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Old Nov 27, 2012, 08:23 AM
Habitual Line Stepper
Cervanchez's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Wow, thanks for all the replies guys! I got the GoPro2 last night from my flying buddy. I didn't realize how small it was. I plan to mount it up front underneath the FPV camera and then shift the battery back for balance. I was using a 3s 2200 mAh pack but I think that's gonna be too small now. Plus, it is over 3 years old and while it still puts out good power, I'll save it for my other 3s planes. I'll try the 3s 2600 mAh pack first and if that doesn't work I'll go to the 3s 4000 mAh pack.

Finally, if all that doens't work I'll bite the bullet and try the 4s setup. From what I've read, the 3300 mAh size seems to be popular? It's nice that the motors/ESCs are all 4s capable and all I have to do is throw on the 8" props and I'm good to go.

If I went to 4s I'll probably have to do something about the lights. The lights are 12V and I'm assuming 16.8V which is a fully-charged 4s pack is too much?



If you are flying in the same area and swap batteries the GPS lock will be much quicker. It always seems the first power-up of the day's flying session is the longest.
What about your FPV tx and camera? Are they powered by a seperate battery? If not, you'll need a regulator for that.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:11 AM
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u2builder's Avatar
USA, NH, Alstead
Joined Oct 2007
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Just to mention the other side of the coin: I am running both my stock DJI 450 and 550 on two 2200 3S batteries in parallel and have no issues. Both are full house with GoPro and FPV setups. On the quad I power the FPV off the flight batteries; on the hex I have a separate 500 mah 3S. I have 4 LED lights powered off the reciever (600 mA draw). The motors are always about 80F when I land. The batteries are about the same temperature. Now I am not doing any aggressive flying, most flights are around10 mph more or less. I use the same 3S batteries in other planes and my heli so that is why I use 3S, but haven't really had any need to change either.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:19 AM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by MCrites View Post
I've seen some people run LEDs on 4S. It depends on the LED and how long you want them to last. High voltage will probably burn them out faster. TJ seems to be a good resource for LEDs and might have a blog about it so check there. Even if he doesn't you are guaranteed to learn something in his blogs... I do everytime I check them out.

EDIT** BTW I'm back! I had a upper respiratory infection turn into pneumonia. Good times...
Yes! T J has never burned out any LEDs! I didnt know you were sick MCrites! I hope you get better fast!. I guess I should have noticed something was wrong as you have been so nice to everyone lately! LOL
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:22 AM
I never finish anyth
United States, TX, Houston
Joined Jan 2012
2,585 Posts
There are so many variables that go into the 3S/4S debate, altitude and flight weight being the biggest ones in my mind. I flew on 3S but as I got heavier it just wasn't enough... 4S was a whole new world. Now that my F550 is 6+lbs I am using 4S and 10in Graupners. My motors are pretty hot when ambient is 90+F but in this cooler weather they are fine. If you are flying a mostly stock Flamewheel then 3S should work but if you are adding FPV/Landing Gear/GoPros/LEDs/Secondary Batteries then you'll probably be happier with 4S.

Just my observations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldsworthy View Post
Yes! T J has never burned out any LEDs! I didnt know you were sick MCrites! I hope you get better fast!. I guess I should have noticed something was wrong as you have been so nice to everyone lately! LOL
LOL @ the TJ comment. And I am almost always nice... till people expect us to troubleshoot thier problems with ZERO information or with ZERO google/forum searches on their own. Sure it's just easier to ask... but it's also easier for us to just not answer.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:28 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervanchez View Post
What about your FPV tx and camera? Are they powered by a seperate battery? If not, you'll need a regulator for that.
Ah crap, totally forgot about the camera equipment. Everything is running off the flight pack right now. Looks like my best option would be to get a Castle BEC Pro as it has an adjustable output all the way to 12V. I could wire up the lights and the camera to the output of the CC BEC Pro while powering the receiver, Naza, etc., directly from the 4s pack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u2builder View Post
Just to mention the other side of the coin: I am running both my stock DJI 450 and 550 on two 2200 3S batteries in parallel and have no issues. Both are full house with GoPro and FPV setups. On the quad I power the FPV off the flight batteries; on the hex I have a separate 500 mah 3S. I have 4 LED lights powered off the reciever (600 mA draw). The motors are always about 80F when I land. The batteries are about the same temperature. Now I am not doing any aggressive flying, most flights are around10 mph more or less. I use the same 3S batteries in other planes and my heli so that is why I use 3S, but haven't really had any need to change either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCrites View Post
There are so many variables that go into the 3S/4S debate, altitude and flight weight being the biggest ones in my mind. I flew on 3S but as I got heavier it just wasn't enough... 4S was a whole new world. Now that my F550 is 6+lbs I am using 4S and 10in Graupners. My motors are pretty hot when ambient is 90+F but in this cooler weather they are fine. If you are flying a mostly stock Flamewheel then 3S should work but if you are adding FPV/Landing Gear/GoPros/LEDs/Secondary Batteries then you'll probably be happier with 4S.

