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Thread: The 30" Night Hawk

  1. #151
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Here is how the Production 30 inch Nighthawk is looking before final painting etc. The "Lamb" is a custom addition, kind of like the Bat Symbol.

    Production 30 inch Nighthawk almost ready with custom "Lamb" added for personal touch for client.



    The Production 30 inch Nighthawk is almost ready with a custom "Lamb" added for personal touch for the client. This searchlight will reside outside most of the time on a deck overlooking the ground zero 9-11 area of New York City. this searchlight will be resistant to most weather conditions and provide a strong and powerful light beam to shine around the lower Manhattan area.

    There are several variations of the NightHawk: one of which is like this one, a weather resistant, powerful 1000 watt Halogen version, for quick on and off operation. Another variation is a sporty lightweight hike-able version that is easy to carry on a trail even a back pack mounted version for filming, night patrol, search and rescue or just plain having fun with a big flashlight!.
    Last edited by LightSward; 07-24-2013 at 12:22 AM.

  2. #152
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Production model Night Hawk Searchlight is nearing completion. Just have to add final weatherizing details and finish paint. I have some testing to do such as rain penetration and heat load. I will add a "safety" thermo-protection switch, after I determine the "normal" operating range.
    Last edited by LightSward; 07-31-2013 at 07:47 PM.

  3. #153
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Two different NightHawk model searchlights have their cooling fans permanently attached. The fan motor and fan blade can still easily be removed and replaced with a common replacement kit if necessary.

    Last edited by LightSward; 07-31-2013 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #154
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Can't understand why during the time I'm still logged into CPF, while I'm in the middle of posting, I suddenly get message saying I don't have permission for this action, even though it worked a few seconds earlier. I have to log off re log on then re-find this page to finish my posting sometimes loosing what I've been typing! Very annoying!

  5. #155
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Almost ready to ship to client.

    Night Hawk searchlight with Lamb symbol on final check

    Lighting up the Night Hawk with Lamb symbol

    Have the front glass cover in place with 1000 watt light powered up, shining through client's Lamb for Bat symbol

  6. #156
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    This light will live near the NYC 9-11 site, hopefully in time for this year's memorial. I'm a perfectionist, but I know there are limits. Every time I think I'm ready to ship the light, I see another small detail I forgot from months earlier, and have to partially disassemble searchlight to make the changes. I want the client to have a great light that last years in the outside salt air environment. I'm getting closer to finishing it and out the door. Shipping itself may be an issue, on-line and over the phone prices all over the spectrum and building a crate for shipping with Styrofoam can be expensive. If anyone has ever shipped something like this, let me know. roughly 35" x 35" x 55" tall on a pallet at around 60 pounds plus or minus 20 pounds depending on finished state and crating.

    I've learned a lot, and the next light will take much less time. The client has been very patient. Often I'll tell him it about to be shipped and I notice another time consuming small detail that still needs finishing. From all this I'll be much better at scheduling and coordinating the construction of these lights, but I had to get my learning from this. Engineering it will be much easier too. Hands on makes a big difference than seeing it just on paper or a computer scree. Thanks everybody for your support and ideas.

  7. #157
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    • Well it's finally finished. The NightHawk is ready to ship..Love the handling and weather resistance of this wonderful model.



      Production Nighthawk ready for shipping to NYC WTC 9-11 area. Hopefully in time for the 9-11 memorial. Client lives just a few blocks away from ground zero.

      Here you can see the 3/4 full moon sharing the sky with the NightHawk.














    Beam shot from a block away


    Last edited by LightSward; 08-18-2013 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #158
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Yay - Looking good.

    Congrats on getting everything sorted.

    Hope you can get some in situ shots when it is installed


    Pete

  9. #159
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    Party Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Quote Originally Posted by petrev View Post
    Yay - Looking good.

    Congrats on getting everything sorted.

    Hope you can get some in situ shots when it is installed


    Pete
    Great learning experience. Next light will take nowhere as long. I know what to do and not to do. Great light. Awesome the way it feels aiming it.
    Last edited by LightSward; 08-18-2013 at 10:35 PM.

  10. #160
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Searchlight just about ready.

    Searchlight ready to light up the New York City skyline.



