A short update on my new LC6 light integrator and darkroom timer

First and foremost, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered an LC6. Your trust helps me to get these fabulous devices into the market sooner. It also guarantees your place in the queue, of course.

Right now I have finished my darkroom testing. I have rock solid hardware and have resolved all firmware bugs that I've found so far. On Saturday I started shipping beta test devices to some of my existing customers.

I am still on track to ship pre-orders in late March.

For those of you interested in the mechanics of testing, here is how I do it. I have several pre-production LC6 devices that I use in my own darkroom. Each device allows me to thoroughly test a mode of operation:

  • One LC6 drives my UV light unit for platinum printing. This has two power controllers attached (one for the vacuum frame and one for the lights), plus a light sensor and a temperature/humidity sensor. I will soon add a third power controller to supervise cooling fans.
  • One LC6 drives my enlarger using just timed exposures (with attached power controller and remote control). I use this for all my silver gelatin printing.
  • I also use a standalone LC6 as a timer for my film and paper processing.

With the previous models I found that testing works best in three phases. The first and second are during development and can be done at my desk: (1) test each function in the code to make sure that it works as I intended; (2) test whole features, e.g. exposure plans, to find problems and identify improvements; and (3) use the devices in my own darkroom to flush out usability issues and any last remaining defects.

For the LC6, I have also added a beta testing phase with some existing customers. I am extremely grateful to the beta testers for helping verify that the new LC6 works 'in the real world' as well as my own darkroom.

If you would like to pre-order an LC6 then you can pre-order one here. I have just four uncommitted devices left from my initial production run. Once the lunar new year is over, I will order the next batch of PCBs and displays. This batch should be ready to ship towards the end of April.

I'm very excited to see this project reach completion. I can't wait to ship your orders to you and to see what you're making with these!

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