# DIY LED strobe

### Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

#### JBPeterson

##### New Member
I built my own LED strobe (and nav) system and wrote a note about it for the local EAA chapter, which is posted here
Jeff Peterson Lancair 360

The circuit is pretty simple, something that most builders could manage, I think.

Yes there are commercial LED strobes, but sometimes it is fun to do it yourself.

The plane is not flying yet so I can't report on reliability.

-Jeff

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing Jeff, that's an interesting read. Do you think the alu plate is a large enough heat dump for ground operations in hot conditions?

#### JBPeterson

##### New Member
I have run it for an hour in the hangar and it did not overheat.
The average power of the strobe circuit is 20 watts per side.
Compare that to the incandescent Whelen red or green nav light which runs at 2 amps, or 28 watts.
Anyway, my usual practice is to turn on the strobe just as I take the runway for takeoff. I don't anticipate leaving it on
with the plane at rest on a hot day.
In flight there should be plenty of airflow for cooling.

I have seem some designs that include a CPU fan and a finned heatsink to provide cooling
during taxi. I chose to try the less less complex solution first.

-Jeff

#### Vigilant1

##### Well-Known Member
Jeff,
Thanks, this looks like a nice installation. Two questions:
1) With the arrays for the colored nav lights mounted as they are, how are the L and R position lights able to meet the FAA requirement to put out 5 candles at up to 110 degrees off the nose (i.e. 20 degrees aft of the wingline?) (FAR Part § 23.1391: Minimum intensities in the horizontal plane of position lights -- FAA FARS, 14 CFR )
2) Has there been any "static" about two vs a single source for the white light off the tail? The FAR says (emphasis added) " ... a single rear position light may be installed in a position displaced laterally from the plane of symmetry of an aircraft if: . . ." It's a minor point, but the FAA isn't known for flexibility. And I could see their rationale: "When pilots see two white nav lights, it means two airplanes are out there headed away from them . . ."

Anyway, thanks very much for the posting. This is a nice project.

#### JBPeterson

##### New Member
Thanks for the feedback.

On the first point I think I am OK. The LED arrays are angled 30 degrees which should give me >5 cd at 110 degrees.

On the second point you may be right that two sources of the white nav. light would be confusing.
Usually, the strobe would be on, and then the synchronized flashes from the two sides
would then let aircraft to the rear know there is just one A/C.

To satisfy the "single source" reg., I could turn one side off, but then the tail would block some angles.

Maybe I will use all four white rear-facing LEDs on each side as strobes and add a 10W LED on the rudder. I could use a
lucite light pipe to keep the heat sink forward of the hinge pins.

-Jeff

#### Joe Fisher

##### Well-Known Member
There are a lot of airplanes with the white tail light on the wing tips. Just look at the Wheilen lights in the Aircraft Spruce Cat. The Piper Tommie hawks all have white tail lights on the wing tips.

#### David Moyer

##### New Member
I built my own LED strobe (and nav) system and wrote a note about it for the local EAA chapter, which is posted here
Jeff Peterson Lancair 360

The circuit is pretty simple, something that most builders could manage, I think.

Yes there are commercial LED strobes, but sometimes it is fun to do it yourself.

The plane is not flying yet so I can't report on reliability.

-Jeff
Jeff,
Looking to see if you have the post as it is no longer available. Thanks in advance.

David

#### Tom H

##### Member
This may be of help:

#### rv7charlie

##### Well-Known Member
That link is over 9 years old. There have been a *huge* advancements in LED tech since then; you should be able to achieve the same results with simpler hardware now.

HBA Supporter

#### Moosedude

##### Member
Strobes N' More LED Flasher - StrobesNMore.com

That's the one I used. Yes it remembers the last function selected. I put it on almost a year ago and forgot about it. Simple, no radio noise, and plenty of patterns to choose from. Also has a function that allows a "steady on" if you want to.

#### milegrin

##### New Member
Hi
Not to hi-jack the thread; in the second link posted jpeterson lancair, there is a photo of a DiY Angle of Attack diagram. Does anyone have anymore information on it? Looks interesting and I am keen to try build one to compare to the SNOOB DiY AoA based on the Dwyer Minihelic gauge.

#### rv7charlie

##### Well-Known Member
No actual info, but the only question I'd have about the circuit is that there doesn't seem to be any way to calibrate it to individual installations. Otherwise the circuit looks like it would function properly.

A couple of other options; cheap & simple, and not so cheap or simple, but highly researched and documented:
AOA_kit

Home | FlyONSPEED

Most experienced users say that a varying tone is much more useful than lights and/or a single buzzer at stall.

Charlie

#### Yellowhammer

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Strobes N' More LED Flasher - StrobesNMore.com

That's the one I used. Yes it remembers the last function selected. I put it on almost a year ago and forgot about it. Simple, no radio noise, and plenty of patterns to choose from. Also has a function that allows a "steady on" if you want to.

I really appreciate you sharing that with all of us.. I plan on buying this soon. No radio noise and interference is awesome.

Yellowhammer

#### Moosedude

##### Member
I really appreciate you sharing that with all of us.. I plan on buying this soon. No radio noise and interference is awesome.

Yellowhammer
no problem mate. I'm a bit of an LED nerd, even built my own landing lights. Love seeing it out there too. Post a picture if you get it done, would love to see what you come up with

#### cluttonfred

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Couldn't you calibrate the installation by varying the angle of the sensor probe rather than adjusting the circuit?

No actual info, but the only question I'd have about the circuit is that there doesn't seem to be any way to calibrate it to individual installations. Otherwise the circuit looks like it would function properly.