Rebuilding | Week 1 |
Week 2/3 | Week 4
| Week 5 | Week 6
| Week 7 | Week 8
| Week 10 |
Sunday, January 26, 2003
Daylight view. You can see the newly painted plateholder and mounts, along
with the new laser head and temperature meter in use.
Here's a close-up shot of the laser head. The diode is held in place
through friction and thermal paste. On the other side I've drilled a small
hole just large enough for the thermistor to fit next to the diode.
The disk near the front is an extremely strong magnet that ensures the head
won't move. I have two of these magnets and I'm not sure what I took apart
to get them but if I drop one of the magnets on my table, I have to slide it to
the edge in order to take it off (and it's very difficult to slide that thing). It holds to steel almost as if it'd been glued
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Today was a simple day. I got up and took some aluminum angles
(1" on a side and 3' long) that I had purchased Monday night and painted
them flat black on the inside. Once that was dry I took them into my
office and screwed them onto the inside of my window to make a channel for the
light-blocking shade we had installed a few years ago.
We (Susan, the other half of me, and I) went through some effort at the
time to find a shade that was fully light blocking and was something we wanted
to look at every day. We thought we'd succeeded because in the store and
in the final window, it appeared to block everything except around the edges
(where the shade wasn't).
Well, the joke is on me. Once I got the channel installed and
sealed off the light coming in between the window casing and the edges of the
shade, I discovered that the shade is not fully light blocking. Since I'm
no longer blinded by the light at the edges I can now see that the entire shade
glows very slightly when the sun is out.
I honestly don't think that small amount of light will have an adverse
affect and I can limit my film cutting to the nighttime hours (so as not to
endanger the entire 10m roll of film). So, now that I've got the room
99.9% light proof, it's time to do a safe light test, although I'll cut the film
in a different room until that test is done.
Tonight I took the roll of film, an old plate box for the cut film,
some scissors and gloves into the only room in the house that is perfectly dark
as-is. Our master bedroom closet.
I was planning to cut some of the film. I did this. I also
learned what a pain it is to cut a 130mm x 10m roll of film. First you put
on your gloves, turn off the lights and take the film out of the box.
You'll find that it's wrapped in black paper. Once you remove the black
paper (both sheets, there were two covering the roll I have) you'll be holding
what feels like a roll of somewhat thick plastic. Find the end, which
surprisingly was not a smooth edge but rather a wave shape, and unroll a small
amount of film. Knowing that I didn't need a lot, I only unrolled a few
Now take your scissors and using the remaining roll as a guide (carefully
so as not to scratch the film or emulsion) slide the scissors down the film to
cut off the amount you selected.
This all sounds very simple, but to get an idea of what it's like take
some sheet plastic (or something relatively thick that you have a lot of), roll
it up into a roll about 4" in diameter, wrap it with paper and take it into
a pitch black room. Now attempt to do what I described above. Being
in complete darkness is disorienting especially when you're handling something
you've never handled before.
Once I had the roll back in the box I turned on my safe light so that it
was pointed at the floor and I had *just* enough light that I could check what
I had what is roughly a 4"x13" sheet of film which I then cut
up into thinner strips and put into the old plate box, to be used for the
various lighting tests I needed to do in the morning.
Next time I'll do all this on a standing-height table and use a metal
ruler and knife to cut the film. Getting a perfectly straight edge with
scissors isn't impossible, but keeping the film from rolling back on itself
while cutting the excess is a pain.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Got up early and set up the developing chemicals on the table in order to
do a safe light test. I only needed the developing solution and wash, so
that's all I got out and set up. For this test I used 30ml of each part of
the developer and a liter of water for the wash step.
I put my computer mouse into a box (I use the same room for my office and
it has two computers in it. One has an Intellimouse hooked up to it that
has a red light on the base. Rather than disconnect the light, I just put
the mouse into a box. I then turned off the main room light and let my
eyes adjust. After chasing down and covering the multitude of computer,
power strip, phone, network card, etc lights that were lighting up my office, I
ended with a nice dark room. Darkness I haven't seen in years. Which
was soon broken when I turned on my safe light. The safe light I chose to
try is an LED cluster from Digi-Key, # 441-1074-ND. This is a cluster of
16 LED's that are spec'd to put out green light at 565nm. Combined with a
2AA battery holder and a small switch, I've got a very bright portable safe
light. At least, that was the plan.
I put on some surgical gloves, opened the box containing my film, took
out one 1.5" x 3" sheet (approximately), placed the film on top of my holo table, covered all but a 1/4" sliver with a black card and started the
countdown. Every minute I moved the card to uncover another 1/4"
sliver. After 10 minutes I took the film and dropped it into the
developer. I gave it two minutes while moving it about in the developer
and it never changed shade. It acted as though I hadn't exposed it at all.
I took the film and moved it to the water wash and sloshed it around for
a few minutes to rinse the developer out.
The film is quite clear with no indication that any of it was ever
exposed to light. Did the developer work properly?
To find out, I took a small piece of film that had been exposed to normal
lighting ( I needed a piece of fully exposed film for another purpose) and
dropped it into the developer. It turned completely black within seconds.
It appears that my safe light has very very little effect on the film.
Which is how it should be since it's supposed to be putting out a green that is
fairly close to the bottom of the sensitivity curve for the PFG-01 film.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
This morning was the morning for my first shot. To prepare, I made
several measurements of the layout the night before and set out the chemicals
(still in bottles) so that I'd be sure they would be at the same temperature as
the rest of the room. I arranged the trays and measuring cups in the order
I'd be using them and generally made sure everything was in its place.
Upon arriving in my office this morning I turned on the laser, checked
the layout again and mucked about with other things while the laser warmed up.
After 20 minutes I turned off the lights, turned on the safe light and
set about putting some film between two plates of glass.
Unfortunately while removing one piece of film from the box, I
accidentally hit the remote control for the room lights (which was in my pocket)
and immediately exposed the entire %#$@ $@@#@ box of film to bright white light!
Fortunately this was only about 10 1.5" square pieces of film.
Ok, turn the lights off again, put the remote down very far away and get
out the roll of film. This time, I left the safe light on very low and cut
the film where I could at least see a shadow of what I was doing. Much
Now I've got some more cut film and it's time to try again. I
put the film between two pieces of glass (failed hologram plates that I took the
emulsion off of with bleach) and fastened the plates together with tape.
Now it's into the plate holder with the glass and I wait for 10 minutes
for the table to settle.
The first exposure was for 10 seconds and once in the developer, the film
turned quite dark within 10 seconds. Not a good sign. After
bleaching and post processing I turned off the lights again to do another shot
while the first was drying.
Another piece of film between glass, into the plate holder, wait 10
minutes, expose for 5 seconds and develop. *sigh* This piece of film
also went completely dark within about 30 seconds. Ok, finish processing and put
it on the drying rack.
Alright, another piece of film between glass, into the plate holder, wait
10 minutes, expose for 2 seconds and develop. This piece of film went
completely dark at one minute. Better, but still not a good sign (except so far
as it indicates that I can hope for shorter exposure times than I'm used to).
Finish processing and put this one on the drying rack too.
What did I end up with once it had all dried? Two pieces of film
that I can't see anything in except an odd flash at a certain angles that looks
like a recording of internal reflections inside the film. On the third
piece I have a very dark red, very dim image of something that looks like a
nose. I only know that because I know what I'm looking for.
At this point I ran out of time and had to get to work. I'll try
again tomorrow with a 1s exposure and possibly expand the beam a bit.
Rebuilding | Week 1 |
Week 2/3 | Week 4
| Week 5 | Week 6
| Week 7 | Week 8
| Week 10 |