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Old 12-04-2010, 18:52   #61
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Oh we use Christmas lights too!
What a great idea Mark. I reckon I should replace my car lights with some Xmas lights decorations. For a start two Rudolfs will be perfect for brake lights.
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Old 13-04-2010, 21:38   #62
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I can get LEDs for 10 cents... if you wire 4 white leds in series you can put 12v across them. I figure I will do this for my anchor light.
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Old 14-04-2010, 14:53   #63
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Yeah, you can get REAL GOOD WHITE LEDS for TEN CENTS EACH.

"HEY RUBE!"

Let us know how that works out. (The answer will be "badly".)
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Old 14-04-2010, 15:14   #64
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I also have a Bebi LED anchor light and love it, very bright. You can get it from these friendly folks in Tarpon Springs, Fl. : Home
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Old 14-04-2010, 15:25   #65
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Yeah, you can get REAL GOOD WHITE LEDS for TEN CENTS EACH.

"HEY RUBE!"

Let us know how that works out. (The answer will be "badly".)
Be polite.
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Old 14-04-2010, 18:59   #66
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That was an analogy, not an accusation. Sorry if that was unclear.

i.e., the carnies really do know that the rubes "know" that they really CAN win the big prize...but it ain't gonna happen. Ten cent parts and ten dollar parts (which is about what a prime white high power LED costs in odd-lot single purchases) will never quite be the same. And side by side, you can tell which one is the big prize.
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Old 14-04-2010, 19:15   #67
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Ten cent parts and ten dollar parts (which is about what a prime white high power LED costs in odd-lot single purchases) will never quite be the same. And side by side, you can tell which one is the big prize.
Not to mention that the use of totally unregulated voltages and currents with LEDs in something so important that also sits atop your mast is probably a bad idea. If you are gonna build your own LED light, take the time to research and understand what LEDs like and what they dont...
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Old 22-04-2010, 00:58   #68
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I highly recommend the "Optolamp "Amazonia" LED Tri-Color/Ancor/Strobe Light". It has a small form factor, is the first light to come on at night in an anchorage, and very bright and visible... all for $225 US... I ordered mine from Svendsensmarine.com in Alemeda (near Oakland/San Francisco California) via the internet... you can find other suppliers, but this is the one I know and where I got mine...


5-in-1: Tri-color Navigation light, Anchor light, Strobe, Fast Strobe and Bi-dimensional signalization: vertical emission for emergency. Absolute safe signalization: maximum light intensity with discharged batteries. Consumes 18 times less energy. Features
  • SIMPLE INSTALLATION: Only 2 Wires for Tricolor/Anchor Light, Only 3 Wires for Tricolor/Anchor/Strobe Light.
  • It can work 49 nights with a 12V/75A battery without recharge.
  • Total resistance against mechanic stress.

Optolamp "Amazonia" 5-in-1 LED

Only note is the three way switch that comes with it, I had some salt water get on it, and corrode it when I was checking functionality... Optolamp sent me a free replacement, with additional instructions and a few emails with an Engineer to sort out a wiring question... HIGHLY recommend this product and the companies service... all at the best price i could find for a 5 function LED light...

Had the light on since Mexico and now in Australia... would buy it again, and again... with the old tri-color only using 2.5amp, this one uses 1/10amp! My best investment of this trip!

jeff
s/v Nemesis
Sydney, Australia
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Old 22-07-2010, 06:39   #69
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Originally Posted by geckosenator View Post
I can get LEDs for 10 cents... if you wire 4 white leds in series you can put 12v across them. I figure I will do this for my anchor light.
You are not accounting for any surges or spikes from your charging equipment. Also, your 12 volt battery is about 13.2 volts fully charged.

For LED lighting to last in anything but a test environment, you need a voltage regulating circuit to limit the voltage to the LEDs. A voltage spike of even a fraction of a second will destroy an LED.

