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Bad Tube in Your Platemaker?

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  • Scott Rubel
    Maybe not. I think I should relate an experience in case anyone else runs into this. I have an old Jet platemaker (company no longer existing) and and the
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 2, 2009
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      Maybe not.

      I think I should relate an experience in case anyone else runs into
      this.

      I have an old Jet platemaker (company no longer existing) and and the
      plates suddenly got coming out all blobby. Like most of us, we begin
      to take for granted a machine that has served us well and it did take
      me a few tries wasting plates before I thought of looking at the
      exposure tubes.

      There they were: two of them out. Local prices for these tubes seemed
      a bit steep, so I found the best price for replacement tubes online.
      It was so inexpensive at Atlanta Light Bulbs that I went ahead and
      ordered all eight replacement tubes to be safe and waited a couple of
      days for them to arrive in the mail.
      http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com/popular.html

      As soon as the package arrived I removed all my old tubes from the
      machine and put in all eight new tubes. I switched it on and, behold,
      the same two tubes were out. Oh, jeez, I said, looking at all the
      screws I was going to have to remove in back and in front of the
      machine in order to get to the innards. I'm getting to the age where
      I wonder if screwing is worth the time anymore. I probably spent
      three minutes thinking about whether to spend ten minutes it would
      take to unhook the water and the back plate and then all the screws
      holding the wiring harness tray in place. Then I remembered how much
      it used to cost me when I was having someone else make my plates, and
      I spent the next two minutes finding the right sized slot head and
      phillips screw drivers (of course they couldn't just make the machine
      take all the same size screw heads) and then started taking out all
      1,380 screws from the front and back. Once that was done, I was able
      to pull the front knob'n'button panel out. It came out just like a
      drawer. Very nice, but it only came out far enough that I could
      squeeze my hand in to pull out starters. The wiring would have been
      strained if I were to try to pull it out any further.

      I stuck my big, crampy hand in there and I switched starters around
      and was able to make light #7 go on, but #4 and another one stayed
      off. I could see further back into the tray and could see the
      ballasts back there. Oh, please don't make it be the ballasts. In
      order to service the ballasts, I was going to have to remove and cut
      wires and remember how to put them back. Please make it be starters.
      Please make it be� So I went and bought three new starters and put
      them into the suspicious slots. I seemed to have cured #7, but #4
      remained blunked out no matter what.

      Ballast was next, so I took a good picture of the nest of wiring so I
      would be able to put it back together and began de-wiring. Knowing
      this probably would only help a little, I also got a sharpie and
      marked codes on all the wires I was taking apart, careful to put
      similar codes on the spade connectors. Got out the snips and snipped
      some wires in the back that prevented me from sliding the tray out
      further. Once I could get to the ballast wires I swapped #4 for #5
      and was able to verify thus, because #5 tube was now out, that the #4
      ballast was indeed bad. I almost bought the ballast from Atlanta
      because I so wanted to be cheap. Their price was tempting, but I had
      grown to crave an immediate outcome, so I drove to a local shop where
      they were able to come up with some dinged up brick of steel that had
      similar numbers stamped on it and I took it back to the shop and
      screwed it in and tested and there they were, all eight lit up. So, I
      wired it up and slid it back into place and put the screws in and
      switched it on and�it didn't go on at all.

      Oh please don't make it be some short I'll never be able to find. Oh
      please�

      I'm making a tedious story long, so I'll just say that after a few
      minutes I was able to find a broken wire on the door switch. After
      wedging my hand into the tight spaces and pulling the tray in and out
      a number of times, I had managed to fatigue a connection to the
      switch. How simple. Go to friend and borrow soldering iron and an
      inch of shrink tubing, go back to shop and fix it up.

      Now it works fine, and I have eight spare tubes in case (oh please)
      the next time, the problem is only a tube.

      Scott Rubel
      Invitesite.com

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gerald Lange
      Hi Scott I ve been through this so I have to admit, I thought it a fun read. Yeah, Atlanta Light is the best place to find bulbs, likely the best prices around
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2, 2009
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        Hi Scott

        I've been through this so I have to admit, I thought it a fun read.

        Yeah, Atlanta Light is the best place to find bulbs, likely the best
        prices around as well.

