RC high power Strobe LED – S10W

CAUTION *** Do not look directly at the strobe light at close range *** CAUTION

LED strobeIntroduction

This is a single White strobe designed to increase the visibility of RC gliders, planes and multirotors. Designed with large gliders and FPV in mind.

It can be used on other models and applications suck as a fishing kontiki if fitted to be waterproof.


  • orientation determination at a distance (large gliders)
  • visibility aid (strobe/beacon to make visible to others)

Without the RC control connection, the default operation is a dual strobe repeating at 1-second intervals.

With RC control the options  are:

  • off
  • triple strobe
  • single strobe

The dual strobe still operates if the control signal is outside of standard 1000-2000 uS PPM.

The RC control allows on-off control while flying and indication of RC status, ie. fail-safe or loss of RC, depending on your transmitter programming.


Mount so as to face and be visible from the desired direction.

On a large glider this may require one strobe on each side of the fuselage and possibly one facing forward. This should allow orientation determination at a distance.

WARNING: do not operate at greater than 12.6V supply (LED current will be too high)

Connect the 12V power lead to the 3-cell Lipo battery. RC connection is not generally required and will produce the default double-strobe pattern.

The strobe is reverse reverse polarity protected, but your RC receiver may not be if connected to the strobe. The best option, don’t reverse connect the power.

Technical Notes

Supply voltage is 10 to 12.6V. The strobe intensity is greater at 12.6V and reduced slightly at 10V. This suits operation from a 3-cell Lipo. Peak current draw is approx. 1.5-Amps but average current draw is typically less than 100mA. Individual pulse duration is typically 20mS. Average power dissipation is low, therefore heatsinking or special cooling is not required.

WARNING: do not operate at greater than 12.6V supply (LED current will be too high)

Peak LED current:

  • 12.6V (2.25V@1.2R) = 1.8A
  • 12V = (1.9V@1.2R) = 1.5A
  • 11.5V = 1.3A
  • 11V = 1A
  • 10V = 0.6A

strobe testingTesting

First stage testing was at ground level. A couple of strobes just taped to cardboard and pinned to a post at the local river. These were visible at 1KM which was as far as we could walk that day.

LED strobe testingFirst Flight tests were done with the strobe temporarily attached with clear tape to the nose of the FPV HawkSky. Power supplied by connecting to the balance plug of the 3-cell main flight battery.

The bump taped on above the LED is a 1/2oz fishing weight to provide a bit of CG correction.

The strobe was more visible than I was expecting and didn’t see to dim much with distance.

Testing only went out to about 300 meters as I was running the 433MHz RC with a 2.4G antenna on the transmitter due to a broken 433MHz antenna.

It was overcast with bright patches; definitely needed sun glasses. Out to 300 meters and 100 meters up it was better than I was expecting and a good wide angle FOV.

LED strobe testingThis picture, luckily snapped during one of the 20mS flashes, gives an idea of the field of view.

The LED is more obvious when flying directly nose in, but was also very noticeable from well off axis.

This is using a warm-white LED rather than the cool-white that I have coming, and should be even more visible.