Xenon short arc lamps

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This is a bit off-topic but since most Tesla'ers are kinda on the edge,
I thought I'd give it a shot.

I've recently acquired some gonzo xenon short arc lamps. For those not
familiar, these lamps consist of a couple of very heavy tungsten
electrodes sealed in a quartz bulb filled with up to about 150 psi of
xenon gas.  The gap between electrodes is very small and so the lamp is
an almost perfect point source.  They are fairly efficient in converting
electricity to light and are surely the brightest lamps available,
second perhaps to the sulfur lamp.

The lamps I've acquired are huge and reportedly came from a military
dazzle weapon.  This lamp is marked ITT F-954.  The ratting is 2.2kw,
22.2 volts, 100 amps.  They are also expensive - the nearest (smaller)
lamps I could find in a catalog are several thousand dollars so I don't
want to smoke one experimenting wildly.

Now my question.  I'm looking for someone with DIRECT experience with
xenon short-arc lamps.  By "direct", I mean design or detailed service
experience with large short arc lamps.  I'm looking for details on
ignition circuits.  Searching the web has turned up nothing useful.  So
far I've experimented with microwave, RF and external HV stimulation.
None have been able to initiate an arc.  High voltage applied directly
to the electrodes will ignite it but the circuitry necessary to
superimpose HV on top of low voltage, high current can get complex.  The
high voltage RF generated by a TIG arc stabilizer did NOT start the arc.

Any assistance appreciated.

(Why?  You might ask... Cuz it's there, just like tesla coils :-)


John De Armond
Neon John's Custom Neon
"Bendin' Glass 'n Passin' Gas"