    Last edited by LightSward; 09-04-2013 at 12:14 AM. Reason: photo

  11. #161
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    I realize I'm the least technical about my searchlight. I guess I'm tired of all the numbers when I'm building these and just take photos. I should start adding more technical jargon in the future...but for now: Here are some of the most recent photos of the purchased 1000 watt halogen 30 inch Nighthawk headed to New York City.

    Searchlight ready to light up the New York City skyline.






    I'll be glad to get this to the customer. What a learning experience. Now I feel I can produce these lights fast. No delays trying products I don't know much about while in a production run. I now know how to make a weather resistant searchlight.

    It feels good standing across the street from the light. Bright and warm, like a pleasant late Summer evening sun.




    My shadow






    various views of the light.





    Light being crated for shipping.


    Light as viewed from across the street.

    Last edited by LightSward; 09-04-2013 at 12:28 AM.

  12. #162
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Searchlight crate almost finished. Need to install Styrofoam padding. Here is a photo taken of searchlight beam shining across the street to a garage door, an hour or so before sunset.



    Shipping soon!

  13. #163
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    Party Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Searchlight and palatized crate are ready to go. The whole package weighs around 255 pounds! I need to make one of these weather resistant models, or modify the existing 1,200 watt HMI model for myself. Just in case I need to operate this in increment waether.

    Searchlight is 90 lbs at 53 inches tall. Crate is 165 lbs...built as light weight as possible with the strength needed. Total shipping weight is 255lbs. Shipping size 32" x 37" x 64" = dimensions of crate including built in 4 inch tall pallet.


    Bright searchlight beam test.


    Final testing of the 1000 watt halogen light and water/rain wetness resistance test. Stayed dry inside and quickly dried on the outside.


    One last look at the searchlight before being placed in palatized crate.


    Inside of crate with Styrofoam ply suspension flooring installed and key contact Styrofoam panels installed.


    More info soon.

  14. #164
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    First NightHawk sold and paid!

    Ready for
    New York City!
    Last edited by LightSward; 10-01-2013 at 04:37 PM. Reason: sold and was paid for light

  15. #165
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    The client made the final payment for the 30 inch NightHawk and is now ready for shipping.
    First NightHawk sold and paid for! Ready to ship to New York City!

  16. #166
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Quote Originally Posted by LightSward View Post
    The client made the final payment for the 30 inch NightHawk and is now ready for shipping.
    First NightHawk sold and paid for! Ready to ship to New York City!
    Crate has final large markings painted for first light shipment.

    Final shipping markings to come.
    Last edited by LightSward; 10-18-2013 at 10:49 PM.

  17. #167
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    A few beam shots of the NightHawk on Halloween 2013 Brought many people in. Could be seen for miles.


    Happy Halloween. The NightHawk was so bright, you could see the beam half a block away, before it was totally dark.

  18. #168
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    30 inch NightHawk is finally going to New York City.

    Loaded onto truck with loving care.

    Just about all secure almost ready to go to it's new location located over 200 feet above the city of New York by the World Trade Center.

    Go USA!
    Last edited by LightSward; 12-05-2013 at 11:20 PM. Reason: english

  19. #169
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    This light is becoming a success! I am excited to move this into full production. Lights range from basic reflector and lamp and housing with cooling fan for around $295 or a more complete light as pictured above $695 to $1995 depending on light source and extras like panning mechanism.

    Check out my latest light, "The World's most Powerful Searchlight". :
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...archlight-Unit

  20. #170
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Nice light!!! great work!!

  21. #171
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Quote Originally Posted by UNiT5 View Post
    Nice light!!! great work!!
    Thanks. It's really a great "work horse" light. Planning several models, including a back pack model.

  22. #172
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    the lens adds that "official" look to it.

  23. #173
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    Cool Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Quote Originally Posted by UNiT5 View Post
    the lens adds that "official" look to it.
    Yes, the lens really does add that 'finished, official look', people expect. People looking for the source of the light-beam they've seen for many miles, will round the street corner, and be amazed when they finally see the source of the beam is often an: 'unfinished' raw test phase construction and be amazed such a 'homemade', flat, unassuming, 'planter' looking 'thing' laying on the driveway, can make such a powerful, and fairly well focused light beam that often touches the clouds.

