Xenon flash tube circuit

As a companion to the Lighting Controller presented in Project 62this strobe can be used for the strobe head unit. Although the circuit presented is somewhat incomplete in terms of all component values, suggested xenon flash tubes, etcthe basic principles will allow you to create a unit that will work well and reliably. Note that the description given here is meant only as a guideline. Xenon tubes can have widely differing characteristics, depending on their intended usage, and some may not work properly in this application.

You must accept all responsibility for your actions if you decide to build this strobe flash. ESP has taken all reasonable precautions against publishing errors in this article, but it is still only a guideline. Since the circuit operates at greater than mains potential and is not isolated by a transformer, it is extremely dangerous. The DC operating potential is about V, and there is more than enough stored charge to kill you many times over although in my experience, once is usually sufficient.

This is not meant to be funny — this is truly serious stuff. In addition, the circuitry usually is directly mains line powered, with no isolation.

Discharge all capacitors before working on any flash system. This can happen even with people who are not epileptic as such. Many countries have laws governing the use of strobe lights in public places, and effects such as nausea, vomiting and epilepsy have been directly linked to the excessive use of strobes at the right wrong?

Use of this or any such circuit is entirely at your own risk. This was a very powerful strobe, and had to be limited at higher frequencies above 12Hz to prevent the tube from going into meltdown. The following is NOT a description of that unit.

A xenon flash tube is a triggered gas discharge device. A voltage may be impressed across the tube and it will not conduct until the xenon gas is ionised by an external high voltage typically 3 to 5kV. Once triggered, the gas becomes a very low impedance, and discharges the storage capacitors in about 1ms this varies considerably, but this figure is fine for basic calculations.

During discharge, the xenon gas emits broad spectrum white light, which is at nearly the same colour temperature of daylight.

For this reason, xenon flash tubes are now the universal choice for photographic flashes, since there is very little colour change when using normal daylight film. Figure 1 shows the basic flash strobe circuit. The mains is rectified directly using a voltage doubler circuit for V supplies via a current limiting resistor, and the capacitor bank is connected directly across the flash tube.

The trigger circuit charges a small capacitance via another limiting resistor. When the SCR is triggered, the capacitor discharges through the primary of the trigger transformer, and a high voltage pulse is developed which is applied to the trigger electrode of the flash tube. The xenon gas becomes conductive, and the capacitor bank is discharged until the voltage is insufficient to maintain conduction in the tube, which then extinguishes.

The capacitors charge up again ready for the next flash. Keep the wires from the storage capacitor C3 to the tube short less than mm total if possible. The trigger transformer must be as close to the tube as you can get it — HV insulated cable could be used, but the results are unpredictable.

How it Works The mains switched by SW1 is supplied to the rectifier via current limiting resistor R1 for flash tubes above Joules, I suggest that this resistor be at least 10W.

Diodes D1-D4 should be rated at V, and at least 2. At a pinch, 3 x 1N in parallel for each diode should work out ok. The fuse F1 is shown as 1A, which will be fine for V units up to about W — a slow blow fuse is suggested.

First test with 4.8KJ xenon flash lamp (Speedotron 4803 strobe light)

Do not use a fuse rated at more than a couple of amps over the maximum power rating. Calculate the minimum fuse value thus ….

The SCR can be almost any medium current device your local electronics supplier has handy, as long as it is rated at a minimum of V.A flashtubealso called a flashlampis an electric arc lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherentfull-spectrum white light for very short durations. Flashtubes are made of a length of glass tubing with electrodes at either end and are filled with a gas that, when triggered, ionizes and conducts a high voltage pulse to produce the light.

xenon flash tube circuit

Flashtubes are used mostly for photographic purposes but are also employed in scientific, medical, industrial, and entertainment applications. The lamp comprises a hermetically sealed glass tube, which is filled with a noble gasusually xenonand electrodes to carry electrical current to the gas. Additionally, a high voltage power source is necessary to energize the gas as a trigger event. A charged capacitor is usually used to supply energy for the flash, so as to allow very speedy delivery of very high electrical current when the lamp is triggered.

The glass envelope is most commonly a thin tube, often made of fused quartzborosilicate or Pyrexwhich may be straight, or bent into a number of different shapes, including helical, "U" shape, and circular to surround a camera lens for shadowless photography —' ring flashes '.

In some applications, the emission of ultraviolet light is undesired, whether due to production of ozonedamage to laser rods, degradation of plastics, or other detrimental effects. In these cases, a doped fused silica is used. Doping with titanium dioxide can provide different cutoff wavelengths on the ultraviolet side, but the material suffers from solarization ; it is often used in medical and sun-ray lamps and some non-laser lamps.

