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

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Old 12-08-2011, 12:27 AM   #1
Sakai's Freedom Flight
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Default Lighting options for 1S Micros?

Desire: to massively (or even slightly) build upon PZ's Night Vapor lighting concept:
I noticed the "glow wire" LED string lighting tape claims voltage requirements of a minimum of 7.4, or 2S . Would these still light up with the ultra micro's 1S power? Probably dull lighting? What if one ran a string of maybe thirty lights utilizing the battery used to also power the plane's motor and servos, say a 160 mah? Would the drain be too much for practicality to allow a decent flight time while "lit up" off the same battery source, if it would even light them in the first place? Separate battery attachment probably advised, if it would work at all? Example: to light a UM T-28: perhaps a separate 160 mah 1S or maybe, at maximum weight, a UMX Beast's 180 mah 2S set up inside the fuse of the UM T-28?. Would the draw be too much for any appreciable time? Is the Night Vapor's individual LED system about the maximum potential for practicality here?
Thank you for any input on improvising/adapting, my fellow flyers
Godspeed!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sakai's Freedom Flight View Post
Desire: to massively (or even slightly) build upon PZ's Night Vapor lighting concept:
I noticed the "glow wire" LED string lighting tape claims voltage requirements of a minimum of 7.4, or 2S . Would these still light up with the ultra micro's 1S power? Probably dull lighting? What if one ran a string of maybe thirty lights utilizing the battery used to also power the plane's motor and servos, say a 160 mah? Would the drain be too much for practicality to allow a decent flight time while "lit up" off the same battery source, if it would even light them in the first place? Separate battery attachment probably advised, if it would work at all? Example: to light a UM T-28: perhaps a separate 160 mah 1S or maybe, at maximum weight, a UMX Beast's 180 mah 2S set up inside the fuse of the UM T-28?. Would the draw be too much for any appreciable time? Is the Night Vapor's individual LED system about the maximum potential for practicality here?
Thank you for any input on improvising/adapting, my fellow flyers
Godspeed!
Good question.

Generally these LED's are "Constant Voltage" type units, where when they are powered up, the voltage across each LED is on the order of 1.7 to 2 Volts DC, depending on type.

So, if you directly connect a single LiPo cell across an LED without current limiting, it will be very bright. For a second or three. Then it can burn out due to overheating. So, the usual circuit for an LED includes a series resistor to limit current through the LED to about 20 milliamperes or so (again depending on type of LED) with the battery applied.

Since Resistor value equals voltage divided by current, the resistor value would be your single LiPo cell of 3.7 Volts, MINUS the 1.7 volts of the LED, divided by the current of 20 milliamperes (0.02 Amps). That winds up being 2 volts/0.02 or about 100 ohms.

Now, lets try two LED's in series across that same single LiPo cell. That would be 3.7 volts minus 1.7 - 1.7 divided by 0.02 amps. That is only 0.3 volts DC divided by 0.02 amps or 15 ohms. Problem is, that LED would be very bright on a fully charged LiPo, and would be dark when the cell is perhaps 50% discharged. Just the way the LED's work.

Now, if you've got say 10 of these LED's in parallel, that is 0.2 times 10 or about 200 milliamperes. That could be a pretty good load on your LiPo cell, and might reduce power to the motor of your model by a very noticeable amount.

FYI, those multiple LED flashlights that now sell for well under $5 have a number of LED's directly in parallel. They are powered by three "AAA" Alkaline cells. What these flashlights are doing is using the limited current capability of the "AAA" cells to limit the current to the LED's to a safe value. If you'd replace those three "AAA" cells with three "D" alkaline cells, the resulting high current would blow all the LED's in short order. I did this once on an LED flashlight. Had to add a series resistor with a value of about two ohms to limit the current to reasonable values.

The higher quality LED flashlights, typically a watt or so with a single LED use a switching power supply inside the flashlight to boost the voltage of the two Alkaline cells to operate the single LED. I've got a five watt LED flashlight, powered by two Alkaline "D" cells that pulls over an ampere on a new battery. As the battery voltage goes down, the current goes up to maintain LED brightness, all due to the built in switching powersupply LED driver inside the $30 flashlight.

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:51 AM   #3
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There are some very low current LEDs if you look through Digikeys catalog, You only have 3.7-4 volts to work with and a small battery.

I bought some Micro Heli lights,(sorry I don't know the brand) that pull only 19ma for a red, green, and a white flashing strobe light, all operate in parallel so that's about 6ma each plus circuit loss.

There is just one LED of each color, but they are very bright.


I meant to say the heli lights only pull 19 ma on a 1s micro size battery, I wired my PSSF's club hat, it has a biplane on the patch, so now my plane has running lights. I can run the lights almost all day on a 160mah battery. (in theory 8.4 hrs)

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Old 12-08-2011, 03:28 AM   #4
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Good stuff, good stuff, keep it comin'
Okay, we're in the Apollo 13 Command Module in lunar orbit and they say it can't be done. We don't have enough amps and we're down to 3.7volts and maybe 250 mah....Astronaut Bill Paxton is sick and puking into a little space bag (it's a Hefty) and things are dicey now but we're Americans, we've got Captain T. Hanks at the helm for the good Lord's sake and we can do this! We can light this Ultra Micro, 1S candle and bring 'em home!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
There are some very low current LEDs if you look through Digikeys catalog, You only have 3.7-4 volts to work with and a small battery.
FYI, for the uninitiated, Digikey lists 14,000 different LED's that pull under 75 milliamperes!

