Date posted: August 17, 2010

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Night Flying  

Download Placing your LED circuits on your RC Craft as PDF

Nothing really exciting on this article and video, but I figured I’d throw it in for good measure, because at some point you’ve got to take all the wiring junk we’ve been doing for the past 8 videos and get them on your craft… Otherwise you’ve got LEDcircuits to wrap around your wrists the next time you hit the latest club, which you’ll promptly be thrown out of because they’re still in the dark ages of glow sticks.


Craft, meet LEDs – LEDs, meet craft.

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So, let’s keep you from eating a clubside curb sandwich and leave the LED circuits for your plane or helicopter instead, shall we?

Our strip LEDs have an adhesive backing on them, but sooner or later the bond will weaken if the LEDs are moved from one craft to another. So, perhaps a little contact cement or a couple of CA spots may be necessary. Primarily, though, we’re wrapping clear packing tape around the strips, it smooths out over the wing and protects the entire circuits.

Consider sanding the tape a little bit to make the tape screen rough – further diffusing the LED light, it’s an optional method but could give an effect you like to see!
Also, keep in mind what type of foam you’re using, and what tape or glues stick best to it. For our Dow Protection Board III (blue fan-fold foam), packing tape works great.

As far as our bulb LEDs go, we’re simply embedding the wires with a slight cut into our foam body and pushing the wires inside, and placing packing tape on top to secure the wire, and keep the wing sturdy. We point one LED at the rudder for illumination, and our light tube is nothing more than a straw with two LEDs pointed at each other. Easy way to make a light tube!

The SMD LEDs are simply strung through the middle of the fuselage to the underside, embedded similar to the bulb LEDs, and taped over with packing tape for protection.

Our craft lit up at the top and bottom:

The designer of our combat flyer, Chameleon, has added a useful tip if you’re looking to get some angled light effects on your plane, especially with the strip LEDs. A simple angled foam strip, with LEDs attached along the angle.

Next up on our series – we’ll be looking at controlling your LEDS remotely with your transmitter, considering relay switches and brushed ESCs.


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