First lights for the drone project arrived

I got a couple of Fenix PD36R lights for the drone lighting project. Both came with a free Fenix EO1 (AAA powered) keychain light. Both impressed me. The little key chain light has 3 modes 5, 25 and 100 lumen and for its size, its very bright.

Nice… looking forward to your drone project and updates. I have had a fenix E0 dart on my key ring for 15 years, great key hole finder with eneloops. I just can’t get myself to replace it. I would expect that E01 to last a lifetime.


Just waiting on the sub-zero temps to go away so I can fly at night.

i remember about a decade ago someone on cpf build an rc plane with a spotlight, he build the light from a scratch, it was 12 iirc, xml, soldered to copper tube and had water flow thru it, the whole thing was made to be as light as possible, he also had a camera on it and posted videos, that thing was awesome, truly amazing. i have not seen anything build that could even remotely compare,

so that big one is going on your drone?

what is it you are trying to do, night photography?

2 of them will go on the thermal imaging drone for SAR. The drone’s color camera cant see a dam thing at night so only the thermal imaging camera would work. I want to be able to see in the dark with both cameras . No good lighting system currently exists for this drone.

Sounds like you need a better drone. =P

fwiw, I used to engineer custom aircraft for special projects.

what is wrong with his drone??? we do not know a first thing about it, his camera is not good at night, but it does not mean the drone is inadequate,

How do you control the flashlight mid air?

does he need to? turn it on before flight, shut it off once you land

this is the thread i was talking about earlier

Here’s to hoping the weather in March will be kind to your project.

I guess somewhere the critical words might have slipped my attention, but youre drone is schlepping aroud two rugged powerful flashlights? It would make more sense to me if you put the vital parts to produce the necessary amount of light in a 3D custom made lightweight container. It will save weight, and you will be able to attach things in such a way they are not sticking out too far. I guess you still need some 3D made parts to attach the flashlights to the drone.

This drone is very new (released last March) and has the best thermal imaging camera around which is why it cost me $10,500

No drones in this class come with onboard lighting. Its always an aftermarket item but no suitable lighting option is currently available. That is why am comming up with one for search and rescue.

No need to control the light once launched.

Correct. Ive been designing and making them on my 3D printers. THis was proto #1 with low power lights.

Curious… How did the test flights go with the streamlight TLR1 ?

IIRC that was a real lumens/gram winner on paper. Its an easy way to add green dot too. You had mentioned the department was interested in that. They’ll need a reference point on video with which to call things out… I assume thats the intended use.

Speaking of weather… My understanding is Lithium primary cells are the most robust in extreme cold. Better than alkaline, NiMH and lithium-ion recharge. So thats another factor in favor of the TLR1, or Lithium CR123 in general. I have had to sleep with eneloop NiMH batteries in my sleeping bag at night to avoid cold temperature issues. I imagine in Wisconsin, ~100 feet up, with props blowing sub-freezing air, battery chemistry stability would be a concern… for the drone as well as the lights.

That is actually pretty impressive for something that size and for only $10k. The boson is a decent sensor but the ITAR regulated FLIR Vue 640 Pro is pretty amazing.

Generally lipos don’t do very well in the cold. However, this problem is fairly easily solved by keeping the packs inside a “lunchbox” with a hand warmer or with a small electric heater. Installing them on the bird at the last second and quickly getting into the air will generally keep them sufficiently warm as the discharge rate will typically keep the pack warm enough in flight.

One thing to keep in mind though is that it takes many hours to warm up a pack if it gets very cold. The outside of the pack will be warm to the touch quickly but the core will take much longer to warm.