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Thread: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

  1. #1

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    Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Hi All,

    I was hoping to ask if there is any documentation and spec sheets available for the inner workings of a Beseler Universal 45 color head? I recently received one, and I have had some trouble with it. When I power it on, the fan turns on, but there is no light when I change the controller to Focus or Analyze. Same when I start the timer as well. I cross-checked the bulbs with a multimeter which look good. I have been trying to test the wiring with a non contact voltage tester, but haven't had much luck with it yet. I am trying to figure out where to go next on this.

    Beseler Technical Support informed me since the product is discontinued, they don't have much information on it and cannot be of any help in repairs. I was hoping if someone could point me in the right direction in getting this fixed? The wiring and the contacts are almost new. The color head was sitting in a basement for almost 2 years, and has not been used before.

    I would really appreciate some help and advice on this topic on getting the color head up and running!

    Regards,
    A

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Beseler never was a bit of help with these, even when they were new and allegedly still under warranty. They're a bit tricky to analyze unless you have both a spare control panel as well as spare power supply to selectively switch out, and at least in that manner know which component is at fault. The theory behind the design was good, but some of the components are a bit weak and quite susceptible to EMI (electomagnetic interference). You shouldn't have any electronic lighting ballasts or other strong solid-state devices anywhere in proximity, or any strong voltage surges, including from nearby lightning strikes. So use your multimeter to check for how consistent your line voltage actually is. Sometimes the triacs go bad (or were weak to begin with), but are inexpensive to replace. The machine is designed to shut down if any one of the three circuits has a problem, whether a burned-out bulb, or dirt over one of the colored feedback receptors near the bottom of the mixing chamber (check it). Are you getting light at all? If so which color? If you punch in 200Y/200M/00C, only the red circuit is activated, so you should get pure red light; if 200Y/00M/200C, you activate only the green bulb; if 00Y/200M/200C, you get strictly the blue lamp circuit. That's the fastest way to isolate which branch the problem is on, at least if that much is operable. Just a few months ago somebody posted their own private repair service for these with a set fee, but I don't remember if it was on this forum or Photrio. It might take a bit of search engine backtracking. And it might take some patience; but these can be wonderful devices once they're de-bugged.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    I found it : Control System Lab, www.controlrepair.com

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by apatnaik View Post
    Hi All,

    I was hoping to ask if there is any documentation and spec sheets available for the inner workings of a Beseler Universal 45 color head? I recently received one, and I have had some trouble with it. When I power it on, the fan turns on, but there is no light when I change the controller to Focus or Analyze. Same when I start the timer as well. I cross-checked the bulbs with a multimeter which look good. I have been trying to test the wiring with a non contact voltage tester, but haven't had much luck with it yet. I am trying to figure out where to go next on this.

    Beseler Technical Support informed me since the product is discontinued, they don't have much information on it and cannot be of any help in repairs. I was hoping if someone could point me in the right direction in getting this fixed? The wiring and the contacts are almost new. The color head was sitting in a basement for almost 2 years, and has not been used before.

    I would really appreciate some help and advice on this topic on getting the color head up and running!

    Regards,
    A
    Make sure you have the right mixing chamber. If you have a regular Dichro chamber it won't work. I have 5 of these heads 2 work reliably, the others will work then inexplicably start acting up. The sensor in the head that reads the light output can go batty. I've found that simply holding a flashlight on the sensor will get the unit to light up. Make damn sure the lamp pins are bright and shiny clean and the lamp sockets are clean. Frequently it's years of oxidation. These are amazing heads when they work. For VC work they are great as well. Kevin Brown at KHB Photographix in Canada knows how to work on them. It won't be cheap but what is. Beseler was going through a tremendous shrinkage of their business, they couldn't support these. The company changed ownership and locations, now it's a brand of a manufacturing company. Beseler just has come out with a new color head, just in time for the college closures and pandemic.

