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Thread: AN/VSS-1 Searchlight

  1. #31
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Tease tease, when are we to get some beam shots?

  2. #32
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Armed with ShortArc's info for the control box mating connector. I quickly found Mouser and Digikey don't list it with the other Amphenol 97-3106 stuff. Allied listed it for $32.02, but came up "backorder" on the cart. On a whim a called their CS and the shells and inserts are in stock! The "backorder" is because they have to assemble it, and she said it would ship today.

    Connector: Allied Electronics cat# 605-4100 $32.02
    Cable clamp: " " " 714-2564 ~$6.50

    And I got a 200A 24vdc SPST N.O. relay for $44.15 (cat# 576-1079)

    I should have the control box and connector by the end of the week to verify everything. The replacement lamp I ordered off ebay arrived today. I may post a pic. (Sucker's over a foot long!)

    Larry
    Last edited by tvodrd; 03-18-2006 at 07:51 AM.
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  3. #33
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    In Peak Beam Sys's sale thread for the lights, Robert mentioned some would be held as spare parts cows. I wisecracked "how much for a spare lamp" and lotsalumens posted an ebay link which I jumped on. It arrived today. I have been unable to find any info on servicing the internals of the searchlight so far. No clue as to the P/N for the lamp or its change procedure. The lamp came in a black cardboard tube with telescopic ends. The battered side label instructions, if followed would eliminate the possibility of some one touching it during replacement:


    The upper end of the lamp has a pivoting , 2-finger bail that could permit it to be carried like an Osram lantern. There are two large foam rubber rings that I assume are displaced for discard during lamp insertion. The arc gap looks to be 3/16-1/4" The acceptance tag has a date of 3/3/64! It was made by the Hanovia Div. of Engelhard Industries in NJ. There is no outer glass UV shield, and if the voltage specs on the ebay post are correct, it is overdriven at the "stock" 28vdc!


    (I suspect Mr TB is exhibiting some antisocial behaviour at this point. )

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  4. #34
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Larry, do I dare say that you may have just found the "better flashlight" (your sig line) that might enable you to find your happy a** with both hands?
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

  5. #35
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    When I got the field test USL, I commented I would have to be veery careful in that never-ending endeavor! The front end of this thing ain't gonna get anywhere near my unadorned/otherwise a**!

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  6. #36
    Enlightened CarbonArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Well here is an update.

    I have purchased the AN/VSS-1(V) 2 and have also purchased a 3kw 107A government generator. I plan on using the generator in parallel with a series of batteries to provide the light with enough amperage when I kick it into over drive (however I do not know how much I will be really using overdrive seeing as the mode only lasts about 17 seconds) in my circuit design so far I have 3 solenoid relays designed into the system (one for the power from the generator) (one for the battery power) (one to charge the batteries when needed) the third has an auto sensing charging feature. Hopefully if my parts come in I will be able to finish the circuit by the weekend.



    As for mounting I am designing a turret out of steel. It works on a similar concept to a merry-go round. I have a 3" o.d. steel pipe sliding into a 3" id pipe. (both sch. 40) I will cap the inside pipe. Put some bearings on top grease it up and slide the other pipe on top (after it is also capped). The bottom pipe will be welded to a 15"x15" steel plate with gussets. The light will most likely be welded onto some sort of moveable platform on top of this assembly (I haven’t worked out the details for this yet).



    I didn’t mention before but this whole setup will be mounted on a trailer so it will be "portable"

    Hopefully I will have some time to get some photos up here soon. (like tonight or tommorow)

  7. #37
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    The cable and control box arrived today. Anybody notice this:








    Yup, glow-in-the-dark!

    My light is devoid of any manufacturer's mark. I've been curious as to who made the things. The control box has a label that says Varo, Inc. Garland, Texas and another which says Overhauled Tobyhanna Army Depot Date 10-80. The light itself has a label saying overhauled Tobyhanna Depot 3-85. A google of Varo, Inc. reveals they became VHC/IMO and were bought by Litton Industries in '95, now Northrup Grumman. There were a bunch of divisions and the search was very confusing.

