MD500 Tow Defender Build Page 3

Nav Lighting - Port/Starboard Skids, Boom and Tail Strobes:

For port/stbd nav lighting I will be putting them in the skids, just like the full size heli. It was my plan to have the wiring hiden inside the skids. I don't want any wires showing. After some internet searching I found what I needed, a very long drill bit to drill all the way through the landing gear struts (legs, or whatever they are called). All does not go as planned sometimes. When I was around 33% of the way through the gear srtut the damn drill bit walked out the side. Thankfully it came out the inside so I could move on to plan 'B'. Crap, I don't have a plan 'B' yet. Oh well, I will make it up as I go. Nothing like designing on the fly anyway!!

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So here you can see what plan 'B' ended up being. I cut a channel down the inside front landing gear.

I did not want to just embed the wiring into the skid incase I ever need to replace/repair the wiring.

So after some thinking I came up with the idea of using the straws from WD40 spray cans. I can fit two 30ga wires down them pretty easy.

Here I have the straws taped down after using 5 min epoxy to tack them in place. The straws are not long

enough to use just one so I had to splice two in series to gret the length I needed. I was lucky enough to have one of the junctions

get glue inside itself (DOH!!). It now causes some restriction to the wires going through, but the wires will still go through.

Now the first coat of bondo has been applied. I will also have to rebuild the small protrusions on the gear.

That sucks! That's why I wanted to just drill a hole through the center of the gear.

Here you can see the inside view of the stbd gear .

Here you can see the stbd skid with led installed to get an idea what it might look like.

Next was on to the boom. Here you can see the hole for mounting the boom strobe.

Here's the metal base for the boom strobe setting in place.

And finally the lens in place for the boom strobe. Should look good after painting is done.

Next is the tail strobe. Here I have drilled a hole into the tail fin at an angle so I could have an exit hole near the mounting

holes, and hopefully hiden from view. Then I drilled a hole straight down into the mount for the wiring to pass through.

Here is an ooppss I will have to fix. The darn drill bit came out the side.

It would be nice if they would make channels in the fuselage for lighting from the factory.

The exit hole for the wiring to come out and go into the tail boom.

Finally a quick test to see what the stobe might look like. This test is being done at around 33% of full led power.

That sucker should be bright enough to see in daylight (that's my plan anyway).

After the fall 2011 crash I had to redo the landing gear struts. This time I tried a different method of running

the wiring on the back outside of the strut. My hope was to flare it enough that you could not really notice. They

turned out okay, but not great. I was in too big a hurry to get these done and reinstalled. Trying to do too many

projects at once, and the fear I might crash again and break them, why spend a week working on them. Bad though, I know..