View Full Version : DIY Night blades

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04-09-2009, 06:21 PM
A 2S 800mah 22C pack no resistor????
I am surprised that the LED lasted as LONG as 3 seconds.
Typically you need about a 25 ohm resistor with a 1S pack for a blue LED.

The resistor can be anywhere in line.

You are right the AA2810RWS/Z does have the light come out the side.
It looks like you can still use them on the blades and still point the light straight up.
Just make sure you glue them down.

I would not try to notch the blades, the raw edges of carbon are conductive and you may have issues with shorting if you are not real careful.

04-09-2009, 08:12 PM
I was out today flying with out Night Blades and am really happy I put in a 2nd battery for the rear section of th heli (1 battery for tail/half skids, other for canopy and other half skids) cause my front battery came un-velcro'd and shut off the front sections.

But man I really love night flying, as far as conductiveness what can i do to help prevent this, I'm making my night blades out of a set of V-Blades and I've read and heard they aren't good unless you can do something to stop the Conductiveness of them.

As always really appreciate all the imput, and time everyone is taking to answer all my questions.

04-10-2009, 08:40 AM
On my TT blades the carbon area was also conductive, the white tips and root were fine.
I sanded them lightly with 400 wet just to get rid of the gloss and then gave them a light clear coat to insulate them.

Redundancy of power for lights on a night ship is a good thing. My last night ship had 13 circuits of light each with its own battery. It ended up as a 10+ lb R50. It was not uncommon to lose one or 2 lights in a flight, but I rarely noticed it till after I landed. The new night ship that I am working on will have a few less batteries but a lot more lights.

04-10-2009, 09:02 AM
do you have to sand the whole area where you are building (ie: copper wire, battery, LED) or just under where the LED is going?

04-10-2009, 11:05 AM
I got my Copper tape in today it's was the last roll of 1/8th inch Fry's electronics had in stock. It said 6 feet,

But after I got started on my blades I was only able to cover 1 side and the battery extensions. And I ran out of tape... anyway to cheat on the negative side?

04-11-2009, 05:40 PM
I just wanted to pass on that if you have any old Xerogear LED strands you can de-solder the LED's from there strips and use them for DIY night blades.

Using 1Sx80MAH 15C pack I had 1 blue LED on for 5 minutes with no signs of issues and I wasn't running any resistor.

I also just checked the brightness The 1 LED on 1S with out a resistor is the same brightness as my Xerogear strips on 3S packs.

Which is awesome cause I wanted my night blades to be the same brightness as the rest of my LED kit.

04-11-2009, 09:36 PM
Yes you can run the blue LEDs direct from a 1S LiPo.
Where you get into trouble is that the Led is rated for 3.3 to 3.7V, and will draw the advertised 20mA at 3.5V. A LiPo fresh off the charger is 4.2V. At 4.2V the one led can draw around 65mA, and at the 3.7V nominal, you will draw around 35mA.
Now if you use 5 of these with no resistors that is 325mA at the starting voltage of 4.2 and 175mA at the nominal of 3.7V.
With those kinds of current draws, you will not hurt your 15C cell, but you will have very short battery life and may have to charge after every flight.

04-11-2009, 09:40 PM
You need to get more tape.
Do you have a pic of how you managed to use up 6' of tape on one side of a blade.
It should take about 1.5 rolls for a whole blade set.

You do not need or want to sand the blade to put down the tape and LED.
When you sand the blade the carbon can get exposed an make the blade surface MORE conductive.
I sanded mine as prep for a clear coat to make the surface NONconductive.

04-12-2009, 08:02 AM
I kind of had this info buried in an earlier post and though I would make it its own post.

I have noticed that it is getting harder to find places with the copper tape in stock, so I contacted GC Electronics, the maker of the copper tape.

P/N 22-507 which is the 1/16 wide copper tape, has been discontinued with NO replacement available or expected. :bawl

P/N 22-509 which is the 1/8 wide x 6 feet long, copper tape, has been discontinued. they will have a replacement available for this which will be P/N 22-511 and will be 1/8 wide x 20 feet long. This new P/N is not yet available, they are waiting for all stock of the old P/N to be used up out of the system before bringing out the new.

There are several manufacturers of the 1/8 wide or wider tape, but GC was the only brand of 1/16 wide cooper tape that I was ever able to find.

