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Old Mar 19, 2011, 02:31 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
Mini-HowTo
The $9 - 8 Gram Champ LED Light Set-up?

Hey Guys,
I haven't actually finished this mod yet because I wanted some feedback about the aerodynamic effect this modification would have on the Champ.

We all know the Champ can easily haul a 10+gram camera into the sky, so it should have no problem taking 8 grams of LEDs up there.

I was looking at the LED systems on eBay that cost roughly 30 bucks plus shipping and need to be wired along your wings and to the rear of your Champ.
I was wondering if I could find self-powered LEDs that had the batteries with 'em and didn't need to be wired all the way back to the brick.

I found a set of Chinese-made LEDs on strings necklaces that have 3-way buttons.
  • Press once and it flashes rapidly
  • Press a 2nd timne and it flashes slowly
  • press a 3rd time and it remains solid.
The way these are placed on their round pcb's might make the installation very quick and easy for even n00bs like me.

I ordered the red and green wing lights, a white LED for the tail end and just for fun, I got a blue one. These lights are just $1.99 each. (Shipping was $9 - more than the 4 lights I ordered. )

I was thinking that I could mount them inverted on top of the Champ wings with a 1/4' hole drilled through the top.
The light base and micro battery would remain on top. They could be glued, or you could simply put them on your Champ in less than 5 minutes with some tape for a few lazy night flights.
(As long as you don't mind the 1/4" hole in your wing tips.)

Total weight was just under 8 grams!

Please take a look at the photos and let me know what you think? Would these affect the Champ's aerodynamically?
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 02:32 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
Here's the weight before and after the glue removal:
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Last edited by MaladroitFL; Mar 19, 2011 at 02:42 PM.
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 02:44 PM
I love HAM
Joined Nov 2005
725 Posts
I think it's a great idea! I don't think it's going to have a large impact on aerodynamics, but if you are really worried you can move them somewhat away from the wingtips, so that they sit outside of the washout area. I wonder if they could be lightened even more? How much do those batteries weigh?

Also, you can use some fine sandpaper to roughen up the LED domes a little bit. This will make their light cone more omni-directional. Did you check how hot they get?

Sandor
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 02:47 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schermvlieger View Post
I think it's a great idea! I don't think it's going to have a large impact on aerodynamics, but if you are really worried you can move them somewhat away from the wingtips, so that they sit outside of the washout area. I wonder if they could be lightened even more? How much do those batteries weigh?

Also, you can use some fine sandpaper to roughen up the LED domes a little bit. This will make their light cone more omni-directional. Did you check how hot they get?

Sandor
I've been wearing the blue one around my neck for the past 45 minutes and it is as cool as when I turned it on. No heat whatsoever.

The battery is a tiny LR927 (AG7). I read somewhere that these will run for several hours. So if you only use them for night flights, you can get some major stick time out of 'em!
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 03:46 PM
I love HAM
Joined Nov 2005
725 Posts
If the batteries are 90% of the total weight, it's no use to try make these things any lighter, but if they're only 40% of the total weight, it's quite another story. Hence my interest in the weight of the bare cells.

I really think you're on to something here!
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 04:08 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
And here's a link to these LEDs - they're in Hollywood, CA.

RAVEHAVEN.COM
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 05:17 PM
Tip stallin around town..
USA, MA, Pittsfield
Joined Nov 2010
507 Posts
yup for easy installation of bright lights... you hit the nail on the head with these nice find brother!!!
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Old Mar 19, 2011, 05:28 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
I posted these at the Champ forum, so I'll just link 'em over:


The sun's still out but the Champ is ready to fly tonight!

I used black duct tape, so if the Champ won't fly, I'll just move them to the trailing edge and see what happens. I certain it'll fly if I drill the holes for the LEDs to pass through.

These lights will all blink fast if needed, or a nice slow strobe can be activated by a 2nd click of the back button. So the rear white lamp will be blinking tonight.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 04:17 PM
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UNGN's Avatar
Southlake, TX
Joined Jan 2008
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I'll have to look for these.

You can lower the weight by using only 2 of the circuit boards and wiring the red and green LED's in parallel and running wires out to the wing tip LED's.

You probably could run the cuicuit board directly off the of the 1S battery, saving the weight of the 2 batteries.

Someone should be able to get the weight down to about 3-4g doing this.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 07:33 PM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by UNGN View Post
I'll have to look for these.

You can lower the weight by using only 2 of the circuit boards and wiring the red and green LED's in parallel and running wires out to the wing tip LED's.

You probably could run the cuicuit board directly off the of the 1S battery, saving the weight of the 2 batteries.

Someone should be able to get the weight down to about 3-4g doing this.
UNGN,
Nobody respects your opinion more than I do. I know you were the pioneer who built the Champ from scratch for $58 plus shipping and then shared all that info with us

But on this, you're missing the point.I'm trying to find low-weight LEDs that are self-sufficient and cut out the need for wires running across the wings and fuse.

I suppose of the wires are micros then we could hide 'em, but the main gist here is to light-up the Champ with self-contained LEDs that are easy to put on and take off.

The Champ flew with these on! It struggled to get altitude, but it was on an old Blade MSR battery I had brought along.
Here's my video:
Champ with micro battery-powered LEDs (1 min 11 sec)
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 07:56 PM
Power Wheels Guru
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Southlake, TX
Joined Jan 2008
7,327 Posts
We are looking for something that Flashes slower that the $2 LED flashing mouthpiece that works good for Machine guns but doesn't work good for Airplane strobes because they flash too fast.

It's very easy to clip off the big, clunky LED's, solder on wires and use 1.8mm LED's.

With a brushed ESC or and RC interface and a plug from glenn2626, you can make them radio controlled.
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Old Apr 02, 2011, 09:34 AM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
Now that I have a pristine, new Champ, I'm going to drill the small holes in the wings of the older Champ to mount these lights when flying at dusk.

The only difference will be the rear white strobe, which I think needs to be wired to the back (if I can figure it out ). The white light on the rear created a pretty bad tail-heavy condition, so I had to move it to the front (just for fun) so i could at least be certain the Champ could fly with all 3 light assemblies.

This time, I'll force one of my teenagers to accompany me and do the video part while I fly.
I learned my lesson last time when I lost a wing when it crashed; you can't fly and shoot video - especially at night.

(Or I could try a "hat cam"... when I find the time to put one together.)
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Old May 05, 2011, 05:00 AM
Flyin' low & slow T-28s!
MaladroitFL's Avatar
United States, FL, Vero Beach
Joined Feb 2011
3,324 Posts
An alternative way to highlight your Champ at night:


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Old May 06, 2011, 12:50 AM
Champs Anonymous Member
GJOsik's Avatar
United States, MD, Bel Air
Joined Mar 2011
618 Posts
Hey there buddy, while flying with my dad the other evening he said "too bad thier arent any lights on it, I could probably see it then". Poor guy, but after seeing this I might skip the 808 I just asked about it in our forum and go with these as I do most of my flying at dusk anyway...hmmmm

And whats the pups name? I got my girls Mercedes (German Shepard) and Tanzie (Cockapoo) sleeping with me tonight!
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Last edited by GJOsik; May 06, 2011 at 01:02 AM.
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Old May 06, 2011, 06:32 PM
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trying to catch Mr. FrSky... It flyes
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