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Old Apr 24, 2015, 11:43 PM
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Open source LED flasher

Major update- these run from as low as 3.6 all the way to 16v input! That means it can be switched directly from your FC.

Hey guys, first post in this section. Along with RC one of my other favorite hobbies is LED lighting and also OSHW. I am an electrical engineer by trade so I have a huge amount of junk crap laying around, I decided to put a bit of that to use by whipping up a quick little PCB for an oscillator circuit to flash a couple LED's (or a couple strings of parallel LED's).



It's a BJT based oscillator, oscillation speed is user controllable by swapping components, either the CAP's or R2 and R3. Note both sides need to have matching values, a slight variation is ok but to large a difference and it wont oscillate. Also note it's easy to get the flash rate to high to see, try to start with a ratio that's near mine and adjust from there. To high a value of resistors and it wont flash and to low a value and it'll flash so fast your eye will see it as steady on.


I threw together a short video (about 6 min) that explains it. Feel free to build these for any purpose, RC or other. If you're anything like me and have a bunch of crap laying around you can probably build them for under $1/each (remember OSHPark sells in sets of 3) and the bare boards are $1.55 for the set and again I literally had the component's laying around. You can use SMD or [mostly] threwhole components, tho the 0805 resistor pads are a bit small for TH resistors.

One thing I will mention is that these need 9-16v to run so you probably cant control it (switch it on/of) directly from a FC pin just by applying power, I am using a FET to control it from the FC as a battery alarm, you can just hook it straight to 3s or 4s LiPO's tho with no problem.

Feel free to make as many as you want for your self or even give them away but please no commercial use, I have these listed under GPLv3. Thanks for looking

https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/Fu2lp4HK


Killer lumens super simple LED oscillator for RC lights. (6 min 49 sec)



SMD build





Threw hole build


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Last edited by Cereal_Killer; Apr 25, 2015 at 02:21 PM.
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Old Apr 25, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Thought I'd get atleast some interest

If anyone wants to try one I will be happy to send you one of mine, just pay shipping (via paypal please). I will ship you either the pictured TH version built above or if you really want I'll build you an all SMD one. Just wire to your existing LED's and fly.

Also, if you can do it yourself it literally only costs $1.55 to order the bare borads from OSHPark, that INCLUDES SHIPPING! Under $2 out the door, cant get any cheaper than that!
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Old Apr 27, 2015, 01:14 PM
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Update: Ive built 9 of these now, what I've discovered is to get them flashing they're EXTREMELY sensitive to the caps being perfectly matched from one channel to the other (but if you're running 2 caps in // [per channel] those ones can be mismatched to eachother, as long as the measured total is as near exact to the other channel's total as possible). If mismatched to far it won't flash, or it'll flash VERY uneven. I test them on my LCR meter and sort them into matched sets before building.

At the other end of the spectrum, the transistors can pretty much be whatever you find, they don't even have to be the same brand lol!

My offer still stands, first one to post will receive a ready-to-install surface mount unit for the cost of postage ($3 sent as paypal gift). And remember they run from 3.6 to >16v (that's 1s - 4s LiPO) so you can pretty much use it in ANYTHING ( especially considering most FC's are ~12vin max, so whatever you're doing for it you'll already have regulated power at a voltage it can take).

I will even set th flashing rate to your desired speed! Edit: to take it even further- I will even offer your choice of LED's premounted to the board so it's a drop-in install (powered by servo connector), either 5mm's white or color or SMD ones soldered to one [or both] sides of the board (ANY color). Or third option is a single 2-color LED that flip-flops from red to green. All for that $3 postage!


I've got a very cool little demo in the works, it's amazing the cool patterns you can make with just two channels of alternating lights when you make huge parallel strings out of them (and then place those strings alternating with one another ABABABAB...)
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Old Apr 28, 2015, 11:58 AM
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Killer lumens LED Flip-flop in action. (3 min 48 sec)
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Old May 05, 2015, 02:38 PM
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Cool little project! I like it! How much current can it supply? I know you can overdrive LEDs for a very short burst and get wicked bright strobing without damaging them...
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Old May 08, 2015, 07:54 AM
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I tested it with the set resistors jumped (zero resistance) and the total [average] current draw was 1.2A, tho I couldnt get a perfect reading, figure in a bit of losses and you're looking at ~500mA each. More than enough to drive HBLED's.
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Old May 14, 2015, 02:22 PM
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LED Flip-Flop on a sub 40g micro plane. (1 min 59 sec)
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