So, if you like the 1/16 wide copper tape and spot some in stock, snag it quick cuz when it is gone it is gone forever. If you want to use 1/16 wide you will have to get out the straight edge and exacto knife and slice it down yourself.

04-12-2009, 09:26 AM
I found a place that had 3 rolls of the GC 1/8th tape late last night so I bought up there inventory of it.

Also i didn't use all 6' on one blade I was doing both at the same time, I am trying my very best to use the same length's of wire, exact same placements of pieces, and same amount of solder to hopefully less'n my work when it comes to balancing the blades.

Sofar I have 2x Blue LED's on each blade, and all the positive wire ran for both blades, I also have the connectors installed.

Basically the only things left are to run the negative wires out the connector's to the LED's. And then heat shrink them, however I still haven't found a place that sells that large of Heat Shrink. I contacted the Hobby shop in Tenn. But it's a holiday and I'm sure I won't get a responce till monday.

FYI - I used the connectors out of my crashed set of MS-Composit Night Blades in the hopes the charger that comes with them will work (since it was for a 1 cell watch type Lipo battery) so far seems to be working I have it on the charger now.

I'm hoping there isn't something wrong with 1 of my batteries as 1 was always able to light up the LED's where as the other never seemed like it had a charge.

but if it doesn't work I'll just replace it with a larger MAH pack - have any websites that are 1S but larger MAH?

04-12-2009, 09:41 AM
I came across this website for single Cell batteries thought I'd pass it along - they also carry shrink wrap in the size needed. Only thing I'm seeing is something about certifications? anyone know what that's about


And they even sell chargers, 1S packs up to 9000mah - but like always I know nothing about "C" ratings, inputs, outputs, etc. So help from a more knowledgable person on which packs to go with would be greatly appreciated.

I want to use 3 LED's on each blade - 2 blue LED's for the main disk and then a White LED for the underside, or possibly 2 whites, and 1 blue, won't know which till the white LED's get here and I can start testing, etc.

04-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Also check these little watch or hearing aid rechargables....

Check here.... these recharge-ables are just coming out.
I tore a set of dead Align night blades apart and found a watch battery that was lion and said rechargeable... So you could use the Align blade charger too!

http://shopping.microbattery.com/Rec...eries-Chargers (http://shopping.microbattery.com/Rechargeable-Hearing-Aid-Batteries-Chargers)

http://shopping.microbattery.com/Pow...category=15559 (http://shopping.microbattery.com/PowerOne-Accu-NiMH-Rechargeable-Hearing-Aid-Battery-Card-Charger?sc=2&category=15559)


04-12-2009, 01:53 PM
Bob those are interesting but the biggest one is only 30mAh, that will not last very long with a couple of LEDs, and you will need 3 of them per blade.
PowerOne Accu plus Ni-MH Rechargeable Hearing Aid Battery Size 13, 1.2V 30mAh, 2 batteries. $39.95.

The cells that I am using are from http://www.batteriesamerica.com/newpage8.htm (http://www.batteriesamerica.com/newpage8.htm)
P/N LP452030P6H 200 mAh

04-19-2009, 11:45 AM
I thought the ones that Bob posted would be great for a set of Tail Blades. using only 1 LED or something.

Also wanted to pass on as far as Shrink Wrap Goes - tower Hobbies has Shrink Wrap for Batteries, I bought the "Parma 2.5" " - still waiting on my order of Copper Tape to show up - UPS says it'll be here Monday.

Was out last night flying and for the first time I actually had some issues with orientation. I put on 2 more feet of Amber on the tail and test flew it last week or the week before but wasn't fully dark (bright moon, and a building next door had there lights on) and didn't have any issues - however last night was out about 9:30 and it was pitch black. It was almost as if the tail was now too bright.

I'm still not flying night blades only the Xerogear and glow sticks for now. Any idea's? hopeing with night blades it'll help with orientation. But the orienation wasn't which way the heli was upright or inverted, was just which way it was heading. Kind of more like instead of North to South it's like SW or NE kind of thing not exactly 100% the direction I was thinking it was going.

04-20-2009, 11:57 AM
The blades do help a lot with orientation.
Make sure that the front and back of the heli are different colors so that you can tell what direction it is pointing. Same for top and bottom, but the top and bottom colors are usually handled on the main blades.

