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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 on.

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 inches worth. 

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'd done.

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 easier.

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 | Misc Thoughts


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