Projeti - Night Flight with E.L. Wire!!! (pics) - RC Groups
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Dec 29, 2003, 09:45 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar

Projeti - Night Flight with E.L. Wire!!! (pics)

I'm one of those guys who could fly planes all day every day and not get bored, but whose job & family & home responsibilities barely leave a 15 minute flight on lunch break (if I'm lucky).

So when I discovered E.L. wire I just had to give it a try. I put it on my GWS Slow Stick first, and that rocked. Then I decided to put it on my Projeti, and HOLY COW that's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The lines on this plane are cool. I started flying it regularly at night after the kids were in bed (before the heavy snows hit), and it's lifted that horrible crushing feeling that accompanies not being able to fly every day.

I had cars pulling over at the park, people getting out. The number of calls to the police station about U.F.O. sightings shot WAY UP!

Anyway, here's a pic!

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Dec 29, 2003, 09:59 PM
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jiggiba's Avatar


Looks good, I thought my L.E.D. set up looked cool but I see now I got more work to do.
Dec 29, 2003, 11:04 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar

LEDS are cool, but ElectroLuminescent WIRE is awesome. I have both on my Slow Stick because it can handle the weight.

A few things to note if you're going to put E.L. wire on a Projeti.

1. The wire and inverter add weight, which needs to be compensated for with more power. I just switched from the stock 8cell 1100 mah Nimh to a 3 cell 1500 mah Kokam Lipoly battery. That gave it the extra juice I needed.

2. You need a 9 volt inverter to see a plane this small and this fast. Anything less and the wires will be too dim. Keep in mind, the more volts that you're putting through your inverter, the brighter it will be. These wires can take somewhere up to 100 volts, so don't worry about burning them out. Putting 11.1 volts through a 9 volt inverter will warm it up a bit, but won't cause damage. Do it to a 3 volt inverter and the thing will start smoking after a minute or two.

3. Having a 9 volt inverter on your plane isn't that much of a weight gain, but having a separate 9 volt battery IS a big weight gain. So I cut off the 9 volt attachment tip on the inverter and added deans plugs so that I could just plug this thing in between the battery and the ESC. So the 11.1 V Lipo is driving both the plane and the lights. Works great! Only draw back is it adds a tiny little bit of noise to the receiver, I think the wire itself acts like an antenna. It doesn't affect my flight though, the line noise is negligible.

4. You want to be careful not to break up the flow of air over your wings too much. It took me many tries to come up with the configuration that I did. Keeping the wires on the leading edges of your wing/fins helps reduce drag. Tape them down good too with a transparent tape so they don't flap around and glow brightly.

GOOD LUCK! Let me know if you need any info on where to buy the wires & inverters. I'd love to see someone with a reno or star edition Projeti do a light rig with red & blue lights!

Dec 29, 2003, 11:56 PM
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Dec 30, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Helicool's Avatar
I gotta ask - where can I get some of this stuff! I have a few wings that would look Great with that stuff!
Dec 30, 2003, 01:45 AM
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Helicool's Avatar

Here's an easy Idea....

This El-Wire "thing" got me doing some websearches, and I found El-Wire Kits for PC Computer Cases available from StarTech (a Distributor in Toronto, ON)

I then found retail kits at Compusmart - CDN$30 and they accept a 7-14V input - they are designed to run off a 12V PC Power Supply.

I haven't seen one yet, but I think I have some shopping to do tomorrow - I need something to do on New Years Day once i get through the Hangover!
Dec 30, 2003, 05:38 AM
uhh..Let me get TWO!!
RaysRC's Avatar

Fly into the night!!!!!

Glowire is the COOOOOOoolest!!!! I have it on my SS and on my Zagi 400X!!!

Dec 30, 2003, 10:09 AM
Registered User
That is very neat looking!
Dec 30, 2003, 12:33 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar
I got my first EL Wire kit from

It's the small plane kit with three 3' strips (two blue, one yellow).

AFTER buying that setup (about $50), I found another good place to buy the stuff. It's

These guys will let you buy any configuration you want at a lower price. You just pick the wire thickness, the length, the color, and whether or not you want them to attach the connectors for you. Just have them do the connectors, it's too much work for the couple of bucks you save.

And it is cheap, about 2/3rd the price of the glowire product.

Just make sure you get at least the 9V inverter. I tried some of the smaller voltage units and they aren't bright enough for safe night flight.

ONE NEGATIVE NOTE. This wire has to have the tips "closed" with some sort of plastic cap, and several times sent us the wire without the tips capped. My understanding is that the electroluminescent chemical that coats the wire can't take any sort of moisture or humidity.

