Plane locator

I am sure many flyers had the problem of finding their planes when they went down in tall corn field or even low lying bean field.
I saw a Hobico "Air Alert" or "Plane Alert" that beeps when the Tx is turned off, but it was not loud enough for me to hear at a reasonable distance.
I found a piezo speaker at Radio Shack that gave a 90 db intermitten very loud sound (really loud) when connected to a 12 V source. Problem is it is on all the time. It would be great if it could be turned off durning flight and turned on when needed. The current draw is only 15 mah.
Another idea would be a light weight system that releases a tall plume of none fire hazard smoke, visible above the foliage. I believe this woud be preferred over sound because smoke could be seen when sound may be muffled by the wind through foliage.
Could an elctronic expert or chemist make either one of the above possible?
Wan
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| I saw a Hobico "Air Alert" or "Plane Alert" that beeps when the Tx is | turned off, but it was not loud enough for me to hear at a reasonable | distance.
You'd be surprised. As long as you mount it outside the plane, or cut a hole in the fuse so that the speaker sticks out of the plane, you can hear it at a few hundred yards if things are relatively quiet.
As long as you have a general idea of where the plane went, it'll turn what could be many hours of searching into 5 minutes of searching.
Most of my planes have Air Alerts in them, especially the slope soaring planes. Even when the wind is howling around me, I've never had a case where the Air Alert didn't quickly bring me to my plane. (Now reaching it in the tree 30 feet up, that's another matter ...)
The only time it came close is where I accidently found myself `flying' somebody else's plane (i.e. I thought their plane was my plane) and by the time I realized that `my' plane wasn't doing what I told it to, I had no idea where my plane had gone and neither did anybody else. But even then, 60 seconds of walking around and carefully listening for my plane found the Air Alert and I found my plane shortly afterwards.
And foliage doesn't really muffle the Air Alert sounds much at all ... the big problem would be noise (like a nearby road, or lots of wind) and even that's not very big.
| I found a piezo speaker at Radio Shack that gave a 90 db intermitten | very loud sound (really loud) when connected to a 12 V source. Problem | is it is on all the time. It would be great if it could be turned off | durning flight and turned on when needed. The current draw is only 15 | mah.
That would be relatively easy to make. Any of the circuits out there for turning on a digital camera electronically (rather than using a servo to push the button) would work. (Assuming you want to put it on a channel, of course.)
You'll have 5 volts, not 12 volts, but a DC-DC convertor could fix that, as could simply picking another buzzer that uses 5 volts.
| Another idea would be a light weight system that releases a tall plume | of none fire hazard smoke, visible above the foliage. I believe this | woud be preferred over sound because smoke could be seen when sound may | be muffled by the wind through foliage.
1) it would be much larger and heavier than the Air Alert. 2) make sure it never goes off on accident in your car :) 3) foliage will `muffle' small amounts of smoke too.
I think it would be a bad idea, but if you do decide to make it, if anybody sells smoke systems for electrics that would probably be what you needed.
| Could an elctronic expert or chemist make either one of the above | possible?
I doubt you'd need experts or chemists. What you need for the first is easily found online, and then you just need to do some soldering. The second sounds similar, but I've not tried it.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
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GWS puts out the "be found" unit that beeps when there is no tx signals
so you just turn off your tx. As long as the battery is connected an working, it will help.
http://www.aeromicro.com/Catalog/gws_be-found_aircraft_beeper__jr__1318614.ht
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Solcat, I clicked onto the aeromicro site and I believe the beeper Plane Be found may be what I'm looking for. But it has one lead, seems to be JR connector. The Air Alert Doug favored has 2 leads meant to be used in series (?) with the throttle channel and the servo.
Would the Plane be found need another free channel? And would the JR Plane Be Found work with Futaba?
Thanks to Doug for bringing up valid points to consider. Certainly don't want my car to be set on fire if the smoke system goes off in it.
Wan
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Yeah, you need a free channel for the Be Found
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| Solcat, I clicked onto the aeromicro site and I believe the beeper | Plane Be found may be what I'm looking for. But it has one lead, seems | to be JR connector. The Air Alert Doug favored has 2 leads meant to be | used in series (?) with the throttle channel and the servo.
The device will go off if the channel it's hooked up to is idle for more than a few minutes. It doesn't have to be the throttle ...
The `idle' feature is nice because some receivers never let the servos `float', even if there's no signal, and so the Air Alert can be used with those receivers as well. Otherwise, it would never go off.
| And would the JR Plane Be Found work with Futaba?
Probably. Once you get past the receiver, stuff tends to start working together -- all you might need are some different plugs, and that's not needed when going from JR to Futaba (though sometimes you need to break off that tab on Futaba plugs to fit in JR sockets.) | Thanks to Doug for bringing up valid points to consider. Certainly | don't want my car to be set on fire if the smoke system goes off in | it.
A smoke system shouldn't cause a fire. But if could fill your car with smoke and and either make people think there's a fire, or keep you from seeing the road if driving. (And I have no idea how pleasant that stuff would be to breathe.)
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Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
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Doug McLaren wrote:

GWS Be-Found Aircraft Beeper (JR) $14.95 GWS Be-Found Aircraft Beeper with JR Connector
Features Specification * Beeps When No Transmitter Signal * Beeps When Transmitter Switched Off before Switching Off the Receiver Power * Beeps When the Battery Voltage Drops below 4.2 V to the Receiver * Dimensions: 40.0 x 21.0 x 16.0 mm (1.58 x 0.83 x 0.63 inch) * Weight: 9.4 g (0.33 oz) * Operating Voltage: 4.8 to 7.2 V * Maximum Voltage: 10.0 V * Power Consumption: 18 mA (Stand-by), 65 mA (Beeping) * Operating Temperature: -4.0 to 140.0 Degree (F)
I found the specs for the GWS Be-Found Aircraft above by clicking onto the site provided by Solcat. I could not determine the db from it. Otherwise it sounds good.
Wan
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