This video shows my entry into the world of high-intensity flash tubes. I was inspired by the work done by the famous Doc Edgerton who built a strobe system for nighttime aerial photography. I've heard the biggest system he built was somewhere between 50 and 75 KJ per flash -- the power needed to illuminate the ground from 1000 feet in the air!
The system in this video is a Speedotron 4803, which delivers up to 4800J per flash. Photographers use the units watt-seconds (Ws) to describe the energy in each flash, which are the same as Joules. I plan to add capacitance to the bank in order to increase the total discharge power, but the voltage may also need to be adjusted since the higher power flashes also tend to require higher voltages. I'm also planning to try different xenon flash tubes, which are capable of more intense flashes.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
I thought it would be interesting to try decapping some chips. This involves using fuming nitric acid, which also seemed fun, so I thought I would give it a go. The process starts by milling a precise pocket into the IC using my CNC machine. I used carbide tooling to cut the glass fiber/epoxy material. I then put a drop or two of the acid into the pocket, and raised the temperature to about 100*C. The acid dissolves the epoxy packaging as it sort of "dries". I added more acid to the pocket every few minutes. After about 10 minutes, I washed the IC in acetone, then reapplied acid if there was still material left on the die. Eventually, it was all cleared away, and I had a nice decapped IC.