    Larry
    Last edited by tvodrd; 03-15-2006 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Further research
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  8. #38
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    I fear I may have a wiring problem or faulty control box or something else…it would explain my not being able to shut down the light.

    Could someone check power on the pins of the control box?

    I used a 12DC power source on pin A(+) and G(-). This is which pins I found to be hot in the different modes:

    1. OFF POS
    IR Wide: D
    IR Focus: “none”
    VIS Wide: E, D
    VIS Focus: “none”

    2.STANDBY
    IR Wide: D,C,B
    IR Focus: “none”
    VIS Wide: E,D,C,B
    VIS Focus: “none”

    3.ON
    IR Wide: F,D,C,B
    IR Focus: “none”
    VIS Wide: E,F,D,C,B
    VIS Focus: “none”


    Thanks,
    Willem.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Hi Willem,

    The scheme Robert at Peak Beam faxed me shows +28V should be supplied to pin D on the control box by pinD on the searchlight:


    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  10. #40
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Larry,
    That really helps. I did not have that information so I just matched pin for pin.
    Willem.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Willem, let us know if that resolves the "fan" issue. I see considerable corrosion on the heat exchanger fins at the inlet and outlet on mine. At least one manual suggests running water through it to clean "debris." Maybe some H2S04/water would remove the corrosion and restore heat exchanger efficacy? (Don says I'm "anal" and he's right!)

    From my PMs I know at least one other CPF'r was going to buy one! Fess-up!

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  12. #42
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Again, thanks for the info. Will let you know how I make out. Have to leave on a business trip for a week this Saturday, so Larry, your light may be up and running before I get back!!!!
    Cleaning the heat exchanger probably is not a bad idea.
    If there are enough people who will buy these light maybe we can all chip in and buy one as spare for parts.
    Willem.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Hi willem,

    Just sent you an EM with the rest of the info attached. I have to be back in your neck of the woods in 2-4 weeks for 1 week+. (RI then CT) My "PSU" is still 2-4 weeks out, so you will be back before mine is up and running. I like your idea of a shared parts light! (I think I already have a lamp. )

    If I get it up and running (sweating bullets!) I will offer a get-together, Memorial Day weekend at my shack at the end of tvod Rd, out in the Mojave and (with some help) there should be some pretty good beamshots!

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  14. #44
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Larry,

    Thanks got the info. Well I hope I don’t have a parts light on my hands, involuntarily!

    Given the proper pinout schematic, I may have very well fried the “beast” Now it all makes sense that I could not turn off the light and that the fan motor was running right away after powerup! Before I invest in a relay (or use a breaker I already own – as a switch), I will have to just try and power it up by manual switching.

    We will see what happens!

    Willem.

  15. #45
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Well, it looks like I may have burned out the igniter (or something).

    As I am taking the light apart anyway I thought I would post a few pics.

    On the top right (fist pic) is where the igniter is suppose to be mounted.

    Second pic shows the igniter and third pic shows the heat exchanger. Good old Trane! Oh well, such is life…

    Willem.






  16. #46

    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    ohh... hope you can get it going...

  17. #47
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    That's a bummer, Willem! Post# 1 here has contact info for Robert at Peak Beam, and post# 33 seems to indicate some hope! The manual says there were two ignitor assy's used in the things and they are fully interchangeable. (#'s 9911 and F50006) As Robert (a fellow engineer) cautioned against what happened to you, he may know for sure what blew.

    My control box mating connector and relay arrived today, and the Allied cat#'s I posted above are gold! (Hopefully helps CarbonArc.) I also bought a 15ohm, 5W resistor to keep the 24vdc relay coil current at "stock" level I hope to start fabbing my mount this weekend. Good luck with fixing it!!!!!

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  18. #48
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Well i finally got my light up and running... that is the good news. however it only ran for about 5 minutes then it shut off, it seems like I had a faulty solenoid. However I replaced it and now the light will not power up. The beam was truly amazing. I have checked and double checked and then triple checked all of my wiring, and everything seems to be fine in that respect.

