My friend Kevin had a benchtop planer that he wasn’t using (too noisy for where he lives) and offered to trade it if I made him a landing pad for his drones.

Construction details:

I cut the circle and holes for 25 LEDs on my Maslow CNC router from a sheet of plywood. I used iron-on banding around the edge. The circle wasn’t perfect, which is probably a combination of how I cut to the very edge of the plywood, and the fact that you never know exactly what kind of junk the manufacturer sandwiches between the outer veneers.

The sensor (a simple ultrasonic) and lights (WS2811) are controlled by an Arduino nano, which is powered by a simple USB battery pack. I cut the decals for the top using my Cricut Maker. They are “permanent vinyl”, but I put a few coats of acrylic (Krylon spray-on) over the top just for extra protection. I designed and 3D-printed some simple covers for the lights, as well as to protect the electronics below.