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Battery Clip for Strobes

eEridani

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So I refuse to use tape to attach things to a drone. So I am working on a method to attach a strobe using an easy to install/remove clip. Here's my first prototype. I have a second prototype printing now, a bit better looking, and I have a few modifications to make to improve fitment, but right now it is weighing in at 6.5 grams ... I'd like to get it below 5 grams.

The idea is to stick the strobe to the clip using velcro ... cutting out the velcro so the battery button is still accessible without removing the clip. The clip is a bit large lengthwise to accommodate larger strobes and allow to placing the strobe at the drone CG. I may modify that aspect.

Fun times ... lol.
 

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Hunter_k

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I think you and Phantomrain. on the same wave length . Taking compeltely differnt approaches.
Interesting ?. Im favoring the phantomrain system as its pretty sleek but requires the Wet Suit has the ability to add a second light . Good to have options

 

PhiliusFoggg

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I am not trying to rain on your parade but........People already fret about this style of mavic battery coming loose. This attachment method adds mass / inertia ( NOT a lot I guess ) and possibly tension to the 'load' that the battery retaining clips have to bear.
A full wrap around clip, that goes around the drone body, would serve as a battery retainer as well.

Sorry but that was/is an instant concern on seeing the photo.
 

eEridani

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I am not trying to rain on your parade but........People already fret about this style of mavic battery coming loose. This attachment method adds mass / inertia ( NOT a lot I guess ) and possibly tension to the 'load' that the battery retaining clips have to bear.
A full wrap around clip, that goes around the drone body, would serve as a battery retainer as well.

Sorry but that was/is an instant concern on seeing the photo.
Thanks for the feedback - I guess I won't provide the STL ... lol. But I suppose I could add a few grams and make the thing clutch the underside of the drone a bit. At least enough to offset the extra mass of the clip and strobe.

I wonder if people taping the strobes to the battery are having less luck with the batteries staying in?

Personally - the battery feels darn secure. If mine were to come loose, I'd point the finger at me, not the design. If the battery doesn't click in place that's my fault, not the drone's. Plus, I mean seriously, how do you get a battery to fall out of a socket like that? I suppose somehow doing uncoordinated turns and getting negative gees on the thing; but how do you do that? Will the FC even allow that to happen?
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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Plus, I mean seriously, how do you get a battery to fall out of a socket like that?

It's more when they are old and starting their end of life, OR get hot, swell and expand with gases, can happen when flying hard sports mode, or fighting strong wind.
When they expand that's when they can pop a slightly worn clip, or one not seated quite as well.
 

eEridani

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It's more when they are old and starting their end of life, OR get hot, swell and expand with gases, can happen when flying hard sports mode, or fighting strong wind.
When they expand that's when they can pop a slightly worn clip, or one not seated quite as well.
Time for rubber bands then. I can afford to lose a battery - but the drone that falls with it is another thing.
 
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PhiliusFoggg

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One other point has just come to mind due to my thinking about where I have mounted a strobe on my Mavic Mini and M2 etc. ( on the rear face).
An upwards facing strobe needs some sort of lens to direct the light horizontally or even downward. We are not often above our drone. OK when the drone is tilted towards us we might see an upward facing strobe but when the drone is tilted away from us the obscuring of the strobe will be even better.
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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Time for rubber bands then. I can afford to lose a battery - but the drone that falls with it is another thing.

Some use a velcro strap to put around the battery like the M2 aircraft.

Hey, what about mounting hte strobe to a velcro strap ??
Be easy to make something up and have a spot of hook / loop you could attach the strobe to.
 
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eEridani

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One other point has just come to mind due to my thinking about where I have mounted a strobe on my Mavic Mini and M2 etc. ( on the rear face).
An upwards facing strobe needs some sort of lens to direct the light horizontally or even downward. We are not often above our drone. OK when the drone is tilted towards us we might see an upward facing strobe but when the drone is tilted away from us the obscuring of the strobe will be even better.
A three color strobe on top - for maximum anti-collision.


But something is needed on the bottom for night VLOS rules. That same product has a solid mode, but inverted the red green sides are wrong unless you place white on the front... which probably is okay. Aircraft below the drone will still see it coming -- that strobe is bright... lol.

Hanging the strobe below and keeping it clear of the gimbal, cameras and IR sensors is the tricky part.
 

eEridani

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If anyone is worried that the Velcro would not hold the strobe, take a look at 3m Dual Lock tape. That stuff is awesome and will hold up in high heat. https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/dual-lock-reclosable-fasteners-us/
If only they made that Dual-Lock in a fixed size with a plug-socket arrangement to ensure positional accuracy. Though it is still tape on a surface that may or may not have been cleaned well enough for permanent adhesion. I can see the strobe flying off into the props in a 25 mph turn. And the worst part is the CG of the drone appears to be the battery button. Not going apply tape there - and placing mass away from CG is just a bad idea on any aircraft.
 

MA2 317

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Time for rubber bands then. I can afford to lose a battery - but the drone that falls with it is another thing.

The rubber band could be difficult to install, try these if interested.

:)
 
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eEridani

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Like 20 grams too heavy. I'm trying to not affect flight performance.
 

eEridani

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Final prototype build up. Tested to 3 mile visibility in smoke and haze. Visible from 360 degrees - the Lucorb has red green white, so serves a bit like a nav light set, too. For grins I had a Dr-02 beside it I also tested, but the DR-02 was only pointed one way. Any off axis and the DR-02 became invisible. Car headlights were visible five to six miles out, as a comparison.

I tried mounting the DR-02 to the body of the drone with sticky velcro - it messed with the compass calibration. Put it on - compass recal needed - take it off - compass recal needed. So the DR-02 is no longer going on my drone. The Lucorb doesn't do that.

I did hack the Lucorb as shown: frosted the lens and put a makeshift reflector to keep some of the light in the 75 degree zone. No sense wasting it straight up. Foil works, but really need a mirror to do it right.

After testing range I played with some night flight at a remote site. What is really cool about this approach is the dome is high enough you can see the strobe from below at fairly large angles. And you can tell general direction pretty easily by color (120/120/120). But the drone was more than visible flitting around overhead - 500 to 750 feet out 100 feet up, bright as ever. While the built in LEDs were visible that close, the strobe simply put them to shame.

I also did some sport mode antics - nothing super daredevilish, but some tight turns and abrupt stops. Battery stayed in, strobe stayed attached.

ps: LED Strobe about 17 grams, mount about 5 grams.

Strobe.jpg
 
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