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Thread: The Nightsword project

  1. #61
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I need some input please. As can be seen in the beamshots, at full focus the current beam profile has a little mini flood around the center beam. I've optimized the design so that over 90% of the light output is contained within the beam and mini flood at full focus. That is why you see the cloud bounce. Most designs are much less, around 55% at best. Even the SX16 is under 55% and the Maxabeam is has very small percent of light within the actual beam, and its beam quickly dissipates in flood mode.

    Alternative to the current design, I could instead make the light have absolutely zero mini flood while still having 90% of the light contained within just the beam. This would boost candlepower by a third. But as always, there's a downside. There will be a much more pronounced center hole when using the light in flood mode.

    To compare, I've modeled the two designs under full beam focus and under flood.

    Here's the current design. Notice mini flood around center beam at full focus, as seen in previous beamshots. (full focus next to 15 degree flood)



    Here's the alternative design for full beam concentration and 1/3 more candlepower (full focus next to 15 degree flood)


    As you can see, the alternative has a much more pronounced center hole under flood. 1/3 more candlepower is a heck of a lot, it's essentially a 205471mW white laser. It would surely put the light over the 50M CP mark, even over the 100M CP mark with a 300W 1mm gap P-VIP lamp, but then again I'm not going for candlepower king, this is for usability. Might consider an add-on diffuse lens when using flood to help with the center hole. Can I have some input please?
    Last edited by get-lit; 12-23-2011 at 07:14 AM.
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  2. #62
    Flashaholic Parker VH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I like the alternative design myself. Keep up the great work!!
    Bob
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    For me, the alternative is also the choice. I'm not sure I'd be using the light in flood mode. Long live the get-lit laser!
    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

  4. #64
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Thanks for the quick feedback. I was half expecting comments like wow that flood hole is atrocious. I'll proceed with this method. Happy Holidays!
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  5. #65
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Go for maximum throw, it is a waste of effort to go for a compromise.
    It is more important to have 1 - 5 degree range then to have 1- 10 degrees.
    It is so easy to make a 'diffuser' from sanded glas if you like to have flood.

  6. #66
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Agree, who cares about the flood
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  7. #67
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Go for the alternative super throw beam. The heck with flood. If you are using short arc focus that baby all the way!

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Go for super throw. A difusser can be added later.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    GO for the THROW!!

    This seems pretty unanimous, LOL.
    Resistance is futile...

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    GO for the THROW!!

    This seems pretty unanimous, LOL.
    This is off topic, but I love your sigline pic! I am a huge Star Trek Next Generation fan. Make it so, number one.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    wow... I am impressed! its like a new white high powered laser!

  12. #72
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Thanks everyone. The input is very helpful. Merry Christmas!
    Last edited by get-lit; 12-24-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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  13. #73
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    The MB's bulb moves in and out of focus (forward and back from the reflector's focal point) using the servo motor.

    How about a manually adjustable focus, maybe by turning a knob? It might be quite a lot more precise - the MB's motor moves it quite quickly, and it's not always easy to stop it exactly where you want. Being no longer servo-adjusted, it would presumably not infringe those patents.
    Resistance is futile...

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I agree with DM51. A manual adjustment would not only be more precise but probably easier and cheaper to build.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I agree too! We're all so agreeable!
    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

  16. #76
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Oops, I did not see your replies and I removed that concern from the post because I think the patent had expired. It's from Dec '91 so correct me if I'm wrong. I don't understand what's novel about moving the lamp instead of the reflector. If you have to move one part in relation to another, of course you'd move the smaller part, especially if the larger part can instead reinforce the housing. It's just logical. What should have been patented is how the alignment is actually accomplished. That's the true novelty of the MaxaBeam design.

    Even if the patent is expired, I wouldn't take someone else's conception and run with it. If you're going to make something, do the work to make it actually your creation from the start. I came up with my method out of necessity to meet a means, before knowing anything of the MaxaBeam design. I didn't want to know, because I wanted to come up with a way that is intuitive to me without any preconceptions from another design. There's plenty of ways to skin a cat, and after seeing the MaxaBeam patent now, I kind of prefer the method I came up with anyhow.

    I don't agree that the patent should have covered, in a round about way with those claims, essentially a servo moving lamp. I think the patent officer may not have realized that's all it gets reduced to when you combine the claims and I'm sure that aspect is challengeable. The Firgelli servo I'm using can be set to run at slower speeds and I'm implementing an adjustable end stop position so it stops precisely where it needs on focus.