As long as you're aware of that, I recommend buying from elwirecheap just because it's so inexpensive. You can just hot glue the tips if they forget to do it. It works great.

Also, don't put more wire on the plane than you need. The longer the wire, the dimmer the glow. Figure out what you need to see the plane clearly in the dark, and only use that. I shaved a few feet off of length on my slow stick's wires, and the brightness increased significantly.

When setting up your planes, make absolutely sure that you can identify the lines of the plane from every angle. At first I wasn't putting much on the wing tips, and it was hard to see the plane from the rear or side. As you can see in the image, I ran the wires out to the tips, and then wrapped the wing tip with the wire. That way I could always see both wing tips from any angle, including from behind. It also helped to be able to see the tip from any angle but the rear, so I ran the wire over the tip twice.

Hope this helps. Happy night flying!

Dec 30, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar
That is, I ran the wire over the NOSE tip twice. Sorry, wasn't clear on that.

Also, the smaller 2.3 mm wire is what I've been using, and I think it's the best choice of the three sizes. I tried the medium size 3.2 mm wire, and it doesn't glow much brighter yet is significantly more heavy and less flexible for wrapping around sharp corners on your plane. I think they actually just wrap the same wire in a thicker plastic.

on the elwirecheap web page, the EZ-Connection wire link is the one where they give you the wire WITH the connector attached. Then you buy your inverter, and a two or three way splitter (depending on whether your wing has separate fins like the Projeti, or fins on the wing tips, like the viper and zagi)

One of my RC buddies just rebuilt his Viper Twin after a spectacular crash, and I think he's putting EL Wire on it. I'll see if I can get a pic next time we go out at night.

Dec 30, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar
Hey Ray, can you post a pic of your Zagi with El Wire?

I'd like to see it.

BTW, Slow Sticks rock with glow wire. A couple of my friends and I dog fight with slow sticks. They're so easy to repair and pretty durable. Night fights with Glow Wires is so dang fun. My friend Tony drove his plane right through my wing and they got all tangled up and came toppling out of the sky. Coolest thing ever.

I'll stop talking now!

Dec 31, 2003, 04:13 PM
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Helicool's Avatar


Hey Todd -

I just picked up my ElWire Set from the computer place (it has a 12V inverter) - it's pretty bright, but it doesn't sppear as bright as yours - I just connected it to a 12V battery pack to test it.

I figure you're putting 11V into a 9V inverter, so I tried a 12-cell pack (15v-ish) into my 12V inverter - I didn't see anything very bright.

Any Ideas how I can get these brighter?

Last edited by Helicool; Dec 31, 2003 at 04:36 PM.
Dec 31, 2003, 04:47 PM
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Brightness is a matter of perception and environment. My pics were taken in a totally dark room, so the camera compensated for that by leaving the shutter open longer.

Also keep in mind, most photos of these planes have them sitting on a table or floor, as with my picture. The lights therefore are illuminating the table, which bounces the light and creates a brightening or even halo effect. You won't get that effect when the plane is against a dark sky.

If there is any light in your environment, then the wires won't appear very bright. Don't worry! Out in the dark at night, they are plenty bright. I can fly my wing WAY out there and still see it clearly.

So yes, photos can be deceptive. But these wires glow plenty bright with the 9V inverter to see any park flyer plane.

I've seen these wires imbedded inside of wings too (balsa wings with overcover) and the whole wing illuminates.

The length of wire you are glowing will be the most important factor (next to inverter/voltage). My wing has three 3foot strips, so total of 9 feet. If you put 18 feet on a 9 volt inverter, they'll glow half as bright. I haven't seen the wires from a computer store, I don't know if they are the same as the ones that I'm using, but I'll bet they're the same or similar.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Dec 31, 2003, 05:23 PM
Registered User

That's the coolest thing I've ever seen! Thanks for the links as I am definitely going to try this out. I was going to use LEDs and make my own but this is much neater.

Dec 31, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Wind_of_Change's Avatar

Are you putting the wires on a Projeti? If so, which edition? I'd love to see a pic, regardless of what you put it on! And let me know what you think after you've done your first night flight.

If your reaction is anything like mine, you're in for a treat. First I just started crying, it was hard to fly because it was so hard to see through the tears of joy (maybe it was just because it was really cold outside), then after doing some stunts I wet my pants (again, possibly attributable to the cold), then when I landed successfully I just started leaping and dancing like a lunatic around the field. That could be because I'm a lunatic, but I still think it's because night flying a Projeti is so dang cool!


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