# Flashing LED Strobe light for Helicopter

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#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
hi,
IF, you look carefully at my rough sketch of the 4093 you will see it has a FET as an LED driver!, no where have I suggested driving an LED from the 10mA output of the 4093. As the chopper has a 9.6V, 650mA/h battery it should be able to drive a hi-intensity white LED.
>>
For a one off design it *CAN* be done for $0.00 just your time to code it. This I would like to see. So he has to learn how to program a PIC in order to flash a 'one off design' LED! Once he has gained this programming knowledge, what he going to with this knowledge, after he has flashed the LED ??. The only way he could make use of this knowledge, would require him to buy the necessary programming/debug hardware??? From what I can infer from the OP's posts, his hobby is R/C models, not programming. Last edited: #### samtheboxer ##### New Member IF, you look carefully at my rough sketch of the 4093 you will see it has a FET as an LED driver!, no where have I suggested driving an LED from the 10mA output of the 4093. As the chopper has a 9.6V, 650mA/h battery it should be able to drive a hi-intensity white LED. Eric, would you be kind enough to give me a parts list to build this? Im still feeling my way around! Ive built a few audio amps but with VERY detailed instructions. Thanks... If i could get one led to flash, flash, off......flash, flash, off....I would be happy! its something to build on. Also, I would be interested in micro controllers, i just dont know where to start! Ive looked on ebay and found kits of a PIC controller starting at 24 or so dollars, where would you recommend i start? or should i run as fast as possible in the other direction? Thanks #### ericgibbs ##### Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member hi Sam, I could do a decent drawing of the 4093, with component values, given 24hrs. Let me know what you decide to do. One of my jobs was designing marine rescue/safety lights also aircraft strobe lights, I know what a chopper, 'double flash, pause' strobe light rate is. With ref to Opitkon's input, regarding PIC's, it may appear as though I am being negative towards MCU/PIC's, in fact, most of my products are MCU based. In this instance, the quick. low cost solution, IMO, is a logic gate. Many engineers have a tendency to over design a project, hanging 'bells and whistles' on the project until it becomes unreliable. My signature below, 'good enough is perfect' means, if the product meets the users specification, then its OK. If not, then its not good enough!. Many modellers have taken the time/trouble to learn 'PIC-speak'. If I was in your position I would learn how to program MCU's, there are many applications in R/C modelling that could be very interesting. #### samtheboxer ##### New Member ericgibbs said: hi Sam, I could do a decent drawing of the 4093, with component values, given 24hrs. Let me know what you decide to do. One of my jobs was designing marine rescue/safety lights also aircraft strobe lights, I know what a chopper, 'double flash, pause' strobe light rate is. With ref to Opitkon's input, regarding PIC's, it may appear as though I am being negative towards MCU/PIC's, in fact, most of my products are MCU based. In this instance, the quick. low cost solution, IMO, is a logic gate. Many engineers have a tendency to over design a project, hanging 'bells and whistles' on the project until it becomes unreliable. My signature below, 'good enough is perfect' means, if the product meets the users specification, then its OK. If not, then its not good enough!. Many modellers have taken the time/trouble to learn 'PIC-speak'. If I was in your position I would learn how to program MCU's, there are many applications in R/C modelling that could be very interesting. There is a huge component supplier here in portland, i havent been there, but im going to try to get there in the next few days, otherwise...ill just order from digikey. As soon as i get the parts, maybe this weekend, i would like to build your circuit. Once i get it put together, i can spend some time figuring out how it works? So, the BASIC stamp2 would be considered an MCU? i assume there are different languages and standards? #### ericgibbs ##### Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member hi sam, Is that Portland UK? I have never used the Basic Stamp, but as I understand, its just a PIC preloaded with a BASIC interpreter, I'm sure if I am wrong that someone will enjoy jumping up and down on me!. I use the term MCU, [micro-controller unit] to cover all the common types, AVR, PIC, Z80,,, etc, there are a number to choose from. If you decide to learn programming you will have decide which programming language suits YOU. Examples, Assembler , C, ..... #### justDIY ##### Active Member for a lower cost alternative to the basic stamp, check out the picaxe their programming is setup for school children... you "draw" your program using their special (free) software, and then upload it to the chip. the programmer is a simple serial cable with some resistors here's the chip: https://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8308 programming cable: https://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8313 basic development board to mess around with: https://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8321 if you're clever, you can build your own cable and development board #### Optikon ##### New Member ericgibbs said: hi, IF, you look carefully at my rough sketch of the 4093 you will see it has a FET as an LED driver!, no where have I suggested driving an LED from the 10mA output of the 4093. As the chopper has a 9.6V, 650mA/h battery it should be able to drive a hi-intensity white LED. >> For a one off design it *CAN* be done for$0.00 just your time to code it. This I would like to see.

