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Need help with LED strobe circuit

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jetfixr

New Member
I am building a large scale model airplane, and I am in need of help with a circuit for the strobe lights. I want to make them wide angle white LED's. I have some electronics experience, but very little with timers and LED's. I am able to make one work, but the pattern on the full scale airplane is different. There are 3 lights involved. I need the wing tips to flash first 3 times at about a 3-4 hz rate, then I need the tail to flash 3 times at the same rate. There needs to be somewhere between .5 - 1 second between the wings and tail. Please help if able. Thanks.
 

fernando_g

New Member
You could do it with discrete logic, namely:
A pair of 555 timers, on for the 3 Hz blinking, the other for the 1 second delay
A counter, possibly a 4017, to count three flashes and reset.
A flip-flop, to steer the flash sequence between wings and tail.
and several gates to perform the glue logic for all of the above.
We are talking 5 or 6 IC packages, perhaps.

However......How proficient are you with microcontrollers?
With a microcontroller, the code for the flash sequence should be a piece of cake.
 
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jetfixr

New Member
I have never used a microcontroller, but if it is easier than using the discretes I would be willing to give it a try. I need to do some research on them since I have no experience with them. Are there any available that operate on 9V? I forgot to mention in my first post, but I am trying to run the lights on 9V. I understand the point of all the things you mentioned, but I have a hard time putting them into a diagram and making it functional. I had already figured on using a pair of 555 timers and a flipflop, but making it all work is another thing. Thanks for your reply.
 

Boncuk

New Member
Hi jetfixr,

wing and tail strobe lights have to flash at a constant rate and time between wings and tail. So timing is a must for your circuit. How about an additional fuselage strobe?

I agree that using a microprocessor you'll not only save on IC numbers, but also on space and weight. Besides those advantages you can program any sequence and flash rate.

Microprocessors require a supply voltage of +5V (newer ones +3.3V). You could drive the flashes using 9V (drivers required anyway) and use a low drop out voltage regulator, e.g. LM2931AZ5 to have a +5V stabilized supply voltage for the microprocessor.

For a wide angle flash I recommend using a cluster of LEDs since a single LED emits at a narrow angle.

Boncuk
 
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fernando_g

New Member
Everyone has a favorite microcontroller. And I bet that there will be 10 different recomendations from 10 different posters.
But to the absolute novice, nothing beats the PICAXE. It has an extremely low entry cost, and being programed in BASIC, programming is a snap.

see:
PICAXE
 
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