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Adjustable strobe light? Answered

I want to utilize my old Sears induction timing light as an adjustable timing light for work. I like using a battery as it is not always easy to get 120V from anywhere near the part I am trying to see, plus the wires tend to get in the way.....rotating parts and loose wires don't always mix well. Any ideas?




8 years ago

To be honest, anything you try and do to Adapt the Sears timing light is going to have problems. Generating a high voltage for example and giving you a decent battery life will mean a biggish and clumsy box,and after you have done that, you still have one of your original problems...trailing wires! Ive lost count myself of the amount of times ive nearly been winched into an engine at high speed because a cable has caught on a fan or something.

Not knowing which model of sears you have, im not sure how big it is, it will still be a fair size, compared to modern ones which is to your advantage.

With modern leds getting brighter and brighter,and the circuitry required to drive the LED's is very simple, i would remove the old electronics and tube, leaving the case, any reflectors and Lens behind. If you look on Instructables and just enter the word STROBE the first page will bring up one or two good circuits that you could use. Building a LED version also has another advantage, you can "prove" the circuit in real conditions to show that it works before trashing the old Sears, or you can keep the Sears and build it into a new box, its up to you.

One important thing to remember though...the Mark/Space ratio, or inother words, the time the LED is on, compared to the LED being off. If the LED is on for too long insideone cycle, then whatever you are looking at will appear blurred, you need a very short ON time compared to the off time, ie 10-15% on 85-90% off this will be similar to the xenon tube which has a shorter flash.

Have fun,and if you get stuck, just give us a shout.


10 years ago

1. find out what voltage it actually uses internally.. It may plug into the wall, but many devices actually use DC. If it is actually DC, then 2. Use a DMM to determine what that DC voltage value is. 3. Determine the current it uses. 4. Design and build a regulator circuit to power the device, bypassing the ac input 5. Choose a battery based on the required voltage to drive your regulator and the nominal current draw to determine the AHr required. 6. Design and build a case for the battery and regulator circuit to attach to your timing light. Conversely, If the required battery and regulator can fit inside the handle of the timing light, use it instead. Simple as pie. If it's ac, well then you're on your own. I'm puzzled though....we had an old Sears timing light, but it ran off the car's battery, not from the wall...


10 years ago

What do you want to know ? How to trigger the tube ? Steve