Just my observations.
I'm definitely going to try the 3s 2600 mAh and 3s 4000 mAh packs before I do anything. It's nice having options, however, as the upgrade to 4s if it becomes necessary sounds simple aside from a little wiring magic.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 09:44 AM
Habitual Line Stepper
Cervanchez's Avatar
United States, WA, Redmond
Joined Dec 2011
698 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Ah crap, totally forgot about the camera equipment. Everything is running off the flight pack right now. Looks like my best option would be to get a Castle BEC Pro as it has an adjustable output all the way to 12V. I could wire up the lights and the camera to the output of the CC BEC Pro while powering the receiver, Naza, etc., directly from the 4s pack.





I'm definitely going to try the 3s 2600 mAh and 3s 4000 mAh packs before I do anything. It's nice having options, however, as the upgrade to 4s if it becomes necessary sounds simple aside from a little wiring magic.
May I suggest one of these:
http://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/de-swadj

I'm using the bigger one:
http://www.dimensionengineering.com/products/de-swadj3

But just bought two of the small ones because I think 10W is plenty to power the FPV equipment and lights. They are a lot smaller and cheaper than the Castle BEC pro. The other great thing about it is it acts as a power filter as well. Before when I was on 3S I needed an LC filter to power direct from the flight pack. Since I went to 4s and used this, the filter is no longer needed.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:02 AM
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T J Gilbert's Avatar
United States, MS, Ridgeland
Joined Feb 2009
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LEDs

"I've seen some people run LEDs on 4S. It depends on the LED and how long you want them to last. High voltage will probably burn them out faster. TJ seems to be a good resource for LEDs and might have a blog about it so check there. Even if he doesn't you are guaranteed to learn something in his blogs... I do everytime I check them out."
Thanks for the complement!
Didn't know you were ill, but I'm glad you're well now...
There is a post on my blog on LED's with an informative link.
Basics:
LEDs need to have a resistor in series with them to work properly. It is a "current limiting resistor" as LEDs don't like excessive current. That's a good thing as they use very little power from your flight battery. No R = No LED (even if it's for just a second or two). Don't ask me how I know...
You can find off the shelf pre-wired LEDs like GW uses that are set up for 12 volts. These are in abundance at automotive sites. You can also find special sets that run on 4.8 to 5.2 volts and can be hooked up to a spare channel on your receiver.
I'm afraid if you run straight off 4S you'll need a voltage regulator. The 12 volt stuff can probably handle the 14.8 to 16.8 of 4S for a short while, but I make no promises.
4.8v: http://rc-lights.com/
voltage regulator: http://www.dpcav.com/xcart/home.php
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Last edited by T J Gilbert; Nov 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM. Reason: comments
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:34 AM
Registered User
Joined Mar 2009
253 Posts
I went one further and installed the Dimensions Engineering programmable LED controller. Rather then have a zillion LED's ON, I run one on each arm in strobe mode. Even with the PIC, it draws less.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:14 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Thanks again guys! I think this little gem will be what I need. I have nothing against Castle's products or the price they charge, but this will do the same thing and at a fraction of the cost. That is, of course, if I decide to go to 4s.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
DJI and Empire Support
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United States, MS, Ridgeland
Joined Feb 2009
4,502 Posts
Voltage Regulator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Thanks again guys! I think this little gem will be what I need. I have nothing against Castle's products or the price they charge, but this will do the same thing and at a fraction of the cost. That is, of course, if I decide to go to 4s.
I know you don't need it, but they also sell one that is capable of outputting a higher voltage than you put in for $.50 more...
http://www.dpcav.com/xcart/Adjustabl...EPIC-Type.html
I got the tip on these from one of the FPV forums here on RCG.
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Last edited by T J Gilbert; Nov 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Voltage Regulator
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Menina Fantasma no Elevador | Pegadinha | Programa Silvio Santos (6 min 45 sec)
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:42 PM
Look out! The lever!
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Love it! I'm a big horror movie fan!
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:04 PM
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USA, NH, Alstead
Joined Oct 2007
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If you just need a couple LED's for orientation these are great. I'd say you can see them 600 feet away in daylight, more or less. I use four in the front. 600 ma total. The nice thing is they just plug into a channel in your reciever. They can be on all the time or you can switch them with an RC-Lights RCL 5090 switch. I use the throttle to switch mine. When I go above 1/4 throttle they turn on. Very simple.



http://www.rcdude.com/servlet/the-96...t-Ultra/Detail
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:57 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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What I wish could be done is to have a 2nd LED that works in conjunction with the LED on the VU. That LED is super-bright but you can't see it from every orientation. I'd love to have another one just like that on the front or somewhere else so I can see my flight status no matter how the multirotor is turned.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:35 AM
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T J Gilbert's Avatar
United States, MS, Ridgeland
Joined Feb 2009
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VU LED for Orientation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
What I wish could be done is to have a 2nd LED that works in conjunction with the LED on the VU. That LED is super-bright but you can't see it from every orientation. I'd love to have another one just like that on the front or somewhere else so I can see my flight status no matter how the multirotor is turned.
My LED orientation for the F550:
Front: white constant
RH: green constant (2)
LH: red constant (2)
Rear: VU strobe (tells me when the craft is in "normal" orientation)
Bottom: white strobe (to hopefully spot at higher altitudes)
In this way I know orientation at some distance.
You get to where you know your flight mode by the way the craft behaves, so not seeing the VU's LED all the time gets easier...
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