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Old 11-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
misunderestim8
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Default Joe Smith style night rig

I have been thinking about setting up a night rig and was wondering if anyone has tried using a system similar to Joe Smiths setup in this video on a heli.




I am guessing that the effect would be similar to spotlight flying if you set up a few bright LED lights on short standoffs from the airframe illuminating the canopy, tail and underside of the blades.

What do you guys think?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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Very cool !
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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I think it would be pretty cool looking and wouldn't have to worry about loosing a spot light beam or spotter loosing your heli . After seeing this video I think I'm going to definitely try it on a Su-31 plane I just started dusting off and some 1 Watt LEDs I have laying around. Actually here is a pic of what I got them out for during the Sandy power outage. I had a constant charge cycle going on with the pickup truck powering everything I could with my lipos (and a DC inverter for the cigarette lighter outlet) . The only thing that didn't fair too well was my router because I jumped in on the power cable with 2 needles on the wrong side of the inline resistor, DOH!



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Old 11-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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That is a great use of your hobby gear to improve your familyís situation in a crisis.
I am very new to night flying setups and still have a lot of reading to do but which LED bulbs would you recommend to light up a 450 size heli?
The ones in your workshop photo seem impressively bright. Are they 5mm?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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Hey thanks mis. These are 1 watt Cree LEDs. Got em from ebay (China). These here are running off 3S lipos (12V) with a 12V DC 1Wx3 LED driver (actually I had 3 LEDs on one 1 driver and 1 more on another of the same driver). So if you are running 3S on your 450 you could tap right off the main battery lead and don't think you would notice any difference in flight time. I had a 3S 4000mAh powering 1 driver with 3 1W LEDs for about 8 hours and not even drained down to storage level. I think 3 of these LEDs would be plenty to light up a 450 if they were placed out just little away from the heli. I had some of these I think on some of them also to focus the light into sort of a beam or spot light http://www.ebay.com/itm/180656643533...84.m1439.l2649 (same place I got all the stuff). Good luck Ide like to see how it turns out, be sure to post some video. I might beat you to it if I get some time (been quite busy with glue learning to fly EDF ).

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Old 11-09-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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Thank you for the link and the information on your setup. Running the lights from the flight pack would be really handy for sure.
After doing a surprisingly short amount of hunting i found a video on youtube which uses a similar lighting system in during the first flight.

I am looking forward to trying it.
Best of luck with the EDF project
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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He he, I actually have 2 of those heli strobe units from http://www.myresearch.lt/ that I never got around to trying out. He is a good guy, he replaced a FireStarter unit that was burned out free of charge, just had to pay shipping one way back to Lithuania I think. He is on here, forget his user name I think maybe I saw one of his posts last in the Aerial Photog section.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #8
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I am very interested in how this turns out and if it works. Please keep us updated!
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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I stand corrected with my statement about probably not noticing any difference in flight time with three 1 watt LEDs connected to the flight battery. I just stuck one on the front of my night rig with a driver I had wired up already like a searchlight/spotlight and it cut about a minute off the flight time. I do only use 2600mAh to fly and was using 4000mA with the three 1 watts in my house...
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Are they wired in series? If my math is right a 1 watt White is around 300 mA at 3.5V. That should run for about 10 hours on a 3000mAH pack. The voltage drop across 3 should be around 10.5 volts. How big is your series resistor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timtreo View Post
I stand corrected with my statement about probably not noticing any difference in flight time with three 1 watt LEDs connected to the flight battery. I just stuck one on the front of my night rig with a driver I had wired up already like a searchlight/spotlight and it cut about a minute off the flight time. I do only use 2600mAh to fly and was using 4000mA with the three 1 watts in my house...
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:05 AM   #11
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I just made a y connector for the main battery to the LED driver for the single 1 watt LED that I stuck on the front of the heli. It could have also been the older pack I was using is finally giving up, the resistance on that pack is getting pretty high.
For the three I had in my house they were connected in series from the driver and ran for a long time off of a 4000mAh 3S so your math is probably right. I was getting some of my planes ready to fly, but with this PA craptacular day were are having maybe I'll put my 450 EC-135 back together today and try the spotlight thing on that like the OP is really talking about in this thread . That one I use the 4000mAh bats with.
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Last edited by Timtreo; 11-14-2012 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #12
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I put together a quick test on my walkera mini cp, turned out better then i thought indoors.

Outdoors it was having wind issues (~6m/s) and going into a wobble every time wind pushed the booms, going to have to wait for a less windy day with lower gyro gains.

I used 2 3mm 15000 mcd leds, and a green 1.8mm led. Powered by a zippy 50 mah battery.
going to need to track down a pair of white rotor blades or night blades for my mini so i can see the rotor disc, but the booms on the side really help with orientation.

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Old 12-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Second video says private listing.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Second video says private listing.
Whops, sorry forgot to change that. You diddnt miss mutch though, it was to windy and i had the gyro set to high.

And well, lets just say that the camera diddn't work very well outdoors during the night .

Its fixed now.
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