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Lets talk strobes


Guest Don Gillespie
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Guest Don Gillespie

Looking at the idea of incorperating strobes into my display next year looking for info

1) do they hook up to the lor control boxes and would 1 strobe = 1 channel?

2) how many strobes can you put on 1 channel?

3) what kind of amps do they pull?

is there a thread on this already?

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I know there is a formula out there somewhere on how to calculate amperage.

This is what I am looking at using next year.

"C-9 LED Strobe Light that flashes 2-3 times per second and uses 1 watt energy."

How many can you have on one channel !?

Dave

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RaceMedic wrote:

I know there is a formula out there somewhere on how to calculate amperage.

This is what I am looking at using next year.

"C-9 LED Strobe Light that flashes 2-3 times per second and uses 1 watt energy."

How many can you have on one channel !?

Dave
Dave, the formula is this.

I = W / V

I = current
W = watts (not kilo watts or any other form of watts. Just straight up Watts)
V = volts

So your example would work out like this. 1 / 120 = 8.3mA or .0083 Amps.

___P___
I | E

P = power or Watts

P= I*E
I=P/E
E=P/I
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Guest Don Gillespie

ItsMeBobO wrote:

Just tested it for you. I have 30 of Darryl's strobes all on one channel. 1.83 amps total.

That is more than enough and the amp is low what else does everyone use strobes for I am thinking about the nose for my big deer but where do you guys use strobes on your display and what effect does it have
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Guest Don Gillespie

George Simmons wrote:

I use strobes in the front yard, the north side yard, the south side yard and the neighbor's yard. They have the effect of a bunch of semi-bright lights rapidly and randomly turning on and off.


George when you say you use strobes on the north side of the yard do you have them pointing at your house? or are they pointed in the air, what I am trying to grasp is do you use strobes to highlite large areas that would otherwise stay dark?
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Hi Don,

I use strobes in my Snoopy's Christmas. I have a few out in the yard that are the slow flashers that Daryl sells. These are representing artillery shells exploding. And I have two of the rapid flashing strobes also from Daryl. These are mounded on the front wall of my house and they are turned on for the few seconds that you hear machine guns firing in the same song.

Now some people put them in their mega tree so that at some climax in the song they will fire them to give the tree glitter and wow effect. Strobes should be reserved for climaxes. Dont want to loose the wow effect with over usage.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Max-Paul wrote:

Hi Don,

I use strobes in my Snoopy's Christmas. I have a few out in the yard that are the slow flashers that Daryl sells. These are representing artillery shells exploding. And I have two of the rapid flashing strobes also from Daryl. These are mounded on the front wall of my house and they are turned on for the few seconds that you hear machine guns firing in the same song.

Now some people put them in their mega tree so that at some climax in the song they will fire them to give the tree glitter and wow effect. Strobes should be reserved for climaxes. Dont want to loose the wow effect with over usage.

Ok I think I am starting to grasp this basically the strobes wouldn't be used in every sequence only when you want a really big bang out of the sequence am I on the right track here, I was thinking of using a red strobe for my gigantic deer I made and inserting the strobe for the nose to make a huge rudoloph I guess I would have to try it and see what it looks like just don't want to buy 30 strobes and only end up using 2 of them
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In the case of your giant Rudolph. In a case like this, I could see you having it flash quite a bit. Just remember the flash tube type do have a number flash life, give or take a few hundred flashes. Where as the LED strobes have a much longer life.

Sorry Don but let me hi-jack for just a minute. Does anyone know of some mini strobes that have a bit more pop than Daryl's? I saw some a few years ago that someone was using, but did not note who made them. Now starting to wish I had. Want those in the yard to have a bit more pop along with the two on the house.
Thanks Don and who ever can tell me what I am looking for.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Max-Paul wrote:

In the case of your giant Rudolph. In a case like this, I could see you having it flash quite a bit. Just remember the flash tube type do have a number flash life, give or take a few hundred flashes. Where as the LED strobes have a much longer life.

Sorry Don but let me hi-jack for just a minute. Does anyone know of some mini strobes that have a bit more pop than Daryl's? I saw some a few years ago that someone was using, but did not note who made them. Now starting to wish I had. Want those in the yard to have a bit more pop along with the two on the house.
Thanks Don and who ever can tell me what I am looking for.


No problem and thanks for the info

Happy New Year
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Don,

For your gigantic Rudolph you might want to consider using a group of red strobes put together like a bouquet - maybe as many as a dozen - instead of just one. Given the scale of the deer, you're never gonna sell it being able to light the way for the sleigh with one puny little red point of light at the tip of the schnozz. If you're gonna make a statement, then make it!