    So anyway, what I meant to post today was about the direction of the project after having read the comments regarding uncompromised candlepower. All along I didn't want this to fall into the "what's it good for" category. How often do you hear that from someone when you show them a sick new light or laser. But this isn't for those people, and everyone's comments motivated me to not compromise anything for CP. What else could I expect from "candlepower" forums. Therefore I'm changing a few things up. Back to along the lines of my original concept, but upping the ante. The compromises are a very large hole in flood mode, reduced lamp life by up to 20%, and faster total lumen output drop over lamp life. But now the 75000 lumen lamp will get >75M candlepower.

    I was going to build the light to be easily convertible to P-VIP 300W 1mm arc lamps for raw candlepower, which would now achieve 175M CP, but I figured if one wanted to compromise lumen for candlepower, they may as well go all the way. And the Osram 103 W/2 with 3000 lumen and .25x.25mm luminous area would achieve 350M CP. So I'll build this for use with the 75000 lumen lamps for cloud bounce and the 103 W/2 3000 lumen lamps for a true 7.7W 1.5-mrad laser. It's easy enough to accommodate all three types of lamps really. These calculations do not consider the boost from peak luminance mapping within the luminous areas, but Mercury based lamps don't really have much peak luminous areas anyhow.

    Modeling and predicting outcome, and then verifying it has really revealed to me how to maximize the design. I'm more excited than ever. I've finalized the optic path and now I'm redesigning the housing and can't wait to begin the mold. My finances are set back after the holildays, the recent reflector purchases for testing, not to mention the prior mishap, so I have to get caught up on finances while I finalize the housing design.

    EDIT: I just realized, I'm not even using a servo. It's a linear actuator!
    Last edited by get-lit; 12-26-2011 at 02:41 AM.
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  17. #77
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Bro, actually yours is not a laser, even if it is 1 billion CP like some of the Francis searchlights. It's semantics of course, but laser is really coherent light and more importantly *at huge distances in real life use* yours and a laser esp a "high-end" one with good optics behaves very very differently and there are important differences in properties over huge distances. I only own a couple including DIY ones and am not an expertise in this area, but i guess the LPF folks would be able explain more.

    >> So I'll build this for use with the 75000 lumen lamps for cloud bounce and the 103 W/2 3000 lumen lamps for a true 7.7W 1.5-mrad laser.

    Just bringing this up, because this is the second time i read the word "laser"
    Last edited by 2100; 12-26-2011 at 02:48 AM.

  18. #78
    Flashaholic* ma_sha1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    The MB's motor moves it quite quickly, and it's not always easy to stop it exactly where you want.
    This might have been an early short coming that was fixed later?
    Out of the 2 MB I had, one does this (especially just after start up, it overshoots like crazy)

    But the other one doesn't, it moves slower & does not over shoot when focusing.
    Last edited by ma_sha1; 12-26-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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  19. #79
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by 2100 View Post
    Bro, actually yours is not a laser, even if it is 1 billion CP like some of the Francis searchlights. It's semantics of course, but laser is really coherent light and more importantly *at huge distances in real life use* yours and a laser esp a "high-end" one with good optics behaves very very differently and there are important differences in properties over huge distances. I only own a couple including DIY ones and am not an expertise in this area, but i guess the LPF folks would be able explain more.

    >> So I'll build this for use with the 75000 lumen lamps for cloud bounce and the 103 W/2 3000 lumen lamps for a true 7.7W 1.5-mrad laser.

    Just bringing this up, because this is the second time i read the word "laser"
    The word "laser" is used to identify what it is we are comparing to when comparing output and divergence to a laser for comparative illuminance at distance. As in our past discussions, the fact that coherency is not included in the comparison to lasers is inherent because it's irrelevant for comparing illuminance. However I can see how my poor use of the phrase "true" laser could lead one to believe we're comparing more than illuminance, especially for someone that hasn't seen these comparisons before.