    Another huge advantage of the lens, (...strong, tempered, inexpensive, glass table top; from Pier One Imports...), is that it drastically changes the whole weather vulnerability issue if done properly. During test on this actual searchlight while operating, I poured and sprayed water all over it from many different angles, inside the searchlight stayed dry.

    A third plus of the front weather lens, is obviously the hot bulb needs to be protected from the elements, but just as importantly, a forth advantage is protecting the the reflector. As with most surface mirrored reflectors, scratching can be a real issue. Normal glass cleaners can be absolutely brutal to a reflector. Many of the Cyclops and other LED and HID flashlights and headlights can be scratched with just one cleaning if optimal care is not taken. I try to just "dust" the reflector with air blast and clean dusting feathers only! Once in a very long while I'll use a carefully applied layer of Lemon Pledge Furniture Polish, actually helps protect and is done on finished products to add longevity to reflector, but should only be applied once every few years if absolutely necessary. Works wonders on reflectors already scratched!

    Fortunately, for the foreseeable future, if any part of one of my reflectors is damaged or scratched bad enough to affect beam quality, that section can be carefully removed and replaced with inexpensive, easy to purchase and apply; replacement kits, found at any automotive parts supply store...making sure the 'roll of tape or film" is just about good enough to shave with, when laid flat.

    The lens was a big step in making a finished product with all my searchlights, which are now slowly entering the '''For Sale''' category. I'm building these lights to give years of reliable performance.
    Last edited by LightSward; 12-29-2013 at 11:51 PM.

  24. #174
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    I did get word, the searchlight made it's journey safe and sound through horrendous, blizzardous, icy, wintery conditions. The owner had to leave the country for a few weeks, so I won't know if it actually turns on and shines for a while.

  25. #175
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Owner is still not back home yet. Here is how the 4,000 watt HMI light source is working out that I will place in this and some of my other searchlights like the 36 inch Gorilla or 50 inch Monster.

    I may be putting this four thousand watt HMI 380,000 lumen powerhouse bulb into the Monster if things fit correctly. Slowly I'm getting this together. Four thousand watt HMI ignited for the first time with my homemade Tesla coil ignitor. May use a spark gap to connect to the ballast.


    Click here to view the original image of 960x720px.

    First time ignition of the 4000 watt H.M.I. hi tech light bulb arc chamber. Now I just have to hook up the ballast with this home made Tesla coil.

    One of my homemade Tesla coils with PVC and 1/4" bolt adjustable spark gap, 915 turns of bell wire on PVC 'tower' and high voltage 2 liter/ foil capacitor with bleeder safety resistors instead of $200 'bank capacitor' or equivalent.

    Click here to view the original image of 960x720px.

    Using a 12 volt NAPA parts relay as an 'interrupter' to "pulse" the steady dc current to act like the points of an old school car ignition allow the ignition coil to power the homemade high voltage capacitor, spark gap and Tesla coil tower. I also purchased the coil at NAPA.


    Don't have to actually hook a wire to get the arc chamber to ionize...just having the Tesla coil in the vicinity ignites any discharge bulb in vicinity such as CFL, fluorescent, metal halides, sodium vapor and of course HMI.

    Click here to view the original image of 960x720px.

    First time ignition with homemade Tesla coil as the ignitor. This will be used in conjunction with a real magnetic ballast to regulate, ignite and operate the four thousand watt HMI bulb.


    One of my three Tesla Coils. I have better designs but cost have kept me with this smaller one as the main working unit.


    Homemade Tesla coil cost far less than when I was trying to build one in the 1970's... Today internet demonstrates how to make high voltage parts like capacitor out of foil and 2 liter soda bottle and coil tower from plastic pipe and bell wire, for pennies that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars if purchased. Estimated voltage, determined by length of spark, is around 250,000 volts

    Five hundred dollars to build a Tesla coil back in the 1970's, and no guarantee of operating, I abandoned "Tesla" until a few years ago thanks to the internet.

