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Old 03-12-2013, 10:20   #106
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
i am all for saving money, and have engineering experience in high-output LED lights.

if your so hard up for a buck, that you would not spend $100 on a name brand, LED, anchor light, then your asking to be cut in half by my blunt bow.
Scoobert, you'r such a sweetie.... Why should someone spend $100 on a light when another for $25 works the same or better. I should mention that the bulb I use also has a two year warranty and is CE and FCC compliant. It's not CG certified, but then bare bulbs generally aren't except when used with very specific light housings.

The certification (33 CFR 183.810) is required by the US CG for navigation light assemblies installed on new vessels sold in the US and for all commercial vessels. The certification deals with the construction of the fixture (water resistant, corrosion resistant, etc) along with light output. Bulbs by themselves are not certified. They are only certified as part of a specific light fixture.

As someone who lives at anchor a large part of the time, having a very bright anchor light that not only easily meets the 2nm requirement but also lights up a good portion of the deck, is VERY important to me. Sorry but the typical mast head anchor light does not meet my requirements. I do have one BTW too, a mast head unit.

As I've said before, when anchoring in locations (such as the SF bay area or southern Florida) where there is shore lighting, be it homes on hills or high rises, mast head lights tend to get lost in the shore clutter. For me, its better to have a light lower, closer to the water "where it can best be seen", that also provides deck illumination and better parallax motion when viewed from another moving boat.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:02   #107
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Re: LED Anchor Light

FCC compliance, lol. anyway i use the anchor light and stern light at anchor. i agree, up high is not best, in face a stern light, facing forward would give 360 for small boats to see me, and the mast head light, gives big boats the ability to see me.
honestly, until you said that, i never thought of mounting a light on the front of the yacht, for just anchoring.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:25   #108
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
FCC compliance, lol. anyway i use the anchor light and stern light at anchor. i agree, up high is not best, in face a stern light, facing forward would give 360 for small boats to see me, and the mast head light, gives big boats the ability to see me.
honestly, until you said that, i never thought of mounting a light on the front of the yacht, for just anchoring.
FCC as in part 15 RF noise. Some Leds produce too much RF...

Of course when I anchor, I'm generally only worried about the little boats. Ships rarely go through an anchorage around here. Though more a problem in other places
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:28   #109
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Of course when I anchor, I'm generally only worried about the little boats. Ships rarely go through an anchorage around here. Though more a problem in other places
thats where we differ. i worry about the barges that don't care, not suicide boaters they are just a nuisance.
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Old 03-12-2013, 14:04   #110
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Re: LED Anchor Light

evans-
In my limited knowledge, the "CE" mark is like our US "UL" mark. It means the device was submitted and tested and didn't cause the lab to burn down. It does not have anything to do with radio interference.
Even if you found a light with an FCC certification, there are several types for several purposes and none of them would translate into "this device won't make any noise at all." AFAIK. This is a good reason to get a "dumb" nav light, since a plain LED with a dumb regulator or load resistor won't make any radio frequency noise at all. The ones that get complicated with daylight sensors, or digital regulators, or pulse width modulation to lower the actual power consumption without appearing any dimmer, all of those could create RFI at some frequency or other, and picking a "no one will miss this" frequency so the boater doesn't complain, is engineering.

"In theory, running non-colreg compliant nav lights is as illegal as not keeping a proper watch. " Aye, but "uncertified" has nothing to do with "non-compliant". I can teach an eight year old how to build and test for compliance. If I give him fifty grand and tell him how to submit it for testing, now it will be USCG certified as well. Either way--it is compliant.

Now, with autos, the rules are in fact radically different. In the US, all vehicle lighting must be actually certified compliant by our DOT. If there is no DOT stamp embossed on the lamp assembly, the vehicle is illegal to operate on the public roads. In the EU there is a similar mark, offhand I don't know what. In the US this is largely unenforced, especially since there are no "federal highway police" and since it is a federal regulation, states don't directly enforce it either, although many states have motor vehicle codes that call for uniform compliance with the DOT regulations. Again, largely unenforced.

Sailorchick-
If you have a $25 incandescent bulb at the top of a 60' mast, and you know it will burn out sometime, you also know that it will burn out at night, when it is in use. Most likely it will blow out when you turn it on, as most incandescent bulbs do. So now you've got a reasonable chance that the bulb will go black while you are under way, when you need to have it.
I'd rather invest the extra $75 up front, climb the mast on a dead flat calm day while docked or moored, and *know* that the LEDs will probably last 50,000 hours, that's almost eleven and a half years at 12 hours per night. In practical terms, I will never have to choose between running black and climbing the mast on a stormy night.
What does the MasterCard commercial say? "Priceless."

Although, I don't think I could find what I would call a really adequate LED nav light for $100, even a home-made one. Prime quality LEDs with some redundancy up there and excessive brightness will blow that hundred bucks clear into the next hemisphere.
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Old 03-12-2013, 14:15   #111
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Re: LED Anchor Light

^^

so I guess my question is . . . . anyone know for sure (eg has actually tried it) of any led tricolor lights (bulbs that fit an aqua signal 40, or complete fixtures) that will not create noticeable RF noise on the AIS and vhf 16 freqs?

