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3d - Printworx

Printing 3d Forum

Led's on a Quad

Started by Gaza07, Wednesday,June 20, 2012, 12:21:47

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Wednesday,June 20, 2012, 12:21:47 Last Edit: Friday,March 03, 2017, 16:32:29 by Gaza07
I fitted some Led strips to one of my quads so I could fly it in the dark, I got them from hobby king they are around $5.00 per 1m strip each containing 60 bright led';s like the pictures below


CarbonCore Multicopter

I have similar LEDs on my Hexa 950.

They're rated for 12V so I wired two sets in series and directly to the power distribution board.
The Hexa's on 4S (14.4V nominal) so they get about 7 volts a set.
I didn't want to give them the full 4S LiPo voltage each (would wire the LEDs in parallel) in case that was too much!
They're very bright but don't help much in daylight.


Im running mine of a 3 cell lipo so the voltage is about right they are very very bright at night and can be seen during the day but probably not good enough to aid orientation at any distance, Would love to see a video of your Hex flying or any of the Carbon Core Copters  ~~


Now then, being and ARDU man LEDs are something thats coming soon for me. The advantage is that the ARDU flight controller can command LEDs thus making them switchable (needs a small driver if running large load). It can also run pre-programmed light shows - Looking forward to Halloween next year, I'll get the neighbours running !!!! LOL
Duvet - The quickest way to say Duck Down !


You can buy the led strips with 3 colours on now I forget where Ive seen them but will post a link if I find them again that should make things interesting, lots of Ufo reports  ~~


Hi Guys,

I have a little adjustable voltage regulator in the store perfect for these if you're running 4s or more.
In fact ideal for any of the 12v gear like Video Txs, cameras...

Sounds like you need one Cam, yours must be a bit dimmer than they could be on around 7v..... :o


2.4g shaun

Saturday,June 23, 2012, 18:20:25 #6 Last Edit: Saturday,June 23, 2012, 19:27:21 by 2.4g shaun
This is a great voltage / current  reg.. steps up and down   4 - 30volts in    1.25 to 26v out , 2 A without a heatsink,, 3A with.... loads of uses...

I got mine for £8.00 delivered ( I made an offer )  you couldn't build one for that..


Re leds and colours, on 3 S, I use red on the rear and blue on the front, both high brightness. Works well enough in the day as well as for night flying.
I only use 12 LEDS per strip. I leave the backing paper on, put a short bit of heat shrink over the ends  to prevent shorting and then use 4 small tie wraps to fix them to the frame.. If you bend it , it makes removal and replacement dead simple..



If you want the LED's to flash which aids orientation then fit a flasher unit. I fitted this one from Giant Shark, you can take it out of the case to save weight and shorten the IR remote. You can get some great effects. Its 12 volt so ideal for the strips of LED's and draws hardly any current, cost just over £4


I also have used a simple flasher unit which just turns the strips on/off.



Nice find I like the look of that flasher unit from giant shark, I will get one of those to have a play with as soon as they get stock  ~~


Me to I just love gadgets and that really looks the biz  ~~

Quote from: Gaza07 on Wednesday,June 27, 2012, 18:50:07
Nice find I like the look of that flasher unit from giant shark, I will get one of those to have a play with as soon as they get stock  ~~


Here is a quick test of an LED flasher bought from hobbyking that I've got on one of my quad copters. It doesn't help much with orientation with the available patters but it does look cool and it does make the quadcopter a lot more eye catching.


I found there were only a few decent patters and the rest of the settings where just set colours but for the price it's difficult to complain. The few good patters do look pretty good - even simply the strobing white effect looks quite aircraft beacon like. 

I wrote a little program for the arduino to make a colour fading strobe light;

I wonder if there is a way to insert the code into the multiwii code and enough spare pins on a mini arduino to get something like this working on a multiwii quadcopter? It just needs 3 Pulse Width Modulated outputs to drive 3 power MOSFETs - one for each of the colour channels.

One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.


Whats the box with all the leds in ? is it some thing you have made or some thing that can be bought ?


Are you referring to the first picture or the second?

In the first picture all the LEDs are LED tape. The LED tape in the centre of the quad is stuck to the outside of a tupperware box and is RGB LED tape that changes colours etc.

In  the second picture there is a single high power Red Green Blue LED stuck to a computer heatsink for cooling, but you can't see the LED because it's angled away from the camera so as not to overload the CCD.
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.


Yea I meant the last video I couldnt tell it was a large heat sink, if thats one led  on there its very powerfull as I thought it was like a box with a load in  ::)
Any chance of a picture and details of the high power led Ive never seen one  ~~


A single hight power led wow I thought it was a bank of leds in a box too  :o


Tuesday,July 03, 2012, 20:39:56 #15 Last Edit: Tuesday,July 03, 2012, 20:46:29 by teslahed
Yeah you can get 'power' LEDs now that are a lot more powerful than individual classically shaped LEDs or even the brighter LED tapes that most people use for RC stuff.

You can buy power LEDs commonly in 1 watt and 3 watt sizes. Often they come attached to a heatspreader base which you glue to a heatsink to keep the LED cool. Power LEDs generate heat and will burn out in 30 seconds or so without proper heatsinking.

Most 3W power LEDs run at about 3.5 volts and about 800mA when at full power. On ebay a lot of the cheaper higher power 10 Watt and above power LEDs advertise as being able to run at about 11 volts. What they've done is put 3 of the 3.5 volt LEDs on a single chip in series. That 'single' RGB led in the video i posted above is actually 9 LEDs on a single chip - the three different colours in parallel each made up of 3 identical LEDs in series - just to get more light out. If you buy the higher quality 'power' LEDs then you'll find they run at lower voltages and produce more light by virtue of being more efficient instead.

Here is a close up photo of a RGB LED that illustrates what i mean;

The black gunk under the LED is some thermal epoxy i used to attach it to the heatsink. I got the ratios slightly off and it took about 2 weeks to dry. Thermal epoxy is a pain to work with - single part thermal adhesives work a lot better if you don't need the full strength of an epoxy glue.

Here is an example of a RGB LED on ebay;


I'm sure you could produce something quite stunning with 1 of those on the end of each arm of a quadcopter properly programmed to flash in sequence.

Single colour power LEDs would be a lot easier to wire up though.
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.


I didnt realise you could get thermal glue Ive used thermal paste before on PC's and Xbox's not that you would want to glue those heat sinks in  ::) Led's really are taking the place of bulbs now and just as bright for less power used  ~~


had this pop up on my youtube recommendation video list:  small controller that can be programmed up with any flash routine you want.

going to led up my quad again for the next fly in camp over I go to for a spot of night flying fun.


Nice find Gav just the sort of thing I would love to have a play with  ~~


Very good any one know if there is a uk stockist for these ?

Quote from: Gav on Saturday,July 07, 2012, 17:55:43
had this pop up on my youtube recommendation video list:  small controller that can be programmed up with any flash routine you want.

going to led up my quad again for the next fly in camp over I go to for a spot of night flying fun.