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Thread: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

  1. #331
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    OBXTucker, if you really got that light and you need some info, you can contact Flashpilot of budgetlightforums. He has a VSS-3 (that most advanced one, with 150 million cp) on his 35 foot leisure cruiser. It was quite a lot of money to get it to work, with the genset and AGM batteries and wiring. The folks to ask are really those vintage tank collectors in various forums. He can guide you to them.

    Not sure if you have considered formally the marine searchlights of the metal halide variety. I have asked a few and $3k (before discount, definitely negotiate) gets you a basic but good marine capable 12" 575W metal halide (well over 10 mil cp and over 3km range @ 1lux) working unit that can easily interface with support and parts available, installation excluded. Well you can have > 100 million cp and 12km range if you have the cash, but unless you are mounting a good 50 metres up there in a large craft or you have a very fast craft and this is used for night fast navigation, i don't think there is much use, unless if it's just for fun. Though the tank lights are extremely robust and engineered to a level for environments that are more extreme than marine, I'm more worried about sinking in a few grand, have a working light for 6 months, and then not having any spare parts after that.

    Some of them even have EMARCs available in a small package and doing over 10 mil cp, so pretty cool...but i think definitely not cheap.

    Or maybe such tank projects are significantly cheaper? I don't know....
    Last edited by 2100; 12-10-2011 at 08:53 PM.

  2. #332
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    2100: All good points and I appreciate the thoughts. I have not pulled the trigger yet, but I completely understand that I can buy a "pre-packaged" marine unit that would suit our needs pretty well. And yes, it would be infinitely easier to just pull out the checkbook and have it here next week. But as you've surmised, there's more to this project than just having a nice searchlight. Having a conversation piece is a big consideration as well!

  3. #333
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Yeah, if you do have the spare time/tools/know-how to tinker around then it'd be way fun.

  4. #334
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    A good ol thread revival from not too long ago. I found a second VSS-3a control box for my second light. Although they are both control boxes for the VSS-3a and not the earlier VSS-3, there are some subtle differences I find interesting.


    Smaller fuse holders, don't look as weather-proof at the sealing surface.
    Although all words are identical on both boxes, on Box A, the type is bolder and easier to read but not as sharp.

    BOX A


    Larger fuse holders, look more weather proof at sealing surface.
    Same words, but less bold, but sharper type.

    BOX B



    Box A blue relay faces 180 degrees opposite of Box B and wiring paths are different.
    Two stack switches in Box A are fully enclosed.
    All solder joints are covered in flux residue.

    BOX A


    Box B blue relay faces 180 degrees opposite of Box A and wiring paths are different.
    Two stack switches in Box B are open frame.
    No solder joints have flux residue visible.

    BOX B


    Box A has no secret surprise! Not even the screw hole has been drilled & tapped. The clip insertion slot is not milled.

    BOX A



    Box B has the secret surprise! I am guessing it is a testing adapter that hooks up to some type of testing machine. The end with the round nut is threaded to fit on the box and the non-nutted end is the thread that is on the light - the odd-ball thread from everything else.

    BOX B


    Overall, I'm guessing Box A is a newer generation controller with improvements. It has sealed stack switches and the wiring path looks like it would incur less chance of wire chaffing and that may be why they re-oriented the relay. The circuit boards look identical. Box B SN is 4xx but unfortunately, I can't find the flange I took off when I mounted Box A to the tripod so I don't know its' SN. The presence of the testing adapter could be interpreted either way. It's there because it's a new and easier way to test and repair the light or it was never needed and eliminated and that's why the raw castings for the bracket are still there but not machined. I think the latter.
    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

  5. #335
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I never went so far as opening up my box but I might just have to, to see what I have inside if anything.
    I must say I do like suprises. I haven't fired up the light in awhile. I have another unit still in the original crate taking up space in my garage. The control box for that is still in it's original sealed packaging so I probably won't check that one out.

    I'm wondering if the adapter has the same thread pattern as the socket that was used on the exterior of the cupola on the M60 and M551 Sheradan tanks.
    The light cord I found plugs into the socket on the front of the control box ok but the threaded ring or connector shell will not thread on due to a different thread pattern.
    I will have to look in mine and see. If I don't have one would you be interested in selling it or at least let me borrow it to see if my hunch is correct?

    Nice to see this thread active again
    George

  6. #336
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I do not remember seeing an actual pic of the VSS-3a bulb in this thread nor could one be found out in Cyberspace. So here it is.



    I's about 9-10 inches long IIRC without unwrapping it again. I might get some better ones tomorrow.
    Last edited by BVH; 06-19-2012 at 09:22 PM.
    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

  7. #337
    Flashaholic Phased_Array's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Yup, I always try to carry a spare bulb 'just in case'. Especially those priceless and unobtainable ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    I do not remember seeing an actual pic of the VSS-3a bulb in this thread nor could one be found out in Cyberspace. So here it is.



    I's about 9-10 inches long IIRC without unwrapping it again. I might get some better ones tomorrow.

  8. #338
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Thought I'd update this thread with some lamp close-ups

    Overall lamp




    Arc Chamber




    Electrodes Close Up




    Cathode Seal Closeup




    Cathode Base




    Anode Seal Close Up




    Anode Base




    Anode Base End

    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

  9. #339
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Has anyone seen any of these for sale? (without the light!)
    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

  10. #340

    Thumbs up Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Now that looks like a lot of fun, not sure the neighbors would appreciate the beam on bedroom windows late at night, lol.

  11. #341
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Optiforms? Welcome Todd!

    Might you be an employee? I seem to have lost contact with my dumpster alert
    person from a few years back.
    What may be one's failed production or custom piece is another one's treasure!
    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

  12. #342
    Flashaholic IgNITEor's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Duplicate post deleted. It's late, I'm SO tired.
    Last edited by IgNITEor; 11-16-2013 at 11:52 PM. Reason: delete duplicate
    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

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