Anyone with quadcopter/drone put LED's on it?

PapaLumen

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Just got a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter ( http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2 ). It has identification leds built into it but im looking at adding a headlight. I have an old p7 led and will power it direct drive from 1x 18650. Just looking for mounting and cooling ideas, weight is very important.

The craft is all plastic which I hear can handle 250-300C without melting. Whenever running it would have the propellers providing constant downdraft over the area.

A few guys use these - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DJI-Phant...sGames_RadioControlled_JN&hash=item3cdededee5 but I think the p7 is brighter.
Its mainly for aircraft orientation observation, not for actually seeing where you are going so probably fine without a lens/reflector.

Lets see you UAV led setups please.
Thanks.
 

jspeybro

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250-300C is not what you should worry about. it's the temp of the LED that you should keep below 70°C or so.
I don't have a quadcopter or drone so can't help you with that.
 

lagman

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I don't have a quadcopter but I do have a 1.5m rc plane. I glued in the nose, the tail and at the tip of each wing some 3W on star LED (cheap stuff).
I wired the 4 LED in series with 2m of 36AWG wires. That allowed me to directly connect the string to the battery which is 12.6V when full.
with white light in the nose and tail (pointing forward) and red/green in the wings I can orientate the craft even at night. I measured the current in the LED to be about 200-300mA and that's largely enough to see it, even in the day.
Why did I chose that? As you said: Weight. wires are thin and light, LEDs are driven at low amps so no heatsinks needed.
If you plan on placing only one LED, then I would suggest using a step down LED driver connected to the main battery instead of powering it with one 18650, in order to keep the weight down. Search for SKU: 13557 on DX!
 

PapaLumen

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Thanks. I have a solution now. I didn't want to tap into the battery power connectors so wanted an external battery.

I actually went with a triple xp-g board i had lying around, mounted on a circular slice of heatsink, connected to a normal 9v alky battery, no driver. It works great, velcroed on the front, battery velcroed on the bottom. I need to check but suspect it is giving about 400ma, enough to make them pretty bright. Will post a pic next time im out with it.

Weight is good as I dont have my gimbal and camera, or any fpv stuff on there yet. When I do, I will come up with something different.
 
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Fred273427

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Thanks. I have a solution now. I didn't want to tap into the battery power connectors so wanted an external battery.

I actually went with a triple xp-g board i had lying around, mounted on a circular slice of heatsink, connected to a normal 9v alky battery, no driver. It works great, velcroed on the front, battery velcroed on the bottom. I need to check but suspect it is giving about 400ma, enough to make them pretty bright. Will post a pic next time im out with it.

Weight is good as I dont have my gimbal and camera, or any fpv stuff on there yet. When I do, I will come up with something different.

I have a phantom 2 with camera and gimbal and am looking for a "torch" to mount underneath the gopro camera. I was wondering if you have now starting looking at this?
 

PapaLumen

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No, not yet. Still using this setup. Suggested max weight for a Phantom 2 is about 1350g (although plenty have gone heavier) so strap on whatever you have and see what it weighs. I think mine with just gimbal and gopro came in at 1250g, leaving about 100g to play with.

Oh in case you didn't know DJI just came out with some new props for phantoms - 9450, self tightening, labled "thrust boosted". Just appearing in RC shops now, got mine yesterday. They are pretty similar but a bit stiffer with slightly different profile. Supposedly help with the dreaded "Vortex ring state" when descending straight down quickly and help all round for heavily loaded phantoms. I think they reduce battery time by 30secs-1min.
 
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Fred273427

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Thanks for the info on the weight, that does help. And also about the props (although I already have them).

I've just received a little "fairy" torch (the brass one) which I have to say is VERY powerful for it's (very) tiny size. And it only weighs 20g (with battery). I am going to try it out in the weekend and see how it goes (i.e. just put it underneath the GoPro with elastic bands).
 
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