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.  

A good friend and associate of ours,  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 were made to fit projectors with flat or cargo container trays, we call them, since they look like cargo containers.

After much research we found out they were for the do-it-yourself mount consumer circa 60-70’s. 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.  Medical glass sandwich’s sometimes straightens them out enough to capture an image.  

There are two solutions and most common is to take the slides apart and reinstall them into new paper mounts or and then try to remount them back into the old mount.  The second solution was to build a manual device.   Thus from an old Bowens Illumitron, rare enough,  the Phoenix was born...  Two problems the heat, boy does it get hot, and bulbs that went bad and no replacements, we went LED , same system as the S@D model machines.  That added continuity.

The product worked and we copied and digitized about 1000 slides and then the work began.  I wrote the owner of those slides a note explaining the length of time it took, not to make  capture but to make a picture. We worked together on those as the shots are 35 to unknown years old and from Europe.. on Agfa, and some fading has occurred.

Lots of photoshop time and a new product for MAC and PC called Restore which we use and is manufactured by VIVID-PIX


These are slides that may have come from Europe with oversized locked plastic cases. They have to be done manually as taking them apart could injure the slide itself.  They were made by GEPE and used in some locations with anti-Newton Ring coverings. 

They are grey and white in a thick plastic.  Fortunately since I invest time and energy in developing these state of the art digitizers, we added the new “PHOENIX” model to our four conventional machines to handle particularly tough digitals like these.  lThe name, like the Phoenix it literally rose from the ashes.

Currently we are doing 1000 of them and the Phoenix has risen to the occasion. Slow and steady, these Euro slides are something else, extreme heavy duty and the film plane has to be perfect for reproduction.  

Manual reproduction and transformation is costly and time consuming, in fact ridiculous.  Once 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.

I took a  Bowens Illumitran which hadn’t been touched in twenty-five or thirty plus years, estimated date built 1979,  and the paperwork stamped indicated it had been built in the late seventies. Thats fifty years ago.  My internal cranial lightbulb lit and I was  off to the shop in my home. I  took the machine gutted it and made it into a Digital device.  Sounds simple...

About a ten hour dedicated conversion, gutting required Einstein thinking,  if you have the knowledge, the parts, and incredibly 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 a really dangerous conversion.

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, frames, stanchions and parts, etc thus we claim consistency and compatibility on the rebuild.  Simple operation, turn on button, copy slide with remote, next. VOILA!

BIGGER WARNING:Tell them you’ll send over your partial ashes.  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.   

This was built originally in England, really old, old technology that would fail OSHA today, big time.  It was well built and we did totally gut the unit, one of the toughest things I ever took apart and built it back from scratch.  It had rivets, blind screws and denied access if you wanted to get to “Cyou had to remove “A and B” first and then rebuild. It was never meant to come apart.

After 38 years it actually still worked when we turned it on, but not what I wanted.  Humming something in there, and hotter than Hades, it really went hot.    I tore it completely 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. It sounded close to my .40 Glock.  It was impressive, and I would not like being a forgetful technician in those days.

It’s first commercial job was 1000 of those strange European GEPE Consumer Slides forty years old and it worked perfect.