NEW - PROJECT EARTHQUAKE


PURPOSE:  We receive some really odd slides at times that require special handling since they are so thick they cannot go through the S2D automatic digitizer.  Most are permanently mounted and removal might ruin the slide itself.  

THE STORY:  A good friend and associate of ours, at Vivid-Pix.com (restoration color software that works) sent us some slides (guessing from a commercial processor in Europe)  as they were in very heavy plastic mounts, I had never seen them before and they presented a minor problem.  They would not fit nor drop into the Carousel trays.  This doesn’t happen too often, the most common problem we see on old slides is de-lamination and warping.


There are two solutions and most common is to take the slides apart and reinstall them into new paper mounts or worse remount them back into the old mount. 

This is costly and time consuming, in fact ridiculous if you have secured good digitals, the slides usually get pitched anyway.  I created the second solution being in the right place at the right time.

Digging through a mass of old camera store stuff in our store room under a pile of old non-sellable gear was this Bowens Illumitran which hadn’t been touched in twenty-five or thirty plus years and the paperwork stamped indicated it had been built in the late seventies. My internal cranial lightbulb went off

THE PLAN:  We took the 1979 Bowens Illumitran 3 and made it Digital.  About a ten hour conversion if you have the parts, the knowledge and small hands.

I installed new rails, took out the AC 240V power supply with typical exposed wiring of the 70’s, and carefully removed the 450 Volt DC Capacitor flash tube system.  It still worked so we knew it had a charge in it.   See below this is dangerous.

I installed LED lighting identical to match what we use in the S2D model so as to keep consistency in the color range.   Thus we could do a mixed bag and retain color consistency without having to remount the slides.  

It is a pure manual operation but easily “learnable” and after a while I was able to copy slides at a pretty fast rate of five to seven sec. per slide. 

It uses common parts we secured from used Carousels in the S2D model, same bulbs etc thus we claim consistency and compatibility on the rebuild.  Simple operation, turn on button, copy slide with remote, next. VOILA!


BIG WARNING: If you are a tinkerer and you think a 450 volt DC capacitor and power supply  is a toy, please remit the name of the funeral parlor closest to where you live and don’t worry if they do cremations. Tell them you’ll send over your partial ashes.   

This was built originally in England, old technology, would fail OSHA today, big time.  It was well built and we did totally gut the unit and built it back from scratch.  

After 38 years it actually still worked when we turned it on, but not what I wanted.  I tore it apart, bare bones, downloaded and safetied the capacitor with a loud bang, using a four foot stick with a nail and a ground wire and the four pound transformer it used for power.  I wanted to have nothing to do with it.  It, like the Carousels it was pre-digital and AC which developed heat and unstable.  

WHY CALL IT EARTHQUAKE?  While building it, I was watching or listening to  the horrific news at the time about the earthquake in Italy.  It had no other significance, then I realized something.  Hopefully the Italian countryside and the people so heavily damaged by the event, rebuild stronger, return and become prolific again just as we did with the Bowens.  I’ll keep the name Earthquake in their honor.