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Old Feb 28, 2004, 08:28 PM
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Kings Park, New York, USA
Joined Sep 2001
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Anyone using super bright LEDs for night flight?

I have a pretty trick Zagi THL set up for night flight.

Bout 75% of my flying done at night.

Using between 5500 and 10000MCD Hosfelt LEDs.

White front, Blue rear, red port and green Right.

Works well. Anyway rebuilding on 3 year old wing, and there are these intense bright 70 mA. LEDs that far outshine the hosfelt ones am using.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyway anyone using them for position lights for night flight?

Anyone using them for strobes?

Anyone using a radio switch to switch on a bunch of these for landing lights?

thanks
ron Parigoris
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Old Feb 28, 2004, 09:09 PM
slow but inefficient
Ron Williams's Avatar
Riverhead NY USA
Joined Dec 2000
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Where have you been?

ronw
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Old Feb 28, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Kings Park, New York, USA
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Hey Mr. Ron

Hey Mr. Ron

I have been around, reading not much posting. Been flying slope mostly. Still in awe with passaj flying wing on slope.

I had the worst crash ever a while ago on our THL, a CP1700SCR went open and lost radio.

Instead of repairing the original well used piece of foam, gonna put in some new. wanna make it "Illuminate" a bit more better than before.

Been busy workin on europa and copier work.

This past week got in bout 5 hours of slope, 3 of which was with Passaj.

When Europa is done thinking bout makin some Glass Passaj type with EPP Lead Edge. Will probably be WagMax3s with some sort of ultra thin MH45 or similar with articulatable NASA Lead Edge Droop.

If that works well, I am so impressed with NASA Lead Edge Droop and Flying Wings may persue a 2 place!

Later
8
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 01:18 PM
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Joined Feb 2004
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Yup LED's on Slowsticks

I use 6000mcd LED's on my slowstick for nightflight.
Just white, I've built a little braket that hangs down below the wing, and the LED's point up(at an angle) at the underside of the wing.
This makes for an oblong circle of light on each wing, with kind of a halo around it, as my 15 degree white LED's have a bright 15 degree circle, with a little leakage at about 30-35 degrees.
I then put an LED in the vertical Stabilizer, pointing down at the Horizontal tail.

Whole up weight is about 7 grams, as I've added a voltage regulator, and plug the light system into an unused rcvr channel for power.

It's way cool to fly at night.
For pics look here:
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 01:41 PM
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I had 12 LEDs on my Slow Stick (RIP).

4 reds on the right wing,
4 greens on the left wing,
3 whites (10,000 mcd!) on the tail feathers,
1 aqua pointing forward through the prop.

I could see it perfectly from all angles. It was beautiful.

Do a search over in Parkflyers, there are a few threads.

John
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 10:13 PM
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Re: Yup LED's on Slowsticks

Quote:
Originally posted by vinican
I use 6000mcd LED's on my slowstick for nightflight.
Just white, I've built a little braket that hangs down below the wing, and the LED's point up(at an angle) at the underside of the wing.
This makes for an oblong circle of light on each wing, with kind of a halo around it, as my 15 degree white LED's have a bright 15 degree circle, with a little leakage at about 30-35 degrees.
I then put an LED in the vertical Stabilizer, pointing down at the Horizontal tail.

Whole up weight is about 7 grams, as I've added a voltage regulator, and plug the light system into an unused rcvr channel for power.

It's way cool to fly at night.
I do about the same thing! It lights up the plane so you can IT and not just a bunch of light's.

Allons, Randy
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Old Feb 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
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another
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Old Mar 08, 2004, 06:32 PM
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I'd like to be able to fly higher than the streetlights at night!

Looking for a light battery setup.
My experiments yield burnt out lights and I like the blue effect there so let me know more!
Can the 4th channel on the rx be used for power?

Are these the brightest?
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...500&type=store

Thanks!
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Old Mar 08, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sloper steve
I'd like to be able to fly higher than the streetlights at night!

Looking for a light battery setup.
My experiments yield burnt out lights and I like the blue effect there so let me know more!
Can the 4th channel on the rx be used for power?

Are these the brightest?
http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bi...500&type=store

Thanks!
I didn't notice ratings for the different LEDs on that site so I can't tell if they're the brightest. I got all mine from superbrightleds.com.

I bought the brightest LEDs with the widest viewing angle I could find.

Also, you have to use a resistor on each LED to keep the output from your Rx down to the rated voltage of the LED.

John
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 01:08 PM
Hey y'all... watch this!
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Bellevue, WA
Joined Jan 2004
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Can those of you who have already done this offer a bit more information? I've been learning more on http://www.superbrightleds.com/

How did you guys set up your lights? Did you connect to the ESC or do you pull power right off the battery? Are you running lights wired in series or in parallel (or both)? Did you install a voltage regulator or a resistor to control voltage? Where did you purchace your LED's and your resistors?

I found some help on Don's LED page:
http://members.misty.com/don/ledd.html
Check out LED 101 link.

Now for the BIG question.
Given:
A 'super bright' white LED with a 30 degree beam (wide) and ~6000 mcd runs about $1.50.
This bulb operates best at 30mAh at 3.4v.
This bulb has a max voltage of 4.0v
A lipo cell has a nominal V of 3.7v, peak 4.0v and maybe 3.2v under load (flying).

If I am running a 3s lipo pack on my ship, can I simply wire three of these lights in series and run them off battery power (instead of connecting to the ESC) without using a V-regulator or a resistor to control current?

