Project
Nine Eagles Xtra 300 7 gram night lights
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Published
Apr 21 2011 by FaTe
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So far we've seen this little Xtra 300 at less than 100 grams go through a few stages of modification. First was bottom strapped camera, then canopy modifications to give a pilot view video recording.

I said I'd come back to this project and now I present night lights! Many people said this wouldn't be possible for the weight but I didn't agree. First of all our power source is a 4 gram lipo battery (3.7 volt / 400 mah) taken from a cheap mini 3 channel pico helicopter.

The entire wire loom is hand twisted pairs of copper strands. I stripped a bigger wire and took out the copper lines, then twisted 2 at a time together which is enough voltage to power LEDs and also keep the weight down.
/media/Xtra300/light loom
As you can see the entire light loom including the lipo battery is only 7 grams in weight. The configuration is straight forward with no resistors needed it's just direct wire soldering.
/media/Xtra300/snapshot 001
I had considered putting lights in the wings but there too thin and I don't want to risk cuts in them, as repairing or patching means glue and more weight.
/media/Xtra300/Effect1
I used day light LEDs along with twin coloured LEDs (blue and green). There is a pair in the tail section simply slid down into place, as long as the bulbs are wrapped smooth so there are no corners to snag anything inside then you can always pull it out.
/media/Xtra300/Effect2
The front bulk head for the battery and motor compartment has a hole to allow wires through, I fixed a LED in that spot.
/media/Xtra300/Effect3
Lastly I used a mixed colour LED in the center fuselage on the right side, while one side is brighter than the other it helped with flying orientation and super glad I did that!
Sorry for the video quality, I cut some pieces together to give an idea of the effect but it's not great. I can report that it's nice looking in the sky and turned some heads at my club.

Overall flying the Xtra 300 at night is in short super fun but hard. This thing moves around so fast in the wind that keeping track of it's orientation is difficult at first. I had a few flights with just the lights on and it was a good laugh but nothing permanent, the idea is too keep this aside for winter time when a quick flight regardless of the time of day is required!
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