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LED lighting?


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Hi guys,

 

Not sure if this is the right place to ask but I feel like I'm going out of my mind! I'm planning out a 1/48 Chinook build, and inspired by someone else's, I'm set on installing micro LED lights (front lights, NAV, interior and anti-collision/strobe) and making the rotors turn. The rotors shouldn't be too much of an issue, neither should the solid NAV and interior lights. But I can't get my head around how to make the anti-collision lights do their intermittent flashing, which is essentially a pause of almost a second then a rapid red flash - I guess this video, one minute in, shows it quite well - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZtuwQtnWUY

 

 

I've spent days now trying to research the whole Arduino thing and programming LEDs. Sadly I'm not much of an electrician and even less of a programmer...

 

Is using something like the Arduino the only way to get LEDs to flash like that? Or is there a simpler way anyone knows of?

 

Any suggestions at all welcome!

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You could do it with an astable circuit, but you'll need to tweak the timing to your liking. I did one a very long time ago to simulate hazard lights on a modelcar. I'm sure you could pick one up online nowadays for pennies. 

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Model train layouts have blinking lights for train crossings and signs on the layout. Try evandesigns.com , he has a lot of specialty LED’s and controllers. I bought all my pico, nano and micro SMD LED’s from him and I see that he has a lot more stuff now.

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This could be readily accomplished with a small controller, like an Arduino Pro Micro. The controller could also manage a realistic rotor spin-up and spin-down. 

 

You could see if there are any "maker spaces" in your area--they might have somebody that would be willing to build and program such a setup for you.

 

HTH

-- 

dnl

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Personally, I think using a programmable controller like a PIC or an Arduino is going to be the easiest.  You could use astables but because the flashing isn’t regular you would need at least two then logic and trigger circuits to combine them to create a single LED drive with the combination of slow and fast flash.  By the time you have worked all that out the Arduino would be much simpler and cheaper if you value your time.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel 

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Thank you very much for all the suggestions guys! Didn't think I'd get so much help so quickly 😄

 

7 hours ago, larchiefeng said:

Model train layouts have blinking lights for train crossings and signs on the layout. Try evandesigns.com , he has a lot of specialty LED’s and controllers. I bought all my pico, nano and micro SMD LED’s from him and I see that he has a lot more stuff now.

 

Thanks in particular for the recommendation to Evan Designs. I found this one on there - https://evandesigns.com/collections/hobby-leds/products/quick-burst-stobe-flash?variant=39452527886384 and I think that is precisely what I'm looking for. I got all my hopes up... and then I went to shipping and... "We cannot ship to UK at this time" Damn Brexit!!!! 😡

 

I don't suppose any other retailer does this type of thing?

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Yes, quite a number.  However this has likely nothing to do with Brexit other (perhaps) than the timing.  This is because it has become the law that VAT shall be paid by the seller rather than being imported with VAT unpaid and likely never paid.  This is now UK law and is shortly to become EU law too. Small producers, common in the modelling world, consider the requirements for paying VAT too onerous so have taken the easy way out.

 

One way out of the problem would be to reinstate the "too low to tax" for small value items that used to apply previously to purchases below £15 (itself long overtaken by inflation).  The chances of this happening is, I fear, small to non-existent.

 

However, if you are lucky, this may not be a VAT problem at all but a residue of the transport disruption triggered by Xmas, Brexit, and excessive reliance on "just in time" manufacturing"  Not to mention Suez Canal blockage.  Or, indeed, because many European delivery and custom services have been slow to adapt to the new rules - which would indeed be partially blamed on Brexit!  Note that for some months (and still?) Hannants were not sending orders to Continental Europe.  So it does, in part, work both ways.

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You may be right, although it seems to be specifically the UK which is highlighted as not being able to be shipped to anymore, so I doubt it's anything to do with transport disruption. My mind is swaying to Brexit related issues... but then I do live in NI, and I'm getting a little biased at this point. Not being able to order thinners and many other products from the mainland is an absolute nightmare these days... just had an order of Mr Surfacer Black cancelled by Antics Online a full 2 or 3 months after making it because they won't ship to NI anymore.

 

Funnily enough, I remember I know someone who lives just across the border in the Republic so I'm going to order the LED and have them sent there, and then get them sent on to myself. It's times like this you realise just how absurd this world can be! 😄

 

Hopefully these LEDs work out alright though. I assume painting them with Tamiya Clear Red should do the trick.

 

Thanks again for the advice anyways! And thank god I don't need to mess around with Arduino...

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I’m glad that it helped. I went down the LED rabbit hole back when I was building my Pocher Mercedes and I was amazed at how small the pico and nano SMD LED’s were.

The only thing that I would do is get the physical measurements on the LED and the space that you plan on installing it to make sure that it’s going to work. I suppose that if you have some dead space inside you can always enclose the light so it only shows in the lens. 
I also bought a 2 or 3 light controller with a remote control to be able to turn the lights on and off remotely. I don’t know if I saw that on the website when I looked the other day but I still have it in the box and I can take a picture of it and post it here if you are interested. 
Good luck 🍀 

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