The other issue is the fact that LED light output is very directional. With just four LEDs spaced 90 degrees apart, you will have a light output resembling a four leaf clover, not a complete 360 degree circle.
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Old 22-07-2010, 06:47   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptStarboard View Post
I highly recommend the "Optolamp "Amazonia" LED Tri-Color/Ancor/Strobe Light". It has a small form factor, is the first light to come on at night in an anchorage, and very bright and visible... all for $225 US... I ordered mine from Svendsensmarine.com in Alemeda (near Oakland/San Francisco California) via the internet... you can find other suppliers, but this is the one I know and where I got mine...


5-in-1: Tri-color Navigation light, Anchor light, Strobe, Fast Strobe and Bi-dimensional signalization: vertical emission for emergency. Absolute safe signalization: maximum light intensity with discharged batteries. Consumes 18 times less energy. Features
  • SIMPLE INSTALLATION: Only 2 Wires for Tricolor/Anchor Light, Only 3 Wires for Tricolor/Anchor/Strobe Light.
  • It can work 49 nights with a 12V/75A battery without recharge.
  • Total resistance against mechanic stress.

Optolamp "Amazonia" 5-in-1 LED

Only note is the three way switch that comes with it, I had some salt water get on it, and corrode it when I was checking functionality... Optolamp sent me a free replacement, with additional instructions and a few emails with an Engineer to sort out a wiring question... HIGHLY recommend this product and the companies service... all at the best price i could find for a 5 function LED light...

Had the light on since Mexico and now in Australia... would buy it again, and again... with the old tri-color only using 2.5amp, this one uses 1/10amp! My best investment of this trip!

jeff
s/v Nemesis
Sydney, Australia
Cool looking unit but for that kind of money one would expect some RINA or USCG certifications, of which I saw neither. Have they submitted for certifications? Also curious as to when a strobe can legally be used on a sail boat under the COLREGS?
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Old 22-07-2010, 08:12   #71
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"your 12 volt battery is about 13.2 volts fully charged."
That's called a "float charge" or "surface charge", a side effect of having just been charged from an outside source. The battery itself will NEVER exceed 12.6-12.8 volts in real charge. (It varies with the makers' chemistry, 12.6 is more common.)
If you see a battery reading over 12.8, touch a 5-10A load to it for a mere 30 seconds. You'll see that surface charge go away immediately as the real voltage shows up on your meter.
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Old 22-07-2010, 08:34   #72
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"your 12 volt battery is about 13.2 volts fully charged."
That's called a "float charge" or "surface charge", a side effect of having just been charged from an outside source. The battery itself will NEVER exceed 12.6-12.8 volts in real charge. (It varies with the makers' chemistry, 12.6 is more common.)
If you see a battery reading over 12.8, touch a 5-10A load to it for a mere 30 seconds. You'll see that surface charge go away immediately as the real voltage shows up on your meter.
I think it's actually somewhere between what I posted and what you posted. It depends on who you ask.

That said, the voltage applied by the battery charger or alternator can be as high as 14.5 volts. That is the voltage on your DC system in charging mode and it is the voltage seen by your lights.

If you design your LED lights for 12 volts and they see 14.5 volts, they will be destroyed in short order.

This is why a voltage regulating circuit is required for reliability. You cannot just put LEDs in series by themselves or with a limiting resistor.

Technically, you could but you would end up withy poor light output at lower voltages such as when the charging system is off.

