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Thread: The Nightsword project

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default The Nightsword project

    ma_sha1, I haven't been on in a while but I see you've made a lot of progress over the year. My project has stalled due to funds, but it's not dead. Working on a cost effective injection molding process for the housing. I changed back to a molding design instead of fabricated metal due to electrical safety. I would love to go with carbon fiber layup, but it's about as conductive as metal, so it's not any safer, so I decided on Kevlar. It's not conductive and it's stronger and lighter than fiberglass, and it's not itchy. The prototype is under 10 lbs total (without battery) and consumes 1025 watts total (120v AC or 120v DC) with power supply losses.

    Here's a shot of the 75,000 lumen beam. ..



    No actual beam shot of the clouds, I didn't take the pic. It's a very uniform circle on the clouds. Looking up at the beam is dizzying. I finally reached my goal of a portable light with the output of the SX-16 searchlight, but with half the power consumption (if you don't mind waiting a minute for start up).

    This is with a shallow 9.5" reflector. The lit up trees is all from the stray light which will be better utilized in the beam with the next prototype with a deeper 10.5" reflector with a bit shorter FL. Still will be under 10 lbs, that's a major goal for me. Strange how the stray light on the trees is white but the beam is so blue, but it's all the same light. The clouds reflect white like the trees. I don't understand the blue beam. I run it for about an hour at a time for temp tests, and during that time cars come sneaking up the road with their headlights off. Makes me chuckle.

    By the eye, it appears to have same exact throw (and beam color) as the Arctic Spyder 1W laser, which in itself is a pretty insane laser, but with them both on, the 1W laser is dwarfed.

    Always use a UV blocking lens! ALWAYS!!! I ran it without for about five minutes thinking such a short time would be ok, and I was wrong. Without ever looking in the direction of the light, the reflected light gave me Arc Eye and I had to go to the optometrist the next day because all I saw was blur. It was quite scary. Fortunately it healed after two weeks with no after effects, but I was lucky. It was my lesson to never take even the slightest chances along the way. There are no short cuts.
    Last edited by get-lit; 08-02-2011 at 05:44 PM.
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    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Get-lit, good to see you back in action! Wow, over 1000W, that's insane, I wonder if your power solution
    will prevent it from being a Portable light?

    I got my 9.5" short arc reflector in, but due to a job change, I had to move to MD, the project is on hold,
    all my stuff are left in Maine. I use a 13 lb 400W portable AC pack, I installed a lightweight 20AH Lifepo4 electric car battery &
    a 300V DC power inverter to power my 260W P-VIP ballst. I am almost at final stage for my 260W/1mm arc P-VIP install, but had to wait for a few month now.

    As for the blue beam, my light does the same, I think it's due to Rayleigh scattering, the beam is scattering light, not reflection,
    blue spectrum scatters more than other wavelength, thus beam of white light is blue but reflected light remain white. The same principle as why the sky is blue when sunlight is white.

    I wear a UV blocking face mask, yes, UV protection for the eyes is critically important, hope you don't get long term damage!
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    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Ahh! Rayleigh scattering. Good thinking.

    Bummer, no more pics from Maine.

    The power supply is contained within the light housing. I can keep the housing with power supply and ignitor under 10 lbs while accepting 90v+ AC/DC. I'd use a 110v battery pack so no inverter is needed. I figure batteries will keep getting more dense. Right now I could use Turnigy Nano-Tech batteries, a 10 lb pack could run for 37 minutes.
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    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    It's not really evident in the pic, but the beam does have more spread to it than the Maxa Blaster and the Moon Blaster. The beam spread is probably more like the MegaBlaster. I'm working with 75K lumen in a 3.5mm gap, however I'm having a super short arc developed, at the expense of lamp life and a minor hit in lumen output. I expect to be able to get 65K+ lumen in a beam as tight as the Maxa Beam. But this is all moving along very slowly because the costs are tremendous and this economy sure ain't helpin.
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    Flashaholic* Walterk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Lurking CPF for some time it is nice to see you still hunt the perfect big light.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Great beam shot Get-Lit, glad to see your project is still being worked on, it would be incredible to have a handheld light with that much power and throw.

