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Thread: Police Helicopter Searchlight

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Flashanator's Avatar
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    Buttrock Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Last Night I saw a Police Helicopter hovering around my area for about 5mins. It's spotlight was KILLER. Amazing, so bright & visable even 100's of meters away on flood.

    At first It was only using 1 big flood beam, then on its second pass it had 3 seperate beams. One center flood, with 2 very bright narrow beams searching the ground. I saw its flood beam light up some distance trees (about 150M away) like daytime.

    I wanted (BUT I WOULD NOT REALLY) to get me 20mill & shine it straight up in the sky NOT NEAR the helicopter in a hope to get the helicopter's attention, so it would shine it's light at me. Just to see my backyard turn to day. But Im shore id get in trouble for that.

    Anyone know what kind of monster light these helicopters are using? Maybe they made 2 maxablasters for it?

    Later.
    Last edited by Flashanator; 03-01-2008 at 08:01 AM.



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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    The system is called Nightsun.
    Resistance is futile...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    thx 4 that.

    Very impressive, I really like the big flood which looks amazing for a Short Arc Xenon, must have been 10's of 1000's+lumens. But is it normal for these helicopters to have more then 1 light? Like I said the helicopter had 3, was quite a sight.



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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    They usually carry a variety of toys. The most useful light is often the IR one, which is used in conjunction with an IR-sensitive viewer/camera to show differences in temperature as little as 0.1°C.

    In this way it is easily able to distinguish bodies from the surrounding area, and (for example) spot suspects who have concealed themselves in undergrowth. Sometimes while this is going on, the main nightsun light is deliberately shone in a different direction, to fool the ungodly into thinking that the helicopter is looking in the wrong area.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Interesting video here.
    Once a Marine, Always a Marine. Semper Fi

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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight



    judging from the specs do you think this would be comparable in price to mount it on a car than the 1KW tank light lotsalumen has?
    28V @ 65A =
    Last edited by Illum; 03-02-2008 at 11:10 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    This Nightsun is nothing short of amazing, I cant beileve for a short arc Xenon how much light it puts out. Love to know how many lumens. Do they have large flood strobe mode to control large mass's of druck crazy ppl? LOL.

    Forget long range throw, id much prefer the huge flood illumination in closer areas. Getting a handheld equivalent of the Nightsun is now my flashaholic fantasy.





  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Nevermind a hand-held equivalent,


    I'd just wanna' mount it on the roof of my SUV.



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    Flashaholic Taboot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Here you go Flashanator! $600! Just hook it up to 12V to 240VAC inverter in your car.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NightSun-Pro-Lig...742.m153.l1262

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Dr Jekell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Buy two & use them to replace your headlights


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight


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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    In this way it is easily able to distinguish bodies from the surrounding area, and (for example) spot suspects who have concealed themselves in undergrowth. Sometimes while this is going on, the main nightsun light is deliberately shone in a different direction, to fool the ungodly into thinking that the helicopter is looking in the wrong area.
    The reason they use those thermal cameras around here.... is for people who have jumped into the gorges killing themselves.

    Sad, but true. Rarely a year passes here when I don't see a state helo flying passes over the gorge network looking for the latest 'missing victim.'

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    30 million candlepower sounds like a lot but not when you compare it to a 15 million candlepower spotlight you can get for under fifty bucks.

    Of course, I don't think they need to be very powerful with dark-adjusted eyes of the viewers and a birdseye view. It's probably most helpful in guiding groundbased LEOs to a scene.

    As has been mentioned, IR vision is probably a more useful tool in search and rescue missions.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic Taboot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by spyderknut View Post
    30 million candlepower sounds like a lot but not when you compare it to a 15 million candlepower spotlight you can get for under fifty bucks.
    I might be wrong, but I think some of the candlepower claims of the under-$50 spotlights may be exaggerated. I have seen the lights on LifeStar choppers here in CT, and they appear more than 4x brighter than my $20 10M CP Cyclops.