In real life, your boat's 12 volt DC system can be anywhere from 10.5 volts to 14.5 volts and a given time.
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Old 22-07-2010, 10:17   #73
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the max charge on our batteries is going to be 12.71.-- is online--can be looked up by typing in deep cycle batteries..ta daa..the info comes i=up. there fore--not a guessing game, is a fact game.

in real life, your battery charge WILL fluctuate but your batteries will not charge to mpore than 12.71----let h=them rest after charging and then, see in the morning after you , as well, have rested. while charging , is not uncommon to see 14.2-14.4 or so--is a charging number only--not what the battery holds. if you see more than 14.6 then you need to repair the voltage regulator.

nice tricolor----is a good thing to reduce the amount of usage by lamps while sailing--so the lights last thru the nocturnal passage---easier to do that when the lamps donot draw the 2-3 amps/hr the older ones used to --LOL--makes a lot of sense--good to find these!!


in the darkest times of the deepest dark night, out in the no moon gulf, 220 miles deep and 100 miles from shore--you're SAILING--no engine--sailing..LOL...you see, way way off on the horizon a bright light. that light stays the same for ever. wow loong time before seeing what could be the light 's source. after a coupla hours of this, you see a huge christmas tree--lol--is a triangle from sea to sky--looks like a tug boat!!! wow .. the captain calls you on the vhf--sailboat sailboat which way are you going--you have no running lights--(uhoh--they broke AGAIN!) ..good thing there is a light (2) shining the sails--is how the cpt of the shrimper pretending to be a tug and tow in the darkest night ----now, as we have watched each other for over 5 miles, tell me these lights are no good for REAL LIFE use. LOL....i just came back from real life use, friends...a near year of it in the gulf of mexico---we saw uscg. we saw navy, we saw many other ships and boats on the seas.
not one time did any official we pass consider interfering with our passages. so run what ye brung and have a good time out there--be safe--be seen and have many backups--whatever kind you choose to use--i prefer inexpensive and not missed if they jump ship..LOL...the expensive running lites are definitely missed when they fall into the sea from poor construction. or from poor placement by some previous owner vs boatbuilder....as long as the regs are met , is all good--the regs do NOT state the lights must be such and so--they only state the brightness and distance factors. run what ye brung.
be seen.
have fun.
thankyuou for sharing that nice tricolor!!
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Old 22-07-2010, 10:44   #74
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"It depends on who you ask." Yes, but if you ask the folks who have degrees in chemistry, or the folks who build batteries, they'll all tell you the same correct answer: A wet lead battery is not going to produce more than 12.8 volts under any conditions although it can store a surface charge slightly above that, for short times, as a result of charging.

And similarly, 14.5V would be overcharging, a "hot charge". Anything over 14.3-14.4 is considered excessive for conventional lead-acid batteries that are rated a nominal 12 volts.

Since digital voltmeters are off by as much as 3/10ths of a volt unless they are lab calibrated, you may observe different numbers--but that doesn't affect what the real voltages are.

If I ever caught a charging system at 14.5 volts, first I'd question my meter, then I'd pull the charger as being defective and in the early stages of failure.

Similarly, a lead acid battery is essentially at 100% discharge by 11.5 volts, whatever is one full volt under its max capacity. Sure, you can suck the voltage lower during engine starts, but if you ever see your house bank at anything below 11.5? You're doing it serious damage. You should never see 10.5 unless you also find out someone left the stereo on all night and you're going to need the hand crank.

And if you want to get a decent number of charge cycles out of your battery, and never cycle it below the 50% point...you never want to see any reading below 12V on the house batteries.

With an SLI ("starter-lights-ignition") battery, as few as six full discharges can ruin it totally and forever, no matter how new it is or how short they were.

Those are not my opinions, those are the repeated and uniform advice given to me by the folks who make batteries and charging systems. And meters.
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Old 22-07-2010, 11:19   #75
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Trojan Battery Company
and i trust my gps for voltage..LOL...is a better voltmeter than the harbor frieght ones LOL.....so---read and weep....trojan is the ideal battery for the job, as far as i can see--they last 8 yrs and dont let me down..LOL....this is what they say about what you feel is important topic for debate----watch your voltmeter when you charge the batts--should be charging between 13.6 and 14.2 give or take a .something small......so--if the voltmeter says 15--get new regulator lol...if 14 something, is ok and batts NEEDED to be charged BADLY.....generally i see 13.6 - 13.8 if i am deep charging my battery banks.
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