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Old 12-08-2011, 05:27 AM   #6
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Thanks, flyers Looked at Digi keys--blown away and a little rattled at the stuff and then....the PDF file. Now, these guys at the link below (courtesy: a Mr./Mrs. Weathervane) have a 1 S system kit, but it's presently out of stock and looks....heavy. I'm patient, and willing to experiment to get even more "lightage" for less battery output and weight for micros, and especially for those guys up in the Apollo 13 Command Module waiting around in space for Gary Senise to come up with another miracle to bring 'em back safe to Houston. They're counting on us .
http://www.afterdarkled.com/Products.htm

Note: PZ Night Vapor's got a tiny regulator to its six LEDs and harnessing that, with strip LEDs would I think be a real winner....No, I'm no master electrician; but bringing the two together seems the lightest, brightest idea for the future of night flight. Hmmmm...

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:58 AM   #7
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I'm sure glad you counted them Denny, my eyes went blurry after 3 days of staring at that dang catalog, I was looking for low current LEDs for a project.

I think I remember a company called -- Tiny Brite Lights I think they make LED lights for models.

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Old 12-09-2011, 02:32 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wildflyer View Post
I'm sure glad you counted them Denny, my eyes went blurry after 3 days of staring at that dang catalog, I was looking for low current LEDs for a project.

LOL
Didn't count them, just ran a search for LED's under 75 milliamperes, and Digikey came back with 75,000 different LED's.

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Old 12-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #9
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I'll figure something out here....now I've stripped off this insulation on the 6S Lipo's balance/charge wires and am placing it snugly into the fuselage and--gee, will this bird ever get off the ground? Who cares, I just want it lit up nice and....what's that frazzling noise? Ka-bboooommmm! Booom! Back to the Night Vapor approach until further notice.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Tiny Brite Lights is "back"

Look what Sakai find:
http://shop.flightlights.net/SubMicro-Warbird-3081.htm
Earlier tried a link to them here at Wattflyer--no dice. They're back and if you wish to give them a go this looks intriguing. Question: is there a resistor somewhere in their rig, between their connector to the AR6400 5th channel outlet? If not there, and not in the receiver brick itself, I assume it's straight battery power we're dealing with here? Sakai has been wrong before....(Ka-boom, flash, fire). Hmmm.....I'm gonna light this candle and see what happens! Will observe battery operating time.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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This guy is top notch for lighting UMs. I had him do a custom set for my 20" Nutball.
http://www.sf-design-solutions.com/
YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:08 PM   #12
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Hi
I use these on my UM and larger aircraft
http://www.premierglow.com/1-5-mini-...-pcs-1mgs.html
Light weight and bright, long lasting and its quite easy to change the color schemes and positions of the lights for different looks on your aircraft
Take care
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:22 AM   #13
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Nice and simple, and not too expensive, Wingingit! Alas, after I've already pulled the trigger on the other, more expensive 6-light ones that don't have the cool blue tail light! Still I won't get lost, as all-set ups are: "Red, Right, Return," from the ol' Coastie mariner buoy channel navigation. But the blue light is the absolute coooolest!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:14 AM   #14
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Hank, do you crack 'em to activate? How long's the storage life un-activated? How long do they glow once activated? This is a nice option! Thanks!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sakai's Freedom Flight View Post
Hank, do you crack 'em to activate? How long's the storage life un-activated? How long do they glow once activated? This is a nice option! Thanks!
Hi
Simply flex the litestick between your fingers, ive used ones ive had for years inactive and they still work fine when used
Once activated they last from 6 to 8 hours and if you put them in the freezer they will last a few days still glowing
I use small clear rubber tubing mounted on the aircraft with tape or velcro on larger planes to hold the sticks on, simply activate and slip them in
Whats nice is they are very light weight, even my smallest Airhog 2 channel planes can carry a few with no problems and they are visible from a very long distance
Take care
Yours Hank

"When wild the head-wind beat,Thy sovereign Will commanding, Bring them who dare to fly, To a safe landing."
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kenchiroalpha View Post
Hi
Simply flex the litestick between your fingers, ive used ones ive had for years inactive and they still work fine when used
Once activated they last from 6 to 8 hours and if you put them in the freezer they will last a few days still glowing
I use small clear rubber tubing mounted on the aircraft with tape or velcro on larger planes to hold the sticks on, simply activate and slip them in
Whats nice is they are very light weight, even my smallest Airhog 2 channel planes can carry a few with no problems and they are visible from a very long distance
Take care
Yours Hank
Yo, Master Chief Hank: I got a box of the assorted 1.5s fast and in good shape from your above link and They fit great on my Ember II which is as bold at night flying I dare to be as of now. I tagged a blue on the back of the frame and a red on the actual battery with awesome double-sided tape I got from Horizon Hobby. This makes it even quicker, but I would never use this powerful tape on anything foam unless I want it permanent (heads up). Anyway I see red I know she's headed at me, blue and she's running away.
As an angler I see great potential here. I will tie some flies with various colored sticks (there're four or five different colors and the blue is the coolest) as an added incentive for my night angling for redfish and speckled trout. Though the fish never turn down my un-enlightened flies, I think the reds in particular will freak out over them. This could be quite entertaining.We'll see. Thanks!

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #17
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Default night shots/construction technique with S.F. Designs

http://rcfightersforfreedom.blogspot...-at-night.html

I like the user-friendly wire (bends and holds shape) and solid construction of this first kit I got and just wired up utilizing my angling skill set for ultimate solidity and installation ease.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #18
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Here's a picture of SF Design Solutions aparratus installed on my Ember Dos using the Duncan Loop/ Uni-knot to secure it to the frame, as from my above listed blog. It's solid:


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...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #19
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For this "slow flyer" (Ember II) I've found the 125 mah TP battery provides good flight time while burning these SF Design LEDs, and keeps the weight down to still allow actual "slow flight" while lit up like a San Francisco parade.

...do not let the sun go down on your anger
--Paul, in Ephesians, ch. 4
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