    Initially the red indicator light on the control box worked (when the light functioned), however now it does not. it seems that all of the focusing/ shield changing contols on the control box work fine. I guess I am going to have to tear apart my light as well to see if the ignitor is the problem. Also I plan on checking the bulb.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  19. #49
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    According to the manual, the red light on the control box only lights when the searchlight is in overdrive or if the temperature rises to high. Also, there should be a circuit breaker on the relay panel, which is immediately below the ignitor assembly. It looks like you have to remove the reflector to check it.

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  20. #50
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    CarbonArc:

    In essence the same thing happened to me. When I could not turn the light off due to the incorrect wiring scheme I simply killed the power supply. In theory that should have powered down everything “simultaneously” and not caused a problem with the igniter, however when I tried to start up again, nothing happened. I am assuming the igniter is toast? Also the circuit breaker tvodrd mentioned you can get to without removing the mirror but if you plan on having as much fun as I you will be removing a lot more!

    Cheers,

    Willem.

  21. #51
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    ShortArc


    I have removed the entire assembly as you have. hopefully I am not stuck with a "parts light" but oh well, I am having the igniter tested by one of my EE friends. hopefully I will be able to find something to replace it... if not I guess ill have to shell out another 500 to get a new light... oh well its only money :-) if i find out that the igniter is definitely the problem i will let you know, i will post some pictures tonight hopefully.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    I'm at least 3 weeks behind you guys. I followed-up on my genset, and it sounds like mid April. I sure hope someone can chase down one of the "internal/depot" service manuals for them! Given the age of these things, those igniters could contain vacuum tubes!

    I have what appears to be an early light, S/N 575, which presumably has the rebuildable relay panel assembly. Due to light surface corrosion, the printing on the small motors is long gone. I need to disassemble my replacement control box as the indicator light's housing spins in the panel. I hope to get started on my mount this weekend, but am having misgivings due to the problems you guys have experienced. Like, should I test it first before spending more time/$ on it.



    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  23. #53
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Some indicator lights have rotating dimming housings.

  24. #54
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    tvodrd:

    My suggestion would seriously be to fire the light up first (quick and dirty) and then start on all the refinements. When everything works many of us will flock to buy your drawings for the mount.

    Willem.

    PS. SN on mine is 630, Inspection date 7-17-91.
    Last edited by ShortArc; 03-25-2006 at 05:08 PM.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Phased, it is a dimmable indicator with lamp replaceable from the front. The entire assembly is loose in the panel.

    ShortArc, the mount will be Q&D- aluminum trunions in stamped pillow blocks and chain drive from some fairly small gearmotors. (Small enough that I'd better get the trunions pretty close to through the CG or I'll have to add a manual brake. ) I doubt I will need to do drawings and the pics/details will be free! I think I will take your advice and Q&D test it prior to inve$ting too much more time in it.

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  26. #56
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    You can check out some pictures here. some of them are redundant to shortarc's

    http://community.webshots.com/user/carbonarc101

  27. #57
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    No such thing as redundant when it comes to good illustrations (pics alike)!

    Did you look inside the igniter yet? Nicely potted!

  28. #58
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    yes opened it up lots of potting :-(

  29. #59
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    If I keep goosing them, I expect my genset to power it mid April. I have cables/lugs/fuze/relay and most everything to light it. My light is in poorer condition than yours, based on the pics posted. I'm kind or wondering, given the missing cable/control if I may have been inadvertantly shipped one of PBS's "parts lights?" (There was a "shipping issue" with the MaxaBeam I bought from them on the CPF group buy.

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  30. #60
    Flashaholic ShortArc's Avatar
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    Default Re: AN/VSS-1(V)2 Searchlight

    Tvodrd, I just noticed the folks I bought my rectifier from have more for sale. http://cgi.ebay.com/HC-POWER-INC-MSR24-150-MODULAR-RECTIFIER-150-AMP-NEW_W0QQitemZ7602981017QQcategoryZ73142QQrdZ1QQcmd ZViewItem

    Sure you don’t need an alternate power source when the grid is available? Mid April is just too far in the future…

    Willem.

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