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Thread: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

  1. #151
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I need a Relay Panel.

  2. #152
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I got mine for $500 from Saturn Surplus.

  3. #153

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I just bought one from peakbeam in the box only opened to test it, with cables,control box,manual for 600$ Plus shipping which was 236$. I guess I had better start reading on the best way to power it. I have a portable generator, I guess I'll be looking for an inverter.

  4. #154
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I think you might be better off just buying a dedicated 28vdc 3kw genset. They're readily available and designed to power this light. Alternately you need something more like a welder than an inverter for a conventional generator to power one of these. You'll need a big coil and a set of really large diodes on a substantial heat sink.

  5. #155

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Stupid questions coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    okay I have a generator with a 15 hp motor that puts out 7,500 watts with a 220/50amp outlet. your saying it would be cheaper/better just to buy a whole new generator that puts out 28vdc. where do You suggest I get it, Got any good sources. Once I get my light from peak beams what else will i need? will the light plug directly into the generator? Quite frankly I have seen a few of the gov gensets and they don't look half as nice as my electric start generator. I think I like the modular rectifier route. Any one know whwere i can find one? I'm planning on building a trainler with my generator and the rectifier and light. This way I can just take my generator off for use on other things.
    Last edited by billhess; 10-10-2006 at 08:50 PM.

  6. #156
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    The 3.3k I purchased was electric start as well.

    Root around a little. I just checked ebay and there's a generator head 28vdc/220amp for $500. A couple of weeks ago I was pricing them out and found a LOT of them for sale, dozens, for a couple of hundred bucks.

    The generator does not have a connector for the wiring harness, just a couple of huge copper lugs, so some minor adaptations would be needed to get it all hooked up.

    With a big 7k genset you'll most likely need a welder or similar to convert it to 28V DC. I mean, you're talking about stepping the voltage down considerably, very high current draw and DC. So you'll need yo have a BIG coil to handle the power, a BIG set of diodes and probably some capacitors to stabilize the output into some semi-respectable DC waveform.

    Saturn's got 'em for too much money but if you're already looking at 400 bucks to refit your genset then maybe not.

    http://www.saturnsurplus.com/used/used.htm

    If you're going through all the gyration and expense then you're, IMO best served by a unit that comes complete.

  7. #157

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    would something like this work


    http://www.groban.com/generator-1a.html

    From what I am told the above generator requires 12hp at full load. Any guess on wether that would power the light directly or would have to have a bank of batteries.

    Also wouldn't 4 6v batteries be better than 2 12volt?

    or why not a 28v alternator that has 100 amp output, driven by an 220v electric motor plugged into my generator. with a bank of 6v batteries

    I sure do appreciate all the help here, I'm just trying to get a road map set before I start building. I am really trying to avoid another generator especially an old government one. I have 3 generators allready and would love to use one of them when I need it. Of course mine are all AC current.
    Last edited by billhess; 10-13-2006 at 08:14 AM.

  8. #158
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    All those options look like they would work.

    I would definitely be concerned with conversion loses and motor output. 1hp = 746 watts. You need about 3 kw ~output~ which means you need probably 3.5 kw input just to get 100 amps.

    So that means you'll need a 5hp electric motor to drive that thing - pretty large electric motor.

    It sounds like your genset would drive it though. Maybe you could find a way to attach both generator heads to your genset and save all the conversion stuff.

    BTW,

    My Generator was from Groban and arrived non-op with water in the crankcase. They were pretty good about it but it was a pretty frustrating situation. Definitely check with them as to the state of the equipment, unless you can just show up and look it over yourself, and definitely clarify with them the terms of sale should the device arrive DOA.

  9. #159
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    One last try...

    Does anyone have or know where I can get a Relay Board for the light?

  10. #160

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Okay here's a power question. I'm think I'm going to use 4 6v deep cycle batteries with an alternator driven by an electic motor plugged into my generator. would a 60 amp alternator work okay? or do I need a 100 amp? How big of a HP motor to drive each? Thanks for your help

  11. #161
    Enlightened CarbonArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    sodium i have a relay board.
    "I have a disease.... My disease is flashlights."

  12. #162
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by CarbonArc
    sodium i have a relay board.
    Great news. Email me directly and we'll figure out terms. Thanks!

    sodium@captainsodium.com

  13. #163
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by billhess
    would a 60 amp alternator work okay?
    Nope. You'll need a minimum of 100 and really you should just assume that your alternator is putting out less than that so plan on a 10% margin for your power needs.

    Backing it with a big battery bank like that would allow you to run it entirely from batteries though.

  14. #164
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Remember overdrive with draw 140amps.

  15. #165

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Sodium
    Nope. You'll need a minimum of 100 and really you should just assume that your alternator is putting out less than that so plan on a 10% margin for your power needs.

