Nov 09, 2002, 11:50 AM
Thats NOT indestructible
j8m8l's Avatar

Night flying with LED's

Hi All

When i get my Ztron i want to try night flying outdoors with these LED's

They require a voltage of 2v, but my batt will give closer to 5v, could i wire them in series (there are three), or use resistors?

If i can use resistors, what value should i use?


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Nov 09, 2002, 03:23 PM
Registered User
Mr.RC-CAM's Avatar
IMO, those LED's are not bright enough. The red one shows the highest output and it is only 200mcd. You want {at least} ten times more brightness.

If you need help with chosing the required resistors then you should visit the "LED Calculator" page. Link is shown on the
RC-CAM Project Page: Click Here.

There is other valuable info discussed there too. You will also find an interesting nightime airborne video on the "Nav-Lights" Page.

Nov 09, 2002, 04:27 PM
Thats NOT indestructible
j8m8l's Avatar
Thanx, great link

It is just for close range night flying with Z-tron.

By close i mean across a street and back

Would they be powerful enough then?

Nov 09, 2002, 05:32 PM
Only nerd in the village
With just one or two very bright LEDs you could have the whole plane lit up. Mind you, if you are flying under street lights, some less powerfull LEDs might be OK.

I used to fly a small Kolibri outside at night. Somtimes it would fly out of the light from the street light and the only indication of its location was the tiny SMD LED on the ESC. I pays to have a plane with predictable performance in this case, so you know in which direction your were heading last and what control input you need to get it back. Exciting and I actually never crashed it this way


PS I am not sure outside flying with IR is a good idea unless you know you can keep the model close. What happens if you loose range?: Bye, bye model. (and UFO sightings in the area )
Nov 09, 2002, 05:35 PM
Thats NOT indestructible
j8m8l's Avatar

I was thinking about the UFO's too

I think that IR is ok at night, although not great.

It would be fun though, and it can go too far, it would be surrounded by trees and houses

Oct 18, 2003, 08:51 PM
Registered User
Based on my experience, an LED for night flying ought to be something like 1500 or 2000 mcd minimum, but it's easy to find these. Set it up to shine on a translucent wing. Principle for the dropping resistor is v=ir where v is volts, i is amps, and r is resistance in ohms. So for dropping 3 volts to leave 2 for the LED from a 5 volt supply, assuming the led is 40mah (aka 0.04amps) then you need 75 ohms. I suppose this thread is stale by now, tho.
Oct 18, 2003, 11:01 PM
Registered User
billystiltner's Avatar
I crashed my bit Minnow into a tree the other night because I didnt have LEDS. I was walking down the street flying doing circles and at the end of the entrance to my apartment complex there is a hillside with trees that gets steeper on one side and the other side of the road is lined with trees. It was getting closed in and darker the further I went so I decided to turn around in fear of loosing site then I hit a tree heading back. Luckily I was able to climb up and shake it out with no damages.
If I would have had an LED I would have waited till I was in a
more open space to turn it around and not panic.


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