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Old 11-24-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
B.Ewing
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Default Castle BEC pro to power LED's?

Hey guys,

i am about to convert my Gaui x5 to a night rig, and it will be my first night rig. I was wondering if anyone has used a CC bec pro to power LED strips. itll do up to 12.5 volts, and i already have one laying around with a few small 3s packs as well. bad idea for any reason?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:30 AM   #2
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I havent tried it so I cant say from experience. Just offhand I think you will be ok. That bec pro weighs 29 grams without wires and a 3s 350ma lipo is around 37g.

On the plus side you wouldnt need to worry about how much charge is in a separate lipo for the lights. On the minus side, that setup will draw a small amount of current from the flight pack that you probably will not notice. Led strips draw 400ma per meter so 3 meters will use 1200ma on 3s which is roughly equivalent to 600ma on 6s (assuming your X5 uses 6s packs).

The only problem you would have is if the pro bec fails and delivers the full 6s 25v to the led strips. At that voltage they will roast instantly.

Guessing you have something else powering your Rx and servos, right?
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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ive got a bec running the servos off the flight packs. i was going to strap another bec and another small 3s pack to the helicopter for the lgihts. i realize they are some additional weight, but i dont think the x5 will mind much.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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Wait, you want to use a separate 3s lipo and a bec pro? Why? You can get 12.6v from a fully charged 3s. And a fresh 3s 350ma lipo is easily good for 3 flights even if your flight times stretch to 7 or 8 minutes.

I dont see any advantage to using that bec pro, its just going to add weight. Most led strips can easily handle 12.6v, they are designed for use in cars, so they can handle 14.4v or better. I've heard of led strips being used on 4s lipos but I dont recommend it.

I've also seen led strips that run on 24v, but you really have to do some searching to find those. Should you want to tap directly into a 6s flight pack it is possible.

Go ahead and power those led strips directly from your 3s pack. Save that bec pro for something else.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:19 AM   #5
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Of course if you wanted to dim those otherwise very bright led strips you could use the bec pro for that. 75 grams or so will not make much difference on an X5.


I forget purple/blue/white led strips can appear screamingly bright to mere mortals when they use 3s lipos. (my lenses are tinted)
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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yea brightness management was my idea. i also thought that 12v would be the max they could handle, so i was a little worried about direct plug in for that reason, plus i figured i could crank the volts back .5 at a time until brightness balanced with the blades. if i find that 12v is perfect then i will yank the bec off and go direct to the lipo. BED will be a useful tool tho for sure! im going to play with this setup when i get it all together and will report back.
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Last edited by B.Ewing; 11-26-2012 at 09:11 PM..
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:44 AM   #7
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If you want the LEDs dimmer, just connect to the balance tap and only take voltage across two cells. 2S works fine for night flying with the LED strips I've used.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:06 PM   #8
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^ +1 I'm using a 800mAh 2S to run about 3m total of regular and RGB strips with an rgb controller and they are plenty bright. It lasts about 45min and I can just pull it off the velcro and slap on another if I fly more with everything running to one jst connector, well two jst's on a Y actually 1 for the canopy and 1 for everything else.
Your night blades will be plenty bright, I actually ended up using 1206 LEDs which are just a bit bigger than the 0805 because I was running out of 0805 red but you don't want blinding bright main heli light to over take them. Eh, play around with it like the guys said above those strips can handle 12V and like Bum said you could tap off balance plug easily to see which brightness you like. I agree with Kavic also, no need for the BEC.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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i suppose im just over thinking this. got my led's in today so the project begins..now!
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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waiting on my blades, but heres my progress so far, hooked direct to 3s lipo

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