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Old 27-09-2009, 16:45   #1
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NASA Supernova LED Navigation Lights

Hello!

ANy opinions on NASA's new Supernova LED nav lights? They seem very cheap compared to most of the other brands out there...
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Old 27-09-2009, 17:04   #2
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I believe NASA produce low-cost versions of a number of standard marine items, it certainly is refreshing to have some price-based competition in an otherwise decadently overpriced market.. (no affiliation)
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Old 27-09-2009, 17:59   #3
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Haven't used the NASA LED lights, but have been watching out for them on eBay. I have several other NASA instruments though - speed, depth, wind and GPS repeater. These have been installed for a bit over 2 years now and, touch wood, have functioned faultlessly so far. They certainly are relatively cheap compared to other more well-known brands.
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Old 27-09-2009, 19:44   #4
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Colours may not be right

You would have to be careful with the coloured lights, as the red and green are supposed to conform to a specific frequency range, and there is some form of certification/testing that can (should?) be performed by the manufacturer. I remember reading a bunch of info about this a while back, and there is a tendency for LED lights to look too blue when used for the green sector. They are great as anchor lights and stern lights, I have them for both.
As usual with me only half the story.
cheers
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Old 28-09-2009, 07:39   #5
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If this is the same British company that makes the AIS and speedo units, they seem to make good gear. I'll look for this at the next Toronto Boat Show, as they were there last year.

I am a little leery of British electronics, though...the record isn't stellar.
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Old 28-09-2009, 13:01   #6
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NASA

Their other equipment 'inexpensive' but do not expect top quality. I had problems with my SSB receiver, a friend had issues with their Weatherfax unit, and one other colleague had problems with their Wind system.

I would go for it anyway - given the low / nil support we get from makers of the more expensive (and apparently higher quality) stuff, why not.

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Old 28-09-2009, 13:07   #7
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I might be wrong, but I think theres only a few approved by us coast guard and like. Another thing thats important, the wiring, since currents are so low there will be no drying effect on wires as in "old" bulbs, where wires get a lil warm for drying effect. Just a tip I got from Hallberg Rassys supplier on these./ Harry
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Old 28-09-2009, 16:05   #8
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I might be wrong, but I think theres only a few approved by us coast guard and like. Another thing thats important, the wiring, since currents are so low there will be no drying effect on wires as in "old" bulbs, where wires get a lil warm for drying effect. Just a tip I got from Hallberg Rassys supplier on these./ Harry
- outside US, the lights have to meet COLREGS specs (not marine authority approvals), of course - insurers or boat maker's interests may in effect end up in USCG/other authority approval required/granted, as per specific coutry's market customs and regulations,

- can you please expand on the 'lil warm' thing - never heard about it before - always imagined that if the cable gets warm - it is too fine for the application,

- you mean HR supplier of NASA or of the cables???, I do not believe HR uses NASA for anything, and if they use undersized cables - perhaps we should warn them of such a supplier practice ?

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Old 28-09-2009, 17:36   #9
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PS I do not think one can expect any issues with colors in NASA lights - they are designed as proper LED lights - not a LED replacement bulbs or anything. The color issues may crop up with some white LED bulb replacements (but now one can buy tri-color LEDs as well as color-corrected LED white bulbs.

A 'cool LED' bulb replacement in standard "non-LED" housing looks ... bluish (?). Not an issue to me once I know they exist, but probably not in line with COLREGS specs.

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Old 28-09-2009, 23:57   #10
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I never wrote that HR uses NASA. There are other Manufacurers as well./Harry
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Old 29-09-2009, 13:36   #11
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I never wrote that HR uses NASA. There are other Manufacurers as well./Harry
vs.:

"...where wires get a lil warm for drying effect. Just a tip I got from Hallberg Rassys supplier on these./ Harry"

Meaning?

So I read it 'Hallberg Rassy's supplier on /cables?/'. Correct?

Hallberg Rassy's supplier of cables that get a 'lil warm', for warming effect.

PLS expand or explain. I am puzzled.

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Old 29-09-2009, 14:24   #12
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...meaning that with regular bulbs currents are higher cables get warmer, wich helps to keep system dryer as opposed with wires for LED where currents are low you dont get same effect. LED light cables are there for more proof to moisture./Harry
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Old 29-09-2009, 17:48   #13
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OK, THX, now I see the point.

My take: the current is less only for same AWG of cables, which is not the case, because we will use finer cables (one of the benefits) for LEDs, thus current will remain the same, all other things equal.

If we make the same mistake and undersize the cables, pop, and here goes the weasel, with hot cables.

But I would, repeat NOT, undersize the cables to the extent where they heat because any heat will suggest resistance - read voltage drop - read less visibility (for normal bulbs).

I believe that properly installed cables, marine grade, do not get wet and all and any (and a big IF too) moisture will get dissipated by the heat of the sun warming the mast and the cables run in it.

But this is just my take and I might be wrong.

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Old 29-09-2009, 18:41   #14
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Wetting current

When dealing with relays there is a minimum current which is referred to as a wetting current which is the minimum current which will help to prevent oxidation of the contacts. If a current far to small for the relay is used for a very long time, the resistance of the contacts can go up substantially. It may be that other connections in the system will behave in the same manner. I would not jump to the conclusion that wire size is marginal.
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Old 30-09-2009, 14:55   #15
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When dealing with relays there is a minimum current which is referred to as a wetting current which is the minimum current which will help to prevent oxidation of the contacts...
The wetting current (or sealing current) is the minimum current needing to flow through a mechanical switch or relay, as it closes, which breaks through any film (contact oxidation) that may have been deposited on the switch contacts while open.
It doesn't prevent the insultaing film.
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