AC Holic

Let’s see the light!

by on Jul.18, 2009, under Hobbies

One of my many senseless time sinks in life…umm hobbies, is radio controlled flying models of airplanes and helicopters. I decided to make them a little more realistic by adding some light effects. I am thinking, well, after I crash them (which is just a matter of time with my flying skills), I can turn them into static display models. :P

After a bit of research googling aviation lighting systems, I had my initial design in mind. It’s going to need a small micro processor to sequence a number of LEDs to simulate the many flashing patterns typically found on these systems. Before I knew it, I had these goals for the design:

  1. Standard Navigation lights (similar to the red and green lights you see on the port/starboard sides of boats). These lights are normally just constantly on. Easy!!!
  2. White Navigation light at tail end. This one can be just on or strobing.
  3. Anti-collision warning beacon. This one is a little tricky since normally they are mechanical rotating reflectors inside a dome. Going to have to find a way to simulate that with a non-moving light. More on that later.
  4. Landing or Spot light. I am thinking of using a higher power 3 watts LED to simulate the Nightsun police search lights. That implies a driver to buffer the output from the micro.
  5. Blue police strobes? Hmm, can always substitute these with ultra small surface mount yellow LEDs to simulate muzzle flashes on gun ships.
  6. With all the extra demands on the battery, might be a good idea to include a low battery voltage warning flash pattern before I create another reason for my models to crash besides my flying skill.
  7. All these different lights needed to be able to be controlled from an extra channel on the radio.
  8. A way to easily program and change the flash patterns would be nice.
  9. All of this has to weigh in at less than 10 grams.

Hopefully, I will have something working in a few days…


1 Comment for this entry

  • Mike

    Hi I have a question about your HeliLIghts Mini Build Plans on your TLV1117 does it have to be a spacific type such as positive fixed or adjustable?

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