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Hey friends. I am needing a way to control and light up my strip for night landings. My runway is short, on an increasing uphill slope, and is definitely one-way. I am getting the lighting the way I want it, but need a way to turn it on from the plane. There used to be two companies that made simple PCL switches, but from my understanding, both have gone out of business. http://www.hamtronics.com/r123.htm
The commercial companies want ~$2k, but I am not willing to invest that amount. I can sweet-talk my wife into driving down to the strip and manually turning on the lights instead of spending that much money.
I am not opposed to building my own circuit for this, but I'd rather not have to also take the time to engineer it. Anyone have a schematic?
I'd rather just buy a simple radio controlled switch (do not need the multiple light brightness outputs). Do you all have any suggestions on getting a non-commercial grade PCL switch?
Something like this?
It has a 20 amp relay that can be controlled from ~1000ft LOS with an antenna key FOB to turn on your lights also it can be programmed for timer operations.
Up to 40 key fobs for a single receiver. fobs run $60 receiver is less than $200. looks like a fun project.
You would have to make a weatherproof enclosure for the receiver not to hard.
Thanks for the replies.
My setup is all solar charged 12v. I looked at the smart phone switches, but it is too far from our house (internet) and would require a long-range signal broadcast/receiver and a router at the runway in order to make the switch work.
The key fob is a good idea, but I'd like to keep it airplane radio-controlled if possible.
I may have to revisit these two options again if I can't come up with something else though.
Thanks again and I welcome more ideas!
Wag-aero used to have complete runway lighting kits, that I thought also contained a VHF receiver controller, but I don't read the description that way now. Might be worth checking into.
I use one of these cell phone switches to turn on my oil pan heater in the winter. I use a T-Mobile simcard and the cost is $10 every 3 months. It works great. If I'm going to fly I turn it on the night before with a phone call...you can program each call to make the device stay on or turn off when you want.
I followed RV builder Mike Bullock's design: http://www.rvplane.com/?categoryid=7&dayid=1005
He later upgraded to 4G capability which it sounds like I may have to do as well: http://rvplane.com/?categoryid=10000&dayid=1379
Windtek also makes a VHF control module, although I’m not sure how expensive it is.....