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A better alternative is a cerium -doped quartz; it does not suffer from solarization and has higher efficiency, as part of the absorbed ultraviolet is reradiated as visible via fluorescence.

Cooling of the electrodes and the lamp envelope is of high importance at high power levels. Air cooling is sufficient for lower average power levels. High power lamps are cooled with a liquid, typically by flowing demineralized water through a tube in which the lamp is encased. Water-cooled lamps will generally have the glass shrunk around the electrodes, to provide a direct thermal conductor between them and the cooling water. The cooling medium should flow also across the entire length of the lamp and electrodes.

High average power or continuous-wave arc lamps must have the water flow across the ends of the lamp, and across the exposed ends of the electrodes as well, so the deionized water is used to prevent a short circuit. Thinner walls can survive higher average-power loads due to lower mechanical strain across the thickness of the material, which is caused by a temperature gradient between the hot plasma and cooling water, e.

For this reason, thinner glass is often used for continuous-wave arc-lamps. Other glasses such as borosilicate generally have less than half the power loading capacity of quartz. Aging lamps require some derating, due to increased energy absorption in the glass due to solarization and sputtered deposits. The electrodes protrude into each end of the tube, and are sealed to the glass using a few different methods.To best describe the process happening in a typical flash circuit, we have made an animation showing it in steps.

The light output of a flashtube is a function of the electrical energy stored in the storage capacitor. So actually the flashtube rating is for MAXIMUM allowed input energyand can be powered by any value between zero 0 and the maximum allowed energy. Remember: to increase the light outputyou need to increase the stored energy! To keep the flash duration low, you will need to select low-impedance components, including the storage capacitor and the wiring to the flashtube. Another way is to choose a high energy density flash tube, which means a relatively short arc and thick tuberather than a long arc and thin tube.

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But most importantly, you will need to use the basic rule that says the bigger the capacitance, the longer the flash duration. But how to keep the flash energy high, if we lower the capacitance?

We need a higher voltage. Flashtubes exist in many shapes and sizes, including Linear, Round, Helical spiralU-shape horse-shoe and more. It all depends on your application and product design. Flash Lamps design Driver Module customization. Xenon Flash Basic circuit explained.

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In: Knowledge base. A whole process happens in just Micro-Seconds! Like This. Tags: flash xenon schematic circuit basic workings process. Full Name.The article discusses a very simple yet amusing mains operated xenon tube flasher circuit using ordinary electronic components. The circuit was taken from one of the old elektor electronics magazine and it is indeed a very cute little circuit which may be used for creating high intensity lighting effects during festivals, parties and fun gatherings.

Resistors R4 along with R5 and P1 provides the gate current to the triac so that it can fire for the required actions. Once this happens the triac triggers, inducing a momentary pulse inside the primary winding of the pulse transformer via C3.

This generates a blinding arc light inside the tube, producing the required high intensity flash. As the name suggests, it's a tube filled with inert xenon gas. A metal ring is attached toward the anode side of the tube which becomes the gate trigger point of the device.

Any standard xenon tube can be used here, preferably the ones which are used in electronic cameras. This becomes the secondary winding A to B. And about 10 turns of 22 SWG over the above winding. This becomes the primary winding of the transformer A to C.

If you have any circuit related query, you may interact through comments, I'll be most happy to help! Your email:. I tried with two watt xenon linear tubes from a friend.

Kindly help. I want single [1] flash at full power in every 9 second only with manual push button.

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I am making an Exposure box for my small print shop. I am not able to afford so much money to buy from Kolkata market. I am struggling to make one.

The circuit was taken from the elektor electronic magazine, so I won't be able to suggest much about the modifications. I have found the same circuit in a bpb book, but I can not understand if i want to flash two watt xenon lamp in variable rate and can control brightness, what shall be the circuit? Hi Adin, P1 can be used for adjusting the flashing rate or the speed, while the value of C3 could be changed for getting some sort of difference in the intensity of the xenon discharges.

Hi Ankush, a W xenon tube will work with the above circuit but only after the coil and the triac are modified appropriately for handling the massive power of the tube. Hi Swagatam ur blog is very useful. I need a circuit — 20 volt dc output with mA. Comment Policy: Dear Friends, 1 Kindly make sure your comments are related to the article topic, for example a motor related comment should be posted under a motor related post, a battery charger question under a battery charger post, voltage control under power supply article and so forth Thank you for your consideration!

Your email address will not be published.A flashtube, also called a flash lamp, is an electric arc lamp designed to produce extremely intense, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for very short durations. Flashtubes are made of a length of thin glass tubing with electrodes at either end and are filled with a gas that, when triggered, ionizes and conducts a high voltage pulse to produce intense light. Flashtubes are used mostly for photographic purposes but are also employed in scientific, medical and industrial applications such as lasers.

