Night OPs Tipsy - RC Groups
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Mar 08, 2002, 02:39 PM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar

Night OPs Tipsy

Well I was poking around Radio shack waiting for the little lady to get done at the grocery store, and saw some Super bright LEDs so I had to pick em up, one was even a built in flasher!
So I get home last night from work and its after dark but the weather is the warm and the wind is calm for the first time since maybe last October . So I hooked up the LEDs to the Tipsy and wired up a plug to plug into the RX, Hey they are pretty bright.
Well, Ill have to test this at dusk some time to make sure I can keep track of the thing,,,,,,,,,,,, NOT.
I got out a flash light and hiked out to the nearest corn field, powered it up and let it fly.
WOW, flying this thing at night is a BLAST ! Wizzed it all around in the calm warm night, Looked Wild up there and I had great orentation. Dogs were barking deer were a running, what a blast.
I put this one Super Super bright orange LED on the nose, one super bright green near the left wing tip, one super bright blinker near the right wing tip, one green regular LED on the left fuse side by the tail and one regular orange LED on the right fuse side by the tail. This scheme worked great, I could always tell wich way the Tipsy was going and weather it was climbing or going down and even if it was turning or going straight.
It was such a blast I dropped in another pack and went up for another 15 mins or so .

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Mar 08, 2002, 02:42 PM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar
Is it a Bird is it Super man, No its Indiglo Tipsy .
Mar 08, 2002, 02:46 PM
AMA 697691 / FAA 13675

It kind of looks like you're giving it an EKG.
Latest blog entry: Greg's Web Hangar
Mar 08, 2002, 04:13 PM
Registered User

Night Ops


I like your goin for it ite iss.

Did the same thing with a Zagi.

Now more than half my flyin, and most my test flyin is at night.

If you like the Rat Shack LEDs, you will love Hosfelt, go to

hosfelt electronics, they have way better LEDs than Rat Shack.

I use white nose, green right, red left and blue rear.

The Greens are 10,000MCD!!! the Red only a mere 5,600. So if real dark out make left turns, and if bright out, make right turns.

They only draw 20mAs ea.

I think I was using a 430 ohm resistor, 1/4 or 1/2 watt to drop pack voltage to LED voltage. Works from 8 cell NiCad pack to 11 cell NiMh pack. You can use Rat Shack wire wrap wire.

I also installed a Hobby lobby strobe kit. 2 lights bottom and 1 on top. Took a bit of fiddeling to make it work off E-Pack, but worth it.

The strobes allow you to spin and do aerobatics alot easier, and if you fly way up high, easier to keep track of pitch.

Good Work.

Ron Parigoris
Mar 08, 2002, 05:12 PM
Registered User
TedLarson's Avatar
Looks kinda like Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer...

- Ted
Mar 08, 2002, 05:22 PM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar
Yeah Ill have to fly it at christmass .
The big one on the nose draws 50 ma, the smaller two draw 20ma, and the regular ones are around 5ma I figure, I hooked mine up to the RX @ 5 V, the big one is 2.8V @ 50Ma, so I have it in series with the other 4 that are in parralell with each other, thats how I dropped the voltage, no resistors needed, it worked out nice cause the currents worked out so I could do it that way, I got the idea when I was gutting an old computer and pulled the LEDs and saw the nice small wires and how the ends that go on the mother board looked like they would plug right into my RX, I was going to use the 3V Li batt from the mother board, but this is better and weighs less
Strobes ehhh??? .
What a blast flying at night is
Mar 08, 2002, 05:26 PM
Registered User
TedLarson's Avatar
Have you seen this stuff:

This could be a good addition to your visability. It's lighted wire, so you can make patterns and designs on your wing surfaces. You could build an outline of the plane.

- Ted
Mar 08, 2002, 05:43 PM
Registered User

Hey Jason J

If you go the strobe route, use some mini mag light bulbs meant for 2 AA batteries. I had to install a TIP 120 transistor to handle the extra power and installed a voltage regulator to get pack voltage down to what I needed.

I have the regulator set up so the strobes quit about 30 seconds prior to BEC motor cut out. LEDs stay on, and when you chop power the strobes come on again.

I also have a Hobby Lobby simulated rotating red beacon with a voltage regulator. It works pretty kool as well.

I have a twin Zagi THL that has 4 rearward blue LEDs, 3 white foward on the nose, 2 5MM and 1 10MM and 2 landing white light 5 MM LEDs near the motors aiming down so you can really see the ground on a landing or flyby, then 2 intense green right and 2 red left, and 2 on bottom and 1 on top strobes, and just at the front center of the wing the simulated rotating beacon.

Be a bit careful that you do not over stress the BEC by drawing too many amps from it, where if close with your radio and servos and you started pulling alot of power from the BEC with lighting, it could shut down the radio! Way better, especial if you go to minimag lights to pull from flight pack.

1 thing that is interesting, and that is not only visibality important at night, but the sky glow and water vapor in the atmosphere really makes a big difference. Some nights can bearly fly up to a thousand feet, and others alot higher. Have made it up to 1,580 so far and on the right night, can probably make it up to 1,750 without binoculars. I use a Casio recording altimeter watch.

Can go higher at night than in the day. The strobes on bottom help track additude better.

Ron Parigoris

BTW Flat spinning from 1000 feet plus to within 50 feet of the ground is awesome, and with the twin at 3/4 throttle, the sound only adds to the rush. The strobes make it almost easier to keep track of at night as compared to some days!
Mar 08, 2002, 05:57 PM
Registered User
tigerstrike's Avatar
<B><FONT COLOR=RED>LIGHTS?? YOU want lights for night flying. <BR><FONT COLOR=BLUE>Check these crazy gizmos out:<BR><P>I had these up for auction and have a total of 30 left<P>If anyone is interested, let me know
Mar 09, 2002, 11:13 AM
Dude, where's My Plane?
JasonJ's Avatar
yeah I know what your saying about almost being able to track it better at night with the lights. Certainly when it gets up there.
those strips look cool, but whay to heavy with a power inverter, 9V bettery and all, forget it, this was the light way to go on the Tipsy,,,,,, get it light way , no resistors, or trasistors, all 5 LEDs and wireing are about .5 oz. and total drawl is about 100 Ma so no biggie there. I make sure to land while there is still plenty of power, not a problem with the Tipsys long flight times anyway, you can blow the approach 5 times and still come around again,,,, not like EDF .

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