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Plug-n-plag strobe for P3P/A

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by BigAl07, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I'm just looking to see if anyone has seen a Plug-n-play option for a strobe light for the P3P/A? Something fairly bright, easy to install, easy to see, consumes little power, and of course is at an attractive price point.

    I'm looking for a plug-n-play version of this
    DS-3--1 Side Wire Drone Strobe

    Here's a thingiverse project for an Inspire that has caught my eye.
    Strobe Light mount for DJI Inspire 1 by eliotg

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. PrecisionAeroworks

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    I am interested in this as well. I do a lot of survey grid flights and this would be a really helpful modification. I can see the thing in most lighting conditions a 500m, but if you lose it for a fraction of a second, finding it again can be difficult.
     
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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I agree. It only takes a moment (blink) to lose it and it can be frustrating to locate it again. That simple BLINK could make a significant difference.

    This should be easy and fairly cheap with the abundance of LED components now.
     
  4. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Well, Al, I went ahead ordered a couple of these from the UK.
    STROBON v2 Navigation Light (WHITE) - Flytron
    For starters, I'm going to try to rig it up with some kind of switch and a battery like this, as they are really small and light, and I have a bunch of them sitting around the house. Should be a pretty small assembly once done, and then I can try some different mounting points on the P3 with a combination of double sticky tape, zip ties, velcro and chewing gum.

    We'll see...
    (see what I did there?)
     
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  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Keep me posted. This has a LOT of potential and seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.

    Yes I "see" what you did LOL
     
  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Here's something that also has some potential I just don't know about powering it vs wiring it into the P3 power system
    DS-30--1 Drone Strobe
     
  7. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Yeah, I was looking at that one too. It's bigger than the Strobon, 10g (including the wires?) vs. 1.5gs without wires or 5g with wires and a servo connector.
    It's probably brighter, it's voltage range is 4.2-11.5VDC vs. 3.5-6VDC for the Strobon. I do like the idea of trying to power the Stobon with a tiny little 1S lipo.
     
  8. Wolfiesden

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    That battery may or may not cut it. Specs on strobe say 4.2v+ and the battery maxes at 3.7.
    (edit)Sorry, I had the page for the OP's strobe up which is 4.2v.

    I was actually thinking a couple of these (3v ea, total of 6v for 2).
    http://www.amazon.com/Maxell-CR2032-lithium-batteries-pack/dp/B002Q3OBFE
    There are cheaper places to buy them.
     
  9. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Curious, where do you see that spec? Or were you looking a the larger strobe? For the Strobon V2, the supply voltage to the board is 3.5-6V, a resting 1S lipo is 3.7V, a charged one is more like 4.2V. I won't know until I try, but it seems a 1S lipo should work. The quoted current draw (for the standard strobe pattern) is 60mA per hour at 5V. So even at ~4V, the 380mah battery should last a while before requiring a recharge.
     
  10. Wolfiesden

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    Already edited. Had the page for the OP's strobe. Sorry.
     
  11. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    So where are you guys thinking of mounting the strobe light?

    Here's another video from Jim on the Search & Rescue FB page of the DS-30 strobe.
    Security Check Required

    If we could find a way to piggy back this off the main power of the aircraft it would be that much better but if it required "button battery' replacement so long as it was easy it should work just fine.

    I'd like to have a RED one and a WHITE one each.
     
  12. Mad Medic

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  13. PrecisionAeroworks

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    I've been thinking about that a lot. I did order 2 Strobon V2's, and doing the math, the little 380mah, 1S, 25C lipo should run them both at the same time in parallel. Strobon quotes 60ma per hour average draw, but 1A when flashing. If I recall the formula correctly, the lipo should be capable of a theoretical (0.380*25 = 9.5) 9.5A draw. If my max is 2A (for 2 strobes that happen to flash at the "same" time) it seems I should have plenty of headroom.

    So, if that is the case, where to mount? As I never use the VPS system, and have it disabled, I was thinking about sticking one on there somewhere. Then maybe towards the front of the shell on the topside?. I would like to be able to spot it quickly from the ground at ~100m altitude at as far away as 600m or so. Whatever its orientation. There may be some trial and error here. :)
     
  14. PrecisionAeroworks

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  15. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    So if the math is correct approx 4hrs of continuous use with 380?

    I like the idea of removing the VPS system completely so I may give that a try. No sense having the hardware hanging around if you're not using it. I'd like one on belly and one on the top but having something that "could" come loose up there amidst the props is a huge concern for me. The one key factor is I don't want it to be up near the front where the strobe can have a negative impact on pics or video I'm shooting.

    I'm keen to see how your testing goes. Looks very promising.
     
  16. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Well, figure that at most 300mah is usable out of the 380mah. At a 60ma average current draw, then 5hrs with one strobe, 2.5hrs with 2 strobes. Either way, that's a lot of flights.

    I think I also have some of the same batteries that are 500mah capacity instead of 380mah. I'll have to look. These are the batteries that my 10yo son and I use in our little Hubsan 107's to fly around the house.
     
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  17. charlieWhelan

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    Can you post a night flying video with the strobe attatch (close and long range).. That would be helpful..

    I was looking at the following:

    I am thinking of adding a LED strobe beacon to the top rear of the unit:
    Maybe two of these added to the forward facing arms, just for kicks:
    I would like a headlight, but I would want it powerful, and without a remote on/off it would probably be too much of a drain.
     
  18. charlieWhelan

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    Update: I thought I was going to tap into the Phantom Batt but the voltage does not match up and I do not feel like figuring out how to step down the voltage to 3.5v - 6.0v. To make things easy, I will add two CR2032 wafer batteries ( 6 grams total ) , wired in series to output the 6.0 volts. These batteries put out about 250mah total, and should last a while with the strobe controller that only pulls 50mah.

    I am decently new to this, so if I am wrong, please correct me.
     
    #18 charlieWhelan, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  19. PrecisionAeroworks

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    I don't really do any night flying, my intention is to make it easier to find during day when I lose sight of it. If that works, night will be no problem. Maybe I'll give it a try, we'll see...
    It looks like your parts would be functionally very similar to the Strobon v2 Navigation Light assembly. It sure looks like the same bulb in the pictures, but I don't think there is enough info in the spec sheet to necessarily back out the bulb wattage on the v2 assembly. Maybe someone else can figure it out. Or I guess we could ask Flytron... :) If you intend to do a permanent installation into the Phantom, I can see wanting to use the individual parts. That should be pretty slick. I have multiple Phantoms (and some other things) and I would like something that i can universally stick on to whatever I like.
    25 years ago, I bought a used 1978 Ford Van ambulance conversion from a small Volunteer Fire Department in the Colorado Rockies (long story). I didn't get 2 miles after buying it before a cop pulled me over to explain that it was illegal to have forward facing red/blue gels in a non-emergency vehicle. Mind you, I didn't have the flashing lights or siren on (at least not at that time :) ), but the cop was very touchy about it. Just makes me wonder what law enforcement might think if one of those flew up on them. :)
    Yeah, a switched headlight (that's worth having) is a whole other bucket of problems to solve.
     
  20. PrecisionAeroworks

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    That looks good to me. If my lipo doesn't work, I am going to try something similar to what you describe. Something like this might help.
    Amazon.com: uxcell 2Pcs 2 x 2032 Coin Cell Battery Holder 6V Output w On/Off Switch: Electronics
    (that one ships from China, but I'm sure we could find it domestic)