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The New Strobes Thread

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Not A Speck Of Cereal, May 30, 2016.

  1. Not A Speck Of Cereal

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    I looked through old threads, but can't find what I want and they're mostly old and stale threads anyway.

    I would like to add bright strobes to my P3Ps.

    Purpose: to see the craft at long distances in daylight, far enough that actual LOS is difficult or almost impossible.

    Here's a list of wants and do-not wants:
    • Obviously, light weight is desirable. That said:
    • Biggest requirement: daytime visibility, so really bright
    • I understand there are nighttime flying restrictions in places around the world. I'm not interested in that. I don't think that most of us are.
    • I'm not a builder and do not want to solder lights to the existing UAV power system, so ideally it would come with its own power supply.
    • Strobe, not continuous lighting. I assume that this would be better for power consumption and since manned aircraft uses strobes, it's likely that it's a better visual aid.
    Ideas?

    Chris
     
  2. HWCM

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    I usa 3 watt led strobe from strobon. It's about an inch square and I run it off a small 600mah battery that is about the same size. The battery lasts about 18 hours. It is blue and I can see it for over a mile at night. Maybe half that during the day. Green would probably be more visible.
     
  3. HWCM

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  4. HWCM

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    I use a small piece of velcro below the battery to attach and remove it so I can put the AC in a case.
     
  5. HWCM

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    There are some stores that sell them in the US but the price is much higher. These are way brighter than the copies Hobby King sells.
     
  6. HWCM

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    Pictures. The strobe is attached to the battery with double sided tape.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. HWCM

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    Search youtube for STROBON.
     
  8. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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  9. thunderbird

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    How much it cost?
     
  10. WetDog

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    I have two P3s with the Flytrons, one has three strobes - two on the back arms and one just over the battery compartment (pointing up). Another has five, the aforementioned three and two angled mostly horizontally along the back frame.

    Powered by two 500 mAh Lipos in series (stolen from a Hubsan X4). They will run for over 12 hours on this (useful for retrieval purposes). They're bright but not bright enough. They are bright enough to offer some utility. For example, I was flying through a fog bank** and could see the strobes for several hundred feet while unobstructed visibility was in yards. You can see then at 1000-2000 feet under some circumstances (dark background). In low light they're great. They are very light and appear to be robust. You can sticky tape them to the frame for easy construction and deconstruction (I use VHB tape, of course).

    The problem is that the max voltage is 6V. Yes, the series Lipos put out 7.4 but the lights seem to tolerate that. Much more than that (like 9V) and the magic smoke goes away. I think you will need 12V strobes to get enough light to be really useful. Battery wise that is doable given that you are just strobing. I've yet to find such a device in a form factor like the Flytrons. Another problem is that the damned strobes are pretty bright close up. Any brighter and they may well interfere with using the craft up close.

    ** OK, somebody is going to ask why I'm flying in a fog bank. I was trying to get above it for neat shots. I ascended next to a 2000 foot mountain, typically within a couple of hundred feet of the trees and cliffs. If there is an aircraft in that immediate vicinity, they're in more trouble than running into my plastic fantastic is going to cause. The reason you can do this with a Phantom is you are going 5 mph and being able to avoid trees 10 feet ahead is perfectly doable.
     
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  11. Zzyzx

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    Has anyone used the Flytron lights ( http://www.flytron.com/12-led-systems ) to fabricate a very bright landing light for the front of a P3? I see they have some LEDs and some lenses that could be used, but I'm not sure exactly which parts would go together for something like that?

    The strobes look cool for a set of running lights for the sides & rear. Which ones exactly have folks been using?

    Also, can these LEDs be powered off the power connector of the P3 battery? Or is that a different voltage? Would they draw too much power and cut the flight time down?

    While I have my P3 apart on the bench I have the option to run some wiring inside the shell for lights like this, maybe even a secondary battery holder, but I want to make sure I choose the right lights and the right power source for them.

    Overall, what I'm after are lights for orientation. I like to fly along some rivers & streams in Oregon, and sometimes when I've maneuvered a few hundred yards out with overhanging trees it's not obvious which way the P3 is pointing and the camera view might just be showing me foliage. It would be unfortunate to clip a tree over the water. I want to have a very visible way to spin around and see which way it's pointed.

    Thanks for any ideas/tips.
     
  12. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Maybe just keep reading in this thread and try not to hijack it with your question Zzyzx .
    Is kinda rude to do so . Or start a thread on what you ask ;)
     
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  13. HWCM

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    Strobon are much brighter. Those leds look like a mess, and the battery pack on top has to effect the gps, it is directly blocking it. Not to mention it is way over priced for a few leds and a battery. Also, the leds are mounted to the leg, where the compass is, electrical interference will confuse the compass. I wouldn't trust those at all. Not to mention the added weight.
     
  14. HWCM

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    The battery was like $2.00 on eBay. I got a package of six when I had my micro quad. The led is maybe $6.00 plus shipping. I have had it for years and used it on different quads.
     
  15. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Hey I just saw them advertised here and he ask so I put that there :)
    I don't use any or care too ;)
     
  16. HWCM

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    I use these Little Dot SMD LED Accent Light | LED Light Modules | LED Accent Lighting | Super Bright LEDs for front lights on another quad, Like headlights just for orientation. They are 12v and hardwired.

     
    #16 HWCM, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  17. WetDog

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    They actually look like the LEDs in the Flytron. The voltage is set by a regulator - no single LED is going to need 12V.

    I'm going to play with some Luxdrive modules and a Flytron strobe module when I get a chance.
     
  18. WetDog

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    Why would you want a 'landing light'?

    Their are lots of posts on LEDs for night time flying. Some are actually bright enough to be useful. The question here, and a harder one, is can you rig a DAYTIME strobe that can be used for collision avoidance / location. Without bolting one on from a real airplane (if you think THIS hobby is expensive....)

    I've also thought about taping this little guy to my P3 but I doubt it would fly well.
     
    #18 WetDog, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  19. HWCM

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    Yes, that is what I posted. I have use almost all of their LED systems. Good stuff. The NEO is nice and bright and has so many different sequences, I used it on a 550 build, I could use spare switch on my TX to select a pattern.
     
  20. HWCM

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    I have used those also. I used the puck with three 3W (or 5W) LEDs. I used three lenses made for the LEDs to focus them at 15 degrees each. Man that was bright. I had them facing straight down. It would light up a huge area from way up. But it went through a battery pretty quickly. It would knock a few minutes off of my flight times. Also it requires a LED driver circuit. The whole thing cost about $6 in parts and a few minutes to solder together. I have them laying around in a drawer somewhere,I ended up not using them.
     
    #20 HWCM, May 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 30, 2016