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Thread: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

  1. #421

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I have a military infrared searchlight:

    Searchlight, Infrared
    AN/VSS - 1(v)2
    ID # SC-D-613825-4
    Ser # 0171
    MSN 5855-00-137-8289

    I would like to sell, dont know where to find someone interested. Does anyone have a starting point for me?

  2. #422
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Trying to figure out why you posted your question here when "here" is where all the info you could ever want to know is located?
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  3. #423

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I've got an AN/VSS-1(V)2 searchlight for sale. Reading all the posts has made me realize that working on light maybe a little out of my skill set!

  4. #424
    Enlightened CarbonArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Its been awhile since my last contributions to CPF but i was wondering how anyone is making out with their AN/VSS-1 lights, been looking to sell mine for quite some time now seeing as its taking up too much space in the garage, i will get some pics and post them on the WTS forum!!! let me know if anyone has any updates!



    Last edited by CarbonArc; 08-17-2010 at 01:35 PM.
    "I have a disease.... My disease is flashlights."

  5. #425
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Yep, a VSS-1 and all of it's associated hardware does take up some space in
    an average residential garage!
    Thank the industrial revolution for affordable dolly's.

    If I didn't "work" the Death Ray for two weeks of the summer, it too would
    be in trouble.

    Leaving for the Black Rock desert in T-minus: 4 days, 20 hours, 30 mins.


    Your rig looks very clean. If it wasn't for CarbonArc's thread on this fabulous
    apparatus, where would we be today?
    IgNITEor
    AN/VSS-1 xenon Death Ray, 24" & 19"HMI, 600W Cow Light, LiteBox, PAR-46 80W portable, PAR-36 30W Navy Battle Lantern, Luxeon 5W Torch

  6. #426

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I pull my VSS-1 around on a military M103A2 trailer, behind my 5 ton M54A2C. I am trying to finish my little brother to the VSS-1, my VSS-3 on a M116A2 trailer. (I might get another VSS-1 and make the bigger trailer a twin-mount.) It should look pretty neat when done. The actual light is about 1/3 the size of the -1, the trailer is about half the size of the bigger one, and the generator I plan on using is about half-scale as well. (I'm more then likely going to have to buy a duece-and-a-half, so I have a truck about half the size of my 5 ton to drag it around.) If I had any web-fu skills, I would post some pictures.

    If I could only find a 600-1000 watt bulb and matching ballast...............

  7. #427

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    One step forward--two steps back.
    I finished the trailer the other day. Paint, wiring, stencils, top, etc. It looks like new! I tossed a GI 1500 watt,110 VAC generator up on it and I'm ready for some portable sunshine.
    So after reading on a thread here somewhere about a suitable ballast- a Lumatek 110 VAC dimmable 1000 watt unit was decided upon, UNTIL I read the fine print and it says "do not run off of a generator...".
    So, I thought I was a little closer, only to find.....
    not.

  8. #428

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I think I have sen this truck in use in Boston- superbright.

  9. #429

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I would LOVE to find me a complete running VSS-3 one of these days.

  10. #430

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    As I've mentioned before, you just have to know where to look. I go to military vehicle meets/shows, and more often than not there are VSS-1's and VSS-3's for sale. Compared to some of the prices I see, they are somewhat cheaper at those places.

  11. #431

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    A good source for military connectors is William Perry in Louisville, KY. He is not real good with email and does not have much of a web presence, but you can reach him at 502/893-8724

    He has sold me several sets of connectors for VSS-3A lights.

    Dave Ross N7EPI

  12. #432

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Many cellular telephone towers have equipment that runs off 28 VDC. Lots of older power supplies are removed from service and sold at surplus prices when a cell site is upgraded.

    The older power supplies are not as efficient as the newer power supply designs and are removed and sold off even though they still work fine - the more efficient supplies pay for themselves pretty quick given that they are running full-time at close to full capacity.

    The slightly lower efficiency of the older supplies doesn't bother me at all considering the low purchase price and how little I use the supply.

    You might watch your local newspaper or craigslist, look for industrial surplus for sale. I found a 28 Volt 280 Amp. power supply for cheap, because it was too large (!) for most hobbyists.

    happy hunting
    Dave Ross N7EPI

  13. #433

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Are spare bulbs available for the vss-1 or GSS-14 ?? How much? Who has them? Thanks in advance

  14. #434
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    And.....just in case someone may be looking A ready- to-mount GSS version.
    Looks like this model may be the basic mount without the lighted azimuth indicator.

    And the seller says they'll be listing a 30" model soon?
    Could this mean the water-cooled TVS-3?

    Happy Holidays everyone!
    IgNITEor
    AN/VSS-1 xenon Death Ray, 24" & 19"HMI, 600W Cow Light, LiteBox, PAR-46 80W portable, PAR-36 30W Navy Battle Lantern, Luxeon 5W Torch

  15. #435

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I bought my VSS-3 from him. That listing has been up for a while, I am kind of surprised that it has not yet been taken.... It has been relisted about 3 times now. And I also see that he is listing 10 of these 10!!!! I feel a hole burning in my wallet!!!
    Last edited by BravoKilo; 12-28-2011 at 07:38 PM.

  16. #436

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Oops, wrong thread, sorry.....
    Last edited by BravoKilo; 12-28-2011 at 08:41 PM.

