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Useful LED upgrade

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by macsoft, May 16, 2015.

  1. macsoft

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    Remember when you have to get on your knees before take off to look at the lights below the bird to know if you have home lock looking for the fast flashing green lights? and what about the solid yellow lights to know if you managed to enter calibration mode?

    Well.. I don't anymore.
    I've just added a multicolor LED to the top of the bird that flashes the same colors of the leds below the bird.
    works great :)

    check it out:
    [​IMG]


    DIAGRAM of the LED connections:
    [​IMG]

    Ok sorry about the crudeness of the diagram.
    This represents one of the LEDs from one of the back strips (back of the ESC board).
    Motor side to the left, center of the bird to the right.

    IMPORTANT: remember you wanna do this to one of the back LEDS, those are the ones with the important status blinking messages.

    Just remove 2 screws holding the ESC, and flip it with your hands to access the bottom leds (flip it CCW looking from the motor to the center of the bird)
    The LEDs have 6 pins, we'll use 3.

    pin 1 is GREEN light NEGATIVE
    pin 2 is COMMON POSITIVE
    pin 3 is RED light NEGATIVE.

    You need a bicolor RED/GREEN COMMON ANODE LED or in alternative an RGB COMMON ANODE LED (and remove the BLUE leg).

    you get the yellow color with both of RED and GREEN are ON.

    I've soldered the wires to the small connectors on one of the original LEDs. Used a Servo Wire with connector, and plugged my RGB LED directly on the connector. That way I can unplug it when I need to remove the top shell.

    The ESC does not fit so good on its resting place, with the wires soldered to the led, so you must find an alternative way to fix it to the structure. I used one of the original screws to lock it in one end, and just heatglued the other end of the ESC board to the bottom shell.

    You can choose the final placement of your LED, mine works great on the back top and with plenty of room inside for the connections. Had to peal a little bit on the aluminum foil protecting tha GPS, but just a tiny bit.

    If you don't have RGB or BICOLOR common ANODE LEDS, you can still kind of doing it with normal 2 leds. just join the positive legs of both leds on pin 2. But remember: since YELLOW is the result of both RED and GREEN lighting 2ghether, you have to mentally take note that YELLOW for you is 2 LEDS lit.

    Results:
    It works great even in bright direct sunlight, and you can always tell standing up and looking donw on the bird, if you have a HOME LOCK (fast blinking green light) or if you successfully engaged calibration mode (solid YELLOW).


    hands in the air if you like my mod, and please post pics of your work if you do the same.:)
    (pics of you with your HANDS IN THE AIR too)
     
    #1 macsoft, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
    UAVLounge, RichWest and jarance like this.
  2. sdtag

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    now THAT is a great idea.
    I added some prism tape down the back of the landing gear legs to try and see the led's better. your idea is much better.
    Can you spec the led and where did you wire it to? in parallel with one of the back side led's?
     
  3. AndyA

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    Same principle, but using the naza module instead, moving the USB to more accessible area as well.
    Have a look here: http://imgur.com/nULJ32H
     
  4. macsoft

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    I've just came back from the beach were I shot in several locations.
    It works great under the strong sunlight. I could still set home in each location just glancing at the LED to confirm the fast blinking green.

    I'll try to put some sketch later on the connections.
    I've soldered 3 wires on one of the original leds strips from the back of the phantom. the hard part has figuring out the pinout (led had 3 legs) and what type of LED. Its a common ANODE RGB LED. This means the LEDs share the + leg.
    Well its not really an RGB, its only a dual color led: RED+GREEN. you get the yellow color with both of them ON.
    I've used a COMON ANODE RGB LED (just cut the BLUE leg off).
    I've soldered the wires to the small connectors on one of the original LEDs. Used a Servo Wire with connector, and plugged my RGB LED directly on the connector. That way I can unplug it when I need to remove the top shell.
    I'll upload the pinout later.
     
  5. N017RW

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    Did you need to add any biasing resistors?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  6. macsoft

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    Nope, direct connection. No problems so far.
     
  7. macsoft

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    I've just EDITED and added the diagram information on the first post, so it looks less confusing.
     
    #7 macsoft, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  8. N017RW

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    It's a great idea.

    The drawing is fine I think.
     
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  9. RichWest

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    @macsoft, great mod!!!! Thanks for the sketch...

    I'll pass one back at you. You can purchase an LED lens that will distribute the light even better. They are used for Street lighting SMD LED applications as well as for other applications. I've purchased several styles trying out what worked best for the orientation of the LED(s). I've even made a few of my own designs out of acrylic rods, basically a light pipe.

    Here's a link to Mouser's selection - http://www.mouser.com/Optoelectronics/LED-Lighting/LED-Lighting-Optics/_/N-b1a4z/
     
  10. macsoft

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    Hi RichWest,
    I did order a LED lens from ebay even before I tried this mod.
    But the truth is, after I tried just the LED with no lens on the beach, I realize I can see it just fine without the lens.
    But I'll give it a try when it arrives
     
  11. RichWest

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    Now I realize you are using a traditional shaped LED for the purpose of on ground visual. If SMD style, like the stock LEDs, then the lens would have a greater effect to distribute the emitted light while in flight.

    Either way it's a great mod suggestion. Taken to another level, this mod could be real interesting as flight indicators.

    A few pictures of the plug placement would be real helpful, when you get the chance. Still scratching my head about the lack of needing a resistor....
     
  12. macsoft

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    Ok, just added a diffuser lens to it.
    The color mix looks more uniform.
    Without the lens the yellow (green and red mix) is more consistent.
    It worked great outside without the lens, I guess it will work better now :)

    For the inside connections photo, I'm waiting on some antennas to arrive.
    When I get them I'll open the burd again to do the antenna bird mod, and I'll take the pics on the LED connector too.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. RichWest

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    Nice work! Look forward to seeing the plug photos and how you carried the wires from the ESC.

    Edit to add: Glad to see another cluttered workbench other than my own....;)
     
    #13 RichWest, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  14. macsoft

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    LoL that is my biggest problem... My solution: get more workbenches!..but somehow they all get cluttered too :)
     
  15. RichWest

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    You'll never see a picture of my work benches. I've been ridiculed in person by others, but it is always after I fix their equipment.....;)
     
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  16. macsoft

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    I'm completely shameless about the clutter on my workbenches. My idea is: I have so much to invent, that I ain't got time for decluttering procedures :p
    To make you more at ease, here is the full extent of my problem:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. manny

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    Now THIS is the first mod I can see myself doing on the P2V+. I think DJI has forgot about the fact that everyone start their quad at ground level, it is pretty much ridiculous that they haven't fixed this issue in P3. Crawling around in the dirt to see the LED-status is very annoying, and this mod solves the problem perfectly! Now, if I only can comprehend how to do this...
     
  18. macsoft

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    The biggest "problem" is soldering 3 wires to one of the existing LEDs. If you are not used to soldering, it can be very tricky, since the led pegs are very small. But at least there are no other electronic parts around the leds you can ruin with bad soldering skills.
    If you have a friend who can use a soldering iron, its an easy favor.
     
  19. RichWest

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    I'm sure you're like me and know exactly where everything is...where it was used last....:rolleyes:
     
  20. sdtag

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    WOW! I am feeling so much better about my work benches now.
    Nice guitars by the way. I'm an old drummer.
     
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