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Old Jan 06, 2011, 07:33 AM
Watch your 6
6Killer's Avatar
USA, UT, Alpine
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Totally cool Dan. Use a straight edge and soldering iron with a color on it to create a grove the width of the light strand and just deep enough so the lights don't stick out above the surface. Once installed just use some clear tape to cover over them and that way it won't spoil your air flow over the wing. You probably already knew that, but just in case someone was wondering.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 11:39 AM
swede
denial15's Avatar
United States, UT, Vineyard
Joined Aug 2005
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Thanks Jim.

I was up till 0200 getting all of the lights cut and soldered. Once I got the hang of it, it went pretty fast.

My pinata is covered with the laminate. I plan on cutting it and peeling it back and adding the channels with my Dremel. Hopefully there will be enough glue on the laminate to seal it again.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 12:33 PM
Planes in flames,,,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denial15 View Post
Thanks Jim.

I was up till 0200 getting all of the lights cut and soldered. Once I got the hang of it, it went pretty fast.

My pinata is covered with the laminate. I plan on cutting it and peeling it back and adding the channels with my Dremel. Hopefully there will be enough glue on the laminate to seal it again.
Dan, I haven't tried using the dremel on the foam but I can tell you that the soldering iron trick is about as easy and mess free as it gets. It's GOTTA be easier that channeling it out with a dremel Just peel back the laminate like you were planning to do anyway and use a couple 'o passes with the soldering iron along a straightedge. Doesn't get much easier.
We used a 5/32 wheel collar as a depth gauge along the straightedge. Another thing I did was turn the soldering iron tip so the not pointed side is sticking out to give a nice level cut at the bottom. The "extra" parts that come with a reaper motor have a collar included that just happens to be the exact right size to use as a stop on the iron as well...
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 12:57 PM
A different attitude to RC
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Draper, Utah
Joined Sep 2008
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I believe it is better to face the lights in towards the foam (no groove necessary) and just tape over them with clear tape. That way the LED's cannot get ripped off and you can easily remove them to use on another plane. That way they also make the whole wing glow thus being visible from both the top and the bottom... without damaging the wing in any way...

The bump they create does not affect the performance of the wing - at least not that I could ever tell! (a challenge for anyone to see if they can detect a difference?). In fact, it could help the airflow acting as "turbulators" if in the right place - around the high point of the airfoil...
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 01:04 PM
swede
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Originally Posted by jetpackninja View Post
Dan, I haven't tried using the dremel on the foam but I can tell you that the soldering iron trick is about as easy and mess free as it gets. It's GOTTA be easier that channeling it out with a dremel Just peel back the laminate like you were planning to do anyway and use a couple 'o passes with the soldering iron along a straightedge. Doesn't get much easier.
We used a 5/32 wheel collar as a depth gauge along the straightedge. Another thing I did was turn the soldering iron tip so the not pointed side is sticking out to give a nice level cut at the bottom. The "extra" parts that come with a reaper motor have a collar included that just happens to be the exact right size to use as a stop on the iron as well...
My soldering iron is a point, not a chisel tip. I would have to make several passes with the iron.

It's probably a little easier with the iron, but not much. It's definitely cleaner with regards to the foam, but it's messier in other areas that I care more about. The melting foam smokes like crazy, and STINKS. Also, it will make a terrible mess to the tip of my iron that I like to keep really clean.

I have a sanding tool on the dremel that practically disintegrates the foam as I pass through. It's really easy to keep the depth even. The foam has a nice cut, similar to using a blade - not the hard black crusty edges you get when using an iron. The only down side to the dremel is you have a lot of foam dust. It goes pretty quick too. Not as fast as an iron, but fast enough for me.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 01:06 PM
swede
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extremewing View Post
I believe it is better to face the lights in towards the foam (no groove necessary) and just tape over them with clear tape. That way the LED's cannot get ripped off and you can easily remove them to use on another plane. That way they also make the whole wing glow thus being visible from both the top and the bottom... without damaging the wing in any way...

The bump they create does not affect the performance of the wing - at least not that I could ever tell! (a challenge for anyone to see if they can detect a difference?). In fact, it could help the airflow acting as "turbulators" if in the right place - around the high point of the airfoil...

