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Thread: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I first saw one of these on ebay many years ago and had been kicking myself for not bidding on it. I didn't see any more until these turned up, but now they seem to be showing up every few weeks...though some are in better shape than others. The prices also tend to vary widely. They were used in Vietnam on tanks as well as helicopters. On helicopters they would use the light in infrared mode to spot the enemy, and then switch to visible to engage.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  2. #32

    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    cfb,

    Is it possible to post a beamshot at a distant object? Your 3 shots are awesome but all go up to the sky.

    Thanks,
    Primary duty lights: (metal) Elektrolumens Pentalux 4C; (polymer) Pelican M8 LED; (hybrid) StreamLight 3C-XP
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  3. #33
    Flashaholic* Nereus's Avatar
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    Icon15 Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    "The bad news is you will need someone to help carry you key ring around."
    The good news is that it will be very hard to lose the key ring... What a light! With the infrared option you can barbecue a chicken from a distance of 10 kilometres!

    -Nereus

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    John2551,

    There is not a whole lot of open space around the house (mostly woods) to do a distant target shot, other than across the harbor which is only about .5-.75 miles away. Problem is that there are houses on the other side. I might be able to try it in our back field next weekend but it will only be a couple of hundred yards. It is supposed to be able to illuminate targets a couple of miles away. Anyway I will see what I can do next weekend. The light is out at a summer house my wife and I share with relatives.

    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  5. #35
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    P.S.

    John, I noticed you are in NYC. We are too, though the light is not. No space to use it here sadly. Anyway I am glad to see the NYPD represented on CPF!


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  6. #36
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    Thumbs up Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsalumens
    I first saw one of these on ebay many years ago and had been kicking myself for not bidding on it. I didn't see any more until these turned up, but now they seem to be showing up every few weeks...though some are in better shape than others. The prices also tend to vary widely. They were used in Vietnam on tanks as well as helicopters. On helicopters they would use the light in infrared mode to spot the enemy, and then switch to visible to engage.


    cfb
    I found one, but price is too big 2500usd!

    Her have got three light, but only one left!

    What have been prices at Ebay?

  7. #37
    *Moderator* K-T's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I am with Chrisse on this - you should have seen the real one at the 2004 meeting - I was freaking out when Lampenkaiser hit the ignition switch on that beast. It throws a pencilsharp beam far,far,far (did I say far?) away in the distance. We were worried at certain times that people in the neighbourhood might get worried about our activities ontop of that hill. I was close to getting one of those just for the pure and raw power of it - never had the car and the trailer for it for transportation.

  8. #38

    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsalumens
    Ralph,

    Did yours come from that surplus dealer in Texas? If so then you are correct, I bought their first one. Unfortunately they did not want to separate mine and ship UPS. The truck freight shipping ended up costing almost as much as the light! Anyway I will send you a PM so that we can talk about cables etc by email.


    cfb
    Surplus dealer in Texas, you say?? I would very much appreciate any contact info you could provide, as I'm in Texas and would like to get in touch with the man who's selling these...

    Wonderful beamshots, BTW... The beam's so tight it almost looks like a friggin' laser beam

  9. #39
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    JWIREN,

    Someone was asking $2,500 for one of these?? wow. I got mine for $450 new. I have seen used ones on ebay for less and more. I don't see any currently on auction, though there are two of the larger 2+kW VSS-1s for about $1,000 (that's not a deal either...saturn surplus sells them for less). I've heard firsthand that at 230lbs the VSS-1 is no fun to move around though.

    FRETTEDFIVE,

    The dealer was samssurplus.com in Stanton TX, but they only had four and sold them all. Might not hurt to call them up just in case they dig up some more though. The cables cost a couple of hundred to make since the connectors are expensive.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  10. #40
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    Crackup Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Sets my Costco HID down by the screen and tells him the story of his Great Grand Dad who rode on the Army tanks many years ago......LOL !!

    Whoa...... Holy BatBeam !!

    "I don't think the nieghbors could be any more annoyed at me than they already are." I plead to my wife, and get THAT LOOK, in return......

    Oh welll.......

