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Information - Searchblaster HID modding



WB

28DL Wood Burner
28DL Full Member
#1
Hi Guys, thought i should share with you my experiences of modding one of those daft 'searchblaster' halogen torches...

1. Take one of these:

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2. Buy yourself a H3 (or whatever bulb type fits) HID kit off ebay.

Here!

3. 'Modify' said torch to accept the HID ballast

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4. Enjoy twice the runtime and twice the lumens, also the light tends to be more 'white'. I replaced the 100w halogen in mine with a 35w HID kit, the result is I get more like an hours life from the thing with something like 3000 lumens out the front.

Its been christened 'Porta-sun' :thumb

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diehardlove

1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
Regular User
#3
Just remember some of the searchblasters have 6v batteries and some of the hid kits that are 12v won't strike at less than 11v I had to use a few 18650s instead as mine had a 6v battery.
Wb did yours have a 6v battery and did the ballast strike with it on the 12volt kit ?
 

WB

28DL Wood Burner
28DL Full Member
#4
Mine uses 2x 6v lead-acids giving 12v, 4ah. Some of the smaller ones are 6v which is a real pain. Its nice if they are 12v as you can keep the charger too. :)
 

diehardlove

1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
Regular User
#5
Mine uses 2x 6v lead-acids giving 12v, 4ah. Some of the smaller ones are 6v which is a real pain. Its nice if they are 12v as you can keep the charger too. :)
Thats handy keeping the charger have you measured the start up ampage its crazy how much it uses to arc :)
I guess thats why they tell you not to keep switching them on ond off.
Nice work mate.
 

Torchman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#6
Rather than start my own thread, thought I would post a few photos of a similar project of mine, this uses a larger 10million candle power body, a 55w ballast overdiving a 4300k 35w bulb, and running on 8800mAh of lipo RC batteries, giving nearly 2hrs of runtime, and puts out about 5500 lumens.

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This tunnel is 800mtrs long:

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WB

28DL Wood Burner
28DL Full Member
#7
Thats handy keeping the charger have you measured the start up ampage its crazy how much it uses to arc :)
I guess thats why they tell you not to keep switching them on ond off.
Nice work mate.
6.5 amps at startup! :eek:

That drops down to around 3 when its running. You are supposed to let them cool for 30 seconds or so before trying to re-light them.

Nice work torchman, do the Lipo batteries cope with the startup load OK?

I went down the cheap route with mine and kept the lead-acids that came with it. :thumb
 

Torchman

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#8
6.5 amps at startup! :eek:

That drops down to around 3 when its running. You are supposed to let them cool for 30 seconds or so before trying to re-light them.

Nice work torchman, do the Lipo batteries cope with the startup load OK?

I went down the cheap route with mine and kept the lead-acids that came with it. :thumb
Yeah they should be alright there rated at 30C which means the pack can handle startup currents up to 264 amps and about 130 amps continuously lol
 

Degenatron

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#9
I have only just seen this thread. Nice work guys. Here is my one I made from exactly the same torch about 3 years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmkZOGf9NxQ

The problem was I had to replace the 6v battery with a 12v one to power the hid ballast so the 12v one was quite small and not man enough to provide more than 20 minutes of use. I have since converted one of those huge 12v ones from B and Q and that lasts at least 2 and half hours but its a bugger to carry round. I added a pair of 1w leds to it so you could find your way without burning your retinas out. I will post some pictures of it in action and the insides when I have more time tomorrow.
 

diehardlove

1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
Regular User
#11
You see, the white light is a downside, LEDs produce blue light, which I dont like. Nothing like a nice, warm, tungsten glow on an urbex shot
You can have blue or white light with the hid kits you just choose the kit you want,Torchman you get any issues running the ballast inside the torch.
 

Degenatron

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#13
Personally I do not use this torch for lighting pictures at all. It is far too impractical. In fact the whole thing is impractical, I don't use it any more. I think I just made it because I could.

Here are the photos of my latest one anyway. Its using a 35w 6000k kit. I should have used a 55w 4300k kit ideally like Torchman has but its bright enough anyway as it is. There was minimal work to do to convert it. Its even using the original 12v battery. The two original switches that used to switch the twin filaments in the original H4 lamp now switch the main beam and the leds.

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Still covered in mud from an expedition down Hendre Fluorspar mine last year (leds illuminated).

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Close up showing the hid lamp and the pair of 1 watt leds which are actually 12v led car sidelight lamps off ebay.

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The ballast sits nicely behind the reflector.

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and a beam shot.
 

SaltGeorge

Сталкер
28DL Full Member
#14
Hmm.. so what sort of upgrade might fit into one of the old copper-bodied Pifco torches from the '60s? The ones with the red beacon on top.. I'm sure I can lay my hands on one.. bit of retro torch action with some modern power behind it.
 

diehardlove

1 of them cnuts off 28dsl
Regular User
#15
Hmm.. so what sort of upgrade might fit into one of the old copper-bodied Pifco torches from the '60s? The ones with the red beacon on top.. I'm sure I can lay my hands on one.. bit of retro torch action with some modern power behind it.
depending on size a sst-90 for some serious output wired up to a 3 18650 pack;) if its the torch i think you mean its too small for a hid kit but could be wrong.