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Santa, Sparky needs a strobe

I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
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It gets harder and harder to think of gift ideas for a relative to get me for Christmas. I don't have any other hobby for which I need things, so naturally my thoughts turn to drone accessories. Another battery was the first thing on the list, some extra props, a landing pad and maybe antenna reflectors. Then, after the discussion last week on night flight, it occurred to me a strobe would be in order. I watched several YT review and comparisons and browsed the Firehouse Technology website. I saw something I liked the look of for it's all-aspect viewing, curiously enough they call it the " Spark drone strobe ". The sale price was descent, so I looked at Amazon to see what they had. I saw what appears to be an identical strobe by Topsun for the same price, so I'm thinking about going with it due to Amazon's return policy should there be a problem.

Considering the purpose of the strobe per the FAA is to serve as an anti-collision light, so I was wondering where would be the best place to mount it. Any aircraft would be higher than the Spark, so on top seems logical. I already know not to put it on the underside 'cause it'll mess with the VPS camera and it supposedly has been tested not to interfere with the compass. Is there an optimum place to put it to avoid other issues such as GPS?
 
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Spark 317

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Looks like a nice strobe.

With it mounted on top, you may not see it from the ground when flying.

I have my strobes mounted on the tabs of the prop guards.

20180706_162805.jpg

The tab is at a slight angle allowing the strobe(s) to be seen from above and below.

The strobes I have are about the same size as the tab.

The GPS is on the rear of the Spark, the cooling fan is top center between the props.
 

I B Spectre

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Thanks, Spark 317. I figured the top mount would not be optimal for seeing it from the ground. That's probably as important to me as it is for any aircraft pilot that might see it. I'm not irrevocably sold on the one I previously mentioned.

Three questions:
1) Do you recommend a specific brand?
2) What kind of mount(s) do you use?
3)Where is the compass unit located in the Spark?
 
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Spark 317

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Thanks, Spark 317. I figured the top mount would not be optimal for seeing it from the ground. That's probably as important to me as it is for any aircraft pilot that might see it. I'm not irrevocably sold on the one I previously mentioned.

Three questions:
1) Do you recommend a specific brand?
2) What kind of mount(s) do you use?
3)Where is the compass unit located in the Spark?
1) I guess I'll recommend the ones I have, the Strobon Cree strobes. You can purchase a package of three, or get them individually.

2) I use 3m heavy duty velcro type fasteners.
@msinger has these mounts for sale. I originally purchased my strobes from him too.

This member mounted his on inexpensive landing gear, away from the bottom camera. My problem was that I mounted it on the bottom of the gear next to the camera. Very bad 30 second flight.

3) Its next to the GPS on the same board, top rear.

Here's a good step by step tear down of a Spark with pictures.
 
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twickers14

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Looks like a nice strobe.

With it mounted on top, you may not see it from the ground when flying.

I have my strobes mounted on the tabs of the prop guards.

View attachment 12070

The tab is at a slight angle allowing the strobe(s) to be seen from above and below.

The strobes I have are about the same size as the tab.

The GPS is on the rear of the Spark, the cooling fan is top center between the props.
Hi and good day. Are those prop guards fitted and if so with legs or without? Was wondering as I couldn’t think where the strobes would fit if prop guards in place.
 

Spark 317

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Hi and good day. Are those prop guards fitted and if so with legs or without? Was wondering as I couldn’t think where the strobes would fit if prop guards in place.

They are the stock guards that came with the fly more combo.

There's not a lot of places to mount stuff to the Spark, that's why I placed the strobes on the guards as I like flying with them.

I didn't want something taking up the same space as the guards.

I also have them mounted on the sides of the Spark if I fly without the guards.

20191203_085257.jpg

Makes it a little tricky to hand catch with them on, but it's tricky catching it in the dark, especially with the strobes blasting away at eye level.

But, without the strobes attached, it makes for a better grip on the Spark when using the hand method.

Some pilots have mounted them on the battery.
Depending on the number of batteries you have, it could be a lot of fasteners.
 
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I B Spectre

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I checked @msinger site, but he's showing out of stock on the strobe. I looked at the Flytron site and saw they have the Strobon Cree Standalone for £14.90 ($19.36) and comes with the 3M Dual Lock fastener. With shipping it comes to £17.40 ($22.61) which is a very good price. They take PayPal, but I don't know how long it takes to ship from the UK to Florida. I asked in an email, but no response as yet.
 

lightbg

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4 years ago when nobody stateside was selling them, I ordered 6 Flytron strobesfrom England. Once the order went through Royal Mail I received them in about 10 days. Still hold a charge and work great.

Jake
 
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DavidBlezard

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Jan 26, 2019
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I employed a basic landing gear and attached the strobes all 3 red, green and white on the back. Red and green are the 2 led and white is 4 led. All from firehouse. Total weight is not too much and does not alter flight characteristics.
 

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I B Spectre

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Aug 16, 2019
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Looks like Flytron Strobon and Firehouse Technology run neck and neck in popularity in the same general price range. I like the idea of the Lume Cube strobe, but it's a little pricier and looks like top mounting is almost default, but as Spark 317 pointed out, that makes it harder to see from the ground. I haven't flown at night and won't until I get the required anti-collision lighting, so I appreciate everyone sharing their experience. It helps me make an informed purchase decision.

In your opinion, does your strobes' placement allow for visibility in 360 degrees?
 

DavidBlezard

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Jan 26, 2019
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Looks like Flytron Strobon and Firehouse Technology run neck and neck in popularity in the same general price range. I like the idea of the Lume Cube strobe, but it's a little pricier and looks like top mounting is almost default, but as Spark 317 pointed out, that makes it harder to see from the ground. I haven't flown at night and won't until I get the required anti-collision lighting, so I appreciate everyone sharing their experience. It helps me make an informed purchase decision.

In your opinion, does your strobes' placement allow for visibility in 360 degrees?
I think you are asking me about 360 viewing it does and you can tell which direction it is pointing
 

lightbg

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Dec 20, 2017
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I did the Velcro on the front left arm with a white, and the left rear with a red strobe. No balance problems yet, but I mount a Marco Polo tracker on the right side of the hull for flights over unknown terrain.
At a distance if I lose orientation i yaw until I see only the white flash, then head home.
I also mount then during the day. At 68 my eyes need all the help they can get.

Jake
 
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