    The comparison to lasers has been helpful for us to really grasp the intensity of these lights at distance. For instance, my very first beamshot from a while back was the weakest of them all, yet it's illuminance beyond 1000' easily exceeded my 1W laser from a well known brand. That's fun stuff! Definitely worth talking about here. Compare the light to the laser at 10 feet and the laser has way more illuminance because of the large aperture of the light, but at about 1000 feet and beyond, the larger aperture of that light was offset with less divergence than the 1W laser for more collimated light with higher illuminance. These latest beamshots blow that first test away, and the new direction I'm taking this project will really make things fun. I haven't been more excited about this project over all these years than I am now.
    Last edited by get-lit; 12-26-2011 at 01:04 PM.
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  20. #80
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    get-lit, I think I can speak for all the rest of us and say we are excited too! With your last to posts I am freaking out. If you pull this all off in your portable design you are going down in CPF history! Keep up the good work, and thanks for keeping us informed on your awesome short-arc projects.

    One quick question, though. With the intensity of these and the UV and all, will they be safe to use without eye protection of some sort? Welding glasses, maybe?

  21. #81
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    The comparison to lasers has been helpful for us to really grasp the intensity of these lights at distance. For instance, my very first beamshot from a while back was the weakest of them all, yet it's illuminance beyond 1000' easily exceeded my 1W laser from a well known brand. That's fun stuff! Definitely worth talking about here. Compare the light to the laser at 10 feet and the laser has way more illuminance because of the large aperture of the light, but at about 1000 feet and beyond, the larger aperture of that light was offset with less divergence than the 1W laser for more collimated light with higher illuminance. These latest beamshots blow that first test away, and the new direction I'm taking this project will really make things fun. I haven't been more excited about this project over all these years than I am now.
    Hi bro, roger on that...i know what are you trying to say. I think a general guy also would not know how bright a 7W white laser looks like, nevermind the divergence etc...

    For a 1W laser, the issue with a 445nm blue one is that while the divergence is high, another bigger issue is the inability of our eyes to focus blue light accurate. Past 500m or so you will never be able to focus the dot, plus if you wear glasses that would definitely put another variable into the equation. 532nm is really good but a 1W reliable one and true 1W of 532nm output probably costs a Maxabeam or something. (a lot of those sub 1k ones can put out 700-800mW on a LPM but have lots of IR content in it as they are unfiltered)

    Anyway, i think you are probably more or less correct on the figures if everything goes smoothly like reflector quality etc....there are so many variables that can drop the CP and make it so far from modelled figures. Hope you really can put it off. 350M CP is not difficult to do for 1k plus, but to make it portable is key!

    I used to do quite a few events and they do have 25W YAGs but they almost never can run it full power + purposely undiverged due to safety to ground (people) and air (airplanes) because in Singapore this is a very small country and the air approach/corridors for both military and commercial traffic are so tight and close that there really isn't much space to shoot. I am not sure what are the laws in USA, but i guess you might need to check if there are any satellites overhead as well. LOL!

    Advertising searchlights are a bit different because they do not fall under the same restrictions (until something happens that is or someone complains in the papers LOL! ). Each searchlight are in the 300m CP region for the 4-5kW 24" aperture units. AFAIK, the most powerful commercial ones are 10kW used in the US as well as Beijing Olympics. Here's the US one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV4xuPdFswE

    We had these during our National Day 2011 celebrations, they were able to illuminate Cirrus clouds which were ~ 8km because they have a preset in which all the lights are aimed at rxactly the same spot for that "thick fat bright beam" effect, distance should be around there from what i checked on weather underground at that moment. Actually more than that because it was aimed not vertically upwards.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aySFA_KAw_k

    For those who has seen the Tribute of Light with its 88 searchlights aimed upwards, yeah it is like that. Pretty cool.

    Sorry for the OT!

  22. #82

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

    Wow, just finding out about this. Awesome! If you hit an airplane will you ignite its fuel? Better be careful! Could be a good anti terrorist weapon.

