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Jan 30, 2006, 08:46 AM
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Kewl new Aero ace light mod! <Lit Air>

Well Here is the newest light mod I have made. It will have different color lights on either side of the fuse in ADDITION to these! Here is a pic and I will get a vid of it working. It is all in the motion, yo! (for mac) (for pc)

The pc link is new, try it! The "mac" link works for pc too, you just need a plugin to play mp4 files. The PC link is a better quality file and is 18 mb so GIVE IT TIME! Enjoy!
Last edited by Hotflyer; Jan 30, 2006 at 05:49 PM. Reason: add pic
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Jan 30, 2006, 09:23 AM
ronmar1's Avatar
Your link has sound but no video.
Jan 30, 2006, 11:24 AM
♠ ♂ ♠
bEbOp ?'s Avatar
Yeah broken link.

I like the mini on/off switch. I got some of those from Hacked Mcdonalds toys, and big 5mm Leds ( thanks sis.!) . I'll add that to my AA, prob in the rear of the Grey RX housing.


Here is my Idea for a real kEwL light mod. Use wire to tap into Battery, run that to Mini switch , then maybee a resistor , then One Red or better yet Bright Blue LED.

Step 2. Get Large CLEAR plastic straw and swap out AA heavy tail boom. Put LED INTO clear straw. BOOM !! now you have an Illuminating , Glowing , Very Visable , Lite , Aero Ace.

The thing will be More visable then A regular LED mod because Led's are the Brightest from the tip, and your now using that to light the entire straw. It will Look like your Flying a Neon Tube light. And you'll get Great Orintation, even in the pitch dark.!

A few things holding me back. Help me out guys.

1. The Lightest wire possible. I want to use Magnet wire that I have ( Big 32 ga. ) This stuff is bigger then whats on the Bladerunners Tail motor. And since it will power a 4mm pager / 0,05watt motor It can run from the Diode to the Led fine . This wire Is Prob. not a good idea for the Battery Connection too. OR IS IT .?????? Maybee if I Twisted 4 strands together For One bigger guage? The only Other light wire I have is stiff CAT5 ethernet wire.

2. Smaller LED's . 5mm led is big. I want some 3mm's . What about Christmas Lights ?? Got TONS of those. FOR FREE !! multi color choice is a ++. Plus those " Red stripped" Christmas Lights Will slow Flash for a cool Airplane effect. Any negitive thing I should know about average christmas tree Lights?

3. Wiring diagram for 3 Lights or more. I use this site for refrence when doing Led Lights

I hope christmas light hold the same principles as Leds. I just want ONE slow red blinking , and 2 colored ones for a Scale airplane look. Radio shack Blinking red LED's blink to FAST.. Christmas Tree blinkers are nice and slow...
Jan 30, 2006, 05:32 PM
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mharms's Avatar

They have LED Christmas lights these days -- are you talking about those when you say "Red stripped" lights? If yes, then you could use them. If you are talking about the old style (incandescent) lights, then they may draw too much current or may not be right for the voltage you can supply. There are some very tiny incandescent lights at model railroad shops, but you have to get ones suitable for the voltage and current you can supply. Not sure they are very bright, though.

There are charts around that show max current recommended for different size wires. If the 32ga is bigger than what's already on your Bladerunner (hey, this is an AA thread!), then it probably will be fine for an additional LED or two on the back (assuming 20mA per LED). If in doubt, use 2 strands of 32ga like you mentioned.

Be aware that different color LEDs may require different value current limiting resistors due to their differing Vf voltage.

I have an LED that emits ultraviolet light (black light). I wonder if that would make the day-glow paint on my AA glow in the dark? That would look cool.

(Update: The stock paint on my red/yellow AA does not glow under UV light. Maybe I could paint on some glow-in-the dark paint or similar.)

Last edited by mharms; Jan 30, 2006 at 06:09 PM. Reason: no go with the UV glow
Jan 31, 2006, 05:39 AM
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Thread OP
hey all, I made big improvements to the light setup! It now has the two tri-color fast flasher LEDs on the ends of the wings, one 5000 mcd blue LED on the right side of the plane shining on the underside of the wing surface and on the side of the fuse, a green 5000 mcd on the left in same placement and the best part of all, a 20,000 mcd white led protruding from the cockpit window as a headlight! All controlled by a micro switch!

