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Kite Lights


mrdenny
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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently started using deep sea fishing lights for my night time endeavors. They are cheap on ebay, and for those of you who like to take an occasional dip in the ocean, waterproof (I would hope if they are for deep sea fishing :P). They arent too bad in weight either, these particular ones have 2x 3v batteries (typical motherboard battery). Give it a look if you are interested.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having seen a number of various lights on kites and been underwhelmed by their brightness, I decided to give a shot at making my own. Here are the first two attempts. I used an ultra-bright wide-angle LED attached to a coin cell battery. The battery holder is attached to a magnet, which can then be attached to the kite sail with an opposing magnet on the opposite side of the kite. I coated the magnets in a silicone-based glue so that they are slightly tacky to grip the kite without damaging it. They can be attached anywhere on the sail as opposed to being limited to the spars and leading edge. The magnets I found are a bit heavy and I am looking for some lighter and stronger neodymium magnets to replace them with. These are clearly a crude product, but it's a start. Thoughts?

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sudden impacts will likely dislodge the lights (if held magnetically) and two magnets per light is certainly adding some extra mass if you want the entire sail lighted. The point of having lights clip onto a frame members is for rigidity and ease of installation onto different full, partially or fully vented sails.

I've used rare earth magnets before (to lock 2 separate kite leading edges of kites together in flight) back in 2000 for the Smithsonian Kite festival (cooperative category, novice builders, sport kite(s). Harold Ames' efforts had the magnets set flush into vinyl tubing and then affixed to the tops of end=caps w/epoxy. Again so it's completely rigid, for landing, sudden impacts in flight or any other sharply aggressive maneuvers.

I'd also be concerned about the magnets swinging around on the sail fabric during flight. That could both dislodge a seam or cause abrasion.

I've locked lights on to the leading edge mesh of Revs with plastic zip-ties too. That requires little holes and then the kite won't break down because the lights are held on so tightly that the frame members won't pull away from each other!

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Scotch brand 2lb. Indoor Mounting Squares tape does the trick for me.

The failure rate with them is fairly low. But once they quit sticking to the sail, it is a pain to pull the tape from the battery and replace while out in the field in the night in the dark.

Android OS ~ Tapatalk2

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally came across some impressively powerful magnets that are smaller than a dime. Attached them under a thin layer of silicone and they grip the kite like they're holding on for dear life (which with my flying skills, they are!). Lightweight and they stay in place, can't ask for more! Success.

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I finally came across some impressively powerful magnets that are smaller than a dime. Attached them under a thin layer of silicone and they grip the kite like they're holding on for dear life (which with my flying skills, they are!). Lightweight and they stay in place, can't ask for more! Success.

You can get a package of 10 at Harbor Freight for $1.99.

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kitefantex - I also have an older set of LED lights powered by 2 AA batteries, but have replaced the batteries with a 2032 coin style battery and holder! One of the problems I see with keeping the 2 AAs, is there is no good place to mount them on the Rev! And they add a lot of weight!! By eliminating the 2 AAs and their holder and replacing with the 2032 and its' holder, I've cut the weight of the lights by 1/2!! From somewhere close to over 4 ozs to around 2 ozs! Plus it will mount from the center sail hole or bridle much easier, as there is a huge weight loss in the conversion!! I've just got to solder everything up and really test the rig, but it does look promising!! I also found some little LEDs on short bungee cords, that are used as zipper pulls! I plan on using them on the bottom tips and the other rig across the LE!! Winter project!!

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  • 2 months later...

well white sail is the best. I have a 4d that looks like a giant Lightning Bug!

I have used the flexible led ribbon with some good success! I will try to post pics.

they have held on through multiple crashes and 2hrs of 12mph winds.. pretty happy with them, gonna try and light the sail better though. it's a work in progress.

thanks to Steven Leonard from AeroShark for his input on the set up.

jim

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And once I am done with work in Johannesburg and back home in Durban, I can get back to sourcing what I need (beyond the test equipment I have) and get down to building my own complete rig.

Got a few public holidays and other issues to deal with, but I'll get there ... in the mean time you've been doing a fantastic job of keeping my testing alive through your own experiments.

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Wayne do you have a pic of the 2032 battery holder? Would like to get them set up fo rthe kite festival at Tresure *Island next week.

Does one battery power the light for very long and did you leave the flasher to work?

Sorry, but I must have missed this!! I don't have any pix, My son picked it up at a Fry's Electronics. Looks like it was made to solder into a breadboard! Hope that helps!!

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  • 4 years later...
  • 2 months later...

This setup is effective. I uses 2 1W 140lm LEDs on each side on "magic sticks", each LED pair is powered by a 10440 3.7v 600mAh protected LiPo Battery. About 40mn usage before changing the batteries.

I have yet to find a way to light up the center of the sail but the billow does not help.

Mine are home made in France... Mario Di Lucca in Vancouver BC builds a similar setup. Easy to make if you can do simple electronics oldering (use a 1.5ohm resistance in series with each LED)

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