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Night Flying Discuss night time aircraft illumination, methods and equipment.

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Old 03-22-2011, 07:57 AM   #1
CrimzonRider
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Default Diffuser for Nav Lights..?

I am looking for a way to be able too see my nav lights a little better. The lights that I have are extremely bright, if you are looking lateral at the end of the wing.

The navs from the front are barely visible at best. I am not a Black Night flyer yet lol just love flying at dusk and some of my flights have been a little long.lol

Its kinda like seeing two mini spotlights on the tips, and i am looking for a better way of using some sort of plastic or something that diffuse that light better to a wider(maybe closer to 180degrees) pattern. Any cheap or scratch built ways or ideas would be appreciated.
thanks
cr
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:30 AM   #2
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Have a spare LED? Take some 400 grit sandpaper to the plastic on it. Just enough to make the lens look dull instead of shiny.

Also you can take the sandpaper and slightly flatten the end of the LED. This changes the spot light effect to more of a flood lamp. The curved end acts like a lens to concentrate the light, flattening it will reduce the directional beam to a spread pattern.

This will change the LED from directional to diffused. Will increase the light emitted from the sides.


Also for the next time, LED's come in different viewing angles, order ones with a wider angle.

When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
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Thank you GG, the nav lights came with the plane stock. Had no idea that you could buy led's that produce a "flood light" pattern.

I will do a lil searchin on tha net and see if I can find them, if I need some more. Thanks again.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:59 AM   #4
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This is probably not for you, but last year I made a pair of wing tip caps using vacuum forming. I used plastic milk jugs for the stock material and used a plug carved from a block of balsa. I've attached a couple of photos of the result. When glued over the wing tip the LED's ( I used two at each wingtip ) make the cap light from the inside. It was VERY visible in flight.


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Old 03-23-2011, 03:14 AM   #5
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Yeah probably not for me right now, but I can see how it would work well.....
but thanks always wanted to try vacuum molding, kinda interesting..
ltr
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
I am looking for a way to be able too see my nav lights a little better. The lights that I have are extremely bright, if you are looking lateral at the end of the wing.

CR,

Try the Drinking Straw trick. Works awesome.



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Old 03-24-2011, 02:53 AM   #7
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Never ceases to amaze me here at WF. Those look awesome, thank you very much, my kind of price too.!!
ltr
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CrimzonRider View Post
Never ceases to amaze me here at WF. Those look awesome, thank you very much, my kind of price too.!!
ltr
cr
CR, use white straws, works better than the clear ones, even with colored lights (painters use a white canvas).

I used the flexy type to get around the elevator just a little bit.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:19 AM   #9
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lol. Just tried the clear ones, dont work too good, make sense to use white color more opaqueness.....lol
thanks again
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:20 AM   #10
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Yeah, the biggest amazement was the landing gear. I can see the gear at night, and it really helps with orientation. I fly in the darkest conditions perfectly, even at good distances.

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:16 AM   #11
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Yeah, I bet you can see your gear pretty well, I really appreciate your help.
Not really a "night flyer", but I am getting braver every time I have an evening flight go a little long.

Before too long my rc experience will have a definite branch in it that will include night flying.

here a pic from about a month ago with the apprentice.....kinda fuzzy...sorry


ltr
cr


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Old 03-24-2011, 06:20 PM   #12
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Ditto Nitro's suggestion. White works better. And a trick.

Mount one in a straw and put a dab of hot glue in the other end. Or two, one mounted in each end, and use your glue gun to melt a hole in the center of the straw and shoot a bit of glue in.

The glue will gather and emit the light just like another LED.

Here's my old Slo-V, center "lamp" in each straw is nothing more then glue glowing.


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When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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Hm, just thought of something for ya.

If you are dealing with single LED's. Take the white straw and cut off little collars from it to fit over your lamps. Dab of hot glue on the end and you'll have your diffused LED's.

When you want, slice the collar and pop off the glue, to remove em.


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When I die, I want to go like my Grandfather did, in his sleep...... Not screaming like the passengers in his plane.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Glacier Girl View Post
Hm, just thought of something for ya.

If you are dealing with single LED's. Take the white straw and cut off little collars from it to fit over your lamps. Dab of hot glue on the end and you'll have your diffused LED's.

When you want, slice the collar and pop off the glue, to remove em.

That is EXACTLY what I am looking for!! I will do that for sure.

Thanks GG for the great tip.

Have a good one,
cr
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