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Member postings for Allan Bowker

Here is a list of all the postings Allan Bowker has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Navigation LED Lights with Beacon & Strobe Effect (Arduino)
23/02/2016 13:47:13

Thanks Kevin, good to see that my reputation is still intact (as a bad man!) laugh

Your work sounds impressive, I'm looking forward to seeing other people's versions.
I hope you can all teach me a thing or two soon, keep up the good work yes

23/02/2016 09:18:55

For Windows 7 you should be able to extract (unzip) a file by right clicking on the .zip and select extract all.
(as shown here)

21/02/2016 19:05:26

Here is the source thread of the code guys.

Let me know how you progress.

21/02/2016 17:33:57

Sorry John, it's not my code, it's somebody else's that I used.

Seems as though there is a better way of wiring this up?

I will try and find the original source and post a link.

21/02/2016 15:53:18

Wired up and powered on

wired up

Wired up (close)

Powered up showing just nav lights and beacon

Wired with just navs on

Powered up with the strobes showing. Red/Green nav lights are still on but cannot be seen due to the strobes brightness.

Wired with with strobes


Edited By Allan Bowker on 21/02/2016 16:05:13

21/02/2016 15:46:23

Hello guys, sorry for the delay...
I'm new to the Arduino myself, so this is a 'learning together' thread winkI'm always on the lookout for alternatives and improvements.

Despite being below the recommended minimum voltage (see my post from 8th Feb), I have the option to power my Arduino directly from the receiver to the ICSP header pins (marked PWR). Purple wire is positive and grey wire is negative. Otherwise a separate 2S LiPo can be used to isolate your lighting system from your receiver.

Power input from RX

Also from this photo, you should be able to see which pins I have my LED's connected.
Green - D8 - White Strobe
Red - D6 - Red Beacon
Orange - D4 - White Strobe
Black - GND - Common ground negative
Yellow - RX0 - Red Nav
Blue - TX1 - Green Nav

Although in hindsight, I guess l could have used just D8 for both strobes, D6 for beacons and perhaps D5 switched full on for both Red and Green Nav lights. Maybe next time?

Some more photo's to follow, I hope these help...


Edited By Allan Bowker on 21/02/2016 16:04:53

08/02/2016 14:15:32

JohnP25: Good question John, an important point I seem to have missed.
The input voltage range is from 6v to 20v, although 7v is the recommended minimum. No USB cable is required to provide power as there are 2 power input pins on the board.

I run mine on a small 2S LiPo, although you could tap power from your flight battery or receiver. I like to err on the side of caution and go for a separate supply. You should only need a regulator if you are outside this voltage range.

Danny: Thanks yessmiley

Thread: RC Airogrip - Model Restriant
08/02/2016 13:59:06

Fair comment Jon, I too choked on my coffee when I saw the price back in 2012, they were £120 upwards!

I think I purchased mine a few years back for £75, which was still expensive but necessary for me to start my MXS-R alone. I haven't regretted buying it, although I do get a few sideways glances when setting it up.


08/02/2016 10:40:27

Sorry to dig up an old thread but I love my Airogrip Airopult, it's perfect for my 1/4 scale MXS-R

It does indeed stop the model being pushed back when starting (the reason why I purchased it) and obviously restrains the model from coming forward when the engine is running. It makes starting such a large model on my own much safer.

Currently they are on sale for £53 in the UK HobbyKing Warehouse, never seen them so cheap.

Thread: HK Graphene batteries.
03/02/2016 11:20:23

Looking at the battery specifications (size, weight, capacity, C rating) and price, I'm skeptical about HobbyKing's use of the word 'Graphene'.

To me it seems more likely they have used Graphene more as a name, rather than the technology of the battery.
I hope to be proved wrong.

Thread: Navigation LED Lights with Beacon & Strobe Effect (Arduino)
02/02/2016 20:22:05

Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Yes John, the LED's are very small but I can't look at them for long as they are so bright (a video camera cannot do them justice).

I haven't tried them outside yet on a 60 size aircraft, still waiting for the weather to calm down, however I'm confident that they will be bright enough for larger models. If not, then it's back to the drawing board for the choice of LED's but not the controller at least.

smiley I hope that others will be able to add to this thread in the future. Perhaps improved code or alternative LED's to use, etc.

