Monday, August 20, 2012

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

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.


  1. That's amazing man,

    You should try toasting some food (bread, marshmallows, etc).

  2. You should pick up a Nd doped rod and do some mega-lasing!