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LED Lights to Aid Daytime Visibility

1337Wine

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So I've seen the Lume Cube lights advertised. I'd like to find another solution for lights that can be seen during the day to help with keeping track of the Anafi. One of the main uses for my drone is to fly in wine growing areas and the drone gets lost when there's a dark background. Some strobes would help. Ideally I'd like to have four lights attached to the arms. They would use the standard Port and Starboard color scheme too. Wondering what lights are best and how to securely attach them. If there aren't any Red/Green lights that are powerful enough to be seen at the limit of VLOS, then what lights would work? I can figure out the drone's orientation on the FreeFlight app.
 

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davyg

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be interested to see how you would be able to power the LED's without the added weight of an extra power pack...
 

1337Wine

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What are your suggestions for mounting points? My guess is on the landing "feet" to reduce the amount of wind resistance and, especially if I mounted two lights each front and back, to prevent them from flying off depending on if I'm flying forward or backward. I'm concerned about the adhesive, not the "velcro" part.
 

Agustine

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They are so small and so light just use a small piece of good velcro tp hold them on or have some one 3D print leg holders but that is just adding weight thats not needed.
 

Will-I-Am

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I see the STROBON Cree Standalone and the STROBON Standalone.

What is the difference between those two leds for the Anafi?
 

Agustine

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I see the STROBON Cree Standalone and the STROBON Standalone.

What is the difference between those two leds for the Anafi?

When you visit the Standard page it has a link to the Cree which are much brighter. By how much I cannot find the specs but they are.

We are manufacturing Cree® version of this product right now.
please visit the product page for the brightest Strobon ever:
/led-systems/322-strobon-cree-standalone.html
 

jenbodeu

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So I've seen the Lume Cube lights advertised. I'd like to find another solution for lights that can be seen during the day to help with keeping track of the Anafi. One of the main uses for my drone is to fly in wine growing areas and the drone gets lost when there's a dark background. Some strobes would help. Ideally I'd like to have four lights attached to the arms. They would use the standard Port and Starboard color scheme too. Wondering what lights are best and how to securely attach them. If there aren't any Red/Green lights that are powerful enough to be seen at the limit of VLOS, then what lights would work? I can figure out the drone's orientation on the FreeFlight app.

I can really recommend the strobon cree lights, as I have been sarching a solution for the same reason. Before I attached them to the drone, I invested in landing gear extenders (~5€). Even though the Anafi will not fit anymore in the standard pack (because you cannot loosen the extenders again), i got a) easy landings and b) some spots to attach the lights to.

The lights are not pointing in the direction of flight, but since they all have the same "wrong" orientation, it's ok for me. The brightness is better than expected, so I can see the drone even in bright sun light at the beach. the weight of the stuff is negligible.
See attached fotos.

IMG_20191130_192229596.jpg IMG_20191130_192435578.jpg
 
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IronSky1

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Here is a simple soultion to the lighting nightmare. Everytime I fly I can never find the Anafi unless I am on top of it.
The ultra small lights only weigh 10g for 2 of them and can be seen a long long way of. I also put a red flashing dog collar light in a custom 3D printed container. The dog light just snaps in , everything is atached with industrial Velcro.

Lights 10g for 2
Rear Light 13g with mount
Trackimo 19g

I have attached the STL if you want to print one for yourself

Lights are from Amazon


 

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1337Wine

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So I ended up buying the Firehouse ARC 3 Strobes. A set of 3. One white, one green, and one red. I bought some Scotch "Reclosable Fasteners" too. Basically, plastic velcro. They worked really well. Especially the white light attached to the back. I was able to see that light as far as 1800' I probably could have seen it even farther. I attached the red and green lights on the appropriate port and starboard sides. They work well to see the orientation, but they are dimmer than the white light so they were much harder to see at that distance.

I'm considering buying two more of the Firehouse lights, but in white. The flight where I went 1800' away was the farthest I had flown the drone. My guess is that I could comfortably go at least 2000' and maybe longer and maintain VLOS. On one of the flights, I did get a warning message about the flight characteristics being different. I didn't read the whole message, but I gathered that the ANAFI knew it had extra payload. I only saw the message once however.

Amazon Affiliate links below:

Firehouse Technology ARC Strobe 3 Light Kit for DJI Drones UAS Quadcopters Multirotors - Amazon.com: Firehouse Technology ARC Strobe 3 Light Kit for DJI Drones UAS Quadcopters Multirotors: Electronics

Scotch Reclosable Fasteners, Clear, 1 x 3-Inches, 2 Sets (RF9730) - Amazon.com : Scotch Reclosable Fasteners, Clear, 1 x 3-Inches, 2 Sets (RF9730) : Scotch All Weather Fasteners : Office Products
 

Jmakadjpk

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For lights I use a usb-c to USB adapter and a small circuit light of my choosing like pic 89F0C9B3-7280-48C4-8AA5-DED4CE068B66.jpeg
 

Drbgaijin

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What are the chances that the strobe lights interfere with the video recordings?
I would think that, especially around dawn or dusk, that the flashes would cause some exposure problems.
Just wondering. No plans to attach lights.
Regards
Douglas
 
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1337Wine

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What are the chances that the strobe lights interfere with the video recordings?
I would think that, especially around dawn or dusk, that the flashes would cause some exposure problems.
Just wondering. No plans to attach lights.
Regards
Douglas

Not sure. I decided to attache the lights on the front legs that angled away from the camera to minimize any effect and to make them easier to see, but I have yet to fly in conditions that would make a difference. I suspect that it wouldn't make a difference unless there was some kind of mist/fog. In that case I think it would be illegal to fly.
 