If yes, then I can hook up strings of 3 LED's in series with one set of three going to each wing and another to the tail making 9 LED's in a 3s3p config... so to speak.

Input from the electronically enabled is so much appreciated!

FYI, I'm hoping to light a microbat from inside it's thin, white EPP foam wings for night flying.
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rex A Lott


If I am running a 3s lipo pack on my ship, can I simply wire three of these lights in series and run them off battery power (instead of connecting to the ESC) without using a V-regulator or a resistor to control current?

If yes, then I can hook up strings of 3 LED's in series with one set of three going to each wing and another to the tail making 9 LED's in a 3s3p config... so to speak.

Yes, and yes, but....I'm pretty sure that your led's will dim when your motor is running.
I run mine off its own battery. Easy to do on a slow stick but may not be for you.
Voltage is what matters most, I think, current draw is so small you can get away with a very small (light) battery.

Allons, Randy
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 07:24 PM
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A guy just drove by on a bike flying a plane and yelled this, is there any merit to it?

Using a separate battery to power them alone adds weight. A small lithium would work but will not be recharged each time you put another pack in your plane unless you change it too. If you leave the bulbs on too long they will drain the battery too low and ruin your lithium.

Plugging into your rx gives you a constant voltage regardless of your battery level. (I think.. does it?) Or at least close to 5v

Since you must hardwire a resistor based on voltage you would want the least fluctuating voltage source.

A 180 motor often takes about 1.6 amps full throttle. Thats 1600 mah.
Using 16 100mah leds on a plane would cut the flight time in half.

I'm using 3 on a flying wing each with its own resitor and two wires. It works out to under 100mah for all 3.

Thats .1 amps.
I have a 5 amp speed control.

Does this formula work?

if Speed control amps >=
servo mah*2 + motor max mah + led mah
then fly
else
increase speed control, reduce motor, prop or leds.
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 11:06 AM
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Have a look at this thread.

Basically, you have to use a resistor to knock the 5v from your Rx down to the rated voltage of the LED.

Then you take all the + wires from the LEDs and run them to the + output from your Rx, then all the - LED wires to the - on your Rx.

Then you go fly at night.

John
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sloper steve
A guy just drove by on a bike flying a plane and yelled this, is there any merit to it?

Using a separate battery to power them alone adds weight. A small lithium would work but will not be recharged each time you put another pack in your plane unless you change it too. If you leave the bulbs on too long they will drain the battery too low and ruin your lithium.

Plugging into your rx gives you a constant voltage regardless of your battery level. (I think.. does it?) Or at least close to 5v

Since you must hardwire a resistor based on voltage you would want the least fluctuating voltage source.

A 180 motor often takes about 1.6 amps full throttle. Thats 1600 mah.
Using 16 100mah leds on a plane would cut the flight time in half.

I'm using 3 on a flying wing each with its own resitor and two wires. It works out to under 100mah for all 3.

Thats .1 amps.
I have a 5 amp speed control.

Does this formula work?

if Speed control amps >=
servo mah*2 + motor max mah + led mah
then fly
else
increase speed control, reduce motor, prop or leds.

A couple things:

Most LEDs are only 20Mah.

My big old Slow Stick only had 12 LEDs, and you could see it a mile away. You would probably never need 16. I would think you WOULD need more than 3 on a flying wing though.

12 LEDs = 2.4 amp HOUR draw. Say you fly for 15 minutes, your total draw would be .6 amps. Your ESC should be rated to handle the extra current draw. If you're that close to its limit, you might worry. So if you flew your 180 sized plane for an hour, yes, a 1.6 amp hour draw would halve your duration.

Again, read the thread, it's got everything you need to know.

Let's see some pics!

John
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 12:16 PM
Hey y'all... watch this!
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Bellevue, WA
Joined Jan 2004
852 Posts
RC LED 101

I'm going to try and lay out the key points to LED's in this post.

The voltage of the battery changes during the flight and there is a significant v drop while the battery is under load (flying) that would likely cause the LED's to go very dim. It's starting to sounds like the way to go is to get power at 5v from the ESC (or the Rx) and use a resistor on each LED in order to provide constant current. I plan to do an experiment with running right from the battery anyway.

I thought you would have to use a voltage regulator to control current... wrong!

Here is the magic formula from multiple sources. I'm repeating it here in hopes of being helpful to future readers.

Resistor = dropping voltage / current
ohms = (Voltage of ESC - Voltage of LED) / Amps of LED

Let's apply that: A 'super bright' white LED uses 30mA at 3.4v.
(5.0v from the ESC minus 3.4v rated V of LED)/(30 mA divided by 1000 to convert mA to A) = 53.333... ohms.

Let's do one more: A tiny red LED uses 20mA at 2.1V
(5 - 2.1)/0.02 = 145 ohm. A 150 ohm restitor will work just fine here.

You should be able to find these resistors rated to 1/8 watt that will be tiny and cheap. About the size of the head of a pin and about $1/dozen.

If you wire LED's in series, you add the voltage. That means if you wire a white LED running at 3.4v and a red LED running at 1.6v together in series, you don't need a resistor! SaWeeeet.

The other threads referred to a product called "magnet wire" that I think people found at Radio Shack. I found 26 gauge wire and it seems to be way too heavy. I don't know what the best wire is, but if you are weight sensitive (aren't we all ) then the wire is important. If you use something about the same gauge as receiver wire, it will add up to be several times the weight of the LED's and the resistors.
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