So he has to learn how to program a PIC in order to flash a 'one off design' LED!
Once he has gained this programming knowledge, what he going to with this knowledge, after he has flashed the LED ??.

The only way he could make use of this knowledge, would require him to buy the necessary programming/debug hardware???

From what I can infer from the OP's posts, his hobby is R/C models, not programming.

Eric, the OP was not at all against learning to program. He expressed interest in doing so. You provided some non programming solution and others have suggested a PIC related programming solution. My only contribution is to mention that a uC development platform can cost $0.00 It is quite possible to call these companies and get a free startup kit & samples. I've done it before so I would not suggest it if I didnt know that it can actually cost$0.00 to develop a microcontroller program, program the part and use the programmed part in a design. They give this stuff away to schools for free all the time.

#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
hi Sam,
If you are in Portland UK, send me the PIC, post your assembly code to the forum, I will program/debug and return your programmed PIC, FOC.

If you decide you want to do this, let me know, I will then PM my address in Hampshire UK.

Optikon,
if I was advising a Newbie [I hate that term] a student, I would say,

if you intend following a hobby or career in electronics, get on the PIC ladder asap.
Consider the money that you outlay for the kit, as an investment in your future, MCU's are not going to go away for a very long time.

I am probably over reacting, but I find in almost every case engineers want to have a MCU somewhere in a project,
when a simple piece of logic will do the same job just as well.

I prefer a simple, quick, reliable solution to solving problems.

I would like to say that I enjoy discussing the pro's and con's with a fellow engineer, this is the way, I am still prepared listen and learn even after 57 years in this industry.
Its good to hear other points of view, it helps me think outside 'the box'

Regards

#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
hi sam,
This may help you to decide, the circuit has been tested on a project board and it works fine.

I've put a couple of single turn [low cost] potentiometers on the circuit so you

EDIT: On the circuit I have used Tantalum caps, but Ceramic for the 0u1F would be OK and Electrolytic for the 4u7F.
All the Resistors are 1% Metal Film and the Pots are 500K single turn, pcb mount.

Last edited:

#### samtheboxer

##### New Member
ericgibbs said:
hi sam,
This may help you to decide, the circuit has been tested on a project board and it works fine.

I've put a couple of single turn [low cost] potentiometers on the circuit so you

EDIT: On the circuit I have used Tantalum caps, but Ceramic for the 0u1F would be OK and Electrolytic for the 4u7F.
All the Resistors are 1% Metal Film and the Pots are 500K single turn, pcb mount.

Thanks for your help, ill look over the schematic and see what i can put together.

I am in Portland, OR USA. I would take you up on your offer, but i think ill try this out first and go from there....

In regards to the PICAXE I was looking at this https://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8321# and thought i might give it a shot. The problem is, I dont have a serial port, so im stuck paying 25.00 for the cable. I have a spare USB cable, how easily could I wire that up to it? Is there a resource for the USB pinout so I could wire it to a plug myself? Thanks

#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
hi Sam,
Ref your PM, layout on *.gif.

Regarding the PICAXE I dont use that device, perhaps another member will

In regards to the PICAXE I was looking at this https://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...ducts_id=8321# and thought i might give it a shot. The problem is, I dont have a serial port, so im stuck paying 25.00 for the cable. I have a spare USB cable, how easily could I wire that up to it? Is there a resource for the USB pinout so I could wire it to a plug myself? Thanks

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#### justDIY

##### Active Member
the usb programming cable is not just a simple cable - inside it somewhere is a USB to RS232 transceiver chip - thats why it costs extra.

i can't believe you don't have a serial port - I buy a lot of computers in my line of work and even ones fresh off the factory floor today, notebooks and desktops, have one DB9 port. But anyway, you can grab a usb to serial adapter for under $10 off a popular online auction site #### samtheboxer ##### New Member justDIY said: the usb programming cable is not just a simple cable - inside it somewhere is a USB to RS232 transceiver chip - thats why it costs extra. i can't believe you don't have a serial port - I buy a lot of computers in my line of work and even ones fresh off the factory floor today, notebooks and desktops, have one DB9 port. But anyway, you can grab a usb to serial adapter for under$10 off a popular online auction site

Well, maybe i lied...I do have a serial port for an external monitor, but i was thinking it had to be a printer port. The moniter serial port should work okay?

#### ericgibbs

##### Well-Known Member
hi sam,
>>
Well, maybe i lied...I do have a serial port for an external monitor, but i was thinking it had to be a printer port. The moniter serial port should work okay?

The external Monitor port is a 15pin Hi-density 'D' connector.

The Serial RS232 port is a 9pin 'D' connector,. [it used to be a 25pin 'D' on older PC's]

The Printer port is a 25pin 'D' connector.

Have a look at 'things' post as an alternative flasher.

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