IronSky1

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My solution a few posts up does not use strobe I run always on. No problems with video and i can see the anafi when it is at treeline height. I use the strobe lights on my Inspire 2 on sides and a Shoot waterproof light on the top front in strobe mode never had a problem and i run two cameras all the time
 
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geekdaddy

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I'm a relatively new Anafi owner and have logged~10 flights. The anafi is tiny and I find it difficult to maintain line of sight and decided to add strobe LEDs. The Firehouse ARC lights are very bright (4 cree strobes) so decided to purchase the two-pack. My plan is to attach a red strobe to the rear and a white strobe to the front. "ARC" 2- Pack Drone LED Strobe Light For DJI, Autel, Parrot and other Quadcopters RC Plane

When they arrived, I found the dimensions are much larger than specified in the weblink above and they are slightly heavier (my not-so accurate scale approximates 7 grams each). I planned to attach to the rear of the battery pack which is reasonably straightforward using 3M dual-lock low profile. But struggled to find a good approach to attaching to the front. I designed a front facing mount to accommodate the Firehouse ARC (and/or smaller strobes). It clips in-place and I'm unable to shake-it off, but can be removed by gently flexing the lower part of the mount away the lower anafi body where a "bump" in the clip holds onto an access hole for one of the anafi body screws. The LED is affixed to the front of the mount with 3M double sided tape.

The clip is low and tucked as close as possible to the Anafi without interfering with the gimbal and offers reasonable ground clearance as well. It's only partially in the prop wash of the front left arm so minimizes disruption to lift there. I've angled it slightly downward to maximize visibility when flying toward the anafi pilot from above. With an LED mounted to the rear of the anafi, the two LED's almost perfectly straddle the Anafi's center of gravity. If anyone would like to print their own clip, I've published the 3D STL files here: Parrot Anafi Front LED Mounting Clip by geekdaddy

Screenshot 2020-11-21 205919.jpg

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Gipsz Jakab

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Has anyone yet thought that a single stroboscopic led unit would be enough if you did not mount it to the side but to the bottom of the drone? Since it is always above you, it makes sense to light down. And since it doesn't light sideways, it doesn't matter where the drone turns. It may be possible to place an opaque tiny hood over the led to make it even more visible from the side.
 

geekdaddy

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Has anyone yet thought that a single stroboscopic led unit would be enough if you did not mount it to the side but to the bottom of the drone? Since it is always above you, it makes sense to light down. And since it doesn't light sideways, it doesn't matter where the drone turns. It may be possible to place an opaque tiny hood over the led to make it even more visible from the side.
That was a factor in my decision of how many LED's and where to mount them. The figure below from Firehouse shows that brightness stays reasonably high (90-100%) until you exceed 25 degrees. Another 25 degrees (for a total of 50) and you are at 55% light light intensity.

One light mounted to the bottom won't be very visible if you are 1600 ft away and 400 ft high. In that scenario, your angle is only 15 degrees and the amt of light intensity is very low at 25% (or less). This strobe max brightness is 600 lumens so you would be at 150 lumens or less. Triangle Calculator

Ideally, you need one on every side of the Anafi. I had considered a top 3D printed clip to snap over rear batter, sides, and just behind the giball from the top -- with three LEDs to cover the sides and rear. And then a fourth up front below the gimball. Using 4 arc lights and plastic mounts would weigh over 30 grams. Or you could use strobon LEDs (one cree/battery each) and get down to 20 grams.

To reduce weight and complexity, I chose to put one on the front and one on the back and angled downward slightly from the horizon. Two arcs/mounts and about 15 grams total. When the Anafi it flying away from me it's easier to keep track so I put the red flasher (has slightly lower light intensity vs white) on the rear. My biggest challenge is turning when the anafi is far away. The bright white on the front will help me find it when returning. But, unfortunately, neither of these will be visible from far away if the anafi is flying perpendicular to me. Need additional side mounted lights for that.

You could still try a bottom mount to assess if it's helpful or not. The new Arc V has 1000 Lumens of output so bottom-mounted could still deliver 250 lumens at more extreme side angles. However, the really bright strobes like the one used here are nearly 1/2" thick and there's very little clearance beneath anafit to mount it. Need leg extensions, or this mount that I've designedcould be modified to clip in the same area (or both sides) and aim straight down. You lose ground clearance as you travel from just behind the gimball to further toward the bottom side center of the anafit so it has to stay just behind but near the gimball and might obstruct a downward camera angle.

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