  5. #5

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    Jun 2020
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Beseler never was a bit of help with these, even when they were new and allegedly still under warranty. They're a bit tricky to analyze unless you have both a spare control panel as well as spare power supply to selectively switch out, and at least in that manner know which component is at fault. The theory behind the design was good, but some of the components are a bit weak and quite susceptible to EMI (electomagnetic interference). You shouldn't have any electronic lighting ballasts or other strong solid-state devices anywhere in proximity, or any strong voltage surges, including from nearby lightning strikes. So use your multimeter to check for how consistent your line voltage actually is. Sometimes the triacs go bad (or were weak to begin with), but are inexpensive to replace. The machine is designed to shut down if any one of the three circuits has a problem, whether a burned-out bulb, or dirt over one of the colored feedback receptors near the bottom of the mixing chamber (check it). Are you getting light at all? If so which color? If you punch in 200Y/200M/00C, only the red circuit is activated, so you should get pure red light; if 200Y/00M/200C, you activate only the green bulb; if 00Y/200M/200C, you get strictly the blue lamp circuit. That's the fastest way to isolate which branch the problem is on, at least if that much is operable. Just a few months ago somebody posted their own private repair service for these with a set fee, but I don't remember if it was on this forum or Photrio. It might take a bit of search engine backtracking. And it might take some patience; but these can be wonderful devices once they're de-bugged.
    Thank you so much for the detailed reply Drew! So as far as I can tell, the inner structure seems to be controlled by 3 switches, 2 of which get engaged when you put the lid on (probably to prevent blinding someone with excess light when they open the lid accidentally), and then the 3rd one a L200-40F switch which from my initial looking up, seems to be controlling the temp inside the head maybe? It should open at 200F and reset at 160F. Pretty sure my darkroom is colder than the reset value, but the fan constantly runs. I wonder if that switch is broken!? I am trying to find a way to test it. The rest of the wiring and the 2 switches look good. I wasn't sure about the colored feedback receptors near the bottom of the mixing chamber but I did see a contact point with 3 wires soldered to the outside of the head, which I assumed could be for grounding?! Im sorry my technical prowess extends mostly to checking for loose wires and testing via the multi meter.

    The problem remains that there is no light no matter what setting I change the controller to. I had a friend, who is quite adept in electrical instruments, have a look at it too, but we didn't really find anything faulty, which made me think maybe this is a configuration issue. Maybe I am using the controller wrong! I turn on the color head, and switch it to Focus, and there is no light, in which I assume there should be light, and then I click on Analyze with a setting on the CMY panel, but still no light.

  6. #6

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    Jun 2020
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Duolab123 View Post
    Make sure you have the right mixing chamber. If you have a regular Dichro chamber it won't work. I have 5 of these heads 2 work reliably, the others will work then inexplicably start acting up. The sensor in the head that reads the light output can go batty. I've found that simply holding a flashlight on the sensor will get the unit to light up. Make damn sure the lamp pins are bright and shiny clean and the lamp sockets are clean. Frequently it's years of oxidation. These are amazing heads when they work. For VC work they are great as well. Kevin Brown at KHB Photographix in Canada knows how to work on them. It won't be cheap but what is. Beseler was going through a tremendous shrinkage of their business, they couldn't support these. The company changed ownership and locations, now it's a brand of a manufacturing company. Beseler just has come out with a new color head, just in time for the college closures and pandemic.
    Thank you so much for the reply Duolab! I am pretty sure the mixing chamber is correct. When I got the enlarger head, it was still in its original Beseler packing. I am not sure if the chamber is supposed to receive any power in this head, as I couldn't really find any connections to it. I was hoping to ask does this sensor reside on the bottom of the mixing chamber? Here are some photos of the mixing chamber along with the head after the chamber was removed. From what I can see the chamber probably receives the light from the 3 bulbs and doesnt really provide any additional light itself, and acts more like a reflector, although I could be wrong. Please feel free to correct me! Thank you so much again for the contact information! I will def try and get in touch with the KHB Photographix and see if they can help me out!

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  7. #7

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by apatnaik View Post
    Thank you so much for the reply Duolab! I am pretty sure the mixing chamber is correct. When I got the enlarger head, it was still in its original Beseler packing. I am not sure if the chamber is supposed to receive any power in this head, as I couldn't really find any connections to it. I was hoping to ask does this sensor reside on the bottom of the mixing chamber? Here are some photos of the mixing chamber along with the head after the chamber was removed. From what I can see the chamber probably receives the light from the 3 bulbs and doesnt really provide any additional light itself, and acts more like a reflector, although I could be wrong. Please feel free to correct me! Thank you so much again for the contact information! I will def try and get in touch with the KHB Photographix and see if they can help me out!

