Beacon preparations

The idea here is to send our next balloon with a hanging beacon. Beacon to repeatedly keep sending out a Morse-code encoded message (currently thinking about some Chuck Norris jokes). I’ve covered my rough plan on a picture below.

LEDs to be organised in a triangular or pyramid shape, covering surrounding area and facing 45 degrees down. I’ve discussed this with Risa and he came with a plan. It first came with an order of some super-powerful LEDs to do the job properly – Model Type: Cree XML-T6.

Technical Parameters
DC Forward Voltage (VF): 2.9-4Vdc
DC Forward Current (IF): 3.0A
Low thermal resistance: 2.5°C/W
Maximum junction temperature: 150C
Viewing angle: 125°
ANSI-compatible chromaticity bins
Unlimited floor life at <30C/85% RH
Reflow solderable-JEDES J-STD-020C
Electrically neutral thermal path
Emitted Color :White
Color Temperature: 6500-7000K
Power: 10W
Diameter : 16mm

Ordered 10 of them and those came a week later.

Being eager to test those, Risa provided wiring instructions + list of components needed to bring it to live.

So in the above diagram Ra should will be new 15 ohm resistor and Rb our new CREE LED. Vin is a 6 volt battery. This will allow 200 milliamps to flow through the LED and the heat dissipated will be roughly 600 miliWatts.

Another quick visit to JayCar and we had all needed.

Sebi wired all components together though his bread-board and everything worked out practically out of the box.

Pretty bright – and this is far from 100% output

Risa then asked Sebi to write an application which would send a signal to any pin he choose for 100ms on then off for 3sec. Sebi commented this as a “piece of cake” and had it done in next 10 minutes (including demonstration).

const int output = 3;
void setup() {
pinMode(output, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
digitalWrite(output, LOW);
digitalWrite(output, HIGH);

I’ve captured that on a short video below.

Next stage will be to design a proper holder for a set of LEDs, calculate power consumption and also Sebi to write our Chunojomor – (Chuck-Norris-joke-Morse-translator).

Legs of steel: Norris is shown in a spoof online video straddling the wings of two passenger planes with a human Christmas tree of skydivers balanced on his head

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