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cyrus
4-Sep-2006, 09:30
What are your favorite darkroom gadgets that were not really designed/intended for the darkroom that you're adopted for use in the darkroom?

Mine: Refrigerator door seal magnets - the thin long strips that go inside the seal along the door. I use these to keep test strips flat on the easel. I also discovered that placing them on the easel's arms helps keep the paper flatter (or so I convinced myself)

Also, talking countdown timers - I like the Tel-Time model which goes for about 12-14 bucks but I've seen them going for 9 bucks too. Good for long exposures too

Ralph Barker
4-Sep-2006, 10:31
Binder clips of all sizes - they make great film-drying clips.

Nick_3536
4-Sep-2006, 12:44
picnic cooler. Make temperture control a breeze.

Stan. L-B
4-Sep-2006, 13:04
My system for draining the large Jobo Drum to enable me to use one hand for the lift, without over taxing the lift mechanism, the other hand to catch the chemical drain off in the container. I use about 50cm of 5mm rubber tube secured to the drum rail. It really works - even with a full drum!

Jorge Gasteazoro
4-Sep-2006, 14:23
My system for draining the large Jobo Drum to enable me to use one hand for the lift, without over taxing the lift mechanism, the other hand to catch the chemical drain off in the container. I use about 50cm of 5mm rubber tube secured to the drum rail. It really works - even with a full drum!

Tube or hose? I just broke mine and I am looking for a way to work since Omega/Satter does not seem to be up to speed with parts just yet.

Chris Strobel
4-Sep-2006, 14:44
Ziplock bags.I fill em with water, freeze em, then place em in my trays as needed to control temps.Where I live the tap water is usually too warm.

Jim Jones
4-Sep-2006, 15:10
A clock that ticks loudly to time dodging and burning.

Michael Daily
5-Sep-2006, 16:30
Radio.
Michael

bob carnie
6-Sep-2006, 05:25
crumpled packaging tissue to use as a diffuser in split printing, either the highlights or shawdows. Do the first exposure and then lay the tissue over the easel and then do the second filter exposure.

Stephen Willard
6-Sep-2006, 05:41
Hand hair dyer to quickly dry prints.
A small air compressor from Home Depot for removing dust.

Mike A
6-Sep-2006, 05:43
A newly installed wine rack.

Mike

raucousimages
7-Sep-2006, 07:32
#1 Hair dryer. To dry test strips, film reels, wet fingers...

#2 Gum ball machine. I have an old gum ball machine filled with mints. If I suck on a mint I dont get hungry on late night sessions and I drink more water and less soda.

Mark Sampson
7-Sep-2006, 08:03
Following Ansel Adams, a microwave oven (it's actually in the kitchen). The paper I use now dries down a lot more than my previous favorite and 2 minutes on high dries a test strip quite effectively.

Andrew O'Neill
7-Sep-2006, 08:15
coffee maker...clip on electronic metronome. I used to love my CD player but that just got to be too distracting.

Denis Pleic
7-Sep-2006, 08:26
Palm Pilot (Palm Vx or any other older Palm which uses serial cradle) - it's hooked to my Meopta enlarger via a relay, and FotoTimer software runs my printing sessions (both prints and test strips).
The same software is also used for timing negative processing.
I even added a cheapo guitar pedal (about $15) as a foot switch :)

Couldn't live without it! All the other gadgets (Ilford EM-10 enlarging meter, and some other stuff) are expendable... well, except the digital thermometer....

Denis

Alan Rabe
7-Sep-2006, 11:44
A Contour gauge for dodging and/or burning. You can get them at hardware stores or online. Most are too short to be of much use. But I have one that is 12 inches long and I can match any shape of the horizon, including places like Monument valley.
Here is a URL for one.
http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=864-220

Bruce Barlow
8-Sep-2006, 05:13
My boom box. Made many thousands of prints to Bruce Cockburn. Bach Cello Suites work well, too. So does Hendrix.

As for true darkroom gadgets, you'd have to pry my Zone VI Compensating Developing Timer out of my cold, dead hands.

Ben Crane
8-Sep-2006, 08:10
I've started storing developer in wine bottles using those caps that allow you to suck out the air. The developer seems to last much longer this way.

photographs42
8-Sep-2006, 08:51
My system for draining the large Jobo Drum to enable me to use one hand for the lift, without over taxing the lift mechanism, the other hand to catch the chemical drain off in the container. I use about 50cm of 5mm rubber tube secured to the drum rail. It really works - even with a full drum!

I donít bother with the flimsy handle. I just lift the drum by the support rail with my right hand.
Jerome

Ben Calwell
8-Sep-2006, 08:59
In my basement darkroom, I couldn't live without my pest-control glue boards that capture those horrid, aggressive, "hoppy bugs" that infest our basement.
A fellow enthusiast on this forum told me about them, and they really work. No creeping, crawling surprises in several weeks now.

Doremus Scudder
8-Sep-2006, 09:08
A small LED keychain light with a yellow LED. Mine test safe with graded papers and allows me to read notes, find missing items etc. I snap them up whenever I find them, as the yellow color is rarer.

Kirk Gittings
8-Sep-2006, 10:03
Back in the old days.....I don't do this any more especially since TIVO, but I used to be into really long dev times for prints which bored me stiff. So I had a small tv setup with a red filter on it to watch my favourite tv shows. Use a flashlight with a red filter taped on it too.

Ken Lee
8-Sep-2006, 12:01
An infra-red viewing device. No more "darkness" in the "darkroom" - especially when developing film.