View Full Version : DIY Night blades

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04-25-2009, 08:47 AM
at least the 1C rate is good news cause I am going to go with a larger battery but thought I needed to try to find ones like the ones I have at 15C.. but they are very hard to come by in the 1S packs.

I found 400mah 1S pack at 1C that's just slightly larger then the packs I have, now.

04-26-2009, 07:11 AM
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

You really do not need 15C packs for lights.
You should be drawing less than 1C in use.

By using all of the proper resistors on my 7 LEDs per blade, I am drawing 140-160 mA from my 200mAh battery.
This will give me a full hour of on time while staying around 80% discharge.

05-07-2009, 05:23 AM
picts of my night blades - I went with a 400mah 1C 1S lipo. I'm getting roughly 40 minutes of run time with 4 LED's per blade.

Blades are from V-Blades 710 Extremes
Blue LED's are from Xerogear.com - just desoldered from old strands
White ones are from KingBright.com - P/N - AA3020ARWC/Z - 3mmx2mm
400MAH 1S 1C Lipo is from BatterySpace.com
1/8" Copper Circuit Tape by gcelectronics.com
Connectors are from an old set of MS-Composit Night Blades.
Charger is also from my old set of MS-Composit Night Blades, as well as one for my Thunderpower Charger.

I have:
-1 Blue at the tip of each Blade
-2 Blue on each side of the Blade about just passed the white part
-1 White on the bottom

Basically underside you see 1 white and 1 blue, Upright you see 2 blue when spinning.

05-08-2009, 02:34 PM
Looks good but the current draw still looks to be high.

If a 400mAh pack is only good for 40 minutes, that means that you are pulling around 600mA or 150mA per LED. That is a lot.
Keep your eyes open for early LED failures.

05-08-2009, 03:05 PM
well the white one is supposed to be rated at 20mah - but the blue ones I have no clue, they could be anything.

05-08-2009, 06:35 PM
Both my blue and white needed a 25-27 ohm resistor to get a reasonable current of 20mA each..
I'd bet that you need the same.

05-09-2009, 09:59 PM
I was out flying today first true test of the blades other then hovering in my backyard.

And well 1 blade held up while the other I lost 3 of my LED's. (all blue ones) So I'm now charging up both blades, 1 is the original with the Xerogear Blue the other has the Kingbright Blue Led's that are supposed to be rated at 20mah. (both colors of Blue actually looked to be identical brightness and color)

Anyrate once both blades are charged I'm going to turn them both on and see if one blade last longer then the other.

05-10-2009, 12:34 AM
Well the new LED's lost the battle, to the Xerogear LED's.

The Xerogear lasted 45minutes this time and the others were completely out by 30minutes.

So now I'm wondering if I should remove the white ones I have on my blades and try another Xerogear LED Color, like Amber?

05-10-2009, 08:07 AM
Add Resistors, With the correct resistors yo should get almost 5 hours out of a charge and 4 leds.

After the blade is done, clean off all of the soldering flux and put a small drop of medium CA on the side of each component and give it plenty of time to wick under the led, that will help keep them on.

05-10-2009, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the help I'll try the resistors the Xerogear tape comes with and see what happens. I don't want them to dimn down any as they are the same brightness as the rest of my Xerogear right now.

But flying for 40 minutes and charging for I think double that time frame. might get the best of me to the point where I just don't care about having everything the same brightness, etc. haha

Flyingfool thanks for all your help and imput.

05-11-2009, 03:08 PM
FlyingFool - I want to try a resistor but not sure what size and what kind to get?

can I just put one in say on the Possitive side so it hits all 4 LEDs? if I can do just that then what size ohm, etc and what kind do you recommend?

05-12-2009, 12:50 PM
The xerogear resistors will be to much resistance.
The xerogear resistors are sized to drop 12V down to the 3.5V that the LED needs and you only need to drop 3.7V down to 3.5V. The xerogear resistors will most likely be very dim.

With the correct resistor there is very little difference in brightness between a resistor and no resistor but the current draw drops dramatically.

I used DigiKey P/N RHM27.0CRCT-ND (http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=RHM27.0CRCT-ND), it is a 27Ω, 1/8W, 0805 case, super cheap price. $4.33 gets 200 resistors (lifetime supply?) of them, (sorry I already sold off my surplus to other blade builders) Use one for each LED.

You could use just one resistor in the power line, I looked into doing that on mine, but I could not find the correct value to make the whole thing work right and did not feel like messing with a variable resistor that could move or fail in flight. It was much cheaper, faster, and easier to just do it right with individual resistors for each LED.

It does not matter if the resistor is on the positive or the negative side of the LED.

05-12-2009, 03:52 PM
do you have picts of your blades and resistors? just curious how you did yours

05-12-2009, 07:25 PM
Here are some pics of my blades.
The tip LED is a T1 size leaded LED, reinforced with JB Weld.
The rest of the LEDs are set up with 3 on each side of the blade and the resistor for each LED is on the opposite side of the blade from the LED.

The LEDs are still so bright that I can not get my camera to focus on them.

I hope this helps.

05-14-2009, 04:05 PM
did you glue the resistors down after you soldered them?

05-14-2009, 07:00 PM
I soldered them first, then cleaned all of the flux off, then hit them with a drop of medium CA.

05-18-2009, 08:26 PM
absolutely awesome. i want to do that. thanks!

btw get the lipo from here. i used these single cell lipo for little motorized boats. there 2 dollars each!


05-20-2009, 09:13 PM
im looking for some copper tape, anyone know where i can get ahold of some?

FYI dont order from oselectronics.com/ :mad:

I ordered 6 rolls of copper tape from them almost 2 months ago and have heard nothing from them, with no response to emails or phone calls.

05-21-2009, 09:36 PM
Go to any big chain craft store and go to the stained glass section. I bought a roll 18 yards long and 1/4 inch wide for $7 bucks. The copper tape is easy to cut with scissors into thin strips.
I got the final pieces in today to finish my night blades so I hope to finish them up tomorrow and fly them tomorrow night.... :banana

05-22-2009, 01:33 PM
This place has 1/16" stuff.

Edit: They fixed their shipping costs issue after an email from me. ...A hopeful harbinger of good service.

05-27-2009, 10:34 PM
Finished my night blades... Using 100 mah bats and three led's on each blade. Blue, Red, Green (leds removed from some xerogear light strips)
with one 18 ohm resistor on each blade. I am getting 80 minutes with 30% left on the pack.

They look great with my xerogear lighted fuselage. Many times brighter than the align blades I bought for my Trex 450..... :happyd

05-28-2009, 08:55 AM
here is a video of my Night Blades (used Xerogear's Blue LED'sx4 per blade, and 1 white LED from kingbright per blade)

the rest is all Xerogear Kit.

YouTube - MOV032

05-28-2009, 12:00 PM
that is definitely the brightest night setup I've seen yet. what kind of extra battery are you using to power that animal?


06-01-2009, 08:56 PM
I have 2 Gaui 3S 800mah packs. 1 for the canopy and skids and 1 for the tail boom.

17feet of Xerogear LED"S plus 4 LED's on each main blade.

Tested it out at Joe Nall get at least an hour of Lite Time on the 3S batteries and 40 minutes currently on the main blades however I was out 2 weekends ago for over 3hrs just turning them on right before a flight and after the flight.

06-04-2009, 02:24 AM
Good set up SlowWhite! i agree with jrlederer.

ToYs FoR ThE BiG MeN