When I flip the tricolor on and off I don't want to see targets on my AIS disappear and appear.

And hopefully they are quality lights that will not break after 20 hours like the lopo's have.

If there is no such led solution . . . . then either I need to move my AIS antenna (and possibly the VHF), or run my deck nav lights rather than the tricolor (much easier).
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Old 03-12-2013, 15:14   #112
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
^^

so I guess my question is . . . . anyone know for sure (eg has actually tried it) of any led tricolor lights (bulbs that fit an aqua signal 40, or complete fixtures) that will not create noticeable RF noise on the AIS and vhf 16 freqs?

When I flip the tricolor on and off I don't want to see targets on my AIS disappear and appear.

And hopefully they are quality lights that will not break after 20 hours like the lopo's have.

If there is no such led solution . . . . then either I need to move my AIS antenna (and possibly the VHF), or run my deck nav lights rather than the tricolor (much easier).
Well can't help much as my lopo is one of the ones which has lasted. But just tried it with tricolour and anchorlight, it makes no difference on a gx2100e. But they are all class A returns, are you loosing class B or A?

Not that you should have to, but a capacitor might filter out the rf. Works at lower frequencies on noisy eBay dc regulators I have onboard.

No doubt someone here might know more...
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Old 03-12-2013, 15:51   #113
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Sometimes this forum really answers some questions I didn't know I was asking. I had some trouble with my AIS on night passages but haven't thought about it of late as I've been hanging around Thailand for a couple of years and not doing any real passages. I run a LED tri colour and I bet the whole RF interference thing is the problem. ... so simple but never crossed my mind. Will experiment when I return to boat.
Thanks .
Cheers Dale.
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Old 03-12-2013, 16:07   #114
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Not that you should have to, but a capacitor might filter out the rf. Works at lower frequencies on noisy eBay dc regulators I have onboard.
I just went looking for others' ideas re filtering out the noise from a LED... I was hoping someone could confirm that a simple filter with a toroid and a cap or two would suffice, but this series of comments suggests that the problem is well-known and tough to handle .

Just found this little paper on taming LED EMI in cars. It will provide filtering ideas for the electronically-minded, but also shows that the best RFI taming has to be designed right into the product.

So it seems that the ball is in the court of the makers of masthead lights to produce a LED-lit model that does not kill VHF reception.
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Old 03-12-2013, 16:14   #115
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
evans-
In my limited knowledge, the "CE" mark is like our US "UL" mark. It means the device was submitted and tested and didn't cause the lab to burn down. It does not have anything to do with radio interference.
Even if you found a light with an FCC certification, there are several types for several purposes and none of them would translate into "this device won't make any noise at all." AFAIK. This is a good reason to get a "dumb" nav light, since a plain LED with a dumb regulator or load resistor won't make any radio frequency noise at all. The ones that get complicated with daylight sensors, or digital regulators, or pulse width modulation to lower the actual power consumption without appearing any dimmer, all of those could create RFI at some frequency or other, and picking a "no one will miss this" frequency so the boater doesn't complain, is engineering.

"In theory, running non-colreg compliant nav lights is as illegal as not keeping a proper watch. " Aye, but "uncertified" has nothing to do with "non-compliant". I can teach an eight year old how to build and test for compliance. If I give him fifty grand and tell him how to submit it for testing, now it will be USCG certified as well. Either way--it is compliant.

Now, with autos, the rules are in fact radically different. In the US, all vehicle lighting must be actually certified compliant by our DOT. If there is no DOT stamp embossed on the lamp assembly, the vehicle is illegal to operate on the public roads. In the EU there is a similar mark, offhand I don't know what. In the US this is largely unenforced, especially since there are no "federal highway police" and since it is a federal regulation, states don't directly enforce it either, although many states have motor vehicle codes that call for uniform compliance with the DOT regulations. Again, largely unenforced.

Sailorchick-
If you have a $25 incandescent bulb at the top of a 60' mast, and you know it will burn out sometime, you also know that it will burn out at night, when it is in use. Most likely it will blow out when you turn it on, as most incandescent bulbs do. So now you've got a reasonable chance that the bulb will go black while you are under way, when you need to have it.
I'd rather invest the extra $75 up front, climb the mast on a dead flat calm day while docked or moored, and *know* that the LEDs will probably last 50,000 hours, that's almost eleven and a half years at 12 hours per night. In practical terms, I will never have to choose between running black and climbing the mast on a stormy night.
What does the MasterCard commercial say? "Priceless."

Although, I don't think I could find what I would call a really adequate LED nav light for $100, even a home-made one. Prime quality LEDs with some redundancy up there and excessive brightness will blow that hundred bucks clear into the next hemisphere.

Well I don't actually use my mast head anchor light at all. Plus I have that wimpy girlie 30' mast. I do have a spare bulb for the aquasignal and the climbing rig to change it. I still feel that the lower led light light gives better visibility to other boaters and even barges. The CG has zoomed by my boat many a night with no stops for non-compliant anchor lights. BTW I carry a spare LED bulb too.

