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Thread: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Hi fellow CPFers,

    Yesterday I finished my new cable set, and tonight I fired up my tank light for the first time in almost a year. It performed perfectly. It was a beautiful night with the clouds being illuminated by a rising moon.....as well as the AN/VSS-3. I took a bunch of photos, but the auto setting on the camera does not do a good job of capturing the way the beam really looks, while showing the clouds at the same time. These were the only ones that came out ok with some level adjustments, and they are still not quite right. I'll try again tomorrow using manual settings. It was really a beautiful sight:







    Ahh what fun.

    Charles
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    The Perseids have landed!!



    Thanks for sharing

  3. #3
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    I enjoyed the beamshots in your last thread on this light and I like these too. I can never get enough beamshot of this light.

    That first pic with it hitting the cloud says a thousand words ( like HOLY ****!, etc., etc.).

    Have you ever done a side by side with a mere mortal light like a HF HID to give an idea of how much more awsome it is? I'd love to see one of those.

    Love those pics
    "WE are the music makers, and WE....are the dreamers of the dreams." -Willy Wonka

    "You loved her even more than I did Shin, 'cause noone can love or hate with more passion than a madman." -Fist of the North Star

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Hi Steve,

    Glad you enjoyed the photos! Funny you mentioned a showdown. I was actually thinking of pitting the VSS-3 against my 35/50w HID modified 15mcp Thor and my X990. The HID Thor on 35w should be comparable to the HF. Perhaps I'll try that tonight. The beam from the VSS-3 is such a pinpoint compared to those two that getting the exposure right may prove interesting. We'll see what happens!


    Charles
    Last edited by lotsalumens; 08-12-2006 at 01:08 PM.
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Charles! I'm considering dragging mine to the Phoenix get-together next weekend.

    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!)

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Go for it!!!

    ...and thanks again for re-machining the connector ring going to the light!

    Thanks to Larry's excellent machining skills my cable now locks onto the light instead of being friction fit.


    Charles
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  7. #7

    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    That's pretty cool, I guess...I mean...it's no Maglite, but whatareyagonna do?


    Seriously though...saw one similar on E-Bay last week. I marked it, but it went more than I would want to spend without all the power related items.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Yes that is the 2.2kW 230lb version. tvodrd, ShortArc and some others here have those. The tilt swivel on that particular unit is quite nice. Needs a big power supply.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Greetings HID enthusiasts,

    Here is a shootout between the AN/VSS-3A tank searchlight, a 50 watt HID modified 15mcp Thor, and a 35 watt X990 HID. For anyone just tuning in, the VSS3 is a 1kW xenon short-arc infrared & visible searchlight that was used in tanks & helicopters. It can light things up miles away. This is not a fair shootout by any means, but in the true CPF tradition I felt the need to try it anyway.

    First the contenders:



    Now the target, in this case an old trailer about 100 yards away:



    Now the first set of beamshots using a Nikon D100 set on manual so they are all the same exposure. Not that much difference you say? Ah just wait.



    The interesting thing above is that in the original full resolution versions the middle of the trailer is totally blown out by the VSS-3A in the first exposure....i.e. the CCD in the camera is maxed out, and this was also apparent viewing the histogram. When I adjusted the camera exposure so that the VSS-3 shot was not overexposed, see what happens:


    Guess that is a good illustration of what dynamic range is all about. Anyway to finish things off here are all three lights pointed skyward:



    I will try some more shots in a week or two.


    cfb
    Last edited by lotsalumens; 08-13-2006 at 07:17 AM.
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  10. #10

    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Showdown? To paraphrase a line from a certain movie. "You call that a light? This is a light."

  11. #11

    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    good lord! that last picture is great, its like the other lights hardly show up.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Are you SURE there are 3 lights pointing up?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Very kewl again!!!! (I gotta help you with a mount for that thing. )

    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!)

  14. #14
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Good job lotsalumens!!!

    What was the bug to lumens ratio for each light?

    Willem.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic Phased_Array's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Charles,
    Excellent job of photo-documentation! Perfect exposure on that cloud shot, loved that. Just need to upgrade the expedient 'milkcrate/4 wheel dolly' apparatus.

    I think the MaxaBeam vs. AN/VSS3 shootout would be a good one.

    Phased Array

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Yes, comparing it to a MaxaBeam would give us an idea of how Ra's MaxaBlaster compares to a tank light.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    That poor X990 has no shot in that contest but it's the only one showing you the trees.

    Jeff
    Time to upgrade the dinosaurs, one at a time.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* woodrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Wow! Thanks.
    "I only smile in the dark...my only comfort is the night gone black..."lyrics from Garbage

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    When I first fired mine off, I got this shot of it with a Maxabeam sitting on top, and aimed just off a little. The shot is at my rear garage door at ~40' and from the window, you can see it was "broad daylight" outside. The garage had the front door open and lights on but the intensity of the returned light caused the camera to "squint." The imager was so overwhelmed that brightness/contrast in Photoshop elements can't discern any difference in brightness.



    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!)

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! It's great being in touch with a group of people who are interested in these kinds of lights. Can't wait for the VSS-3/VSS-1 shootout.

    Yes my Rapid Deployment Tactical Milk Crate Platform (RDTMCP) leaves a lot to be desired. I've got to figure out something better.


    Charles
    Last edited by lotsalumens; 08-13-2006 at 09:26 PM.
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Charles,

    I'm close to having the VSS-1 wired for a test prior to building its mount. If and only if it lights, I will continue on the mount. I should have enough DCA to make it happen! (Short Arc please beat me to it! )

    See post #13 in this thread.

    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!)

  22. #22
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots



    Thanks for those beamshots Charles! The intensity of that beam looks like something to behold. The other lights don't hold a candle to the VSS-3. Really like last shot with them pointing in the air. The divergence on that beam is unreal.
    Do you know how many (bulb) lumens the VSS-3 puts out?

    I second the Maxabeam comparo. That would be sweet too.

    again.
    "WE are the music makers, and WE....are the dreamers of the dreams." -Willy Wonka

    "You loved her even more than I did Shin, 'cause noone can love or hate with more passion than a madman." -Fist of the North Star

  23. #23

    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    so....is that thing like a billion candlepower or something??
    i definitely wouldn't be afraid of darkness with a light like that

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    The divergence or collimation is pretty amazing for such a tiny box. This is one of the benefits of xenon short arc. It is not as efficient as metal halide in terms of cranking out lumens, but the arc itself is smaller and more intense so you can get tremendous throw using a fairly small reflector. The Maxabeam is another good example.


    Charles
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* WAVE_PARTICLE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some AN/VSS-3A Beam Shots

    Man....it's like a laser beam!


    WP

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