04-20-2009, 07:39 PM
copper tape showed up and the blades are finished. I turned the lights on with out charging them since I started building the blades 3 weeks ago. and they lasted 20minutes.

I have them on the charger now (10hrs is a long time) so I cut apart my other MS-composite charger and made an adapter for my Thunder Power 1010 Charger, which is capable of charging 1S. But for this round of charging I'm just going to use the MS charger.

Once that's done I'm going to turn them on and see how long they last as i'd like to add a 3rd LED "White" on the bottom side of the blades but that's all based on how long the current 2 "blue" LED's last.. I'm going to try an initial Spool up/Test flight tomorrow after work. As I've never flown this set of V-Blade Extremes. They are 2nd hand. Hope they aren't prown to coming apart like I read someplace.

04-21-2009, 06:15 PM
Guys, going to try the night flight...Where can I get copper tape AND shrink wrap for the blades? If there is a store that sells both, AND the leds, that would be a double thank you!...I just don't want to get raped with shipping from 3 different stores...

the cold string is on its way! :Bang

04-21-2009, 08:09 PM
I truelly can hear ya on that one.. it cost more on shipping then it did all the parts. Unfortunetely I don't know of any one store that sells everything.

Tower had the shrink wrap for my 710's tested it today worked great. The Updated links for everything are in the last few posts.

copper tape is hard to find - honestly go to google and just type in copper Tape, or GC Electronics copper tape.

And just start going vendor to vendor until you find one that still has some inventory. The copper tape will probably be your hardest thing to find.

04-22-2009, 08:18 PM
Just thought I'd through up some picts of my newly completed V-Extreme Night Blades test flew them yesterday . So far my only issue is the 80mah packs only last 20minutes... using the 2 LED's per blade. not what I was hoping for. But I did make an adapter for my Thunder Power Charger and each blade now get's fully charged in 15min. at .25A

The night Blade were the only thing light in that room, compare them to my pict of my old MS-Composite Blades in the same room. in the xerogear thread. - http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=91433&page=4

04-23-2009, 09:37 AM
started up the nitro indoors? :shock:

I am getting a little worried...Since you said you get 20 mins from 2 leds...This may be an issue for me since I am throwing this on a 450 at first and I need to use a possibly smaller battery and I wanted to do 3 lights per blade...

04-23-2009, 02:54 PM
I don't start the heli indoors, if I did with in like 5 seconds the room would be filled with smoke and you probably wouldn't be able to see the heli based on how much is smokes with zero wind at the field.

The blades are just me spinning them by hand as fast as I can then walking away and taking picts. (takes a few try's to get them to stay spinning long enough for a good pict)

04-23-2009, 06:00 PM
ah :thumbup:

04-23-2009, 06:46 PM
If you add a current limiting resistor you will get more time.
If you are killing a 80mAh batt in 20 min, that means that you are drawing 240 mA.
That is 120 mA per LED. Most LEDs are designed to draw 20 mA.
The blue LEDs that I have are designed for 3.2V your fully charged bat is 4.2 volt and then drops to 3.7, still to high. A resistor will make it all better.

You said that you are charging a 80mAh LiPo batt at 250mA??? In 15 minutes???
That is asking to start a fire. You should be charging at 0.08A, and it should take an hour.

04-24-2009, 04:57 AM
How will I know if it'll start a fire? the batteriese never get hot or is it something that just happens?
I understand that if you have a 80mah you charge at .08a, or if you have a 4380 you charge at 4.3 (basically just move the desimal two places to the left. But my Thunder Power 1010 charger just does't go lower then .25A.

I liked the brightness of the LED's as they are as they are the exact same as my xerogear on 3S so everything is the same, but I'll try soldering in one of the resistors that were on the Xerogear LED strands hopefully it'll still allow me to run 1S, but with as dim as they get on 2S - i'm skeptical.

04-24-2009, 07:08 PM
The Xerogear resistor is probably to much.
Can you tell what value the resistor you have is?

You would want about a 15 ohm if you put one inline with both LEDs or a 25 ohm on each LED.

I have never burned up a pack so I don't know the chain of events.
All I know is that it should be a 1C rate.