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Thread: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

  1. #11

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by htroberts View Post
    Google found me these guys: https://www.controlrepair.com/produc...ntroller/29485

    but am going to call $500 "uneconomical", at least without some significant cost-sharing from the seller.
    All the "real" problems I've had are in the head. I really suggest you cal Kevin Brown at KHB, from what I remember from talking to him is there's no real documentation of the software, no parts etc. Even if you get these going, you come back a week later and it will be bonkers.

    The sticky buttons are the biggest issue I've had with the controller. The link you site is quite old, I don't think they will do you any good.

  2. #12

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by htroberts View Post
    I was able to test all three lamps by swapping them into the socket that was coming on the longest, and all three work. They're in good shape with no corrosion.

    I have a Heiland Splitgrade on a V35, but the LED sources are expensive (and have to admit sometimes I like the "old" technology).
    Clean the light sensor in the head. If it's not getting enough light it will cut off current to the lamps. Pull the diffusion can, the sensor is at the bottom of the head. I feel your frustration. I love these heads but no support.

  3. #13

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Have you asked Beseler? They are in PA.

  4. #14

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Have you asked Beseler? They are in PA.
    I've talked to Beseler about the new LED dichro head that is just now becoming available. Looks like a beautiful simple machine. It's a additive head with subtractive inputs. I've not talked to Beseler about these old heads. That's a darn good idea

  5. #15
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Good luck with Beseler. They're a different company than built the Universal and probably won't help you much. They stopped servicing them a long time ago.The power supplies can be finicky. Sometimes one of the triacs goes bad. Any serious old-school solder-gun electronics enthusiast could figure it out. These units can also go schizophrenic if there is any EMI in the vicinity, like from a high-frequency fluoro lighting ballast. But I wouldn't give up on this unit. One you figure them out they're great. And note Duolab's advice.

  6. #16

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Good luck with Beseler. They're a different company than built the Universal and probably won't help you much. They stopped servicing them a long time ago.The power supplies can be finicky. Sometimes one of the triacs goes bad. Any serious old-school solder-gun electronics enthusiast could figure it out. These units can also go schizophrenic if there is any EMI in the vicinity, like from a high-frequency fluoro lighting ballast. But I wouldn't give up on this unit. One you figure them out they're great. And note Duolab's advice.
    Yes, Drew has helped me figure mine out. I flipped the switch on a old Kodak electrostatic film brush, that flipped out the head. I am resigned to trying to keep them alive until I decide on something else. I sure do like these, but they are as Drew says, nuts!

  7. #17

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head


  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    I'd want to see hard evidence - physical prints - before opting for an LED colorhead. VC usage is less critical in terms of exact spectral distribution. There's little info on either specific spectral output or its intensity with respect to color papers, and so far, not much track record in terms of equip reliability. For the record, I do not use the Beseler Universal system, but cannibalized certain components for sake of hotrod colorheads with substantially more light output and larger format coverage. The original design had a lot of things which could have been improved. I don't use Beseler chassis either.

  9. #19

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I'd want to see hard evidence - physical prints - before opting for an LED colorhead. VC usage is less critical in terms of exact spectral distribution. There's little info on either specific spectral output or its intensity with respect to color papers, and so far, not much track record in terms of equip reliability. For the record, I do not use the Beseler Universal system, but cannibalized certain components for sake of hotrod colorheads with substantially more light output and larger format coverage. The original design had a lot of things which could have been improved. I don't use Beseler chassis either.
    Yes, the LED in terms of a projection printer light source is new to me. I have used ordinary dichro quartz halogen heads for the last 30 years, for color and for black and white. The Beseler Universal heads are something I got a good deal on, and I like them.

    I found a person who damn near gave me like new 8x10 and 5x7 Zone VI enlargers c. 2002 vintage, with cold light VC heads. I never liked cold lights, these have sensors and run through a Metrolux II timer. Works fabulous for split grade printing . I had SK Grimes modify a carrier for 6x17 for the 5x7. Works flawless. The Metrolux II timer is what makes the cold lights manageable for me.

    Hopefully I will get another batch of paper delivered tomorrow, I've been splitting 20 x 24 into 10 x 24. The final image is about 8 1/2 23. Lots of fun.

  10. #20

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    Re: Problem with Beseler Universal VC head

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    VC usage is less critical in terms of exact spectral distribution.
    Drew, I've checked it well and IMHO this is not right. Filtration in the VC heads are totally well designed, but you may notice several effects:

    1) VC heads are diffuser type, a condenser type has another footprint, I guess that this requires no explanation, but this is not related to spectrals.

    2) Some VC heads were equipped/retrofited with cold cathode, this is an Aristo 45, not VC but it tells that depending illumination you compress 4 and 5 grades:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But this is not an effect of the Variable Contrast head, it may come from having an VC head with Cold Cathode illumination, this ends in not being able to finely adjust between grades 4 and 5, you can have a close to 4 and a close to 5, but it's difficult to have a 4.5, anyway this may have little importance.



    For the rest, I find I do the same with the (incandescent) LPL VC than with the Durst 138 with a diffuser and ilford filters, if I use condensers in the 138 then I see a bit the "condenser punch" which beyond grade (IMHO) changes a bit the tonal curve, compared to diffuser.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 4-Oct-2019 at 06:27.

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