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Old Jun 26, 2013, 09:44 AM
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dedStik's Avatar
United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
5,410 Posts
Question
Micro LED

I finished building my first micro not too long ago and am looking to fly it at night.

I've visited my local Rat Shack and bought a pack of leds that included some 3mm. I have wired 2 of the 3mm in using 3 10Ω resistors in series to drop my voltage from 3.4v to below 3 for use with a 1s lipo, plane itself is using a 2s pack for power so the lights are on a separate pack.

The whole lighting rig including battery is 8.5 grams now while not much on a bird that's auw is 42.5 grams it's a bit much, weight with lights is a whopping 51 grams. She stays airborne with the lights, but I'm really looking for a way to shed weight. I'm also going to have to add either a light up front or a tail light for orientation as when turning I'm blind to one side.

Looking for lightening the load suggestions, be it using metal traces instead of wiring, or smaller leds or lighter battery packs or all of the above.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 06:56 AM
Registered User
Bonnie Scotland
Joined Jun 2004
847 Posts
The biggest weight saving you could make would be to ditch the separate battery and take power from the flight battery. That's what I do, using the balance connector for my lights. Recalculate the resistor required using this very useful site :
http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
BTW the resistor, whilst dropping the voltage, is really there for current limiting.
Next use smaller LEDs.
Finally use very thin wire. Some people use single strand enamelled copper wire for micro models.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 10:04 AM
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dedStik's Avatar
United States, VA, Virginia Beach
Joined Feb 2012
5,410 Posts
I thought about using some magnet wire instead of strand the plane runs off a 2s 200 mAh pack I'm worried the excess current draw would reduce pack time considerably. I'm also not aware of smaller leds than 3mm that would still be visible from max 30 yards. I fly it in about the area of a dirt ball diamond. My battery also has no balance plug, I hacked an eflite 2s which had the balance lead as the out lead, I wired red and black to the micro deans and shrink wrapped the white lead.
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