3-6V Xenon Strobe Light


Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This circuit used to come as a kit from a surplus supplier, but probably isn`t available anymore. It shows a few novel concepts such as using a 555 as a pulse width modulator (PWM), and series/parallel camera flash transformers. WARNING: This circuit is contains voltages and currents which can KILL if you are not careful. Charged capacitors will S


3-6V Xenon Strobe Light
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

URPRISE YOU! They can hold a lethal charge for hours! If you don`t know much about working with high voltages or if you aren`t crazy (like me) then DO NOT attempt to construct this circuit. I CANNOT BE RESPONSIBLE if you electrocute yourself to death! That said, let`s have some fun! The 555 is set up as a pulse width modulator (the off (low) time being set by the trimmer). The output at pin 3 is connected to the gate of the P-channel MOSFET (IRF9Z20) through the 100R resistor to prevent parasitic oscillation of the transistor. A low signal at pin 3 causes the MOSFET to turn on, thus the potentiometer controls the output power, and somewhat the flash frequency, by varying the duty cycle of the 555 and in turn the MOSFET. The drain of the MOSFET transistor is connected to the primaries of T1-T4 - the camera flash transformers. These primary windings are connected in series, and being originally intended to operate at 3V, this allows an input voltage of 12V. In this particular series/parallel configuration, the secondaries of T1-T4 are connected in parallel, supplying approximately their rated 330V, but at 4 times the current since there are 4 of them. This is rectified by the 1N4005 diode and passed along to the 150u storage capacitor. Also, the 6n9 and 12n capacitors are charged. Once the 6n8 cap reaches the strike voltage of the neon lamp, which is approximately 60V, it is dumped into the gate of the SCR, turning it on....




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