12V stroboscope

Posted on Feb 12, 2013

This is one of my stroboscope designs. Usually many stoboscope circuit work directly from mains voltage, but this circuit uses 12V DC intead od mains AC. This is very good idea if you don't want to mess with direct mains voltage connected circuit or you want to run the stroboscope from batteries. The circuit has some special functions compared to other stroboscope circuits found electronics books. First the there is a switch for selecting the flash power: with C3 you can get very fast flash rates (over 50 Hz), C2 is most suitable for normal operation and using C1 directly you get very bright single flashes.

12V stroboscope
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The stroboscope circuit does not include any timing circuit of it's own. The strobocope will flash when a suitable voltage pulse is applied to the strigger input. This trigger source can be a small variable frequency oscillator, music source or a special strobo controller. The stoboscope tube needs about 250-400V DC to operate. This high voltage is generated using simple voltage step up circuit built from transistors Q1,Q2 and transformer T1. This circuit gives out about 230V AC voltage which is then rectified with rectifying bridge U1 (must have at least 400V voltage rating) and stored to the main capacitor C1. When the circuit operates there are dangerously high voltages in the circuit. Do not in any case get in contact with live circuit. The charge in the main capacitor can give you very nasty electric shock and are even capable of killing. And remeber that thew main capacitors will keep their high voltage charges long time after you have switched off the circuit because there is no bleeding resistors (you can add your own if you wish, just wire 1Mohm resistors in parallel with C1, C2 and C3). Make sure that you have some plastic shield (transparent plastic) in front of the flash tube all the time. If the power rating of the flash tube is exceeded or the flash tube is damaged the flash tube can explode. A plastic shield in front of the flash tube will make sure that the flying pieces of glass will not damagen...

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