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Electronics and RC Aero

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10 Mar 2019 15:19 #19030 by Phillip Ford
Electronics and RC Aero was created by Phillip Ford
It has been quiet on the Forum lately. Many of you must be beavering away on new projects and repairs. Being stuck at home, the weather not helping either I have been playing with logic processors. My Twin Otter needed some more powerful and realistic lighting and this is what I have been working on. With three spare RX channels I could make use of these.

When the aircraft is static a TX switch will set it's beacon flashing and turn on it's wing lights. When starting to taxi another
TX switch will turn on the anti-collision. A third switch will turn on wing and nose landing lights. I think this is the nearest I can get to rules regarding full size aircraft movements. I have been thinking too on the lines of a motion sensor that will automatically turn on the anti-collision which will save one channel and a switch movement by the pilot.
Demo test video below.

Yes, I know! "What an anorak" :lol: Bu it keeps me from getting bored.

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10 Mar 2019 17:49 #19031 by Kevin Ross
Replied by Kevin Ross on topic Electronics and RC Aero
Wish i had time to get bored, my uninvited non R/C projects keep tripping me up !

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10 Mar 2019 18:05 #19032 by Phillip Ford
Replied by Phillip Ford on topic Electronics and RC Aero
Non RC projects? I was going to replace the fascias/guttering then felt on the garage then thought better still I will get someone else to do it - professionally. The bathroom rebuild has been stalled again for now. I go through phases with electronics but after while I begin to solder my fingers and with such small SMDs my eyes are out of stalks. Magnifier glass only extends the time of before losing it. Then, damn just bricked another microprocessor!

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10 Mar 2019 18:42 #19033 by Alan Fishlock
Replied by Alan Fishlock on topic Electronics and RC Aero

kevinross wrote: Wish i had time to get bored, my uninvited non R/C projects keep tripping me up !


Tell me about it, I've spent a happy Sunday morning fixing an "Err 15" on my dishwasher. I've looked at the handbook and it says " In case of dishwasher exhibiting error message: Err 15, buy her diamonds". Oh well!

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10 Mar 2019 19:06 #19034 by Phillip Ford
Replied by Phillip Ford on topic Electronics and RC Aero
If that is all the handbook suggests it might be cheaper to move out, get yourself a self-contained tent and then the money you saved you could buy a decent plane. ;)

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12 Mar 2019 13:08 #19047 by Phillip Ford
Replied by Phillip Ford on topic Electronics and RC Aero
Lots of the RC stuff we buy regardless of brand seems to have all or very similar circuitry. the processor in most of our ESC's use the same chip as in my Arduinos the ATmega328. When you take apart some of these RC branded units you find the same processors/circuitry in many of them.

The only difference in my opinion is the cheap ones will have skimped on a few ancillary components. But with so many electronic modules on the market and mainly SMD, I wonder why I bother making up my PCBs when I can buy the ready made PCB and SMDs in place, just adapting the module to suit the job in hand.

Anyway, you can see why I made that last statement. In one picture my original lighting controller for my Twin Otter and the faffing about to get connections from one side of the board to another. In the other picture a double sided PCB with integral voltage regulator and headers for the Arduino Nano.

Strangely enough I came across during my "net surfing/shopping" a PCB module with servo outputs, two Rx inputs, SBus , HV power regulator, etc. Looked very similar layout to a Powerbox but a quarter of the price. Who needs a pretty case anyway. ;)
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17 Mar 2019 15:47 #19078 by Phillip Ford
Replied by Phillip Ford on topic Electronics and RC Aero
A few plans have progressed with play projects whilst the weather is not suitable for flying. John B has kindly made some vac-form lens for the Otter wing tips. Cannot trial fit them yet as the light modules that I had planned to use may create issues so I am waiting on a different type from Mr Postman. The Twin Otter's forward landing light is now fitted on the belly hatch just behind the front nose leg. It uses a "Xenon" effect lens which gives a narrow beam of 10 degs. I am thinking that on landing if I can see all the light it must be heading straight for me. :lol: The belly lamp lights up at same time as the wing lamps which have 60 deg beams. All the lights are powered by a 5.5 volt switch-mode VR (more efficient) from a separate 2 cell LiFe. See images below.

In the meantime I have illuminated my UAV camera ship. These lights are remotely and selectively turned on & off (stealth mode ;) ) Video below. AND yes it is on the guest bedroom bed but I did wipe the wheels off first..:silly:

Looking forward to get back flying someday....:(

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17 Mar 2019 20:08 #19079 by Dave Bright
Replied by Dave Bright on topic Electronics and RC Aero
Looks good Phil. More detail on the wing tip strobes please?
I've just installed a second Braincube controller for the lights in the Hawk after blowing up the last controller.

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18 Mar 2019 10:43 - 18 Mar 2019 10:44 #19081 by Phillip Ford
Replied by Phillip Ford on topic Electronics and RC Aero
For Dave and anyone else interested. :lol:

I have looked at Braincube and Unilight and they certainly target jet jockeys and the prices reflect that :blink: Both controllers at for example eight channel are in the same price range and I suppose not bad. However, the light modules and lamps are in my opinion a ridiculous price for what they are. No wonder a certain member easily spent £400 on lighting up his jet.

No way are any of my planes worth that much on lighting but I would like some decent effects hence my return to some electronics. I found a simpler way of achieving what I wanted using programmable light modules. Each one can be programmed to operate with a choice of effects. Strobe (double flash - pause), flashing fast, slow flash, beacon effect (slow up pulse and fade) and static. Each Power LED is equivalent to 3 watts, 200/300 lumens. They only need approx 5 volts - 6 volts hence my use of a 5 volt regulator set at 5.5 volts stable.

Each LED module detects if there is a PWM on their signal pin of more 1700 u/secs they will switch on. (equivalent to approx +55 percent ATV depending on TX) Without signal they just run on auto. (If they come on with out being physically turned on then you have lost RF signal or RX is not on.)

These LED modules are cheap! Unless you buy quite a few of them like me. They are made by an electronics company in Canterbury and are in reality were made for (I hate to say it) Drones to comply with regulations. Visible at night up to 3 miles and also model car racing. I created a signal distribution board so that each group of LEDs can be powered by a slave battery and also switched by any spare channels on the receiver. I have also used AVRs and LEDS from a Robotshop too.

The only advantage I can see with Unilight/Braincube (probably using same processor and circuitry) is they can change effects via only one RX channel. It just depends on the PWM signal on what gets switch when.

I could go on a bit more but getting bored now?

The wing tip module pictured is a Strobon V2 XL wing tip module. This has a white strobe and a static colour LED. the latter depends on which wing tip it is going on. port Red or Starboard Green
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