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

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
AOG
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Default RF interference from LED systems

Hey guys

First time poster, long time lurker on this forum

I've recently purchased an Electrifly PBY Catalina (flying boat) which I intend the piece together slowly over the next few months. No rush to get her in the air as the water bodies are gonna be frozen around here for quite some time to come.
This has given me far too much time to dream up how I am going customize her as I usually do with my planes. I'm thinking spoilers, larger motors and and LED night light system at least.
I placed an order and committed to the LED system today. I've built quite a few of these systems and each time I spend more money than the last time in attempt to create a more powerful system. It's a bit of a problem. This one cost me over $100 not including some components I'm recyling.
It is going to consist of a conventional nav light system (red, green, white). The navs will be 700ma Luxeon Rebel side emitters. I will also have two wing mounted landing lights on a remote control relay. The landing lights will be Luxeon Rebel Tristars with lenses. (over 700 lumens each!).
All lights will be powered off of the aircraft's main battery (3 cell 3300mah) and regulated by Luxeon Buckpuck drivers.
As I said, this isn't my first system but I'm starting to have second thoughts about it. I've had some mixed results in the past consisting of strange glitches and one crash that I can almost confirm was a result of RF interference emitted by the led system (however this was on an old school 72mhz aircraft).

To make a long story short, does anyone see any issues with having the following items on board which might cause interference with my Spektrum radio gear?

1) High flux leds
2) LED drivers (regulators)
3) powering the system off of the main battery


I will also be utilizing a BEC.
I really dont want to dunk this beautiful bird in the lake just for the sake of having pretty lights on board.

Thanks for your input
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AOG View Post
Hey guys

First time poster, long time lurker on this forum

I've recently purchased an Electrifly PBY Catalina (flying boat) which I intend the piece together slowly over the next few months. No rush to get her in the air as the water bodies are gonna be frozen around here for quite some time to come.
This has given me far too much time to dream up how I am going customize her as I usually do with my planes. I'm thinking spoilers, larger motors and and LED night light system at least.
I placed an order and committed to the LED system today. I've built quite a few of these systems and each time I spend more money than the last time in attempt to create a more powerful system. It's a bit of a problem. This one cost me over $100 not including some components I'm recyling.
It is going to consist of a conventional nav light system (red, green, white). The navs will be 700ma Luxeon Rebel side emitters. I will also have two wing mounted landing lights on a remote control relay. The landing lights will be Luxeon Rebel Tristars with lenses. (over 700 lumens each!).
All lights will be powered off of the aircraft's main battery (3 cell 3300mah) and regulated by Luxeon Buckpuck drivers.
As I said, this isn't my first system but I'm starting to have second thoughts about it. I've had some mixed results in the past consisting of strange glitches and one crash that I can almost confirm was a result of RF interference emitted by the led system (however this was on an old school 72mhz aircraft).

To make a long story short, does anyone see any issues with having the following items on board which might cause interference with my Spektrum radio gear?

1) High flux leds
2) LED drivers (regulators)
3) powering the system off of the main battery


I will also be utilizing a BEC.
I really dont want to dunk this beautiful bird in the lake just for the sake of having pretty lights on board.

Thanks for your input
I'm assuming you're refering to the 2.4 Ghz Spektrum radio system? If so, it is difficult to generate a frequency of 2.4 Ghz with common electronic parts. It's nearly impossible to generate 2.4 Ghz with simple switching circuits, even if they are PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) circuits.

We've had a number of model pilots in my RC club that have the Spektrum/JR radios, and powered both the receiver and the gasoline engine ignition system off of the same two cell 2300 Mah A123 battery pack. Absolutely zero interference problems.

What is important is the amount of current pulled by your LED system. Is your LED system tied directly to the motor battery? Or is it running off of the 5 volt output of the uBEC for the receiver? If it's running directly off the motor battery, I wouldn't worry about it. But if it requires a 5 volt input, you might think about using a Castle Creations 10 Amp uBEC or similar BEC.

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Old 02-10-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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My LED's in my IYF night flyer do not cause me any problems. I fly DSM2 with no issues.


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Old 02-12-2012, 02:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
I'm assuming you're refering to the 2.4 Ghz Spektrum radio system?

What is important is the amount of current pulled by your LED system. Is your LED system tied directly to the motor battery? Or is it running off of the 5 volt output of the uBEC for the receiver? If it's running directly off the motor battery, I wouldn't worry about it. But if it requires a 5 volt input, you might think about using a Castle Creations 10 Amp uBEC or similar BEC.
Yes, i am referring to a 2.4ghz Spektrum system

I will power the light system directly off of the motor battery so current through the BEC should not be an issue.

Thanks for your input
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:33 AM   #5
kyleservicetech
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Originally Posted by AOG View Post
Yes, i am referring to a 2.4ghz Spektrum system

I will power the light system directly off of the motor battery so current through the BEC should not be an issue.

Thanks for your input
Sounds good, let us know how it works out!

DennyV
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