View Full Version : DIY Night blades
04-14-2007, 08:53 PM
This is not new stuff. It has been done before but this is my first try at making night blades. I do a lot of night flying and I have been using the MS night blades. They light up well but I do not really like their in flight performance. So I figured it was time to make me a set of Radix night blades! :glasses2:
I used the following to make these.
1 set of Radix 690's
2 rolls of 1/16" copper tape http://shop4.outpost.com/product/593692;jsessionid=Te5FBPnLS+qqD1Z4Z4OS5Q**.node1?s ite=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG I only used 1 1/4 roll so some is left over
SMT LED's http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/SMD-0603/#0805 I have not had a chance to buy from this company yet. I would love some feedback from anyone who has or does.
This pack had all the resistors I needed plus tons more. The resistors are not manditory unless you are using the red leds. The blue, white and green do not have to have the resistors.
2- 90mah lipo cells http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=A2416227&pid=W561531 website shows 80 mah but they are actually 90 mah cells
1- pack of Deans 3 pin connectors.
lots of patience!!!!!
The setp draws .130 amps so it should be able to run for 30-35 minutes. Enough for 4-6 flights per charge depending on flight time.
Hopefully I will get to test them out in the daytime tomorrow. Then the night time test next weekend.
Edit: When mounting your packs to the blades be sure the tabs are pointing in to the rotor head and not out to the tips of the blades. Lipo packs have a gel in them that could be forced out if the pack is facing the ends of the blades.
04-14-2007, 11:24 PM
Nice job! Thanks for posting! How hard was it to solder those LEDs to the copper tape?
04-15-2007, 08:55 AM
It took a few times to get it right but it was not as hard as I thought it would be.
I just tinned the copper tape. put some flux on the led's and placed them on the copper strips. Heated the solder and they stayed right where I wanted them.
Hardest part is seeing the led's. Those suckers are tiny! I did use a magnifying glass to help out.
04-15-2007, 09:08 AM
Do those LEDs require any resistors?
04-15-2007, 09:13 AM
Yes they do. Each color needs a resistor. I used this calculator to determine what led will need what resistor. http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz
04-15-2007, 10:30 AM
HEHE hmm those look awefully familiar.. Where have I seen those before lol
Nice job man, but you can forego the resistors if you can live without red in the mix. The ones seen at Bham, Clintsone, IRCHA SE, IRCHA, Huntsville, and all over TN do not have resisitors.. We wanted as light as possible..
04-15-2007, 06:07 PM
Do you think the adhesive on the copper tape is enough to keep it from lifting off during flight? I wonder if clear heat shrink on the entire blade would help.
04-15-2007, 06:39 PM
Rick- Thanks for the tip on losing the resistors on the non-red ones. You guys inspired me after seeing Bobby Watts fly some at IRCHA SE.
Hopefully my next set will be even better.
Ace Dude- I am not sure if heat shrink will be needed or not. I did not get to test them out today due to high winds today. I will find out one day this week hopefully.
THe copper tape has a good grip so hopefully it will not be needed.
04-15-2007, 08:22 PM
After 24hrs you wont have any problems with the tape. We have a very huge following with our versions of these blades, Not one set has failed to anything but pounding ground lol.. The copper tape is good
04-16-2007, 05:42 PM
I test flew the blades today. They did great. 2000 rpm was no problem for them. Nothing flew off or even moved. Covering the blades will not be needed.
I ran the blades from a full charge for 46 3/4 minutes and put back in 67 mah.
Now I just need to test them at night! :mrgreen:
04-18-2007, 02:30 PM
did a simular job for kicks last year on 50 sized woodys (just to try the concept)
held up fine @ 1950 rpm and mild 3d stuff.
never found the time to do it on carbons.
04-19-2007, 08:00 AM
We have many, many sets of these flying right now.. The only thing they wont hold up to is the ground.. I run a set at 1950 no issues. the Trex sets we make are running 2800-3200RPM.. Have no fear the lights and the tape are good.. What you do have to worry about is the tensil strength of your shrink wrap on the blades.. Our very first pair failed because we used the battery pack type shrink wrap and it is not pliable enough. It cracked, we lost a batt in flight, we landed no issue. Cept for the puzzled looks until we found out what happened. SInce then the new stuff we have been using has been working great the whole time.
04-19-2007, 04:21 PM
Where do you guys get your shrink wrap from?
04-19-2007, 07:37 PM
Our LHS. If you are coming to Huntsville I will take you there and get you some.
04-20-2007, 02:01 AM
Sweet! Great job guys :D
04-20-2007, 06:37 AM
It's a bit hard to tell from the pics, but are those LEDs right on the leading edge of the blade or are they just behind the leading edge? Can you post some real close-ups of the LED installation?
04-20-2007, 08:43 AM
Is it just the shrink wrap that is holding on the battery?
Has anyone tried the copper tape on a nitro ship? Is the adhesive fuel proof?
04-20-2007, 09:07 AM
There are many many sets on nitro and electric alike.. So far it hasnt failed.. For how long is anyones guess but our first sets are about a year old and for those that are still surviving are doing fine :D
04-20-2007, 09:31 AM
Making a sticky and moving to electronics.
Edit: We do not have a electronics or night flying area?!? ummmm :thinking
04-20-2007, 11:01 AM
What setup do you use to re-charge the single cell lipos?
Thanks for the great DIY info.
04-20-2007, 11:30 AM
I think there should be a forum for night flying.
There is getting to be a lot of good info scattered all over the place and hard to find.
04-20-2007, 05:01 PM
The batteries are held down with double sided tape and then covered with the heat shrink.
My camera will not get clear shots of the led's close up to see any detail. They are mounted at the leading edge, not on it but right even with it.
I charge the cells with a microlader charger but any good lipo charger should be able to charge a 1 cell lipo.
10-10-2007, 07:19 PM
I finally got a few shots up close sith some detail. You can just barley see the little led between the copper strips.
10-16-2007, 01:51 PM
After some help from Mudbogger2 and playfair, I got my DIY Radix 600's complete. Here are a couple of pics. Hope to test hop them as soon as the rain lets up.
10-19-2007, 06:23 PM
mr70SS: that looks like a nice light setup. how do you like it? is that about the lightest setup around?