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Thread: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

  1. #1
    Enlightened danthexenonorc's Avatar
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    Post 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Hello all,

    My name is Danilo and this will be where I will be documenting my build and turning to for any suggestions as I continue to build my 3kw xenon searchlight. I am currently 17 years old and have recently resumed working on this light after about a 2 year break. I originally had intentions to make as bright of a light as I could from the power that I can pull from my house (2 phase, 220v between two 110v lines), but am limited to smaller light sources due to reasons I will explain later (a 3000w xenon bulb is also plenty bright).

    To date, I have completed the ballast assembly, which is a Ballantyne Strong Corp. 1-3K Xenon Ballast, the control box (to adjust current, switch on aux power, switch power to lamp), and a handheld remote that controls all aspects of the light as well as monitors the ballast current draw and power consumption. I have also completed the frame of the lamp housing. I settled on a hexagonal shape that has an inner circle diameter of 22 in (to provide suitable clearance around the reflector), and that is also 36in high. The reflector i'm using is a 20in Phoenix Plectroformed Products model PA6 20 in reflector with a 2.30 in focal length. I really owe a lot many thanks to Lindon Black over at Phoenix Electroformed for taking the time to help me with the design and providing the reflector, and I feel I owe it to him to complete this light properly and to the best of my ability.

    Speaking of ability, in order to construct the aluminum frame of the reflector, I needed to learn how to tig weld aluminium. In the pictures, you might spot some of the most atrocious welds you have ever seen, but please bear with me; these welds show my first 8 hours of welding and the learning curve is quite steep.

    I have been interested in lights for quite a long time, and have various other high powered flashlight projects I have made over the past 6 years. These include, but are not limited to, a 300w Cermax xenon short arc flashlight (that was powered off of lead acid batteries lol), a 575w HMI flashlight (basically higher pressure metal halide), and a 400w led monster flashlight.

    I will post images of the power supply, control box, remote tomorrow in addition to what I have completed so far with the frame and the mechanism I have made to adjust the focus of the light. See you all soon!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Wow, what a start. Following

  3. #3
    Enlightened danthexenonorc's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Alright, so I have gathered up some images of my progress thus far. Here are some images of the ballast I will be using:

    I will post this for now, and if my images load correctly I will return with images of the focusing mechanism, control box, and remote

  4. #4
    Enlightened danthexenonorc's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Alright, I see that my image hosting service that I found actually works- that's a relief. Anyway, Here are some pics of the reflector. It is a PA6.16 reflector (PA6 series) manufactured my Phoenix Electroformed. It is a nickel reflector that is rhodium coated. Being 20" in diameter to ensure more light is columnized, that means that my hexagonal lamp housing has to be very large to make room for the reflector.


    Here is a picture of the ignitor I will be using. It is an Irem 40Kv Ignitor, what will work up to 160a rms, so the 100a I will be pushing though it will be a breeze for it. Also, like all good things, it was made in Italy.


    Moving on to the control box, it is a series of 3 contractors that are actuated by the handheld remote (shown later), that control the ballast's state as well as output current through a potentiometer on the remote. The control box also has a line filter that the power going to the ignitor runs through to prevent "dirty" power from being injected back into my house's wiring system. I added a cooling fan and a vent on the opposite side for the hell of it, not much of a purpose.


    Next is the remote. It's nothing fancy; the bottom right switch switches on the main power going to the ballast (activating the auxiliary cooling fans in the lamp module), the bottom right switch energizes the lamp, and the momentary pushbutton is there to activate the ignitor for the split second it needs to operate. The potentiometer adjust the current going to the lamp from 33a @ 30 vdc to 100a, but I will keep it to the right as I need the full 100a to run a 3Kw xenon lamp. The screen on top displays live current draw and voltage across the input to the ballast.



    I will do a special post regarding the focusing mechanism because I need some help figuring out how to insulate it and if the stepper motor I have controlling the focus will be able to handle the heat coming from the cathode of the lamp. I'm having a lot of fun doing this and I look forward to finally finish this project so I can finally see this thing hit the clouds.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Good to see any new searchlight build thread!
    I just wonder what i would do if any of those big electroformed reflectors dropped in my hands. I would try to resist...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: 3Kw Xenon Searchlight Build

    Build is going faster than i thought!
    Great update.

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