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Experience with lighting systems?

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  • Experience with lighting systems?

    I’m thinking about adding a lighting system of some kind to enhance visibility of a third scale Arcus when at high altitude. I’m mostly interested in relatively high intensity lighting (aka “ACL” type lighting) visible from below, of course, but will give extra weight to anything that is scale-appropriate and can be added on to a finished model. Kicking myself for not ordering the built-in tip and fin lights when the model was built! I’m really only familiar with the Innoflyer products, which are nice but not really aimed at gliders it seems. The best I could do there would be to mount a blister-type light in a convenient location such as under the fuselage or at the wingtips. Innoflyer does have a small 1” blister that has two lights that might be cool: a position light (red or green for l/r) and a white ACL light. Having said that,I’m not even sure where the full size Arcus has lights.

    Any experiences, good or bad? What system and lights have you tried and where were the lights placed?
    Last edited by Rjtw; 05-27-2021, 01:23 AM.

  • #2
    Btw I did find this re: full scale Arcus. Apparently there are “add-on” ACL solutions even here! (Wingtip or fuselage light blisters and a canopy-mounted forward facing ACL): https://shop.sotecc.de/

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    • #3
      Herein is $0.02.

      The model will have an added cool factor. At altitude (high altitude), you will not get any discernable benefit from strobes/lighting on an RC sailplane. Anti-collision between airborne full scale sailplanes is one thing, at the size and distance from pilot's eyes we fly not so much. Maybe catch a glint in a dire emergency, but that's hollow insurance. The new HModel JS 1:2 scale has a very nice fuselage/wing strobe system, but watching one fly recently it really didn't show on a nice day. Looked great lower down and on approach and landing.

      My 5.33 meter EMS Arcus has the uniLIGHT Model Black.4 system. Very nice system and modes can be chosen via the transmitter. Can't see any of it beyond 3/4 tow height.

      Check out uniLIGHT (several of the jet vendors sell these). https://www.unilight.at/

      A source for general bright RC strobes (but again at normal RC flying purpose, not 1800'+ up) http://www.electrodynam.com/store/SunVis.html
      Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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      • #4
        Cool, thanks Steve! Well, I pulled the trigger on an Innoflyer 5.0 system so we'll see how that goes. It's also controllable via the transmitter and has a nice PC-based software package that allows you to program exactly what the lights do. Expectations are now properly set for high altitude.

        Where did you place your lights? I'm considering bottom of fuselage behind the retract, and left/right sides of the fin (everything contained in the fuselage this way).

        Cheers!
        Rick

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        • #5
          My Arcus has top of fuse behind the canopy, bottom of fuse behind the retract and leading edge of the vertical fin toward the top.
          Team PowerBox Systems Americas... If flying were the language of men, soaring would be its poetry.

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          • #6
            Cheers!
            Rick

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            • #7
              There are inexpensive strobe lighting systems for automotive geeks that are definitely(!) powerful enough to see at the kind of altitude you might encounter. Significantly(!) better than any aftermarket LED. Given the idea is to re-establish visual connection with your aircraft, LEDs that are constantly active are a far cry from a strobe.

              My first use of strobes was during trials for FAI F3B absolute velocity record attempts. I built a set into the LE of a composite wing so that after thermaling to altitude - I could actually(!) see the aircraft when it was diving straight down prior to 200M course entry to satisfy the rules. With such an almost 8% airfoil and the meager frontal area (RNR Nova fuselages), the aircraft simply disappeared.

              With the strobes, I had pitch and roll control...no matter how high I elected to commence the dive...
              Last edited by Parallax; 05-30-2021, 06:16 AM.

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