    Keep up the great work.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    ma_sha1, that Coleman in your first photo sure brings back some memories. What an incredible light for it's time. I remember picking mine up at Service Merchandise with shoulder strapped battery pack. It went everywhere with me. The long night hiking treks is what made me realize how much I really like the battery separate from the light. Lugging it all in the hand would have been a nightmare.

    Here's the second prototype I'm currently making a mold for. The first was very crude. I've created well over 100 CAD variants. I'm making sure it can tail stand. That's a biggie for us here on CPF, especially for this amount of light. It also has to balance perfectly well. No tipping forward like the Thor.

    Dimensions are 11.25" Diameter by 15.25" Long. Reflector is 10.5" Diameter in a deep configuration for 75.7% light gather. A brand new type of coating over the Rhodium surface will increase reflectance from 70% to over 90% while actually increasing Rhodium durability by quite a bit. I want to go with Gorilla Glass or Dragontail for the lens, but making arrangements with the manufacturers is difficult. In any case, lens transmission should be around 90%, so total OTF should be 46,000 Lumen from the 75,000 Lumen lamp. This will easily out shine the SX-16. The reflector housing uses internal reinforcement within a double wall construction for cooling purposes as well as strength. Cooling intake and exhaust vents are not shown.

    Universal orientation with use in rain and water spray from any direction in a forced-air ventilated design is a requirement, and it's taken me years to get it right. There's a reason I'm not showing the vents

    Features will include motor focus, strobe mode, and dim mode. Strobe mode is sick BTW.

    This is getting closer, but still a ways off.

    I'm interested in some of your impressions of the overall design. The electronics housing is fairly narrow. I wanted it to be so that it's easy to carry without rubbing on the hip, but it may tip more easily while shelved. Kind of a trade off. Due to limited orientation options for the electronics, it's either fairly narrow or a bit too wide. But again, after over 100 versions modeled, and countless inter-related design considerations thought through and through to the point of near insanity, this looks to be about it... And someone tell my ex, it's NOT called OCD, it's called wanting it done right.

    Last edited by get-lit; 08-15-2011 at 03:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    My jaw doesn't often drop, but that amazing beamshot and your Nightsword design are just astounding!
    Resistance is futile...

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    My jaw doesn't often drop, but a comment like that from the Super Mod is just astounding
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    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    I'm interested in some of your impressions of the overall design.
    Well, all I can say is Wow! What a beauty! Well done, the design is Awesome! Almost maxa beamish but with bigger reflector & well balanced. The only thing you may consider is perhaps add a folding or retractable "feet" to the rear, so that that light can rest on it & project beam forward, ideally, allows the light to adjust angles by adjust the rear "feet" to adjust the height of the rear end when the light is sitting on the ground.

    I could be wrong, but the front switch location looks a bit too forward, perhaps, the switch location can move back a bit, ideally, at a location within natural thumb reach when your hand is holding the light at its center of gravity.


    Speaking about SX-16, have you seen their on the ground spotlight?
    Last edited by ma_sha1; 08-15-2011 at 06:51 PM.
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  12. #12
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    That top button is the focus control. It's positioned for the thumb position with everything weight balanced at the center of the dip in the handle which would be at the center of the hand. This is based on weight estimates, so the positioning of the handle may change after the prototype is built. The rear of this thing is fairly light, and the reflector and lens have a bit of heft.

    I've seen the CHIS. 25" reflector, over 160 lbs. The specs on their site says 0.8-degree beam. Ouch. Quite an investment at $90,000.

    The Thor has an integrated adjustable mount. That's something I'd like to include after the first prototype.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Wow, another Mainer with a love of light! I am in South Portland, so I want you to give me a call next time you are shining them up in the sky.

    Amazing beam shots, and I am totally jealous. My Stanley HID cannot compare.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Gah, how did I get so many duplicates?
    Last edited by Wildlands; 08-22-2011 at 12:52 PM.

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    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    ma_sha1, I wonder if your P-VIP ballast is power factor corrected and can possibly accept a 110v DC input. Then you could go direct from battery. Back when I was considering P-VIP, the ballasts we AC input only. DC input is a requiement for my project. Lugging a high power inverter is not practical. Ultimately, my light must work in all weather, and inverters would be an issue there.