    Lets see a pic of you changing a tire using that monster !! he he

    More Beamshots Please !!
    |Nuwai|GLP's|Aleph 3|PR-T w/E2e|Costco HID's|ARC LSH-S| Mr Bulk|Lumaray FL12|PocketMateW|MagHID|Mag85|AWR Nano|Amilite|SFIII Mc38-V|TnC Lithium Lux V XYOS 03/10|Fenix Trio|SuperNova|Illuminator|PGL-III-A's| Gatlight SS V2|Nitrous McLuxIII PD|USL|AN/VSS-3a|FM Ni Plt'd C Mag|FM 3.5" Mag Head|

  11. #41
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    Smile Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    lotsalumens,

    PM sent.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Could you please post some pictures of the light next to a Thor or something so that I can get a better idea of size.

    Is the ballast part of the light or is the radio supply acting as the ballast?

    Any idea what the beam divergence is? From the pictures it looks like 0.0 degrees!

    And what happened to that 750w aviation light of yours?

  13. #43

    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsalumens
    P.S.

    John, I noticed you are in NYC. We are too, though the light is not. No space to use it here sadly. Anyway I am glad to see the NYPD represented on CPF!


    cfb
    cfb,

    Yes, if you travel on any of the Bronx Highways at night look for the tall officer with the brightest flashlight! I've been "converting" the other cops to better, brighter flashlights one at a time because many of them still use the old 3D maglite with a regular bulb!!!!

    John
    Primary duty lights: (metal) Elektrolumens Pentalux 4C; (polymer) Pelican M8 LED; (hybrid) StreamLight 3C-XP
    Searchlight: AE PowerLight PL14
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    Special LED signaling lights: Torfino ICE light, Inova 24/7, Adventurelights VIP

    NYPD flag, adopted in 1919

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    ThatGuy,

    Here are some photos I posted in a temporary directory on one of my web sites a while ago. This was several months ago just after the light arrived when I was unpacking everything. They will give you an idea of scale (that's one of my kids next to the light...he was about 18 months old at the time). They also show the interior of the light as well as the remote controls. The smaller remote is redundant and I do not have it wired up. Click on thumbnails for full images:

    http://electricmuseum.com/temp/searchlight

    The light and remote have all their own electronics built in, so the power supply does not need a ballast. It just needs to be able to provide about 28v at 60 amps or so.

    - Beam divergence is approximately 1 to 1.5 degrees at tight focus.

    - You asked about the 750w aviation lamp I was working on a while ago. I got stumped by the igniter circuit (how to keep the main supply from loading the circuit during the HV pulse...you need a huge inductor or injection transformer or something). At about the same time this light showed up. This seemed like a better project to focus on, so I gave up on the aviation lamps and sold two of them. I still have one left that I'll probably put on ebay sometime.


    Charles
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  15. #45
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Thanks Lotsalumens,

    Great pics. So how did you create a 110VAC to 28VDC power supply that can dish out 60A?

  16. #46
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I didn't build the supply, it's an ebay find. It's surplus military designed to power a big Marine Corps radio set. 28v 60amp, about 90lbs, watertight, and insanely overbuilt. Cost $225 which seemed pretty good. There is a photo of it next to the light in the first message of this thread. Just give the photos time to load.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  17. #47
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    I'm still thinking about getting one of these. They say the power requirements of the one they are selling is 28VDC @ 100Amp. I wonder if 24VDC would work from two car batteries. Just to test the thing.

  18. #48
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Jazz,

    My light is an AN/VSS-3 and the stated current rating is something like 58 or 60 amps. The much larger and heavier AN/VSS-1 has higher current needs. Are you sure the one you are looking at is a VSS-3? If so the seller may just have the specs wrong.

    I didn't get any more beam shots last weekend unfortunately. We had a big thunderstorm on staturday night. Not sure when we will be out there again, but whenever it is I will try for some "targeted" beamshots.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* twentysixtwo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Holey freaking cow!!!! I'd love to have that light, but it would cost me a lot more than a few hundred dollars if you get my drift.........


