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Old 11-18-2014, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default It's that time of year again... Trex 250 night fly projecct

I tried so hard to resist, but now I've put my mCPX BL night fly up for sale on eBay I need something to replace it with. I've not had any time to fly today and tonight would have been perfect.

So I've started planning the Trex 250 night fly project. I reckon I can put together the whole night fly rig for under 10g, so it's still going to fly like a rocket, but I'm going a little more upmarket than the mCPX rig.

What I'm aiming for this time is:
  • Simple swap between night and day running
  • Fully illuminated canopy
  • Remotely operated and dimmable canopy and tail LEDs
  • No battery on the blades themselves
  • Easily swappable battery for blade LEDs
  • Under 10g total weight

I've already picked up a 250 Plus plastic canopy, it's perfect for the 250 and is translucent enough that a couple of LEDs on the inside will make the whole canopy light up.

I've found a 0.4g brushed ESC on Hobbyking that looks perfect to act as the dimmer, but the find of the day is this set of a button cell LiPo plus charger on ebay. One of those little batteries on the head should be enough for both blades, I'll get 1-2 flights per battery, and I can pick up a set of 6 batteries plus charger for a tenner.

I think it's time to go shopping :-)

Myx
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Put some lights on that 600N!!
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Old 11-19-2014, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh god, I crash that enough as it is :-)

And my local flying field have a no night flying rule :-(
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well that's it, parts are ordered, and if they arrive before Friday I know what I'm doing on my day off :-)

I've got a fair amount of stuff from previous projects, but on this shopping list so far:
  • 3A Brushless ESC
  • Servo crimp connectors
  • Orange LEDs
  • Yellow LEDs
  • Copper tape
  • Automotive clear spray (pesky conductive carbon fibre...)
  • 6x LiR2032 Lipos + charger
  • CR2032 button cell battery holder
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Old 11-19-2014, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh wow, just found a genius idea online. Rather than have the hassle of running wires all over this tiny chassis, just add the LEDs and speed controller to a removable frame:
T Rex 250 Night Blades & Skid Lighting (0 min 47 sec)


I just had a play with some spare carbon tube and I reckon I can make something like a giant pair of chopsticks that'll pop on and off easily, and as a bonus gives me a nice wide frame that will light up the tail rotor perfectly!

And if I use carbon tube, I might be able to hide all the wiring inside it too :-)
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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crafty! i like it!

i need to make my E5 a day AND night bird too. i dont want to get rid of it and only fly it at night. i like flying it during the day too.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Still waiting for the ESC for the chassis lights, but the blades are looking good. I'm charging up a LiPo now ready for a runtime test.





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Old 11-26-2014, 03:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am the lucky guy that got to buy the night fly mCPX BL!

Arriving at any time, cannot wait to fly it!!!
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Old 11-26-2014, 04:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hope you enjoy it, that mCPX BL proved surprisingly durable, and was a blast to fly in the garden. I actually made several sets of blades as I was still learning, but never actually destroyed any of the night fly stuff :-)

Just drop me a line if you have any problems :-)
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Got the chassis lights working, no remote control yet but they're really easy to fit.

I'm not entirely sure if they're bright enough, will have to see how they look tonight.



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Old 11-30-2014, 08:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Interesting tail lights! Will those babies stay in place when you're piro flipping that bad boy?? Make sure you're taking video.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Battery Holder

Looks like you are using a different battery holder to the one you fitted on the mCPX BL I bought from you.

Makes sense, those coin batteries do not last as long as I thought they would.

The BL is now flying in my back garden, having those lights are quite amazing, glad I got the opportunity to buy it!
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah, this is a new find, it holds a little more strongly but more importantly allowed me to drill through it to bolt it through the head.

I think I could get 2-3 flights out of those batteries on the BL when they were fully charged, but then the whole idea of the holder on the head was to make it easy to change those batteries between flights. I just bought 6 for about a tenner for the 250 project, and the first flight will be a little later tonight :-)

You might find you get a few more flights out of the batteries once the charger I'm sending you arrives this week.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:06 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm waiting for the video to upload, will probably take an hour or two, but oh my god its awesome!!

It'll take a few flights to really get comfortable with the orientations. The tail blade isn't lit up like I'd hoped, but the tail position is as clear as day with those LEDs.





What's absolutely epic when flying though is that you only see the disc and those two glowing lights at the back. To a geek like me it feels like I'm night flying the Starship Enterprise!!

It may not be quite how I imagined, but there's no way I'm changing this design now :-D
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:14 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Epic Indeed!

I like the fact you now have four green lights on the upper blades, making four circles when she spools up.

I assume you have red lights on the lower surface of the blades like the BL?

Those tail-light booms looked a bit vulnerable, but they do look cool in your night shots.

Thirty second delay photos as well as the video please!
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yeah, the 250 has a lot more power than the BL so I could afford more LEDs. I'm powering 8 LEDs from a single LiR2032 now, so I'm only doing a single flight before I swap that battery for a fresh one.

I'm a bit stuck on the long exposure too, I sold that camera earlier in the year, just wasn't using it enough any more.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myxiplx View Post
I'm a bit stuck on the long exposure too, I sold that camera earlier in the year, just wasn't using it enough any more.
Bummer, I loved your long exposure pictures of the mcpx. Anxious to see your video.

Did you post where you sourced those rechargeable 2032s?
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I picked them up from this chap on eBay. Was very impressed with him actually, he knows LiPos, everything's packed really well and when I had a problem with one charger sent the replacement out straight away.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4008045511...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Long exposures

Quote:
Originally Posted by gstoneberg View Post
Bummer, I loved your long exposure pictures of the mcpx. Anxious to see your video.
Got a link for the long exposures?
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Here we go, the video of the first flight on the night fly 250. You'll see what I mean about the starship enterprise when it gets going :-)

Trex 250 first night flight (2 min 56 sec)


And you can see my original mCPX BL exposures here:

https://plus.google.com/photos/10038...OybyvLumY-s1gE
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