AUW is (including micro connectors on the battery for easy changing) 20.2 grams. She flies like a beauty and handles much better in wind than my other plane which has leds in paralel with the motor wires. It weighs in at 17.6 grams. Pictures soon and video of it in the air as soon as LIT AIR meets again!

new vid of lights in action:
give the link time to load and tell me if it works on your PCs!
Last edited by Hotflyer; Jan 31, 2006 at 07:23 AM.
Jan 31, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Jan 31, 2006, 06:36 PM
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y'know, I don't usually fish for comments but C'mon! This is some serious airborn ilumination were talkin' here! Are there NO lighting fans?
Jan 31, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Electrothump's Avatar
Ok, you hooked me. I'm a non recovering flashaholic. Gotta luv lights. They look pretty cool to me.

Jan 31, 2006, 10:42 PM
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mharms's Avatar
Looks great on the bench! How about in the air at night? Are higher intensity LEDs a must for this use, or are standard LEDs useful as well?

Since the AA usually needs to have the CG moved forward anyway, forward mounted LEDs can serve 2 purposes. I would think it would be good to keep the weight of any tail-mounted LEDs to a minimum (use the smallest wiring and LEDs).

Jan 31, 2006, 11:28 PM
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King_Ice_Flash's Avatar
The best luck I have had with night flying is using UV Leds from and painting the wings/tail with flourescent/glow in the dark paint. Looking at the lights does not blind you like a 20K mcd LED as a head light, that is a bad idea. Trust me. I made a plane with 2 20,000 MCD headlights, and it blinded you every time you turned.

Just thinking, you could use a clear tube for the tail boom and light that sucker up too. Or a flourescent colored tube, and use the same UV LEDs you use to light the tail up (Shining from the wing tips to the tail) to light the boom up.

No need to mount anything on the tail with these setups.
Feb 01, 2006, 01:07 AM
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I beg to differ on the headlight. I have just given the plane its first flight with it and I can now seee branches and bushes for about ten feet before I get to them. That means I can climb or turn rather than having to run and pick up my plane and relaunch it. I do see what you are talking about but I would much rather avoid obsticles at night (which is the only time I fly) than catch a quick glimps of brightness when I am within 20 degrees of the EXACT front of my plane. Hell, the reason I have the lights is so I can fly HIGH! No blinding happening there! I have had this plane 300 feet above my house in pitch dark conditions (measuring by comparisson with the 200 foot tall pine across the street which I was SOARING over). I just make sure that the LEDs shine against the plane and it illuminates the whole wing and the fuse. Plus, the diffused light from the headlight makes the nose glow as well. The only thing that doesn't glow is the tail and I don't want to do the straw method because the structural integrity and PERFECT straightness of the tail is the only thing keeping the plane going straight. I like asthetics but not when they get in the way of functionality.
What I want to do is find a source for that wire that glows as well as passing current. Actually, all it would have to do is glow. BTW, is there a good place to get AWG 32 or 34 shielded copper strand wire? Not magnet wire, I hate that that stuff can have its plating scraped off so easily. Bend it a few times and you could easily have a short. Just asking.....

Feb 01, 2006, 01:26 AM
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King_Ice_Flash's Avatar
I was thinking if we could find a stiffer neon (For UV lighting) or a clear tube for colored LED to replace the tail boom, it would work awsome, but I don't know where to look. Straws are either too flimsy or too large.

Glad the head light is working out for you.

I have insulated motor wire, but it is not coated, it actually has insulation on it. Not sure where we got it from, but it is old.
Feb 02, 2006, 02:16 AM
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Thread OP
check out EL wire. electroluminecent wire. It requires a power inverter but I was thinking one could make a little one and just tap into the lipo. Anyone know about this kind of stuff?

Tried to get video of the plane in the air tonight between hail, wind and rain storms. Got some video but the plane looks like a glowing ball the camera is so out of focus. With nothing around the plane to focus on, the little camcorder has to work pretty hard. Will try again with a man. focus one soon.
Feb 02, 2006, 02:45 AM
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sideburn's Avatar
how much has the flight time been reduced?
Feb 02, 2006, 03:54 AM
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well with just two LEDs on another plane, the flight times were absolutly unchanged. I flew it while a friend flew a stock plane and they ran out within 30 secs of eachother. Now the draw is a bit more than double that and I have so far seen not a bit of negative effect. Turns are not as zippy because of the added weight (20.2g compared to my other single wing which is 17.4g(with two lights in paralell with the motors) but the speed is unchanged and it will maintain level flight on lowest throttle setting, perhaps drop at a rate of five feet every forty feet flown (prolly less). The SECOND the weather clears up at night, I will have video to show these things rather than tell them....

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