Monday, February 17, 2014

KITT's Halogen Scanner

I know it seems like ages ago that I promised a video of KITT's scanner, but for those that have been patiently waiting...the wait is over. This scanner looks fantastic, especially with the screen accurate scanner bar!

Before we jump to the video I wanted to share some observations about the halogen bulbs. They are insanely bright, equally as hot, and eat your battery for a afternoon snack. I had not given any thought to the heat these bulbs would generate. After just a few minutes with the scanner on, the bar is almost too hot to touch and definitely too hot to hold comfortably. It is so hot that it honestly has me concerned about safety while operating the scanner in the summer.

I searched online for others who may have had issues with heat or documented how hot these scanners get, but I could not find anything. I decided to take some temperature readings of the bar at five minute intervals while in use over a period of 15 minutes. I took these temperature readings with an infrared temperature gun in our heated garage. The temperature in the garage was 61°F with 24% humidity. Here are the results:

 Scanner State  Temperature
 Powered Off  60°F
 Five minutes of runtime  167°F
 Ten minutes of runtime  178°F 
 Fifteen minutes of runtime  189°F
 Five minutes powered off   112°F
 Ten minutes powered off  95°F
 Fifteen minutes powered off  86°F

You can clearly see that the bar gets quite hot and the temperature was continuing to climb. I stopped the experiment at 15 minutes. The drain on the battery after just 15 minutes of use is considerable. I would not want to let it run more than 20 minutes without having the car running.

I love the look of the halogen powered scanner, but I am not happy with the how hot it gets and how hard it is on the battery. I have ordered some halogen replacement LEDs and capacitors to help simulate the fade out. I will be doing a couple more videos comparing the LEDs versus the halogens.

Here is a video demonstrating KITT's scanner powered by eight H3 55 Watt halogen bulbs.

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