warning – do not open, live parts enclosed."

Makes it sound like they've planted live ammo inside to discourage tampering! :D

MIke Sherck
13-Jun-2014, 14:11
I have four 300's, one of which I bought new and three that I got from an auction. One of the three old ones (came from a high school darkroom,) is weird: it continues to run until at some semi-random point it just stops. I've discovered that if I wind it backwards, by hand, for as long as I wish it to run, it won't jam until it gets past the time I've set. For example, if I want to time 20 minutes and just set it to 20 minutes it will run some seemingly arbitrary amount, then stop. It won't stop at 20 minutes, probably, but perhaps 25 min. 12 seconds. Or perhaps 18 min. 41 sec. On the other hand, if I wind it backwards to 20 minutes and start it, it will run at least 20 minutes, stopping at some apparently arbitrary time after 20 minutes.

Makes a fun process timer. I'm waiting for it to burst into flames at some point. Given the current price of these things though, I don't feel right about whining about a timer that cost $5 for a skid with three timers and four small Omega enlargers. :)

Mike

Jerry Bodine
13-Jun-2014, 14:27
..."Warning – do not open, live parts enclosed." ...

Not to hijack the thread, but this reminds me of my very much younger years when I decided to build a tube-type power amplifier KIT marketed by Scott stereo equipment. It was about 4am when I finished it and was anxious to see how hot it was getting. There was a cluster of four condenser cans on top, and I just waved my hand over the tops without touching them. There was a buzzing vibration that traveled up my arm and what seemed like a blackjack impact at the base of my skull, while it threw me backwards against the wall. I'd been bitten by the electrical charge being stored in the condensers that was released into ME rather than where it was supposed to go in the circuitry. Still shaking, I went to work but wasn't too productive that day.

Jim C.
13-Jun-2014, 15:14
That would be nice on the ears, compared to the buzzer.

On the newer plastic-cased Gralab 300, a change to chimes might be dangerous. At least the Gralab makers want you to think so. On the back it says, "Warning – do not open, live parts enclosed."

Makes it sound like they've planted live ammo inside to discourage tampering! :D

I've opened both the metal cased and plastic one's, the metal one to re do the paint ( nice wrinkle finish ) and there's
nothing in there but the AC powered timer motor, switches, and wires, if I recall correctly.
It's all about liability when there's warnings like that, not that I encourage anyone without some electrical experience
and common sense to go poking around inside their Gralab 300's plugged in. :)

Jerry Bodine
13-Jun-2014, 15:22
...It's all about liability when there's warnings like that, not that I encourage anyone without some electrical experience
and common sense to go poking around inside their Gralab 300's plugged in...

There's a classic quote:
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.

Jim C.
14-Jun-2014, 11:21
There's a classic quote:
Good judgement comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgement.

Ha !! Truer words have never been said :)