    Backing it with a big battery bank like that would allow you to run it entirely from batteries though.
    I think I have a direction. I was given a 100 amp catapiller alternator. It's a 1,200 dollar piece. it puts out 90amps min and 107 max. I really nice piece. With 4 6v batts and this thing running I should be able to run for ever. overdrive won't be used much, so it should be fine. I am thinking I could run for an hour or so without even starting the alternator. next thing I am worried about is when the connectors get here figuring out which pin goes where. Oh well on thing at a time.

  16. #166

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by ShortArc
    Connectors: I thought I mentioned it before but www.newark.com or www.powell.com are two sources.
    IR: I heard the lights being called Pink Eye and the troops were not all that happy about it either!

    Larry, love those picsjust dont turn them against each otherthat could be trouble or melt down!

    Both places say a lead time of several months for the main cable connector MS3100E32-15S. Anyone got any ides on how to get one faster?

  17. #167
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by billhess
    Both places say a lead time of several months for the main cable connector MS3100E32-15S. Anyone got any ides on how to get one faster?
    Try ECCO (Electronic Connectors Corp.) in Chicagoland. Their mark-up is way above Allied, but they stock a lot of them. Good Luck!

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  18. #168

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Stupid question coming:

    I'm going to have 4 6volt batteries hooked up in series. I would like to be able to monitor what their level of charge is. will this do it? Any better ideas?



    http://cgi.ebay.com/24VOLT-PANEL-MET...QQcmdZViewItem

  19. #169

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Hello dear Luminado's & Illuminati!....)

    One of these lovely AN/VSS-1's would have been in my posession already, had there not been this pesky shipping 'problem' (like me living in Europe....)[*].
    However, I recently did solve the intra-continental transport problem for a similar, European, Xenon searchlight, the XSW/AEG/Leopard-1, 700W, 80kg, refurbished/sealed/plombed....but even though that one isn't running yet, trying to gather almost the same stuff as you do in the USA (cable & power supply), it did inspire my renewed interest in the AN/VSS.
    (in the offroad community (some of you here might have seen my name on one or more related USA mailinglists), we call it MIBS, More Is Better Syndrome....)

    First question, posed in this thread before (but not answered), about the tri-point bracket/pedestal that is shown in the manual (first of two URL's early in this thread, first or second page)):

    https://www.logsa.army.mil/etms/data...4E8FAFE5C19661

    Is my assumption correct that this complete assembly (light+pedestal) is described with the codes AN/GSS-14(V)1 & AN/GSS-14(V)2 ?
    (in my PDF-reader, I could not see all pictures, probably only the graphic drawings, not the grey-scale photo's, like those with capture/title 'mounted on jeep')

    Or, more practical: why do these pedestals not show up on the surplus market, even if dismantled separately (mounted to vehicle, light removed)....or does that application ('jeep' & 'tower') not generate any surplus equipment currently, being still in use, unlike the tank/turret fix-mounted units?

    [*] despite the offer from a friend in the USA to use his FedEx-account for 75% discount....Saturn just wasn't helpful in setting up a single/straight shipping transaction.
    (however, noticing that PeakBeam also seems to stock these units, I am curious to hear what their price is....anyone bought one recently?)


    PS: if anyone spots another Ebay add with a switched power supply of 28V & 150A or larger, please let me know!
    (the 25lbs of the HC-Power unit would still work for postal shipping, and at US$299-399 it was a very good deal, haven't found anything like that in Europe)

    PPS: the XSW/AEG/Leopard unit has one nice aspect for automotive use: it has two metal doors in front of the lens, remote operated, for ultimate protection (there is another, much lighter unit that also has these protective doors, but it is older, with 150 Halogen, the BSW (perhaps interesting to modify with 50 or 75W Xenon....).
    (I guess these doors were also or even mainly intended for instant shut-off/black-out, just like the shutter in the AN/VSS, since the XSW doesn't have an internal shutter for that purpose, only IR-filter and spot/wide (but I still haven't found out the data for the wide-beam (spot is supposedly 1.2 degrees, and somewhere on the Net they mention a factor 1.8 for wide, but also 'line' vs 'spot', suggesting a much wider beam))


    Willem-Jan Markerink, The Netherlands, Europe....)
    Last edited by WJM; 11-18-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  20. #170

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    i bought one from peak beam systems 3 weeks ago fopr 600$ I spoke with them yesterday they still have over 50 of them.

  21. #171

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Btw, at the risk of posing a FAQ: I know the weight of the crated unit, but what are the exact dimensions of the crate?
    (needed for my shipping-cost estimate)
    Thanx!

    Willem (wondering whether the crate might apply for check-in luggage too) Jan

  22. #172

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    37 x 37 x 30 inches. You are making this to hard. call peakbeam systems and they will ship it and charge you only the exact shipping cost.

  23. #173
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    This is what I could find in the Manual:

    The AN/VSS-1(V) original packaging dimensions are: 35.5Wx35.5Dx25.75H weight was not given but I am guessing 370lbs

    The AN/GSS-14(V) with MT-3900A/GSS-14(V) (universal mount), 32Wx28Dx39H, weight 490lbs.

