FWIW #2 - Diagonal tail lights

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by Joe Azzarelli, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Joe Azzarelli

    Joe Azzarelli Active Member

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    For What it is Worth #2:

    A tip of the hat to Cedar for this nice idea.

    Instead of mounting the rear LEDs vertically down, mount them angled inward as shown here:
    fwiw2-5.jpg

    The advantage comes when flying nose-out, with carefree turned off...
    When you see bright blue on the left, (the right blue light is hidden by the boom)
    push the yaw to the left... fwiw2-1.jpg

    conversely if you see bright blue on the right, give some right rudder... fwiw2-3.jpg

    When you are nose-out, you are able to see both blue lights evenly: fwiw2-4.jpg

    and of course if you see mainly the red nose light, face away from the helicopter and fly it over your head.. no, wait, don't do that!

    Joe
     
  2. Sebastian Meredith

    Sebastian Meredith Active Member

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    Great idea Joe. Almost like the way the lights on a landing strip work.... Will definitely give that a go.
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Yeah, Joe. You've invented VASI** for the copter world!

    I was actually wondering about mounting the LEDs in a partial spiral around the boom rather than parallel to the axis of the boom, so they would be visible from a wider range of angles.

    Andy

    **[Edit: Visual Approach Slope Indicator] -- the red and white lights that indicate the correct glide slope. Found on each side of a runway.
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Oh...that raises a question : anyone found a good way to remove the self-adhesive LED strip from the booms without trashing the LEDs?
    In the USA we have a product call Goo-Gone that's an adhesive solvent. I wondered whether that on a Q-tip might work.

    Andy.
     
  5. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Nice!

    I have been experimenting with putting 1 super bright LED on the end of the rear tail boom so I have a very strong visual indicator as to when the tail is pointed at me. If it works well I post more about it. I will try this technique also!

    Tabb
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I tried using a 5mw green "line" laser (that projects a line not a dot), on the rear tail boom. Very low power laser so that when you're more than 20 meters away it's not dazzling. I rotated it so the line was vertical. Even in bright sunlight, it gave a good indication at 200 meters when the tail boom was pointing straight at me, but not very helpful in knowing which way to turn if the tail boom was pointing off to one side....

    I'm going to try these strobes on boom #3 and #7 (just as a test), but I'm concerned that they might kick out a lot of RFI or EMI that will interfere with radios/compass, etc., so I'll mount the control unit on a boom (and wrap it in aluminum foil), twist the leads to the strobes, and put a ferrite ring on the lead to the battery box (which I'll probably mount on the hub to avoid large masses out on boom.

    If the strobes don't interfere with the other avionics, then I'll color the strobe tubes red for boom #1 and blue for boom #5.

    Of course, I'll try this when it stops raining in Portland, Oregon -- which should be around June of 2013. :(

    I tried the LED strobes from Flytron but they were practically invisible in bright sunlight. Also one of the blue ones I bought was faulty and -- of course -- they're unresponsive in terms of getting a return (and based in Istanbul, Turkey). Edit: I just received a replacement in the U.S. mail -- no warning that they were going to do that, but bonus points for sending the replacement all the way from Turkey! Thank you Flytron!


    Andy.
     
  7. Guilherme Barbosa

    Guilherme Barbosa Distributor

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    I use a very bright led on the tail boom 4 red leds on left (port) and 4 green leds on (starbord) that´s simple and works for me....
    If you are a waterguy it will make sence for these ships as well
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    And it will also make sense once the FAA regulations kick in the USA, I suspect -- we'll need steady white lights on the tail boom, red on boom #7 and green on boom #3.

    Not sure what color we'd be allowed to put on boom #1 (blue is used for police cars and snow ploughs -- I don't think the C8 falls into either category)....probably we could use white strobes on boom #1.

    Andy.
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Just got a pair of these -- they fit very nicely around the Cinestar booms and seem very bright (it's a horrible gray day in Portland, OR, so even a candle would seem bright). I've not yet tested them in sunlight, largely because in Oregon they turn off the sun for the rainy season. :(

    They have three "patterns" for flashing: frantic, relaxed and always on.

    I will test them the next sunny day we have and report back on the viewing distance.

    If the visibility is good, I'll put two reds facing in opposite directions out on the end of boom #1 facing sideways, and two whites facing in opposite directions on boom #5. That way I'll get orientation information when I'm only 20 feet AGL.

    Andy.
     
  10. Tim Joy

    Tim Joy Active Member

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    Andy- Any update on these?
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Yeah. We finally had one of those strange days in Oregon where there's this big orange ball up in the sky. Weird.

    In direct sunlight the red Snugg light is highly visible at about 100 yards. The white light is less visible, but still certainly good enough for copter orientation. I'm ordering up a second set. Not sure what the battery life is, but the LED duty cycle in "frantic" flashing is pretty minimal.

    Hope this helps
    Andy.
     
  12. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Andy

    Do you know the specs on these lights? I don't see them on the Ebay page. 6 or 12 volts? Are you running a current limiting resistor inline?
     
  13. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The Snugg lights have their own CR2032 battery, Dave. No idea on the specs I'm afraid. The bicycle industry's not heavy on specifications for these kinds of things! :)

    Andy.
     

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