As far as running black, I have a back up anchor light ready to go at a flip of the switch. This engineer has worked on too many 24/7 projects where N+1 was the norm to not have a backup. Having a backup to the backup is my idea of safety. My backup to the back up would be to hang battery power lights / scrobes from each life vests in the rigging.

I should note that there is no noise on the VHF with the back stay mounted LED anchor light on. However my ham radio with preamp on does actually pick up the PWM of the led light at 17 to 24 ish mhz ;-(. With preamp off it doesn't or my poor ears can't tell the difference anyway. But then the led is basically an inch away from the active antenna. My HT at 161.975 MHZ with open squelch and with the antenna held against the led bulb did not pick any noise from the LED.. So the LED bulb I use would interfere with some weather fax, but probably not AIS.

This is the bulb I use and yes they sell one to fit the aqua signal. 1156 LED Bulb - Single Intensity 18 SMD LED Tower | BA15 Bayonet Base Bulbs | Boat/RV/Other LED Replacement Bulbs | Boat, RV, and Other Lighting | Super Bright LEDs

A link to a photo from the website. http://www.superbrightleds.com/image...ler_tier_1.jpg
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:35   #116
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Re: LED Anchor Light

evans-
As I recall, Michael from Bibi had discussed this when a forum member complained about his Owl (?) light making RFI. He was proud to point out his lights (Bibi) didn't make RFI, but he closed the company down so you'd be hard put to find their lights. If my memory isnt' totally gone, I think Owl also changed something in production and their RFI problem was supposed to be solved.

Maybe the FrankenBiBi project?
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:48   #117
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Re: LED Anchor Light

^^

Actually I guess I am a bit off thread, because my interest is in a tri color, rather than an anchor light.

I already have two bibi anchor lights. I don't know if they generate rf noise or not because I run them down lower rather than on the the masthead.

I guess I could install one of the bibi inside a tricolor lense, but they were not made with that in mind and I would worry about color and range.

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post

I should note that there is no noise on the VHF with the back stay mounted LED anchor light on. However my ham radio with preamp on does actually pick up the PWM of the led light at 17 to 24 ish mhz ;-(. With preamp off it doesn't or my poor ears can't tell the difference anyway. But then the led is basically an inch away from the active antenna. My HT at 161.975 MHZ with open squelch and with the antenna held against the led bulb did not pick any noise from the LED.. So the LED bulb I use would interfere with some weather fax, but probably not AIS.

This is the bulb I use and yes they sell one to fit the aqua signal. 1156 LED Bulb - Single Intensity 18 SMD LED Tower | BA15 Bayonet Base Bulbs | Boat/RV/Other LED Replacement Bulbs | Boat, RV, and Other Lighting | Super Bright LEDs
Hmmm . . . My masthead tricolor is real close to my masthead AIS antennae. And that bulb looks identical to one which I have used that does produce AIS noise. Not sure if they are the same, but I would just guess the general engineering is similar.

I do not hear 'noise' on my VHF, but I any distant AIS targets disappear (both a and b, of course at different ranges) and the AIS has a 'noise' display bar, which goes up. Perhaps the VHF "squelch" is filtering the noise.
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:52   #118
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Re: LED Anchor Light

FWIW, Installing "white" LEDs inside a colored lens is the wrong way to go. The resulting colors may be distorted or brightness very reduced, because the LED's "white" light is not at all the same color spectrum as the original incandescent bulb. For an LED tricolor, you really want red, green, and white LEDs up in there, not just an LED "replacement" white bulb.
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Old 03-12-2013, 18:16   #119
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Re: LED Anchor Light

I use the Misea LED anchor light. Uses 0.16amps and has dusk/dawn selection.3NM USCG approved. About $ 250 from Defender. I can see it in the ark while in the dink searching for the boat. lol,,. Very bright.
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Old 03-12-2013, 18:45   #120
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Re: LED Anchor Light

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I bought the ORCA masthead w solinoid last year on a vendors discount, mounted it just recently, put the stick back up checked and it shown very nicely. Went to the chandler's and flipping through a Practical Sailor saw that it was the worst rated for radio interference... aw dang it... went back to the boat and sure enough plenty of static. I had to set the squelch threshold way up. Something to keep in mind when shopping led mastheads.
BTW... can anyone recommend a DIY sheilding option that might counteract the interference?

Unfortunately, all of the PWM regulated LEDs create some radio interference. Some makers claim their's do not. The issue seems to be that the PWM frequency needs to be very high and perhaps some are building in capacitors to suppress the interference. - Anyone remember breaker-point ingnition systems? If the capacitor was blown - no radio. The BIBI ligts are great for this because they do not use PWM for current regualtion. Unfortuantely, BIBI is gone. A casualty of the reckless junta in Fiji.

You might try a replacement bulb from Marine Beam. Marinebeam Replacement LED bulbs for your existing boat fixtures I've had good luck with their PWM replacements including nav lights & no interference except from the high power spreader lights.
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