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Thread: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Hi guys!

    First time poster, long time lurker. Calling in from New Zealand.

    Looking for a bit of assistance. I've just picked up a Beseler MXII w/ Universal Head & VC Controller to start printing 4x5.
    I'm having issues with the timer freezing a few seconds into exposure. eg. If I do a 2 second exposure it will run correctly - if I try a 3 second exposure it will freeze at 0.9 and I'll need to reset the power to start it again. The timer is also behaving weird in a few other ways - the yellow focus button won't turn on the lamps, but the analyse button will. Not sure if this is how it's supposed to run but I'm inclined to say it's not.

    I understand these units can be a bit hit or miss but I'm wondering if my issues could be power related. As our power supply here is 240v and the enlarger is 120v I'm using a step down transformer to 110v. Would the difference between 110 and 120v potentially make a difference? I've order the manual from KHB Photographic incase i've missed anything obvious but any thoughts greatly appreciated!

    Cheers!,
    Kieran

  2. #2

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    The first thing to do is clean all the switches and connectors inside the boxes... Usually some will be making imperfect contact or not completely releasing...

    Get a manual if you can, but disconnect all power, open boxes, and wherever you see a control or some form of electrical connection, take some good electrical contact cleaner spray (or you can use some alcohol or lighter fluid in a small squirting bottle) and squirt some into the connection, wiggle it around a little, or into a control or switch and operate control while still wet with cleaner... Not too much solvent, and repeat if not sure... Do everything you can find, and the connection points outside the box and on cables... If you are not sure what to do, it would be easy for a tech to do, maybe for a six pack of beer...

    If the display is working, it usually means the power is good, but contact issues will usually cause screwy operating issues to come up...

    Good Luck!!!

    Steve K

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    The first thing to do is clean all the switches and connectors inside the boxes... Usually some will be making imperfect contact or not completely releasing...

    Get a manual if you can, but disconnect all power, open boxes, and wherever you see a control or some form of electrical connection, take some good electrical contact cleaner spray (or you can use some alcohol or lighter fluid in a small squirting bottle) and squirt some into the connection, wiggle it around a little, or into a control or switch and operate control while still wet with cleaner... Not too much solvent, and repeat if not sure... Do everything you can find, and the connection points outside the box and on cables... If you are not sure what to do, it would be easy for a tech to do, maybe for a six pack of beer...

    If the display is working, it usually means the power is good, but contact issues will usually cause screwy operating issues to come up...

    Good Luck!!!

    Steve K
    Thanks Steve, excellent advice. I'll pull it apart this weekend and give a good look over.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Marietta Ga. East Cobb.
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Also be on the lookout for electrolytic capacitors that may go bad. If possible best practice is to replace them with identical value tantalum capacitors which have no electrolyte to dry out.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Step-down transformers would logically be an issue because the enlarger control box is very sensitive to either voltage fluctuations or EMI (electromagnetic interference) . With respect to EMI, it might help if the transformer is at a distinct distance, preferably in a completely different room or even different building. And yes, 120 vs 115V output might be an issue too. There is no repair manual I am aware of.

  6. #6

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Step-down transformers would logically be an issue because the enlarger control box is very sensitive to either voltage fluctuations or EMI (electromagnetic interference) . With respect to EMI, it might help if the transformer is at a distinct distance, preferably in a completely different room or even different building. And yes, 120 vs 115V output might be an issue too. There is no repair manual I am aware of.
    50 versus 60 cycle can also be a problem.

  7. #7

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    Sep 2020
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Step-down transformers would logically be an issue because the enlarger control box is very sensitive to either voltage fluctuations or EMI (electromagnetic interference) . With respect to EMI, it might help if the transformer is at a distinct distance, preferably in a completely different room or even different building. And yes, 120 vs 115V output might be an issue too. There is no repair manual I am aware of.
    Thank you! I need to try find a 120v step down I can test with before making the plunge.

    The unit says 50/60hz so hopefully this isn't an issue. Looking at the board itself, it looks remarkably clean, almost brand new.

  8. #8

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    I had a problem with my Beseler 45s, where the would be some sort of delay after triggering my enlarger timer before the quartz-halogen bulb would actually come one. But, I think that this is a little different than what you're experiencing.

    If interested, I could relate what I did to solve my particular problem.

  9. #9

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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    I had a problem with my Beseler 45s, where the would be some sort of delay after triggering my enlarger timer before the quartz-halogen bulb would actually come one. But, I think that this is a little different than what you're experiencing.

    If interested, I could relate what I did to solve my particular problem.
    Hi Neil, would be interested to hear just in case!

    I've just found that one of my bulbs is blown - hopefully that explains a lot. I've switched the bulb to the red filter (which I believe is just for focussing) but the issue remains. Will order some more bulbs just in case.]

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Beseler Universal 45 Assistance

    When these go on the fritz from either a voltage surge or a bulb out, it seem almost like something inside the controls gets temporarily magnetized, so what might not work immediately after such an issue might clear up on its own in several days. It only happened to me once this year when major utility work was being done in the area, and somebody spliced something wrong.
    If I had known about that kind of work going on, or if a lightning storm was happening, I simply wouldn't power up the device on that particular day. They don't like electronic lighting ballasts either in the vicinity, or solid-state switches - another EMI source.

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