  23. #83
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tone View Post
    get-lit, I think I can speak for all the rest of us and say we are excited too! With your last to posts I am freaking out. If you pull this all off in your portable design you are going down in CPF history! Keep up the good work, and thanks for keeping us informed on your awesome short-arc projects.
    Thank you for the positive feedback, it really helps keep me motivated when things get tough along the way. A current issue I'm dealing with is exhaust back pressure with head wind. The exhaust of the SX16 is circumferential to the housing which greatly helps reduce back pressure. That's a critical requirement for 100+ mph, but a "circumferential" exhaust it is not at all compatible with the Nightsword if it were to be optimized for candlepower because the Anode could not be properly cooled, so either a very high pressure (and loud) fan has to be used and the head wind limited to 45 mph (5 mbar @ 13" diameter), or I have to come up with a forward facing intake shroud to equalize the differential pressure. I probably looked pretty silly speeding down the road holding a 13" Christmas plate out the window with air tubes taped to it yesterday. Neighbors never know what to expect from us here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tone View Post
    One quick question, though. With the intensity of these and the UV and all, will they be safe to use without eye protection of some sort? Welding glasses, maybe?
    The UV is very intense, but the tempered glass lens will block the UV. You would get eye damage from viewing the arc directly, however there will be zero spill light in the design and you will not be able to see the arc. Unless of course you are within the actual beam. That would be a problem.


    2100, one of my motivations with pursuing searchlights as opposed to lasers is the fact that there's restrictions on the use of high power lasers. Really takes the fun factor away when you're not allowed to use it. The other motivation is cloud bounce. To me nothing beats throwing tons of lumen to the clouds.


    Quote Originally Posted by RCantor View Post
    Wow, just finding out about this. Awesome! If you hit an airplane will you ignite its fuel? Better be careful! Could be a good anti terrorist weapon.
    It wouldn't physically hurt an airplane but it could cause issues for the pilots if you were to deliberately track the plane with the beam. They would report it and you would face criminal charges. Never ever do that.
    Last edited by get-lit; 12-30-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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  24. #84
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    The fan stuff sounds complicated. Good luck with that. It is good to know that tempered glass can block most of the UV.

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

    I always get excited when I see get-lit posts in this thread! I'm looking forward to the finished product and always enjoy the very technical details you post.
    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. #86
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post

    2100, one of my motivations with pursuing searchlights as opposed to lasers is the fact that there's restrictions on the use of high power lasers. Really takes the fun factor away when you're not allowed to use it. The other motivation is cloud bounce. To me nothing beats throwing tons of lumen to the clouds.
    This i'd 100% agree with you. I have a couple of 55/75/100W HIDs (100W driven with 24V so definitely it's optimised for power and i measured 110W input actually) but never got good cloud bounce. Recently i acquired a big reflector HID and i got nearly 4 million, finally got to do decent cloud bouncing! It's really a stupid way to enjoyment but i guess the little kid in us loves it!

    So yeah i am excited what a portable 200-300 mcp light can do in the real world.
    Last edited by 2100; 12-31-2011 at 01:15 AM.

  27. #87
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Happy new year everyone. When thinking about using diffused glass to defocus the beam without a beam center hole, I considered the possibility of using "Smart Glass". There's a type that dims the light and a type that diffuses the light. PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) glass diffuses the light. When looking into the viability, as you would guess there's a patent...
    http://www.google.com/patents/US5644369

    I'm getting a bit frustrated with claims of the obvious, however it may be still workable. The patent claims applications using PDLC glass in conjunction with optical lenses and fresnel lenses. Technically the term "optical lens" is a lens which refracts the light path, but the lens on a parabolic reflective searchlight does not refract the light path. Using PDLC glass would provide for a solid state solution to an adjustable beam pattern without the dark hole, and eliminate the need for a motor focus mechanism. There may be downsides to look into though.

    This thread has regained my discussions here at CPF and I don't want to derail the thread. ma-sha1 or mods please let me know if this should be somewhere else. Thanks.
    Last edited by get-lit; 01-06-2012 at 04:10 AM.
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  28. #88
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I would like to split this thread to make a new one, with the title "Nightsword" (or whatever title get-lit thinks would be appropriate.)

    ma_sha's original "Superlights shoot-out..." thread will remain, with a link to the new one which would begin at get-lit's post #19, where the Nightsword project is discussed.

    Before I do split the thread, I would be obviously like to hear comments for or against the idea.
    Resistance is futile...

  29. #89
    Flashaholic* get-lit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    I think that would be a great way to do this thread justice. I was reluctant to start a new thread because I did not want to get anyone hyped with so much work to be done yet. It'd be more for those with some patience to follow the progress and ideas along the way.

    EDIT: Maybe title it "Nightsword Progress Discussion"
    Last edited by get-lit; 01-06-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Superlights shoot-out 2011: The Short Arcs

    Location matters not to me. Just point the light to show me the way to the new thread! Have a question on the glass when the new one is open.
    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

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