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Insanely Bright LED strobe

Old 01-12-2016, 07:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lacey WA, 1 mile E of Mushroom Corner
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Default Insanely Bright LED strobe

I did some testing on this idea, quite a while ago, but too many things got in the way of a final design until now.

I have a 10 watt at 12vdc LED light controlled by an inline LED dimmer / blinker switch.
The overall on-off control is by a receiver controlled switch.
The RC switch can be a relay type or solid state. The LED pulls less than 1 amp.

I first adjusted the inline LED controller by wiring it to a 12v strip LED, then setting it to the slowest strobe effect I could get. They do not lose or change the setting unless you push buttons while powered up.
DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST WITH 10 WATT LED wired into the circuit, you will burn it up unless it is heatsinked. Some of the modes of the controller are full on.

These 10 watt LEDs absolutely MUST be mounted to a heat sink for continuous operation. They will severely burn your fingers in 5 seconds without one. But in a strobe operation, I though they might work without one. I wired the previously adjusted LED controller to the light and touched it to 12v power.

It looked like a flashbang grenade!
It is so bright, it is hard to believe.

After 5 flashes the LED was just barely warm, I think I could go 20 - 30 flashes before any problem.

Then I wanted to know the duty cycle, or the percentage of on to off time. I don't have a storage type oscilloscope, and couldn't get mine to lock to the on spike to get a solid trace, but it looks like about 10% on time. I see about 0.1 sec on with a 1.0 second cycle. So at 10 watts if on 100%, this is roughly a 1 watt load average while flashing, I am not going to worry about hurting my battery. The RC switch you choose should not pull more than a small servo in idle.

Total cost less than $10, The RC switch is about $7, the rest lee than $2

I figure 3-5 flashes should be enough to find your sailplane anywhere below 3000 feet maybe more, I put it 1/4 mile up the road and had no problem. I am going to warn my friends before I launch, so they don't think my Lipo exploded.

These are the parts I bought on Ebay,

12/24V In-Line LED Light Strip Dimmer Controller With 3 Key On/Off Switch Mini

This is the switch in my glider
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