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Micromeister

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I've been thinking about putting small LED strobes on the rocket body and maybe the laundry to help track my rocket and see when there's a deployment event. I found these:

http://www.activepowersports.com/ram-188-wireless-micro-flashing-navigation-lites-3-188/

They look like they would be perfect for the job. Has anyone ever tried these?
Mark:
Many of us have been night flying model rockets for over 20 years now.
LED's are indeed a great way to light up your model.
That said a couple of warnings are needed.
1) you didn't mention the size of the model or expected altitude you are intending???
2) Blinking or flashing any kind of Night Illumination Tracking Equipment is NOT a good idea, depending on the blink rate and the winds aloft it is very easy to completely loose track of a model with only blinking lights. If using Strobe blinking LEDs or any Strobe lighting it is always Strongly recommended there be at least 1 steady burn (always on) LED that can be seen from all angles. If the intent is to mount the LEDs in the body of the model than at least 4 steady burn 2000mcd LED would be needed.

One of the only remaining FAA requirments for night flying is that the model MUST be visible from Lift-off to touch down with lighting visible for at least 2000 feet.
This is not a hard thing to accomplish using just about any 500 to 5000mcd led with the proper resister(s) and 3volt Lithium Coin Cells and holders.
While the "mini strobe LED's" you found are a novelty they do not give enough info to know the mcd output or exactly the size battery being used.

I personally recommend a visit to www.superbrightleds.com or www.alliedelec.com for individual LED's, 3V Coin Cell Lithium batteries and Coin cell holders.
You might also want to look into the "Night flying" gallery here on TRF or some idea's on other ways to Illuminate you rockets for safety.

Please remember: the FAA requirements for Night Flying model rockets is NOT for the Safety of our models or ourselves it is for the SAFETY of the Unsuspecting Civil flying pilots.
Safety first always;) A few photos below may help give some ideas.

670a1-sm_Phantom NITE Nike-Apache wo Shield_08-30-07.jpg


634b-d4c-sm_2-Stage NIght UFO lit (lights off)_08-04-07.jpg
 
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mccordmw

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Hi John:

Thanks for the great info. I didn't provide enough info as to what I'm looking for. I should clarify. I'm looking at putting strobes on a HPR frame 4" diameter and 6' length. This isn't for nighttime flight. Daytime only launches at 3000-8000 ft. apogee. I see rockets with shiny bodies that show flickers when they separate, so I was thinking that I could do the same with strobes to help show the apogee event and aid in visual tracking. Not sure if the tiny strobe is enough, though.

Thanks for the links! They have some awesome stuff for me to look at and think about.
 

BEC

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Not to cast aspersions on Ralph Warner's products too much, but those RAM lights look to use the same LED/lenses as some of his other products, and if so they will not be all that bright. They may not even be very visible at all, even up close, in daylight. The target use is night flying of small park flyers or maybe now small quadcopters - models that will not be fast or far away.

It makes sense to follow the path that John's put you on, I think.
 

kweaver

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Hi John,
Really like your MicroMaxx fleet and refer people to you posts on TRF.
I also really appreciate your willingness to share your wealth of knowledge.
Thank you!
You mention an FAA requirement, for rocketry night flying (that is currently under debate in our club) of "One of the only remaining FAA requirements for night flying is that the model MUST be visible from Lift-off to touch down with lighting visible for at least 2000 feet.".
We are being told that this is not correct and that the requirement is as follows:
"All high power rockets must contain dual redundant flashing (strobes) lighting systems. Dual redundant includes separate switches and power supplies. All rocket lighting systems must be visible at a minimum distance of 300 feet."
Would please point me to the applicable FAA regulations so, our club can clarify this.
I personally think 300' is not enough.
Thanks again for great rockets and information.
Ken
 

Micromeister

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Hi John,
Really like your MicroMaxx fleet and refer people to you posts on TRF.
I also really appreciate your willingness to share your wealth of knowledge.
Thank you!
You mention an FAA requirement, for rocketry night flying (that is currently under debate in our club) of "One of the only remaining FAA requirements for night flying is that the model MUST be visible from Lift-off to touch down with lighting visible for at least 2000 feet.".
We are being told that this is not correct and that the requirement is as follows:
"All high power rockets must contain dual redundant flashing (strobes) lighting systems. Dual redundant includes separate switches and power supplies. All rocket lighting systems must be visible at a minimum distance of 300 feet."
Would please point me to the applicable FAA regulations so, our club can clarify this.
I personally think 300' is not enough.
Thanks again for great rockets and information.
Ken
I'm not sure were anyone got the requirement for dual flashing strobes visable at only 300ft??? I never heard or seen an such rule. It sound like something the Club came up with.
As mantioned above one of the only remaining night flying requirements is; The vehcile must be illuminated from liftoff to touchdown with a minimum of 2000mcd @ 2000 feet for all rockets up to 3.3lbs. This is listed as part of FAR-101, I don't recall the exact sub-section. Since I do not fly HPR, I don't have at my finger tips any other special rules for models above that 3.3lb catagory.

Dual redundant N.I.T.E. (Night Illumination Tracking Equipment ) is alway a good Idea but the 300ft visibility thing is completely incorrect. AGAIN let me emphasize: The 2000mcd @ 2000ft rule is NOT for the protection of the Rocket or those flying it, Rather it is to protect the Unsuspecting Civil Pilot's safety. You are absolutely correct 300ft is absurd.
I seem to recall HPR night flying still require a specific waiver, and other additional informantion.

All that said However: It has been proven over and over, at least here on the east coast, these past 20+ year that strobe lighting alone (no matter how many and/or how bright) are far too easily lost among the stars during night flights. The addition of Steady Burn Illuminators in RED, YELLOW or ORANGE in addition to any strobe lighting, is always strongly suggested especially for HPR or high altitiude flights over 2500ft.

If there is any doubt; It's worth contacting your local FAA regional office with the question. I've personally delt with the Northeast Regional Office a JFK Airport in NY, New York where we helped write the original Night Flight Mod-Roc rules back in early 1993. When the FAA changed FAR-101 recently doing away with most of the flight rules for Model and Mid-power rockets up to 3.3lbs & 125g of propellant most of these Older requlations were retired.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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