I've thought about that, but then I'd probably have both colors on both sides of the plane.

I haven't been out to any of the night flying sessions, but of the planes I have seen with lights, it's much more impressive having them out.

......but that would be A LOT easier.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 01:45 PM
A different attitude to RC
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Draper, Utah
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You can still see a difference between top and bottom - one is a bit brighter and more defined - I also use a 3rd strip on the bottom of a different color that does not shine through since I have the electronics on the top, so using various techniques, it is possible to get to where you can tell top from bottom, the wing does not get damaged, it is quick and easy to swap lights from wing to wing and the LED's last a long time.

Having said that, it would be harder to get the intricate designs some have been doing but I like being able to use the same lights on the S7, the ExtremeWing and any other plane I might want to put them on. Quick, easy.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 01:56 PM
More Combat Please!
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Adrian's right, the lights last much longer facing inward, a LOT longer.

But as for pulling lights and swapping them from plane to plane, I much prefer spending an extra $20 and getting each plane it's own light scheme that I don't have to constantly be taping on and ripping off. With the swarm sales the lights have gotten so cheap, it's much easier to just do up each plane how you like it and then leave it. It's not like they add enough weight for it to be a weight problem. Heck, I used four full light strips on my little 36" wing, embedded them & covered it, and it still glides forever.

IMO, embedding with lights facing outward is the way to go for anything but combat planes. Yeah, the lights definitely take a beating when they're pointing outwards, but I still like it better because it looks way cooler and it's infinitely easier to tell top from bottom if you use completely different colors.

Of course, that only matters if you fly wildly like me. If you fly around straight and level, how you light it is irrelevant. Anybody can keep track of a plane flying level with even just a couple of LED's on it.

If you're spinning 5+ rotations per second, it really does matter... a lot.

I can't wait to get this lit-up Kunlun done. It's gonna be so stinkin' cool!
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 02:17 PM
swede
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I haven't had to dremel EPP for a long time. I forgot it does not dust, it just kind of collects on the side. Very easy to peel off. I'm very glad I did the dremel now.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 02:47 PM
Planes in flames,,,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denial15 View Post
My soldering iron is a point, not a chisel tip. I would have to make several passes with the iron.

...Also, it will make a terrible mess to the tip of my iron that I like to keep really clean.
Remove the tip, turn it around, stick the pointy wanna keep clean side back into the iron. Two passes make a trench big enough for the strip. (my iron is pointy too)

But now you've got me thinking about that Dremel... So I guess you used the tool that is a little sanding drum? hmmmm....
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 02:58 PM
swede
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Originally Posted by jetpackninja View Post
But now you've got me thinking about that Dremel... So I guess you used the tool that is a little sanding drum? hmmmm....
Exactly. Mine has two sanding tools. The smaller one is the perfect size for the channels.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 03:47 PM
More Combat Please!
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Utah
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I used to do this stuff with a Dremel, and it makes holy mess of things. Foam EVERYWHERE!

So you may want to keep a shop-vac in one hand with the dremel tool in the other and just suck up the foam as it's ejected by the Dremel. That, or do it outside someplace that you don't care about the mess.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 04:38 PM
swede
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I have that problem with every foam except epp. The epp just balls up on the side of the cut and peels off.
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Old Jan 06, 2011, 06:55 PM
Watch your 6
6Killer's Avatar
USA, UT, Alpine
Joined Jul 2010
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LEDs on thin EPP

Scott showed me a cool trick for putting LEDs on the elevons.
Use a pencil (or what ever) to draw a line down the center of the elevon. Then lay out a strip of LED lights on the elevon. Make a mark at every spot on the elevon where an LED will be. Use a soldering iron or tool to make a small divot through the laminate into the foam. Then place the LED lights face down and press each one into the divot. Put a piece of clear tape over the LEDs. The LED will light up the whole elevon.
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Old Jan 07, 2011, 03:36 PM
swede
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Lights off.

All done. Here it is to show the aerodynamic sleekness of the airframe. I was surprised I got everything under the covering.
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