Introduction: Drone (quad) Search Light for Night Flying
I wanted to be able to do some night flying with my quad copter (Phantom FC40). I had some spare parts, well actually I have loads of thing in my garage, that I thought would work well and be light and bright enough for this to work well.
Step 1: Putting It Together
I used a 3w cool LED and a lens that mounts onto the front of it as the light source. The lens has about a 30-35 deg beam so that it would give some distance to the beam that I wanted thrown from the light. I just used epoxy to glue the lens and the led together.
NB (lipo batteries are dangerous if not used properly!!!!)
NB (never over charge or discharge a lipo, lowest voltage must never go below 3v and never over 4.2v)
NB (use a lipo charger used for RC cars, planes etc)
I had a small, well I had two, lipo batteries from an old mini RC car, or helicopter, well some device like that, it had been in my component draws for awhile.
It was rated at 250mah and 3.7v, this is perfect for running a 3w led for about 20min.
I made a small PC board with a switch and a connector, the board was cut to the size of the battery.
The switch was used to turn the light on and then when turned off connect the connector for charging to battery.
I took the little connector from an old electronics board that I had lying around that I use to strip components from when needed.
I kept this all simple as you want to keep this very light so not to affect your flying time.
One I had soldered all the joints and cut the tracks, I used my belt sander to sand the solder joints smooth and flat so that there was no chance of a spike piecing the lipo battery, this also shaved off a few grams of extra weight not wanted.
I used some copper wire to hold the LED to the board so that I could move it in the position that I wanted.
I wound the copper wire around the LED lens and then twisted the two pieces together in a tight twist all the way to the full length of wire that I was using.
I then soldered this onto the board, make sure that you are not shorting anything out when you connect this to the strip board.
I then used some double sided tape and glue to glue the board onto the battery, making sure there could be no harm to the battery.
Step 2: Mounting the Light
I used some sticky Velcro to mount the light onto my quadcopter, so that I could take it off and put it on only when needed. So a piece was stuck to the other side of the battery and under the quad.
Step 3: Finish
Just bend the copper wire that is holding the LED to the board to focus it in the direction you want. Mine it focused to shine down and straight in front of my coper when flying. It shines about 10-15m in front and works well for a search light effect.
When I get the change I will upload a YouTube video of some light flying
Message me if you have any questions!!!
LIPO BATTERIES MUST BE USED CORRECTLY!!!!