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Mini 3 and strobe light

OldGuy

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Sometime ago I bought a STARTRC strobe light for my Mini 3 but living in a very bright environment I’ve had little chance to use it. This morning I awoke to a very dark overcast day so took my Mini 3 to my favorite hill to do some testing.
With the strobe light attached and set to bright white flashing I took off and lost sight of the drone at around 300 m (984 feet). I reversed the flight and the light became visible again at around 230 m (754 feet). I repeated the test several times against a dark sky and came to the conclusion that the strobe was really only visible to around 250 m (820 feet). Even at that distance if I took my eye off the drone for a few seconds it was hard to locate it again.
When I bought the light the product info stated “visible up to 3 km away” which is very misleading and although I am of an age my long distance sight is still very good.
Does anyone else have similar experiences with strobe lights and exaggerated line of sight claims or are there strobe lights available that really can be seen at 3 km (1.86 miles)!?
 
Sometime ago I bought a STARTRC strobe light for my Mini 3 but living in a very bright environment I’ve had little chance to use it. This morning I awoke to a very dark overcast day so took my Mini 3 to my favorite hill to do some testing.
With the strobe light attached and set to bright white flashing I took off and lost sight of the drone at around 300 m (984 feet). I reversed the flight and the light became visible again at around 230 m (754 feet). I repeated the test several times against a dark sky and came to the conclusion that the strobe was really only visible to around 250 m (820 feet). Even at that distance if I took my eye off the drone for a few seconds it was hard to locate it again.
When I bought the light the product info stated “visible up to 3 km away” which is very misleading and although I am of an age my long distance sight is still very good.
Does anyone else have similar experiences with strobe lights and exaggerated line of sight claims or are there strobe lights available that really can be seen at 3 km (1.86 miles)!?
The light will be visible from a greater distance in full darkness.
 
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Sometime ago I bought a STARTRC strobe light for my Mini 3 but living in a very bright environment I’ve had little chance to use it. This morning I awoke to a very dark overcast day so took my Mini 3 to my favorite hill to do some testing.
With the strobe light attached and set to bright white flashing I took off and lost sight of the drone at around 300 m (984 feet). I reversed the flight and the light became visible again at around 230 m (754 feet). I repeated the test several times against a dark sky and came to the conclusion that the strobe was really only visible to around 250 m (820 feet). Even at that distance if I took my eye off the drone for a few seconds it was hard to locate it again.
When I bought the light the product info stated “visible up to 3 km away” which is very misleading and although I am of an age my long distance sight is still very good.
Does anyone else have similar experiences with strobe lights and exaggerated line of sight claims or are there strobe lights available that really can be seen at 3 km (1.86 miles)!?
Not at all, almost all of the strobe lights that I purchase can be seen 1, 2, and possibly even 3 miles away. The number (3 mi or 3 km) is based on a regulatory number, not a scientific measurement. The number is used to market to the consumer that the strobe light when used on a drone meets the minimum requirements. When it fact, there are quiet a few that simply do not. Placement is key, you didn't say where you put the strobe. Being visible from teh ground is a bit different than being visible from above and the farther out you go, the lower in teh sky it sometimes seem. How high above the ground are you flying when you look for your flashing strobe? Ultimately I would suggest you get a brighter more reliable strobe light and I recommend the vifly or firehouse tech varieties.
 
I agree with @MS Coast. 3 miles is not an exaggerated claim, because that assumes nighttime flying. It's normal to get less than 3 miles of visibility in twilight, and even less in daylight.
 
One of the thing you mentioned was when you started to fly backwards you could see the light again and that is very commmon if you put the light on top / or back of the drone .

When i fly at night I will put a light on top for the traffic above but I cannot see it all unless I dip the drone down entering into sport mode.

The only way to really solve this for a 100% visual to add the lights to the Legs of the drone both front an back.
otherwise you have to play hide go seek with you drone for a bit.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water.
 
The light will be visible from a greater distance in full darkness.
I don't fly at night so it would seem that the strobe is useless for me?
 
Not at all, almost all of the strobe lights that I purchase can be seen 1, 2, and possibly even 3 miles away. The number (3 mi or 3 km) is based on a regulatory number, not a scientific measurement. The number is used to market to the consumer that the strobe light when used on a drone meets the minimum requirements. When it fact, there are quiet a few that simply do not. Placement is key, you didn't say where you put the strobe. Being visible from teh ground is a bit different than being visible from above and the farther out you go, the lower in teh sky it sometimes seem. How high above the ground are you flying when you look for your flashing strobe? Ultimately I would suggest you get a brighter more reliable strobe light and I recommend the vifly or firehouse tech varieties.
I attach the strobe to the rear of the drone and todays flight into a dark sky was at an altitude of 30 m.
A long time ago I searched for Firehouse strobes but could not find them in Europe.
 
One of the thing you mentioned was when you started to fly backwards you could see the light again and that is very commmon if you put the light on top / or back of the drone .

When i fly at night I will put a light on top for the traffic above but I cannot see it all unless I dip the drone down entering into sport mode.

The only way to really solve this for a 100% visual to add the lights to the Legs of the drone both front an back.
otherwise you have to play hide go seek with you drone for a bit.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water.
I attach the strobe to the rear of the drone which gives me a good view of the light as I fly up and forward which seems logical to me.
 
First off, the StartRC strobe lights aren't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, if you know what I mean.
I recommend the Firehouse Technology Micro Pro strobe lights for the Mini 3. I recommend installing the strobe lights on the arms like this:
MINI4MICROE-FRONT2 (Custom).jpg
MINI4MICROE-BACK2 (Custom).jpg

You can find all the strobe mounts we have available for your Mini 3 HERE also the Micro Pro strobe lights are available HERE or directly from Firehouse Technology
 
I've got 3 of the Lume Cube strobes on a Mini 3 Pro.
1 sits on top with the red filter for traffic above (we get a few low flying helicopters), the other 2 sit on either side.
Whilst you can't see them flying away, come to a hover and spin 90 degrees (so side on) makes it highly visible up to 1km no problem - even in the daylight.

Screenshot 2024-02-13 210744.png
 
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