    Regards,

    T

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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    @ Spyder,

    trust me, those 15Million Candle Power lights are cheap lies. around half a million CP at the most. The nightsun looked to dwarf the maxabeam (7million CP), with its two super spot beams. I love the fact that you cant hide from the chopper with nightvision & IR.



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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Look, I am not so naive to think 15000000cp advertised on a box is gospel. Just saying that chopper searchlights are within an order of magnitude of readily available lights. The tank light seen here I think is much more powerful. I have spoken with police chopper crews. My main point is that there is much more at work than sheer lumens of a search light under a chopper that makes it a very effective tool for LEOs.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    order of magnitude In terms of CP, not lumens. No handheld short arc xenon light can even compare in lumens. I saw the flood on this thing, nothing short of amazing. I love it.



  18. #18
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    So Fenix, are you listening ? ? ?






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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Ra's Maxablaster is 52 million CP.
    Resistance is futile...

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    The 15 million candlepower spotlights are not within an order of magnitude of the Nightsun. The claimed CP figures on those spotlights are not exaggerated, but outright lies. Complete and utter BS. The 15 mcp Thor is actually around 300 000, or 0.3 million candlepower. That is one hundred times dimmer than the Nightsun, so it is out by two orders of magnitude.

    In lumens they are closer, but still not close. The 1.6kW Nightsun produces 60 000 bulb lumens. The 15 mcp Thor uses a 130W H4 automotive bulb if I am not mistaken, which produces around 3200 - 3300 lumens, but that is at 13.2V. In the Thor spotlight the lamp is undervolted, so it will produce significantly less lumens. Probably around 2000 – 2500, or around one thirtieth of the lumens of the Nightsun. This still isn't anywhere near an order of magnitude.

    Ra's engineering masterpiece really is more powerful than a helicopter searchlight, but only in throw. It produces only a small fraction of the lumens. This results in the Maxablaster having a much tighter beam than the Nightsun.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    @ that Guy, thanks for your reply. I tried tellin him that a cheapo 15MCP is a joke compared to nightsun. Even Maxabeam wasnt bright compared to the 2 beams I saw.

    So 1.6kw with 60,000 lumens? Thats very imressive. That explains its blinding flood capability i saw.




  22. #22
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    The system is called Nightsun.
    I actually did some preliminary product renderings of the Nightsun as a consultant for Hughes/Spectrolab. You can see one of the images on my web site: http://www.tecengineering.com/render_images_1.html

    I have some others that were kind of cool...different colors, even one with cammo for military use. I'll try to dig them up and post.

    Too bad I couldn't snag a prototype unit or two

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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    I find it very interesting that I interviewed for a position with Spectrolab in their Sun Valley site back in the early 70's, just out of high school. Took a mechanic's job instead. Good thing!
    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. #24

    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Quote Originally Posted by Flashanator 500mW View Post
    I love the fact that you cant hide from the chopper with nightvision & IR.
    I would say you could hide, but your average low life wouldn't know how to do it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Check out the CHIS land/vehicle based spotlight on the spectrolab website - A portable(ish - 86Kg) monster providing 200-300 million candlepower!

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Weighs ~ 84 pounds, not Kilograms.


    But where are we supposed ta' get 26-28 Volts DC ? ? ?


    Sorry, my aircraft are currently unavailable.




    Oh, to elamh --


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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Same place I get 27 Volts for my tank light and Locators - two sla's in series.
    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. #28
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    I wonder how much one of those searchlights cost.

    Edit: Never mind. Found it.
    Last edited by CM; 03-11-2008 at 09:12 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    I thought Short Arcs were typically over 100 Lumens per Watts which would put Lumens output at a minimum of 160,000.
    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. #30
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    Default Re: Police Helicopter Searchlight

    Xenon short-arc lamps are the least efficient of all HIDs. Most are around 30 - 40 lm/w. Efficiency rises with wattage, peaking at about 50lm/w for the really big lamps (10kW+) and going as low as 15 lm/w for the smaller lamps like the one used in the Maxabeam (75W).

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