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    Yes that's the right mixing chamber. If you look at the chamber the little oval hole in the mixing chamber is where the sensor (in the head) peeps in to gauge the light output. There was a upgrade in these sensors at some point, they were a part of the problem. The fan in the head runs constantly when the unit is turned on. I can't stress the point enough to make sure the lamps are making good contact. Those sockets Beseler used SUCK. Pain in the butt. When you power up, the fan comes on, the time and filtration LEDs light up. If you hit focus all 3 lamps come on to produce white light. If you hit analyze the colors you have dialed in should illuminate. This is the only time when you can change filtration (if you are using a color analyzer you adjust filtration in analyze mode) if you are not in focus or Analyze mode the timer should illuminate with the filtration you have dialed in when you hit print, if you hit the print button again during the exposure it will pause, then pick back up when you hit it again.

    That's about it, double check the controller connections. My suspicion is its got something to do with the photo cell in the head, the sensor that peeks through the hole. It's got a glass twin lens like thing, you could clean it with some lens tissue. Look for any low voltage connection that's gotten oxidation and isn't getting through. It's like whacking a flashlight or remote to get the batteries to connect.
    Ok let me know if you have any questions, Mike

  8. #8

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Quote Originally Posted by Duolab123 View Post
    Yes that's the right mixing chamber. If you look at the chamber the little oval hole in the mixing chamber is where the sensor (in the head) peeps in to gauge the light output. There was a upgrade in these sensors at some point, they were a part of the problem. The fan in the head runs constantly when the unit is turned on. I can't stress the point enough to make sure the lamps are making good contact. Those sockets Beseler used SUCK. Pain in the butt. When you power up, the fan comes on, the time and filtration LEDs light up. If you hit focus all 3 lamps come on to produce white light. If you hit analyze the colors you have dialed in should illuminate. This is the only time when you can change filtration (if you are using a color analyzer you adjust filtration in analyze mode) if you are not in focus or Analyze mode the timer should illuminate with the filtration you have dialed in when you hit print, if you hit the print button again during the exposure it will pause, then pick back up when you hit it again.

    That's about it, double check the controller connections. My suspicion is its got something to do with the photo cell in the head, the sensor that peeks through the hole. It's got a glass twin lens like thing, you could clean it with some lens tissue. Look for any low voltage connection that's gotten oxidation and isn't getting through. It's like whacking a flashlight or remote to get the batteries to connect.
    Ok let me know if you have any questions, Mike
    Thank you so much for explaining that Mike! I was able to locate that sensor, and clean it up a bit. There was a bit of dust on it, but overall it looked good too. I was wondering if that sensor went out, would that prevent the 3 lamps from turning on? I was wondering if somehow the sensor fed into the main circuit and could be responsible for disrupting it and if there was a way to test it out? I tried the flash light trick as well, but sadly that didn't help as well. I also gave the sockets for the bulbs a clean up before trying. Here are some more photos of the connections and the sensor itself.

    I really appreciate all the help and advice, I was hoping to ask if there is anything else I could possibly check?

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  9. #9

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    If the sensor isn't working it will disrupt the lights, this is a "to the best of my knowledge " Beseler replaced all the original sensors as I understand as a free replacement if you had problems, mine have been upgraded according to Kevin Brown at KHB. Still I only have two heads that work one is setup for color the other VC.

    These heads are somewhat of an orphan. I would call Kevin Brown if he's not swamped he will try to help. If it can be fixed he would be the guy. He told me that Beseler never put out all the technical info on the programming etc. It's kinda a mess.

  10. #10

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Color Head Parts and Specifications

    Thank you Mike and Drew for all the help and advice! As an update on the color head, I have still not been able to figure out the exact issue with it yet, but I did get in touch with Kevin Brown from KHB, and had a really nice chat about the color head. Fixing it would be really expensive at this point, so I looking into saving up for it. I also got in touch with an electrical repair shop near by, who will be checking the head for any issues as well. I will keep you guys posted on if the enlarger head gets functional but it might take me a while! Thank you again for your help!

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