E2-A: The High-Speed LED Strobe MK. 2

E2-A Microsecond Strobe

Another Microsecond Flash?

Yup, I’ve been working on a new design for about one year now.  Here it is!

E2-A High-Speed LED Flash

My first high-speed LED strobe design was the Edgerton.  The goal was to build a strobe that could be used to photograph supersonic bullets for as little $$$ as possible.  It was functional and I was very pleased with the result!

Read moreE2-A: The High-Speed LED Strobe MK. 2

Edgerton, A High-Speed LED Flash #DIY

2019-07-25 – The list price of the well-designed Vela One has recently dropped.  I originally quoted it at about $1,750 CAD but unfortunately don’t have any proof.  As of today, the Vela website indicates it is exactly $1,526.70 CAD. The archive.org website shows that the price has indeed fluctuated over time.

2019-08-01 – A big THANK YOU to NQTRONIX who has kindly gifted me an active light probe of his own design.  The probe will be used with an oscilloscope to measure the flash duration, trigger response time, light output -v- current, and other helpful things.  I will update this post with the data once testing commences.  NQTRONIX put a TON of time into designing, testing, and optomizing his probe.  Please consider checking out his instructable page and leaving him a like or comment!

2020-07-01 – The ‘Mark 2‘ high-speed flash is complete!  The plans are available to build your own, or contact me if you’re interested in purchasing a strobe.  I’m focusing my development on the new E2-A and promoting it as a replacement for the original Edgerton strobe. 

  • If you’ve put money and effort into building the original Edgerton flash, please continue using it as it has the same performance as the newer E2-A.
  • If you are considering building a strobe, I would encourage you to use the newer E2-A design as a more robust design.
  • If you are set on building the original Edgerton strobe in order to save a few $$, then the main control boards are available at https://www.tindie.com/products/19592/.

2020-07-03 – I’m realizing that the following notes should have been added back when I first made this post, but better late than never.  I’ve personally never experienced a catastrophic LED failure during normal use, but at the same time I feel potential users should be made aware.

IMPORTANT NOTE #1: This strobe pushes the capabilities of the LED’s.  Complete failure of the LED’s is possible.  That means the expensive components can be accidentally destroyed and require replacing.  I’ve taken many precautions in the design to prevent this, but please consider building a strobe at your own risk.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: The LED’s are not as powerful as a Xenon flashtube, and they do not turn on as long as a typical camera strobe.  Expect to crank up the ISO by several stops (4 or more) in order to capture usable images.


EDGERTON

Named in honour of the legendary Papa Flash.

Some time ago I designed and built a ballistic chronograph and used it to take some high-speed photos of bullets striking glass. The results were great, but the photos were somewhat limited by the standard ‘speedlight’ flashes that I used – there was always some motion blur. Edgerton is a ‘High-Speed Flash’ which uses LED’s to make one-microsecond flashes to freeze motion.

Read moreEdgerton, A High-Speed LED Flash #DIY

High-Speed Photography of Bullets & Glass

Preamble:

What does a  wine glass look like when it’s shot? (TL;DR have a look at my flickr album)

This obvious question was asked when my wife provided me with three wine glasses which were used to keep her Siamese Fighting Fish.  She couldn’t bring herself to drink from them after their use as aquariums.  So I decided to destroy them and make a few attempts at high-speed photography!

Read moreHigh-Speed Photography of Bullets & Glass