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Controlling a strobe


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Exactly. Sorry for the earlier brief response, was on my way to work. Now that I'm here I've got more time. :D


Here's how I made mine --


Go to Lowes or whatever home improvement place you've got. Get an electrical box used to mount 110V outlets in the wall... they're heavy-gauge metal boxes. A single one will work (a 2-outlet thingy). This should only be a buck or two. Make sure you get the lid for it, and some screws if they don't come with it. Grab a heavy duty momentary pushbutton switch; mine was about $5 at Lowes. Keep in mind the power you'll be putting through it... Radio Shack's momentary switches, for example, are only like 1.5 amp. Running a 500W strobe through this is a sure fire way to create a new smoke machine under your foot! I also went and bought two LEDs -- a green and a red. Finally, buy the shortest extension cord you can find because you're just going to hack it up anyway.


You'll need, or need someone with, a really good drill. Drill a hole for the momentary switch, mount it in there. Drill the two holes for the LEDs if you'd like. Now, find someone with electrical experience (or do it yourself). Cut the ends off the extension cord with a little room so you can wire them in. Throw the middle of the cord away, put it in the garage, whatever.


Figure out which side of the box you want as "power in" and which side as "power out". On the "in" side, put the male end of the cord you cut off. Wire that in to the switch and LEDs. Make sure your switch is default off, momentary on, and not the other way around! (oops!) Put the female end of the cord on the other side. Plug the strobe(s) into the female end, and run an extension cord from the male end to the wall. Bingo, done. Step on switch = power flows. Release = power cut off.


The whole project should be well under $20 even with the LEDs.


If you're just running strobes with it, the LEDs aren't even really necessary -- they just look cool. I used mine for triggering pyrotechnics. The green LED was lit any time there was power going in to the unit, and the red LED was lit as soon as you stepped on the switch. Since the box is small, theoretically you should never see the red LED lit up since your foot would be covering it... because if it's lit, and you can see it... things are {censored}ing exploding!

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