30/01/2016 20:45:41

Hi Andy, yes they are 100ohm resistors, it's a typing error on my part.
I haven't burnt any LED's out yet, they are low on purpose, to make them bright smiley

I welcome suggestions for any improvements to the circuit components or alternative super bright LED's.

30/01/2016 15:49:16

Almost forgot, if you have used my code in the thread abovt, the following pin-out data applies:

TX1 : Green Nav
RX0 : Red Nav
GND : Commom ground negative
D4 : White Strobe
D5 : Red Beacon
D6 : Red Beacon
D8 : White Strobe

Of course, these can be modified by changing the code uploaded to your Arduino

Edited By Allan Bowker on 30/01/2016 15:49:35

30/01/2016 15:43:49

If you want a copy of the code that I used, download it from here.


My next step was purchasing some small and bright 1206 SMD LED's (again from eBay for around 25p each)

As you can see, they are very small and can be tricky to work on, so you may want to improvise with your own LED's at this point.


To keep things lightweight I purchased some enamelled copper wire. This allows me to easily run wires around my model without the need to worry about threading relatively thick cables around smaller airframes. The enamel coating on the wire insulates against any short circuits.

The multicoloured jumper cables make it easy to connect to your Arduido Nano board and are listed on eBay for around £2


LED's need a resistor on the positive anode leg of the light. I used these 100 Ohms 5% resistors (£1 on eBay).


Solder a jumper wire to one end of the resistor and some enamelled wire to the other end of the restistor. Cover with heat-shrink tubing and this will help keep things tidy and easy to manage.


Nav light positions

Edited to correct resistor value...

Edited By Pete B - Moderator on 20/02/2016 21:10:49

30/01/2016 15:13:09

I love a good nav light set but the budget sets are hard to make out in the day and the really good bright ones seem very expensive for what I would like to pay.

I've been on the lookout for a while now and stumbled upon others making their own with an Arduino programmable computer.

First of all you will need a little Arduino micro computer. These are easily available on eBay for around £3 including delivery. A search for 'Arduino Nano' will find plenty of them listed.

Top view


Bottom view


Another view of the bottom of the board with a pencil to show some scale.

Download/install the drivers and Arduino programming software for your PC and before you know it, you can plug this board into your computer via a USB cable and start downloading code to it.

The Arduino software is easy to use and is provided with many sample programs to try and experiment with.

Thread: Has anyone used AliExpress ?
20/01/2016 19:08:49

Thanks for the feedback Chris, good to know you have had a positive experience.

I think delivery to the UK will be around the same time of 20-30 days.

I signed up for an account a few weeks back and was logged in when I made my order. I couldn't see any PayPal option at checkout though and despite clicking on 'more payment methods', PayPal was not listed for me.

AliExpress Checkout


A search on their help page also states that they do not accept PayPal as a payment option (perhaps it's a UK thing?).


AliExpress PayPal

Edited By Allan Bowker on 20/01/2016 19:13:46

20/01/2016 17:24:11

AliExpress is the consumer focussed arm of the global B2B giant
The site is organised similar to eBay where different sellers list their items for sale, each having a feedback profile.

PayPal doesn't seem to be accepted, so credit card (not debit) would be my personal recommendation (for enhanced insurance).

I'm making an order, so will report back on my findings.

20/01/2016 15:39:32

Has anyone used AliExpress ?

They seem very similar to BangGood and when comparing the same FPV video transmitter/reveiver bundle, they are £40 cheaper than HobbyKing.

Just like BangGood, they offer free P&P, so there are more potential savings to be had.

I'm not expecting sterling customer service, however are they worth a go?

Thread: Banggood - Any Good
20/01/2016 15:31:57

I've been using for a few months now and have been very pleased.
Delivery from their Hong Kong warehouse is roughly 3 weeks.

I've come around to accepting that when buying from China, it's a gamble if you get good customer service or not when things go wrong. At least if you pay by PayPal or Credit Card, you do have some additional insurance cover.

Thread: E-flite UMX: Which is your favourite?
05/01/2016 12:59:34

For me the original E-Flite UMX Extra 300 3D is still my indoor favourite, despite it being easily prone to damage

(not so keen on the newer version with AS3X)

E-Flite UMX Extra 300 3D

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