Need advice re: powering multiple strobes + arduino

Hi there,

Forgive what I'm sure is a very simple question, but I'm hoping for a little guidance for the following question:

I will soon have six of these battery operated strobe lights:

http://www.glow.co.uk/strobe-light.html

Each takes 4xAA batteries, and I'd like to control them all via a pushbutton attached to an arduino. The batteries need to be remote, so I was planning to run cables from the strobes back to a control box, which will contain the batteries, arduino and button. I'd like to reduce the number of batteries required if possible so am I right in thinking that I can, for instance, use three 12v batteries instead of 24 AAs? I can give the arduino its own 9V source, and will use mosfets to switch the strobes.

Again, sorry if this is a stupidly easy question, but I'm always weary of messing with battery power!

Each light takes 6 volts. There is no way to provide that with 12V batteries. Since you have to run wires, anyway, what is the benefit of the battery powered models over the mains powered models?

Hi again Paul :)

The strobes need to be battery powered as there'll be no mains connection within reach. The strobes also have to be separate from the batteries.

Regarding the 12V - could I not wire two strobes in series to each 12V battery, thereby splitting the voltage?

Regarding the 12V - could I not wire two strobes in series to each 12V battery, thereby splitting the voltage?

As long as you fire them both at the same time. That kind of defeats the purpose of having multiple strobes, though, doesn't it?

Hi, How far apart are the strobes / arduino??

I would suggest using optoisolators to fire the strobes from an Arduino output port. Less likely to get spikes / EMI coming back into Arduino.

Look at optoisolators on this page: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/Popular-ICs

Thanks for the replies all.

To clarify, all six strobes need to fire at the same time, for a set amount of time. It's a last minute prop for a one-time live event so I'm keen to keep it as quick and dirty as possible.

My plan was to get three 12V batteries connected via mosfets to the arduino, with two strobes per battery. Will this work ok? Is it as straight forward as I'm making it out to be? My electronics knowledge is awful, so I'm aware that I might be getting it totally wrong.

[morning bump]

tburrellsaward: [morning bump]

Please don't do that here.