  17. #437
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    That's alright, cuz we seem to want each other's BIG lights from time to time! Wish my -1 could focus like yours!
    Now I'm gonna jump to your thread an see what you've gotten yourself into lately
    IgNITEor
    AN/VSS-1 xenon Death Ray, 24" & 19"HMI, 600W Cow Light, LiteBox, PAR-46 80W portable, PAR-36 30W Navy Battle Lantern, Luxeon 5W Torch

  18. #438

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Oh - I am in a me$$ if you know what I mean. And seeing those VSS-1's.... Since given the opportunity of running one for a few hours this summer I have been bitten! It is perhaps the most useless of hobbies (not like owning a 20" reflector telescope), but I get it - these are fun to play with!!! Did somebody say 30"????
    Last edited by BravoKilo; 12-28-2011 at 11:28 PM.

  19. #439
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    IIRC, those 30" water-cooled lights have internal bulb pressures in the 4-figure PSI range. Scarey stuff! I looked at buying one a few years ago but decided against it. To dangerous. Igniteor, do you have -1 focusing issues?
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  20. #440
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Good Morning!
    Actually, I didn't describe that correctly. I'm referring to the adjustable beam-spread the -3 has vs. fixed with the -1
    However, when I removed the reflector for the deep cleaning ritual, I mistakenly replaced it upside down. The beam has a slight
    deviation now and the mounting bolt doesn't torque down all the way!

    This might explain the metallic sticker I found being used as a shim. Pretty sure that's not allowed by Army spec's.
    IgNITEor
    AN/VSS-1 xenon Death Ray, 24" & 19"HMI, 600W Cow Light, LiteBox, PAR-46 80W portable, PAR-36 30W Navy Battle Lantern, Luxeon 5W Torch

  21. #441
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Hey IgNITEor, there's a lot of 7 ea., VSS/GSS ignitor boxes on Ebay starting at $150, BIN for $400.

    ww.ebay.com/itm/AN-VSS-1-GSS-14-igniter-military-2-2Kw-xenon-short-art-tank-searchlight-7pcs-/130837399877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e7684 4945
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  22. #442
    Enlightened nealitc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    Hey IgNITEor, there's a lot of 7 ea., VSS/GSS ignitor boxes on Ebay starting at $150, BIN for $400.

    ww.ebay.com/itm/AN-VSS-1-GSS-14-igniter-military-2-2Kw-xenon-short-art-tank-searchlight-7pcs-/130837399877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e7684 4945
    My listing. LMK if questions (or trade ideas).

  23. #443
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I Should have known it'd be a CPF'r
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  24. #444
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Here's a lamp.

    ww.ebay.com/itm/2-2-KW-Xenon-Lamp-Searchlight-Bulb-/281057959994?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41705c 203a
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  25. #445
    Enlightened nealitc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    For those looking for 28V power connectors/cables to hook up a VSS-3 or VSS-1
    I got the MS3106E32-5S for $50 at Connector Distribution Corp 310-632-2466
    4/2 Type W cable for $2.00/ft (5% discount when you sign up for newsletter) at Wire and Cable To Go 855-880-8010
    MeanWell RSP-1500-27 power supplies (115/20A, can be paralleled) for $335 from PowerGate Express

    My initial hookup was using 6ga THHN wired to the control box terminal block using ground lugs. Not the most secure or safe connection, but functional for testing.

    * no relationship or recommendation to above suppliers, just my experience.

  26. #446
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    The date on that lamp is dated 1967. Crazy how little has changed in 46 years.
    I like big bulbs and I can not lie, you other brothers can't deny!

  27. #447
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Not sure i'm understanding why you're referencing the meanwells over the flowtrol rectifiers when the MW will underdrive the VSS's by a full Volt and you'd probably need 4 of them? That 1 Volt makes a big difference in output. The flowtrols are about $150-$175 & are 220/240 V which may be an issue but 120V 20 Amp recepticles are just as difficult to find plus you'd need 4 of them, all home runs to the panel. What am i missing?
    Last edited by BVH; 02-17-2013 at 01:47 PM.
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  28. #448
    Enlightened nealitc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    Not sure i'm understanding why you're referencing the meanwells over the flowtrol rectifiers when the MW will underdrive the VSS's by a full Volt and you'd probably need 4 of them? That 1 Volt makes a big difference in output. The flowtrols are about $150-$175 & are 220/240 V which may be an issue but 120V 20 Amp recepticles are just as difficult to find plus you'd need 4 of them, all home runs to the panel. What am i missing?
    You're right for the VSS-1, Lorain Flotrol is the way to go. I bought MeanWell first for my VSS-3, drives it at full 28V no problem, and I have 20A circuits everywhere. And it weighs about 5lbs vs. at least 75lbs for the Flotrol.

  29. #449
    BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    OK, so rated at 27 but puts out 28V, that makes sense. How many are you using parallel for the VSS-3 and was it $335 each or for the number that you're using?
    WWII 60" Anti Aircraft Carbon Arc (Sold), Short Arcs: 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600 Watt M-134 Gun Light, 500 Watt X-500-14s, 500 Watt Starburst, 300 Watt Locators, Megaray, 150 Watt Set Beam & Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, LarryK14@52V

  30. #450
    Enlightened nealitc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    OK, so rated at 27 but puts out 28V, that makes sense. How many are you using parallel for the VSS-3 and was it $335 each or for the number that you're using?
    RSP-1500-27 output is adjustable 24-30V, rated 56A. $355 each. I'm running just one for a VSS-3 (not A), 28V measured at the control box, about 54A. Ran it for an hour at a time, no issues, ambient was about 70.
    I got a Lorain Flotrol (from CPF member modamag) but have not hooked it up yet.

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