    I'm still interested in making a 250W P-VIP version of my light because it's so practical to power if you can obtain ballast with direct DC input, and 1mm arc gap could use a smaller and lighter reflector for something more portable than my light. P-VIP ballasts are tiny and don't need a bulky external ignitor like my light, and cost very little.

    So I'm really considering making two versions, the more practical and affordable P-VIP and the all out megalight with 5 times the output and unfortunately 5 times the production cost.

    Back when I was first considering P-VIP lamps, I sourced a company that said they could make a ballast with 110v DC input for up to 250W AC output for P-VIP lamps. I'm going to see if I can come up with something.
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    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    My 120V P-VIP ballasts for the Mega Blaster & Moon blaster are power factor corrected, runs on 110V, I took them out of Compaq DLP projectors.

    My 260V P-VIP ballast for my up coming home-made tank light is 300V DC input only, this is a gift from a Friend who works at Osram, who upgraded the firm ware to increase 250W ballast to 260W. It drives a 1mm Arc 250W P-VIP lamp. I built a 12v-300V DC inverter to run it from 12V.

    All 3 lights runs out of this 20AH, 400W portable power pack below, I upgraded the 13lb Lead Acid battery into a light weight 7lb, 20AH Lifepo4 battery. It has two 110V Ac out, one 12C DC out & one 300V DC out, so all three of my super lights are powered by this single ultimate power pack!

    Front: Dual 100V AC, I can Run Mega & Moon Blaster simutaniously



    Back, with Lifepo4 charging port & Digital Volt meter.


    Side: My 300V DC Add-on, unfortunately, no room to put it inside.
    Last edited by ma_sha1; 08-22-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    You built a 12v-300V DC inverter? Very nice. Strange that the 260W ballast doesn't accept 120v AC.

    I wouldn't mind a 12v inverter for when hooking up to car or boat power, but for when out on foot, I prefer to go without. I remember many years ago, there weren't so many options. The past few years sure have been a nice change.
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Ma_sha, your inverter seems like to be the "modified sine wave", ala more of square wave type right? I was just going through them and i see that your model fits quite a lot of them the OEM ones. The pure sine wave are quite expensive and are of a different design.

    No problem on powering the ballasts? I guess only power tools may have issues, also regfrigerators .

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    The Inverter is the cheap ebay type, not pure sine wave.

    It wasn't easy to have it figured out for me, as I am not IC savvy. Here is a link to the process how I figured it out with the help of CPF:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...power-Inverter

    Intially, after I got the 300V DC, I had problem powing up the lamp (auto shut off after 30 sec.) when I used the 12V cigaratte socket for input,
    then I opened it up & direct wired the inverter to battery with short wire, then everything worked beautifully.





    Disclamer:
    I am not suggesting or encoraging anyone to do this, one can get electricuted trying to mod inverters or tapping High Voltage DCs.
    I wrtote the link to get help from CPF, did it for my self at my own risk! Do not copy what I did, this is high risk & may result serious injories or death, you have been warned.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    For something super simple to power the 1000W Nightwsord for almost 4 hours, I considered this. It's still a bit heavy at 29 lbs, but not a bad solution for semi-portability with super long runtime. It's also the quietest generator available...



    Here's a video comparing it to a Harbor Freight generator. When the Harbor Freight is shut off, you can hardly hear the Honda.
    Last edited by get-lit; 08-23-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Took some more beam shots last night. Again the cars came sneaking up. Maybe I'll leave it on for Halloween.

    Beam up close...


    From a bit further...


    From down the road...


    It puts a bright pin spot on the clouds surrounded by a bit of a flood.
    Last edited by get-lit; 10-17-2011 at 11:18 AM.
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  23. #23
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Wow, get-lit, wow!

    When are you going to measure the >100 meter lux?
    Enough to take down Ra's Maxa Blaster yet?
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  24. #24
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Thanks ma_sha1.

