LED lighting for mini telemaster - RC Groups
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Nov 25, 2004, 11:59 AM
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LED lighting for mini telemaster

Is anyone familiar w/ Curtek lighting Systems LED setup? I know it is set up to use a Y-harness to activate the landing lights at approx. 1/2 throttle and less. Does it activate all lights or only the landing lights? Also would like to know if it can be set up to activate only the landing lights w/ the throttle; and set-up the other lights to operate on a on/off switch that I can mount on the fuselage so I don't have to have them on for daylight use. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Nov 25, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Hey Racohoon

I've never worked with the Curtek lights but I do have transmitterswitch operated lights. They're very easy to make if you know how to handle a soldering iron. I got this trick from somewhere here on rcgroups and it works like a charm. Here's how it goes:

*Take a couple of old servo's
*Remover the casing and inner parts until you've only got the chip and the potentiometer (correct english word?) left
*Remove the potentiometer and replace with 2x 2kOhm resistors
*Attach the motor leads to the led lights, with corresponding resistors to avoid frying the led's of course and you're done!

In my case I programmed my transmitter so that when they're off the lights actually receive about 0 volts although that's not really necessary.

I guess in your case you would need 2 free channels if you want to operate nav lights and landing lights seperate from each other. How convenient that I only have Nav lights.

Another thing I did to increase the visibility of the lights is the following:
led's are shaped to give a very narrow beam of light. You can change that by taking the top of as close to the 2 inner metal plates as you can. After that sand the outside so it looks dull. Result: a led that is nicely visibe from all directions!

If you have any further questions on how to achieve this, just let me know!

Nov 25, 2004, 05:26 PM
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The Curtek unit effectively has three outputs for the strobe effect, outputs for constantly lit lights, and a switched output that can be used for landing lights or spotlights that is activated from a signal from the receiver. As all the LEDs plug into the module I don't think its possible to turn off the fixed lighting, atleast not with out modification.

There are loads of RC switch, navigation lights and landing lights based on PIC chips on the web. I feature a few of my own designs on my website (www.micro-heli.co.uk) and some of the other guys here (Eric and Bruce) also feature them on their sites, as does RC-Man... They are not as expensive as the Curtek units, and I'm sure if you wanted a pre-programmed PIC we can sort you out
Nov 27, 2004, 04:32 AM
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I appreciate the info.--but I don't have time to build a unit. I want something already made so all I have to do is splice the + feed to the Nav. lights thru a switch to turn them on/off. I don't mind the landing light coming on w/ throttle control because it would serve it's purpose; but I want the Nav. lights on during entire flight close to dusk, just not during the day. The coolest things about Curtek lights are: 1) They are signifinatley brighter than any other LED on the market 2) They are wider beam hence, already visible from every angle imagineable! And the unit can handle up to nine lights up to three different configurations.
The lights plug into the speed control w/ a Y harness--I just dont know if it operates the landing lights or all of them. It just doesn't seem logical that @ less than 1/2 throttle the Nav. lights and landing lights come on together! Kind of defeats the purpose of Nav. lighting!!!??
Nov 27, 2004, 07:49 AM
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Thing is your posting on a DIY forum ( ) -

The Curtek unit takes power via the reciver, and thus draws current from the 4.8v flight pack, or 5.0v if you use an electric model with a speed controller that has a BEC. You plug the wire from the Curtek unit into CH5 if you want to switch the landing lights on manually, or via a Y cable on the throttle channel if you want them to come on below half stick. The other LEDs are not affected by the switch at all and remain on whilst the reciver is powered.

If I understand you correctly, you want to have the landing lights functioning everytime the gear is lowered (even in the day time), and then be able to switch on the navigation lights / strobes when it gets dusk - Why ? If you are modelling a scale aircraft with working navigation lights then you would normally see them flying with their navigation lights functioning at all times. A pilot doesn't turn on his navigation lights the same way as a driver of a car would do if it gets dark

If you insist on having what is in effect a dual RC switch (one for the landing lights and one for the nav lights) then the only circuit I know of that will do this is the one by Eric Brouwer. But you will still have to make this and program the PIC, I'm not awear of any commercial unit that will offer the functions you want.

Oh and there is nothing "special" about the LEDs Curtek use-- I've used 10,000 mcd LEDs in my models and they can be seen in daylight on most conditions other than bright sunlight
Nov 27, 2004, 08:27 AM
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If you haven't got the time, but have the money, then I'm sure someone would be willing to build a module to do what you want. If Eric's 2Ch switch is what you want then drop me an e-mail and we'll discuss my fees for supplying a module ready built
Nov 28, 2004, 02:02 AM
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Sorry I bothered you guys in the wrong section!
I'll figure something out-- I do appreciate your help though--thank you for your time!
Nov 28, 2004, 05:51 AM
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No you're in the right section to ask, my point (said with toung in cheek) was that generally we discuss building these sort of things rather than buy commercial modules that do the same thing, if they exist.

Like I said, if you really want a 2ch switch I'm willing to build you one, however its much more fun to have a go yourself and you'll get a great deal of satisfaction when you plug it in and it works first time.

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