  24. #174

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by billhess
    37 x 37 x 30 inches. You are making this to hard. call peakbeam systems and they will ship it and charge you only the exact shipping cost.
    I know they can ship, but I want to have it shipped on the FedEx-account of a friend in the USA, using his 75% employee-discount....)

    Willem (please keep in mind that I am Dutch!....) Jan

  25. #175

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by ShortArc
    This is what I could find in the Manual:

    The AN/VSS-1(V) original packaging dimensions are: 35.5Wx35.5Dx25.75H weight was not given but I am guessing 370lbs

    The AN/GSS-14(V) with MT-3900A/GSS-14(V) (universal mount), 32Wx28Dx39H, weight 490lbs.
    Btw, that was one of the questions in my original posting: has this AN/GSS-14(V)1/2 (light+pedestal) ever shown up on the surplus market?
    (I vaguely recall that the light-housing is different, so finding the pedestal-only would still not result in a bolt-in constellation, correct?)
    Last edited by WJM; 11-19-2006 at 01:08 PM.

  26. #176
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    WJM,
    The AN/GSS-14(V)1/2 (light+pedestal) shows up from time to time. You are correct the light housing is different and has different mounting points.
    The AN/VSS-1 is much more common. Peakbeam did a buyback from the Israeli army. Willem.

  27. #177

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    I personally am not sure how much the mount would be worth. It would probably cost more to ship than it's value.I had a local welding shop build me one for 35$. I actually had them build 2 different mounts and one is quite elaborate and it was 70$.

  28. #178

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by billhess
    I personally am not sure how much the mount would be worth. It would probably cost more to ship than it's value.I had a local welding shop build me one for 35$. I actually had them build 2 different mounts and one is quite elaborate and it was 70$.
    But didn't the mount also have (2) geared positioning controls/wheels?
    Or were these just tightening knobs?
    Geared control would make it quite valuable in my opinion.
    (enough to even start modifying the housing of an AN/VSS-1)

  29. #179
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    WJM,
    Oh yea, that mount is nice!!!
    You have complete control over azimuth and elevation by hand wheels on the yoke. The azimuth and elevation scales can be illuminated by the scale illumination switch on the pedestal. The cable harness is routed to the control box through the mount allowing the input power cable to be connected to the pedestal.
    All in all I would estimate a +$2K to build something like that from scratch. If you can find this light/mount combination it would be well worth the shipping cost!
    Groeten, Willem.

  30. #180

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by ShortArc
    WJM,
    Oh yea, that mount is nice!!!
    You have complete control over azimuth and elevation by hand wheels on the yoke. The azimuth and elevation scales can be illuminated by the scale illumination switch on the pedestal.



    Way cool, must have!....)

    The cable harness is routed to the control box through the mount allowing the input power cable to be connected to the pedestal.
    All in all I would estimate a +$2K to build something like that from scratch. If you can find this light/mount combination it would be well worth the shipping cost!



    Groeten, Willem.





    Btw, while browsing some marine-equipment catalogs (recently visited Hanseboot/Hamburg by coincident, and METS/Amsterdam on purpose), I also saw an interesting 'actuator' for remote operation of elevation/tilt of the AN/VSS-1: a spindle-motor-contraption, mounted on/in/around a rod (spindle), used to open/close large hatches....up to 500lbs/230kg push, 35% pull, available in various lengths, with 25-75% expansion (depending on closed length).
    (if not for positioning the light itself, it could still be used to open/close some protective doors in front of the light, when mounted on top of a fast vehicle....)

    Btw2: I guess one must use batteries between any auxiliary power source (whether generator or grid), because the start-up/ignition current is probably huge, correct?
    (I noticed this problem with a 12v/35W Xenon searchlight, powered by a 230v -> 12v/10A transformator....seems the ignition phase requires up to 7-10x more current than the nominal 3A....and that is probably also the parameter needed to calculate the needed cable diameter/gauge, right?)
    (the only good thing is that at 150A overboost, the light is already ignited from the normal 100A stage....)
    (but 10x 100A is still a bit cruel for wiring and switches (I did investigate those too on the marine exhibitions....)
    (even found bi-stable uni/bi-polar remote switches with manual override, 350/2500A, for 250 euro)

    (related note in the Hella marine catalog, that one should avoid to ignite multiple Xenon work-light units simultaneously....)
    (the largest marine searchlight I saw was on the METS, from DHR (DeHaanRotterdam), with 1600W Xenon, variable focus (3-8 degree)....didn't even dare to ask for a price....)


    PS: what must I change in my configuration to receive email-alerts?
    I did subscribe to this thread, and did select 'immediate notification', but haven't seen any email-alert, should have had almost half a dozen by now.
    (or does it make a difference whether I click on the first/top-most button 'Submit Reply', instead of the bottom-most button (below the thread subscription options fold-down menu)
    Last edited by WJM; 11-20-2006 at 10:48 AM.

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