The flash lamp comprises a hermetically sealed glass tube, which is filled with xenon, and electrodes to carry electrical current to the gas. Additionally, a high voltage power source is necessary to ionize the gas. A charged capacitor is usually used for this purpose so as to allow very speedy delivery of very high electrical current when the lamp is triggered. See fig. Flashtubes require high operating and triggering voltages and caution must be observed when using them. The glass envelope is often made of fused quartz, borosilicate, or Pyrex.

The electrodes protrude into each end of the tube. For low electrode wear the electrodes are usually made of tungsten, which has the highest melting point of any metal.

xenon flash tube circuit

Cathodes are often made from porous tungsten filled with a barium compound and the structure of cathode has to be tailored for the application. The cathode undergoes destruction from positively charged xenon ion bombardment. Anodes are usually made from pure tungsten. This consists of a high voltage power supply, the flashtube itself, a high voltage trigger transformers, and a photoflash capacitor. The tubes I used required volts to operate correctly.

One can use an inverter, a device that steps up a low voltage battery to a high voltage this is used in camerasor a voltage doubler circuit for a volt AC line. I used a homemade inverter circuit using a volt center-tapped transformer as shown in the photos below.

See the following:. Capacitor C1 is charges through resistor R2. When the switch is pressed C1 quickly discharges though T2 creating a high voltage pulse that ionizes the gas in the tube, causing C3 to discharge through the tube, thus crating a bright flash. Note that while a standard electrolytic capacitor can be used, specially made photoflash capacitors should be used. They can withstand the high discharge rate.

Resistor R1 must be used to keep the power supply from swamping and destroying the tube. In my setup C3 charges up to volts and discharges down to volts.

Using a photoflash capacitor that's too large can destroy the tube from overheating and thermal shock. The trigger transformer is usually matched to the tube.

Mains AC Xenon Tube Flasher Circuit

Technology Remaking the World. Using an SCR allows the use of low-voltage electronics to control the flash. Make note of gate sensitivity. Here we use a Sidac. The flash rate is controlled by R2 and C1.

My experimental flashtube test setup. Closer view of my flashtube board. A board pulled from a flasher used on a state truck. Picture of a horseshoe shaped flashtube. Flashtubes come in a number of shapes and sizes. One type of trigger transformer.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

It only takes a minute to sign up. I found this hookup diagram for it:. I connected a potential difference of 12V to the board. When I press the power button it makes a humming sound; however, the U shape Xenon tube is not flashing. I was not able to find a more detailed spec sheet. Does anyone have any idea what pins J5, J3, and J6 are used for?

You can almost work out the circuit from the photograph, since the PCB traces are fairly visible through the substrate. The circuitry to the left of the power switch generates the high-voltage to charge the flash capacitor C3 at the top. The circuitry to the right of the power switch provides the trigger pulses to the trigger transformer T2.

There's a diode between J5 and J4 — it looks like the intent is that you connect an external power supply to J5 and J1, and then hook a battery between J4 and J2. This allows the external supply to charge the battery. J3 and J6 are a little less clear. If I had to guess, I'd say that J3 is another ground connection.

You can verify this by looking at the other side of the board. J6 looks like it's connected to the high-voltage bus, perhaps through a resistor, so perhaps it is meant for monitoring the voltage in some way.

The most likely reason why it fails: The main transformer core is broken mechanically. That could be the reason why it's humming, too. Could get you a heart stroke.

It even may stay charged when power is off, depending how lousy the circuit was designed. So, wire your DMM to it, then turn the 12V power on. Look at the DMM display but stay away from the circuit for a while even when you removed the 12V power.

Sign up to join this community.XenonFlashTubes is a leading developer and supplier of Xenon Flash Driver boards and power supply modules for running strobe systems.

Xenon Strobe Light

Flash driver boards basically consist of: a Capacitor-charging power supply module, a trigger circuit that will fire the lamp, an Energy-storage capacitor. REV 2. Board only.

xenon flash tube circuit

Sold without capacitors and lamp. Universal high-power Capacitor-Charging module board, featuring a wide range of input and output voltages. Tightly built, yet suitable for medium-heavy usage. Ultra-compact, high repetition low-energy Xenon strobe, suitable for Warning lights and stage effects.

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xenon flash tube circuit

Designed for XOP-series lamps. Flash Lamps design Driver Module customization. Input voltage. Charge rate Max. Lamp included. Capacitor included. Application field. More products will be available by May Grid List There are 9 products.

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