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Aug 14, 2019, 07:30 PM
'Sky' King
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Night Radian FT - Naviation Lights Upgrade!


The Night Radian FT provides a great upgrade to my favorite aircraft in the hanger, the original Radian. The Night Radian's animated lights are very bright and flashy, and they never fail to provide quite a light show, often attracting quite a crowd of people curious to find out what that bright UFO they see in the sky is! My favorite comment about the Night Radian came one evening from an older teen watching the Radian light show: "Hey Mister, your airplane is DOPE!!" I certainly couldn't agree more!

Yet, the first evening my favorite flying partner, dawnron1 and I maidened our new Radian FT's, we both noticed something was missing! Even as very experienced night flying pilots, we were a bit uneasy flying the Night Radian FT, due to the fact that the Radian's lighting provides no fixed visual navigation light references, such as the FAA navigation light scheme on real aircraft, as well as lighting found on many RC night flying aircraft. We found it was very easy to lose track of the Radian's flight orientation!

So... We set out to add additional fixed navigation lights which provide traditional FAA navigation aircraft lighting, as well as adding two very bright forward landing lights and a rear facing solid red beacon. With this modest navigation light upgrade, we found our perception of the Night Radian FT's orientation during night flights is now very easy to follow! With the upgrade, we can easily chat with curious observers without danger of losing flight orientation of the Radian.

Some preliminary information for the Night Radian FT Navigation light upgrade is added below. I suspect we are not the only Night Radian FT owners who would like to have fixed navigation lights on the aircraft to provide better visual orientation for night flying. This is our solution for now, perhaps it can provide some ideas should anyone decide to add fixed navigation lights. Perhaps we will get some good ideas from any input provided by you! At the very least, we hope you enjoy the Night Radian FT as much as we do!

See the difference for yourself the Navigation Lights Upgrade makes - No matter how you bank it, crank it, or turn it, the nav lights are visible and provide a clear indication of the Night Radians flight orientation!


Navigation Light Upgrade Specifications

LED's: 1 watt, constant current regulated to approx. 20 lumens output per LED
Navigation Lights Power Consumption: less than 300mA*
Wingtip Strobe/Nav Light Microprocessor: PIC12F675 program complies with FAA strobe timing requirements
Lighting mounts: PLA plastic
Lighting lenses: Vacuum formed PETG thermal plastic
LED regulation: LED constant current regulation provides consistent 20 lumens output independent of battery voltage & provides for ~50% lower current draw over commonly used RC lighting schemes!

*Important Note: 5 volt power and ground for this Navigation Light Upgrade is taken from the +5 volt and ground outputs provided by the Radian's lighting controller. The controller handles the ~300ma used by the Navigation Light Upgrade without issues, but this is not an approved modification by E-Flite or Horizon Hobby.


CAUTION: In order to achieve the small size required for scale appearances, this project requires highly advanced electronic design and fabrication skills utilizing surface mount components, precision 3D printing design and fabrication skills, and vacuum forming plastic lenses. Please examine the project photos and description very carefully, and only attempt such a project if you are 100% confident in your skill level and you have the requisite tools required. The author is NOT responsible for damage or liabilities arising from attempts by anyone who attemptd this or similar projects. Due to time constraints, the author cannot provide detailed support for those attempting such a project. Thank you!
Last edited by tking2097; Aug 17, 2019 at 11:01 AM.
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