    Post some pix of your wacked out connectors. I have some that are very odd and military looking.....
    The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Juma Ikaanga

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  20. #50
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by lotsalumens
    Jazz,

    My light is an AN/VSS-3 and the stated current rating is something like 58 or 60 amps. The much larger and heavier AN/VSS-1 has higher current needs. Are you sure the one you are looking at is a VSS-3? If so the seller may just have the specs wrong.

    I didn't get any more beam shots last weekend unfortunately. We had a big thunderstorm on staturday night. Not sure when we will be out there again, but whenever it is I will try for some "targeted" beamshots.


    cfb
    I given up on this pipe dream. Now on to putting HID projectors in my truck. Been hanging out at HIDPLANET.

  21. #51
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Jazz,

    Well the whole thing turned into a pretty big project making the cables and getting it going. I am loaning the cables to a friend of mine down south who also bought one of these lights and wants to use it for Halloween. I considered making him a set of cables since he is not too electrical, but I just don't have time right now. As I mentioned earlier, my light is out at a shared family house, and since we don't get out there much this time of year it is pretty much packed up for winter.

    The HID projectors sound like fun.

    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    P.S. Here is a web page with a photo showing one of these lights installed on a tank ( the light is the green canvas covered box over the main gun):

    http://www.afvnews.ca/cgi-bin/web-bb...mes/read/59751

    This shows how they were mounted on helicopters (this is a slightly earlier version of the same light...it has angled corners on top). Note the 7.62 minigun. I sure wouldn't want something like this coming after me!

    http://www.foxco-2ndbn-9thmarines.co...e_Web_view.jpg

    Just thought these photos were interesting since they show this type of light in its original context.

    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  23. #53
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    hey everyone, this is my first post, i have been lurking around the forums for a while and finally found a reason to post...

    .., i think this video is of a similar searchlight being used in combat...looks pretty awesome!

    http://www.big-boys.com/articles/mosulbombs.html

  24. #54

    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    They may have been set up in infra-red mode. The bad guys drove right into the beam. Also note the flasher on the back of one of the guys, to ID him from the air.
    And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
    Isaiah 6:1-8

  25. #55
    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    wow awe-spiring light. i think i can use that to cook at camps or just burn other camps down...

    your beam shots are awesome! using a nikon d100 eh?

    first beamshot shutter speed was 2.5s
    second and third was 3.0s
    all with the the aperture size of 3.5!!

    dang bright. i think i will have to work for agessssssss to get it.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Wow that's awsome. I wuz thinking about a X990 for my big light, but now.....

    Great pics! Can't wait to see more.

  27. #57
    Flashaholic Phased_Array's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Hmmm...
    Today one sold on Ebay for $250... I bought it with no competing bids. Less than 150 views of the item for 10 days! I downloaded the gov't wiring diagrams and manuals beforehand to be sure I could hot wire it without the control boxes.

    They're still out there.

    Phased Array

  28. #58
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by chesterqw
    wow awe-spiring light. i think i can use that to cook at camps or just burn other camps down...

    your beam shots are awesome! using a nikon d100 eh?

    first beamshot shutter speed was 2.5s
    second and third was 3.0s
    all with the the aperture size of 3.5!!

    dang bright. i think i will have to work for agessssssss to get it.

    Yes I love my D100! I just had it set on auto for those shots, so it came up with the shutter speed and aperture on its own.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  29. #59
    Flashaholic* lotsalumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Phased_Array
    Hmmm...
    Today one sold on Ebay for $250... I bought it with no competing bids. Less than 150 views of the item for 10 days! I downloaded the gov't wiring diagrams and manuals beforehand to be sure I could hot wire it without the control boxes.

    They're still out there.

    Phased Array
    Nice find! Can't wait to hear when you get it working. If you need any extra parts, I have the small extra remote which I don't need as well as an extra connector that goes to the light (minus strain relief). You can PM me for info if interested. These are absolutely amazing little lights.


    cfb
    "It is better to light one multi-kilowatt xenon arc megalight than to curse the darkness."

  30. #60

    Default Re: 1kW Xenon Arc Tank Light

    Simply awesome. When I get a place of my own i want something like that.

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