I attach strobes to the fence and scatter them about the yard on lightweight stakes which are about three feet tall. This year I put some in a small tree in the front yard also. As my strobe inventory continues to grow, I'll be putting more of them higher up in things because from street level they are getting too grouped in a horizontal plane for my liking. The LED strobes I point toward the street wherever I can because their maximum brightness is when they're viewed straight on. The Zenon tube strobes mostly all point down so that any moisture drains through the weep holes and away from the electronics.

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It depends on the type of strobes. Some, like LED models, will fire at the same time as each other for up to 7 or 8 seconds. Pre-charging them helps to mitigate this. Zenon tube models are going to be random from the start, or else will randomize within a couple seconds. What seem to work best is to combine strobes from as many different sources as possible for the greatest randomization of their firing.

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George Simmons wrote:

It depends on the type of strobes. Some, like LED models, will fire at the same time as each other for up to 7 or 8 seconds. Pre-charging them helps to mitigate this. Zenon tube models are going to be random from the start, or else will randomize within a couple seconds. What seem to work best is to combine strobes from as many different sources as possible for the greatest randomization of their firing.

So you would suggested having them on a few different channels for more randomization !?

Dave
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I suppose you could do that, depending on how many extra channels you have laying around. Some, perhaps many, sidestep the issue by pre-charging the strobes for a half second or so before they fire. Personally, I don't like the glow they give while precharging and in my display I can see the glow from the street. I want my strobes to be completely off until the moment the begin firing. I used four channels for strobes this year and sequenced them so they fired a tenth of a second after each other. That helped, but I still think the best answer is to get strobes from as many different vendors as possible so you can mix and match not only the firing rate but also how long like-models fire in unison before randomizing.

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NickByrd wrote:

I have a question as that fits this topic.

When you turn a channel on that has 30 strobes on it, do they all fire at the same time with every burst or does it become random very quickly?

Also, can you fade them?

Nick

No you don't want to fade strobe (at least not xenon ones) since it will damage them. Therefore always have them on at 100% in your sequences.

And yes, xenon strobe randomize.
You can see the strobes' action at 1:47 in this video:
http://vimeo.com/17630160
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Hi Nick

Iwork with strobes everyday in my job doing fire alarm installations. As mentioned before in this thread strobes will start out sync'ed and gradually get out of sync.

The capacitor in the circuits will charge until the capacitor is fully charged then release its rated energy to the bulb. The hardest part is to KEEP them sync'd ! We use sync modules which stop the input voltage momentarily to re synch everything back to start. It seems that strobes flashing more than once per second have been known to produce seizers in people prone to seizes such as epaliptic's

So as mentioned earlier i wouldn't use them too often..Just for the WOW effect

Just saying

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Thanks Ron,

I was thinking about adding 50 strobes or so and was only going to use it about 3-4 seconds in a song. On top of that, I am only using that in about 4 of my 16-17 song for next year.

It does seem like LESS IS MORE when talking about the actual firing of the strobes.

As for the fading that I asked about, thanks to everyone for the input. I have seen some videos and it seems that they would fire alot of strobes and that the effect would dwindle down to just a few firing at the end... They must be using multiple channels.

Nick

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Ron Amedee wrote:

Hi Nick

Iwork with strobes everyday in my job doing fire alarm installations. As mentioned before in this thread strobes will start out sync'ed and gradually get out of sync.

The capacitor in the circuits will charge until the capacitor is fully charged then release its rated energy to the bulb. The hardest part is to KEEP them sync'd ! We use sync modules which stop the input voltage momentarily to re synch everything back to start. It seems that strobes flashing more than once per second have been known to produce seizers in people prone to seizes such as epaliptic's

So as mentioned earlier i wouldn't use them too often..Just for the WOW effect

Just saying

I suspect that there is a significant difference from the higher end parts used in strobes in fire alarms compared to the "cheap" curtain type strobes most here are using for our displays. There is probably very little consistency involved with the capacitors of the curtain strobes, which is why they fire at differing rates, thus creating the randomness.

To clarify regarding the fear of inducing seizures...only 3-5% of epileptics have photosensitivity seizures (seizures caused by flashing). This is usually caused by 10-30Hz (flashes per second) flashing, and much more rarely down to 5HZ. And usually at close ranges of viewing (1-3 meters). Hence why TVs are the usual culprit. Since most of the strobes used for our displays are viewed from a distance and we are lucky if we get a strobe to flash 3-4 times per second, it is very unlikely that "our" strobes would ever create a problem, even if the rare photosensitive epileptic were to stop by. (Not to mention that I doubt that such a person is seeking out blinking lights to go watch.)
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NickByrd wrote:

...I have seen some videos and it seems that they would fire alot of strobes and that the effect would dwindle down to just a few firing at the end... They must be using multiple channels.


Just as the strobes start up randomly (a few faster than others) likewise they stop randomly too, thus creating the effect that they are "dwindling down" as you mention--even when all on 1 channel. Occasionally you will even get the rare straggler that will fire one last time a few seconds after everything else had stopped.
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