        I had to remove all the ballasts from my machine as they were starting
        to go, one by one. They weren't being made any more and I ended up
        buying used ballasts pulled from retired machines at 2X. It was working
        out okay but eventually I got a little tired of it so a friend and I
        rewired the entire ballast board to accomodate a different type of
        ballast. Quite the daunting task.

        Amazingly, when we finished and hit the switch, all the bulbs lit up.

        Check those lights on a weekly basis folks.

        Gerald
        http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

        Scott Rubel wrote:
        > Maybe not.
        >
        > I think I should relate an experience in case anyone else runs into
        > this.
        >
        > I have an old Jet platemaker (company no longer existing) and and the
        > plates suddenly got coming out all blobby. Like most of us, we begin
        > to take for granted a machine that has served us well and it did take
        > me a few tries wasting plates before I thought of looking at the
        > exposure tubes.
        >
        > There they were: two of them out. Local prices for these tubes seemed
        > a bit steep, so I found the best price for replacement tubes online.
        > It was so inexpensive at Atlanta Light Bulbs that I went ahead and
        > ordered all eight replacement tubes to be safe and waited a couple of
        > days for them to arrive in the mail.
        > http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com/popular.html
        >
        > As soon as the package arrived I removed all my old tubes from the
        > machine and put in all eight new tubes. I switched it on and, behold,
        > the same two tubes were out. Oh, jeez, I said, looking at all the
        > screws I was going to have to remove in back and in front of the
        > machine in order to get to the innards. I'm getting to the age where
        > I wonder if screwing is worth the time anymore. I probably spent
        > three minutes thinking about whether to spend ten minutes it would
        > take to unhook the water and the back plate and then all the screws
        > holding the wiring harness tray in place. Then I remembered how much
        > it used to cost me when I was having someone else make my plates, and
        > I spent the next two minutes finding the right sized slot head and
        > phillips screw drivers (of course they couldn't just make the machine
        > take all the same size screw heads) and then started taking out all
        > 1,380 screws from the front and back. Once that was done, I was able
        > to pull the front knob'n'button panel out. It came out just like a
        > drawer. Very nice, but it only came out far enough that I could
        > squeeze my hand in to pull out starters. The wiring would have been
        > strained if I were to try to pull it out any further.
        >
        > I stuck my big, crampy hand in there and I switched starters around
        > and was able to make light #7 go on, but #4 and another one stayed
        > off. I could see further back into the tray and could see the
        > ballasts back there. Oh, please don't make it be the ballasts. In
        > order to service the ballasts, I was going to have to remove and cut
        > wires and remember how to put them back. Please make it be starters.
        > Please make it be… So I went and bought three new starters and put
        > them into the suspicious slots. I seemed to have cured #7, but #4
        > remained blunked out no matter what.
        >
        > Ballast was next, so I took a good picture of the nest of wiring so I
        > would be able to put it back together and began de-wiring. Knowing
        > this probably would only help a little, I also got a sharpie and
        > marked codes on all the wires I was taking apart, careful to put
        > similar codes on the spade connectors. Got out the snips and snipped
        > some wires in the back that prevented me from sliding the tray out
        > further. Once I could get to the ballast wires I swapped #4 for #5
        > and was able to verify thus, because #5 tube was now out, that the #4
        > ballast was indeed bad. I almost bought the ballast from Atlanta
        > because I so wanted to be cheap. Their price was tempting, but I had
        > grown to crave an immediate outcome, so I drove to a local shop where
        > they were able to come up with some dinged up brick of steel that had
        > similar numbers stamped on it and I took it back to the shop and
        > screwed it in and tested and there they were, all eight lit up. So, I
        > wired it up and slid it back into place and put the screws in and
        > switched it on and…it didn't go on at all.
        >
        > Oh please don't make it be some short I'll never be able to find. Oh
        > please…
        >
        > I'm making a tedious story long, so I'll just say that after a few
        > minutes I was able to find a broken wire on the door switch. After
        > wedging my hand into the tight spaces and pulling the tray in and out
        > a number of times, I had managed to fatigue a connection to the
        > switch. How simple. Go to friend and borrow soldering iron and an
        > inch of shrink tubing, go back to shop and fix it up.
        >
        > Now it works fine, and I have eight spare tubes in case (oh please)
        > the next time, the problem is only a tube.
        >
        > Scott Rubel
        > Invitesite.com
        >
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