    The Monster will be literally 10 times brighter than most of the shots seen before when I had the 38,000 lumen 400 watt larger arc tube in it. Arc tube on the 4000 watt HMI isn't even one inch, it's about the same as the carbon arc area of the 60 inch WWII light and almost as many lumen. This light will shine brightly. One of my searchlights, either the 50 inch Monster and/or the 72 inch World's biggest searchlight will have a beam very similar to the 60 inch WWII carbon arc searchlight, and the smaller searchlights will have a slightly wider beam.

  26. #176
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Just got word the owner of the NightHawk Halogen version, had an unveiling party last week. They loved it and want more. Here are a few photos from the 21st floor one block from the New York City World Trade Center. Will get more photos as they become available.

    Group of friends, (some of which just returned to this country from business trips and family visits during Christmas) enjoying the NightHawk searchlight..

    Large two story windows will provide ample area to shine light on the surrounding new York Cityscape.

    30 inch 1,000 watt Halogen searchlight doing it's thing.

    Lamb is a type of fraternity symbol amongst these friends.


    Two story high ceiling with second floor loft give room to shine light and make shadow creations. The entire 21st floor is under NightHawk patrol.

    Let Nighthawk be the center of your next party!

    More shots of the NightHawk surveying the new York City skyline as they become available.

  27. #177
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Big congrats on designing, building, selling, and shipping your halogen 30-incher sir!
    The crew on the receiving end look super happy.
    There is something uniquely powerful about having the lights we enjoy here, either by our own hands or
    from those that have kindly offered to share their hard work for a very reasonable price.

    Your ignition hardware for the 4k HMI is bringing back some interesting memories!
    When you power-up into the 20 kV range and above, and you have not connected the lamp in the circuit
    you can sometimes see a eerie glow around the coil and secondary wiring when the room is dark.

    One key component that I had to fab very carefully was a air-core induction coil. The first successful one is
    still used to strike the lamp for the 24" KK light. Normally, the wire used for the lamp circuit is "properly" sized
    to handle the continuous full-load of the lamp plus the losses for being tightly wound with no metal core.
    I didn't match that correctly and as a result it overheats. I used a relay to bypass the coil after the lamp strikes.

    If I were to do it again, I would like to use HV transformer wire. It's out there somewhere. I don't recall the
    turns ratio for the lamp side and the HV side, that was 20 plus years ago, but it was a lot. Like 40:1 to get the
    most from the spark gap.

    Your 4k lamp is going to be insanely bright! A big cheers to your efforts.
    IgNITEor
    AN/VSS-1 xenon Death Ray, 24" & 19"HMI, 600W Cow Light, LiteBox, PAR-46 80W portable, PAR-36 30W Navy Battle Lantern, Luxeon 5W Torch

  28. #178
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Party Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Thanks for the good words IgNITEor. You were a very big part of helping me into the high powered HMI world...Thanks you.
    So little info out there, mostly attempts by companies for me to purchase complete searchlights. Even though I have multiple Ignitor parts info, hard to find the dealers to purchase just one or two. Many companies want me to buy at least five or more ignitors minimum order.

    The World's Biggest Searchlight at 72 inches diameter is being built right now, hopefully scheduling will allow me to perhaps bring it to the June CPF 'Seattle Area Get together'. I'll need 40 amp?? ..220 volt generator power outlet, but will bring the 1,200 watt HMI set up to install into the 72 inch searchlight if needed for lower power availability.

    Here is a snapshot of the current stage of production.


    Well almost done with this part of the searchlight reflector 72 inch. Appears to have gone well I will put more fiberglass on. Next will pry reflector off the mold and hopefully it came out well.

    Now I just have to make three more of these to bolt together into the one 72 inch reflector.

    Cheers.

  29. #179
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    I'm spinning reflectors out of steel and aluminum and hopefully soon I'll be able to spin them as large as the 30-inch Nighthawk.

  30. #180
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Party Re: The 30" Night Hawk

    Starting with the 24 inch LightSward reflector redesigned and turned from a solid steel, and eventually aluminum, and eventually the World's biggest searchlight, I am building reflectors now out of steel and aluminum. Fingers crossed.

    Here is the starting phase of the mandrel for spinning the metal reflector. Much like a potters wheel for clay pottery, I am now spinning the reflectors and will see how this turns out.



    Hopefully in a few days this will be mounted on the homemade spinning lathe and a great reflector series will begin.

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