|Sep 17, 2008, 05:29 PM|
Simple Lost model locator
Since Tom asked about a model locator I decided to put one up here. This is an optical type of locator. It can run for 40+ hours on 2 AAA batteries. At night super bright LEDs are easy to spot, so you'll have plenty of time to find the plane. The Super bright LEDs can be seen for nearly a mile from up in a tree.
There are two types a diode driver and transistor driver. The transistor type puts out a little bit more light, but has a few more connections. Both are really easy and can be made in under and hour. This circuit will NOT WORK WITH WHITE OR BLUE LEDs unless you add a third cell to your back up battery (White and blue require 3.2 Volts to run).
The LEDS will be illuminated at all times (so long as the switch is closed). That way if the plane goes down and the battery is still connected, the unit will draw power from the airplane battery. If the battery becomes disconnected, the system will be powered from an external power supply such as 2 AAAs or 2 2/3A cells. These batteries should be secured in the plane so they don't eject in a crash.
I would use at least 3 LEDs in the circuit each shining in a different direction and at least one on the bottom of the plane. You could also use this as a night flying circuit as well. A good intensity to shop for is 3000 mcd+ range. 5000 mcd LEDs are usually easy to find.
PM me (or post) with any questions. All of the material can be bought at Radio Shack, but you're probably better off getting the LEDs from Ebay.
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