    Sorry, I have a list of things to be completed before I can take it out somewhere for lux measurements. I can tell you now, it's definitely not going to take down the Maxa Blaster in shear candlepower. I'd be happy to achieve just over 40 million CP, but with 75,000 source lumen, it will throw a ton of light a fun distance. My goal is to take down the Nightsun SX-16 Searchlight. The Maxablaster and Nightsun are two very different beasts with two very different purposes. I expect this light to slightly exceed the Nightsun in total lumen output and candlepower (by roughly 15% on both counts), while being portable, weatherproof and under 10 lbs. This could have been done a long time ago if I weren't planning to make this for production on such a limited budget. Gotta make sure I get it right before the major production costs come into play. Just dumped another $1200 on a couple more prototype reflectors with a new coating method to greatly improve reflectance and durability over standard Bright Rhodium. All of the components are highly integrated with each other in the design. It doesn't make it easy to develop but it's the only way to make it most portable and durable. For instance, if I have to change something as simple as the size of an air passage, it affects everything else in the design. Down the road, I can have some super short arc versions of the lamps produced for you CP nuts, but it will add to cost and reduce the lamp life.
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    This could have been done a long time ago if I weren't planning to make this for production on such a limited budget. Gotta make sure I get it right before the major production costs come into play.
    Get Lit, it's been a while so I don't exactly remember. Are you designing this for your own production of lights for sale or were you designing and making this such that CPF'rs could make one of their own from available plans and materials?
    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

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    The original idea was to offer a kit form at cost. As this has evolved, the assembly has become complicated, and with lethal voltages involved (50kv) it's become evident to me it would not be remotely safe for this to be assembled by just anyone. If someone doesn't get it right, or doesn't take certain precautions along the way, it could result in premature lamp failures, electronics failures, or just plain crappy performance, or worse it could easily make you blind or abruptly end your life. Even if there's the standard waiver etc, having an incident would absolutely destroy my passion for this project. So I figured I'd have to assemble them, but I also figured more people would begin to want them, so I had to just offer it to those involved in the early discussions, because I'd probably not have the time to build them for more people. If more people ended up wanting one down the road, I'd have to charge for my time and likewise become a supporter. However I don't see this really going that way because really how many people out there are crazy enough to spend four figures on a "flashlight" in this day and age. Just a few die hards here like myself.
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Woow, so you really built it, congratulations get-lit! That's propably the most intense cloud bounce I have seen here.

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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    The original idea was to offer a kit form at cost. As this has evolved, the assembly has become complicated, and with lethal voltages involved (50kv) it's become evident to me it would not be remotely safe for this to be assembled by just anyone. If someone doesn't get it right, or doesn't take certain precautions along the way, it could result in premature lamp failures, electronics failures, or just plain crappy performance, or worse it could easily make you blind or abruptly end your life. Even if there's the standard waiver etc, having an incident would absolutely destroy my passion for this project. So I figured I'd have to assemble them, but I also figured more people would begin to want them, so I had to just offer it to those involved in the early discussions, because I'd probably not have the time to build them for more people. If more people ended up wanting one down the road, I'd have to charge for my time and likewise become a supporter. However I don't see this really going that way because really how many people out there are crazy enough to spend four figures on a "flashlight" in this day and age. Just a few die hards here like myself.
    I could be in line for your light!

    I can get approx 200mcp (very conservatively speaking, it should be much higher) for $1200 shipped for fun. Too big though and i don't have a truck/van transportation to lug it out.... Front aperture 24" i believe and much longer/higher. VSS-3 is 150mcp max for 14" IIRC.
    Last edited by 2100; 10-18-2011 at 04:56 AM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    ......So I figured I'd have to assemble them, but I also figured more people would begin to want them, so I had to just offer it to those involved in the early discussions, because I'd probably not have the time to build them for more people. If more people ended up wanting one down the road, I'd have to charge for my time and likewise become a supporter. However I don't see this really going that way because really how many people out there are crazy enough to spend four figures on a "flashlight" in this day and age. Just a few die hards here like myself.
    I'm still definitely interested in one and would expect to pay for not only the parts, but your time in R&D and assembly.
    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
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    You're definitely on the list BVH. I'm just one guy with many responsibilities and very little money, so it's still going to be a while. One day at a time. Thanks for offering towards the other costs, but I don't think you'd want to be doing that. They are going to be way up there, because there's four large molded parts and several small molded parts. Injection molding would cost hundreds of thousands, so I'm going to make them one at a time with fiberglass or kevlar vacuum mold layup. Much more cost effective and you get much stronger parts, but the plugs to make the molds will still cost me tens of thousands, but that's much better than the cost of injection molding all this. Like I said, I really got to take the time to get it right before I move to that step.
    I like big bulbs and I can not lie, you other brothers can't deny!

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