Anti-collision / Nav lighting

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#1
  1. I'm not a phantom owner yet but wanted to check in here for some help with something I'm developing.

    Recently I developed a LED lighting system for the 3DR Solo and am modifying it for any other drone including the Phantom series. Below is some information about the system and the controller/leds for the Solo. I developed it for myself, as I needed something to help me see the drone and determine its orientation in daylight. The Brite Lite does that very well. Then others wanted one, and it just snowballed from there.

    Brite Lite Ad.jpg IMG_3348.JPG IMG_3350.JPG IMG_0015.JPG IMG_3379.JPG

    I re-engineered the system to operate off a single 2, 3, or 4s lipo so now it can be mounted on any drone.
    (It ran for over an hour with a 450 mAh 3s)

    Currently I'm looking at a controller that is about 45 mm square or about 28 mm x 55 mm and 15 mm tall.

    Since I don't have access to a Phantom, I need your help determining where to mount the controller, the battery and led's.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. :)

    Members of this forum would be the first to receive them after I get it developed.
 
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Likes: RW8888
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#2
Hey everybody, I'm looking at mounting this system on 2 "brackets" that span from the front of the landing gear to the back, one on each side.
I have 2 questions i need help with:

1) The system runs for over an hour on a 2S, 450 mAh lipo. I cant decide whether to mount the battery on the side opposite the controller box for side-to-side balance, or on the same side, considering the battery weighs very little.

2) How to mount the battery to the bracket. I'd like to use a "snap-in" design where the user can just push the battery in place and take it off for charging. (No other fasteners) I could either make it available with a lipo which would solve that problem or without and the user could use their own battery. In that case, how to accommodate the different sizes of batteries people might have handy and want to use.

Any help would be awesome.
Mark
 
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#3
I really like your idea and execution. I have a Phantom 2 and am planning to buy a Mavic Pro or Air, but I think this could be used on the Phantom 2, in some way (the others have folding arms). One issue that you have solved, that I don't see on others, is my concern of forward lighting affecting the video. With the option to shut off the forward lighting, leaving the rear (or upward) on, is great.

Tony
 
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#4
I really like your idea and execution. I have a Phantom 2 and am planning to buy a Mavic Pro or Air, but I think this could be used on the Phantom 2, in some way (the others have folding arms). One issue that you have solved, that I don't see on others, is my concern of forward lighting affecting the video. With the option to shut off the forward lighting, leaving the rear (or upward) on, is great.

Tony
Thanks Tony. I was concerned about the lighting affecting the camera on the Solo, but found it doesn't show up even at night. If it does affect the Phantoms, it can be turned off.

I'd like to have a system that fits all Phantoms but the landing gear appears to be slightly different on each model, and that looks like the best mounting place.
 
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#7
I would be interested in hearing more about your system.
In addition to the above information, each “spanner” will have a downward facing led up front and in the back. Additionally at the back will be 2 led’s that face up so aircraft above can see the drone.

The led’s up front will be red on the left (port), green on the right (starboard) and will either be steady on (no flashing) or off (switchable). These act as Nav lights which help immensely with orientation so the pilot can tell which way the drone is pointed.

At the back, the LEDS facing down are white and emit a rapid double flash (in unison) much like aircraft strobes. The LEDS facing up are red and flash in unison just like the white ones.
The red and white LEDs alternate- two red flashes/ two white flashes/ repeat.

A 2S lipo powers the system for at least an hour. (I stopped testing at an hour and the battery was at 38%).

Some people have asked about replacing the front LEDs with white forward-facing headlight/landing lights and that is a possible option. Mounting a 3W led inside a small (20mm) housing with a lens and reflector produces a blinding light.
 
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#8
Your system sounds descent and simple. It wouldn't be too hard to hook it up to the front lighting system of DJI phantoms. That way you could turn them on or off using the remote.
Illegal and I don't fly at night. When I do fly, I don't want everyone to know I'm there. Good luck, but not for me.
 
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#9
A 2S lipo powers the system for at least an hour. (I stopped testing at an hour and the battery was at 38%)
I'm thinking that an hour of battery life may not be a big selling point for your design. There are a number of other lighting systems out there for drones that have longer battery life. Some of them are specifically designed for Phantoms. Still, I wish you every success.
 
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#10
Your system sounds descent and simple. It wouldn't be too hard to hook it up to the front lighting system of DJI phantoms. That way you could turn them on or off using the remote.
Illegal and I don't fly at night. When I do fly, I don't want everyone to know I'm there. Good luck, but not for me.
How would I tap in to the lights and do you know how much current is available there? I dont have access to a Phantom to poke around with.
I don't want it to be too complicated or difficult for the average owner to install.
 
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#11
I'm thinking that an hour of battery life may not be a big selling point for your design. There are a number of other lighting systems out there for drones that have longer battery life. Some of them are specifically designed for Phantoms. Still, I wish you every success.
Thanks for the input. That quote was just for a 450 mAh battery and I was looking at the average flight time for a Phantom, as well as keeping weight down. So you could probably get two flights out of that. Wasn't thinking of somebody making multiple flights exceeding that time, but a 1000 mAh, etc., battery would greatly increase that time.

How much time do you think would be desirable?

Do you know how these other lighting systems are powered? (Hook into the drone or use their own battery?)
Would appreciate it if you could point me to any of them- so far I haven't been able to find another complete system that does what this does, is highly visible during daytime, etc.
 

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