How many volts will the Estes electron beam light bulb handle?

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Anyone know what the Estes Electron Beam light bulb is rated at? Will it handle 12v? Does anyone know where to buy replacement bulbs for this controller?

Thanks in advance,
Brian Swanson
Better than the light bulb, get a piezo buzzer from Radio Shack.

Part number 273-055A or any 12VDC rated buzzer. Just solder it in. Only $2.99

Nice and loud!

and it is BRIGHT!
i doubt it will last long at that voltage, though.
The light bulb limits the current that goes to the ignitor for the continuity check. I believe the standard #51 pilot bulb used in the Electron Beam launcher has a resistance of 30 ohms and at 6 volts will permit 0.2 amps to flow throght the ignitor. If you use the same bulb at 12 volts, you will draw 0.4 amps and at 18 volts a wopping 0.6 amps, and not for long. This might not be a safe current for all ignitors.

Estes recommends a #53 pilot bulb with a resistance of 120 ohms for 12 volts use which would allow 0.1 amps for the continuity check.

It's even better to replace the lamp with an led and/or a piezo buzzer. An led typically draws <0.02 amps and some piezo buzzer draw about 0.005 amp. Your battery will last a lot longer.

Bob Krech
Hi, becarful how much current you will be pulling from a 12 car battery if that is what you plan to use. It could fry those thin wires! Your better off using a launcher made for 12volts & high current. The high current can't hurt the igniters, just make them set off the motors better! A good launcher is the Estes command control that uses 7.2VOLT hobby battery. For clusters, it uses 2 of these batterys! The batterys are mainly 1500ma/hr type & are great for launching rockets.
is seldom the same as reality...

i measured .24A with an igniter in place in my 18v (18.93v open circuit) system.

maybe you made a mistake.
you're off by a factor of 3 (roughly)

[EDIT] i found part of the error; the bulbs measure 3.3 ohms for the newer models and 3.5 ohms for the old one i've been using.

that's a bit lower than the figure you quoted and would allow for a higher current flow.

did you take the igniter (resistor) into account or did you calculate for a dead short?
The simplest thing to do is take the existing bulb out, run down to your local radio shack, pic up a 12v replacement. reinstall, add a par of 30amp batter clips to the wiring and launch away. This simple conversion has been done by countless folks without "frying the wires"unless of coarse you hook up the micro clips to each other and hold the button down for an extended period.
If you like noise the piazo buzzer is also a fine addition/distraction, which will also draws a little less current.
Hope this helps.
I don't know as I would want to run 240mA thru any ignitor. The any fire current on some popular low current e-matches is as low as 30-35mA.

The controllers I built for LDRS use 6mA for the continuity test. Had no issues at that level.

I was told that the Estes Command Control Controller can be converted to 12v. How is this possible? It obviously can handle it considering it can push out 14.4v.
the E-Beam launch controller into a 12v controller in a recent NAR publication.

i would never recommend anyone do what i do...i'm a nut.
but, since the question concerned only the voltage capabilities of the bulb and not the safety issues, i'll stand by my answer of over 18v.
Why convert the Estes command control launcher to 12 volts when two 7.2 volt hobby batteries can launch up a 4 motor cluster with no problems! Mine sure does!
OK I had to say it.

How many rocketeers does it take to change a light bulb?

Originally posted by DavRedf
OK I had to say it.

How many rocketeers does it take to change a light bulb?


It depends wether the light bulb that needs changing is on rmr or trf:

If rmr:
One to point out that the lightbulb is no longer certified.
One to argue that the lightbulb was illegally decertified.
Two to argue the relative merits and demerits of the lightbulb certification organisations.
One to point out that the light bulb was illegally shipped.
...and the lightbulb never actually gets changed.

If trf:
Two to provide alternate decals for the lightbulb.
One to provide exquisite aftermarket custom balsa lamp shades for the lightbulb.
Half a dozen to request pics of the lightbulb.
One to post pics of the lightbulb.
...and several willing volunteers to actually change the lightbulb.

Apologies to all who recognise themselves ;)