Precision Aerobatics Addiction X: "Burned Retina" Night Flyer - RC Groups
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Sep 07, 2011, 03:12 PM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Build Log

Precision Aerobatics Addiction X: "Burned Retina" Night Flyer


I have been putting a lot of effort into my Addiction-X and thought this may be the most appropriate venue for me to show it off

Here is the backstory:

I was out flying the X at my local club field after our annual "Warbird Fun-Fly"... I was hucking it around, and did not land when I heard my timer go off. Instead I flew for another 1:45 of hard 3d and hovering, before taking it back up to altitude for a blender.

This is where things got dicey After several rotations of flat spins, I neutralized controls, continued my down-line, and as I applied throttle and pulled back on elevator... my battery hit LVC! The nose pitched up but the plane took an elevator ride straight into the trees

Damage was so extensive, it required I completely remove the covering to properly address all the damage. One wing was broken beyond my repair skill level, but I was lucky the fuse and one wing were easily mended back together.

So I figured while I have the covering off, I may as well LIGHT IT UP

Yikes, so here I am near 350+ LEDs, and over 50 feet of wire later, things are starting to come together.

I will try to catch you all up with photos from my build/rebuild. At the time I write this I have completed installation of LEDs in the fuse, tail surfaces and stab, both ele and rud control surfaces, one wing and one aileron.

The one completed wing has 182 LEDs installed, Green with red on the wingtips and aileron control surfaces.

The fuse is broken into several colors:
Fuse and motor mount~Blue
Turtledeck, Rudder, Horizontal Stab~ White

I have not begun covering anything yet, but plan on going with white covering over the top and transparent red on the bottom side.

There were several tricky areas: hinging the wiring through the control surface in the rudder and on the ailerons keeps all wiring neat and internal withing the frame. Keeping all of the wiring out of the way of the pull-pull cables. Connecting 5 different strands of wires (one for each horizontal stab, one for each elevator half, and one for rudder) together underneath the vertical stab. As for the difficult areas to reach (like in the leading edge of the wing), I was unable to wire the LEDs one at a time and ended up making long daisy chains before installing all the LEDs at once.

The finished product will have approximately 500 LEDs total and I have built out two options for lighting power: run off the 3s flight battery with diminished flight times, or I have also built a separate tray to hold a 400mAh battery for the lights above the motor mount and under the cowl. I am undecided for now, but will likely run off the flight battery for initial flights so that I may save some weight somewhere.

Anyway, enough jibber jabber, here are some pics!

...and a short vid:
Addiction X Lights Part 1 (2 min 32 sec)

(At the time of this video, I had not yet wired the aileron control surface; I will try to get an updated video up later this week)
Last edited by Vapor Trails; Sep 12, 2011 at 11:55 PM. Reason: title change
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Sep 08, 2011, 07:41 AM
Registered User
I must conclude, from the evidence you have submitted, that :

a. you are a major stakeholder in an LED factory
b. you are an LED fetishist
c. you are clinically insane

All joking aside, that is quite impressive, the original airframe build too.

BTW I have looked long and hard and think you may have missed a bit.
Sep 08, 2011, 10:34 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Thanks man! I think I am answers "B" and "C"

It has been a long process, the rebuild was tedious. The light installation was fun at first, then I got completely carried away... I kinda dread having to do an entire 2nd wing! It was painstakingly slow to get all my wiring the right lengths before installing the daisy chain of lights.

We do have a night fly at the club in 9 days and I would love to take it up for a re-maiden then; but I am skeptical I have the time to put towards it. I will keep posting up some new updates after the 2nd wing's lights are installed and will continue to update as the covering goes on... I am really hoping the white covering will reflect the lights well on 3s, but only one way to find out; if it doesn't I am covering in a transparent film.
Sep 08, 2011, 03:36 PM
Waiting for the paint to dry.
ctrout's Avatar
Looking Good.
Something from my past. The bulbs will show more as lit dots in a thin film but will glow in a high solids color covering.
The dots can make a clear view of the plane a hand full to see
Look forward to your flight video.
Sep 08, 2011, 03:50 PM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
thanks trout, I am really going for the "glow" look; I have been a bit concerned about the glare of transparent films...

BTW~ You have some fantastic night fliers in your stable! I was just going through some of your attachments that you have posted and they look great!
Sep 09, 2011, 12:19 AM
Blew out my flip flop
David Hogue's Avatar
That looks great Brad!
Sep 09, 2011, 11:07 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Thanks David!

Quick question for all yall: What should I name her?

I was going with "Night-X" for a while, after plugging them in last night I am kinda leaning towards "Burned Retina"...

Your creativity and input is much appreciated

BTW~ I have done an official, up to date "LED count" last night and the conclusion was that if I use the same number of lights in wing#2 as I did on the first wing, I will have a total of 501 LEDs, 167 individual strips of 3 LEDs each.
Sep 09, 2011, 03:55 PM
Registered User
Burned Retina works! BTW, if the covering has a clear backing, temporarily tape some scrap pieces on the wing, fuse, etc to see how it looks before you make things permanent. I also like the opaque covering better than the transparent, it makes a better projection screen. Good luck!
Sep 16, 2011, 11:33 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Well I started wiring the second wing last night... no new pics yet.

I did not make much process, I installed all the red LEDs on the wingtip and almost finished installing the red LEDs on the aileron control surface.

I have hit a roadblock though as I am nearly out of Green LEDs
Sep 16, 2011, 05:56 PM
Waiting for the paint to dry.
ctrout's Avatar
I'm waiting on the re-stock myself.
sitting stuck lol.
Sep 22, 2011, 11:42 PM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Yea!!! just got an email LEDs at HK have been restocked

I expect I should get an email in the next 24 hrs that my backorder has been fulfilled

This means my flashlight-build is back on track! I really want to fly this before X-mas...
Sep 23, 2011, 12:00 AM
This is my Nemesis....
ViperZ's Avatar
It's going to be Awesome!
Sep 25, 2011, 06:16 PM
Waiting for the paint to dry.
ctrout's Avatar
Looking forword to the video GL-
Sep 26, 2011, 12:11 AM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
Thanks Fellas!

Looks LEDs have been shipped... just plaing the waiting game...

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