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Old 18-12-2013, 21:37   #46
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Mark, his point is that if the black colour is from loading the epoxy with graphite, then the epoxy becomes conductive and could short out the components that it surrounds. Other pigments are not conductive, and so no problem ensues.

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Old 19-12-2013, 06:28   #47
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Yes, the graphite part was the part I understood, and the point I made to hellosailor (post #42).

I don't understand hellosailor's point about the color black itself being a problem (post #44).

Perhaps I am misunderstanding something?

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Old 19-12-2013, 09:47   #48
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Mark, typically a potted anchor light has no other enclosure. The "potting" material becomes the lens and case and the LEDs have to be seen through it. So if the potting material is black, so is the lens, the housing, the case. The LEDs are internal, completely potted, not just sticking out.

Aren't they?
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Old 19-12-2013, 15:45   #49
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

On the Bebi, the LED's were sticking out of the PVC cap. The Frankenbebi guy said they were potting them with black epoxy. I think the confusion is simply that I am picturing a design with potted electronics and external LED's and you are picturing a completely potted system.

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Old 19-12-2013, 16:13   #50
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

We really need to get some photos up on the website don't we? Hope this resolves the confusion.
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Old 19-12-2013, 16:58   #51
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Ah, that would explain it. Such a waste of PVC pipe.<G> Which is also prone to UV damage, isn't it?

I didn't realize cap was faithfully following the Bebi PVC design.
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Old 20-12-2013, 08:25   #52
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Quote:
didn't realize cap was faithfully following the Bebi PVC design.
While the "guts" of the FrankenBebi are a brand new design (No Owls were harmed in the making of this product) case design is a huge factor in any piece of hardware depending on the requirements. For an anchor light it needs to be durable, weather tight, low cost in relation to additional required components and allow for simple assembly. Initial costs for design including tooling (prototype and production) and unit cost vs distribution requirements (minimum orders) for custom cases can be extremely high. Average tooling costs for a small injection molded case are in the range of $2400-$4000.

Michael and Kendra's design of the original Owl using a low cost, readily available PVC pipe cap for the case and filling the cap with potting compound after assembly to make the entire unit watertight, is such an elegant solution that we could not see any way to improve upon it. We have increased the diameter of the cap to 1.5" (nominal) to ease assembly issues, but other than that, the original design of radially mounted LEDs in a PVC cap has remained unchanged.

The cap and potting combination do make the unit "non-serviceable" but we feel the long life of high quality solid state components make this design a better choice than a more expensive case that can be opened for service and therefor subject to failure of the additional gaskets and seals required to prevent water intrusion. Every navigation light we have ever owned, eventually showed internal corrosion effects eventually. As the components are fully potted in the Frankenbebi, exposure of the internal components to corrosion conditions is virtually impossible. Have not tested the FrankenBebi at depths over 3M for greater than 2 hours, but if your anchor light is over 10 feet underwater for more than 2 hours, you got bigger problems

Quote:
Which is also prone to UV damage, isn't it?
Testing and past field experience studies have concluded that when conventional Type I, Grade I (Cell Class 12454) rigid PVC pipe and fittings are exposed to UV radiation from sunlight the following conditions have been noted.
The effects of exposure to UV radiation results in a color change to the product, slight increase in tensile strength, slight increase in modulus of elasticity, and a slight decrease in impact strength.
UV degradation occurs only in the plastic material directly exposed to UV radiation and to extremely shallow penetration depths (frequently less the 0.01).

None of the dead Owls we have examined appear to have failed from degradation of the PVC case or potting compound.
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Old 20-12-2013, 10:42   #53
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Thanks, Cap.

I would wonder if the original design wasn't also influenced by "What materials can we get in Fiji?" and PVC pipe would likely be an inexpensive and readily available one. Here in the States, I would use silicone molding compound to take a mold of a PVC pipe cap, and then throw away the PVC. Having a dozen LEDs penetrate through the compound creates a dozen opportunities for leaks and requires manual fittings and placements. I'd rather take the silicon mold, drop the completed circuit board into it as one piece, and then fill with a casting compound, like filling an ice tray. The result should be a fully sealed integral unit which pops out of the silicone mold just like an ice cube out of the tray. Polish it up and it will glisten. No need to tease 12 LEDs through the pipe and into alignment. Cost? Probably slightly less, considering there's no PVC to buy and the mold gets amortized out in the production run.

I've seen PVC pipe used in man overboard poles and similar applications, and always seen or heard that, like fiberglass, it will chalk and degrade somewhat in normal use, unless painted or sealed over. I guess "up there" that's not going to be noticed, or very important.

Just saying, I think an "ice cube" approach has some merits, when your materiel chain is Old World instead of isolated islands. Same design--just a case mod to make it happen.

No?
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:55   #54
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

My biggest concern with the ice-cube approach would be the effect of the "clear" acrylic or urethane casting on the specified beam spread of the LEDs due to refraction, as well as possible reduction in luminous intensity due to absorption.

Even so, it is an interesting concept and worth investigating further. I will pass it along to the group.

Thanks for the detailed suggestion.
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Old 20-12-2013, 15:01   #55
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

I'd agree with your concerns, but suspect the beamspread would actually just smooth out the light, as opposed to relying on the fall-off from each of the LEDs to overlap. Absorbtion might be an issue but between "water white" resins and having enough brightness to start with...I don't see practical worry there.

Still, there's only one way to find out, eh?
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Old 26-12-2013, 06:34   #56
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Like many on this forum we are watching the progress with great interest. I did send the link over to Michael (former owner of Bebi) now living in American Samoa a couple months ago.

We have been using Bebi lights for many years and currently have 3 owl lights mounted and in use. 2 blue Owl's one mounted on the bow and the other on the stern plus a all white owl mounted on top of the radar unit. We have had 2 fail that were quickly replaced by Bebi when they were still in business. Some of the LED lights stopped working.

I have seen some discussion regarding going to a slightly larger cap. I understand the reason behind this but from a permanent mounting standpoint we found off the shelf antenna mounts worked great for the original owl lights. All 3 are mounted as fixed lights using these marine antenna mouints. I mention this just as food for thought. I assume you will be making them for both hanging and fixed mount?

Will blue lights be part of the mix as well? They are really terrific and they really stand out when coming in from offshore and there are tons of background lights showing. I know not legal anchor lights but our goal is to be seen and not run down.

Has anyone given any thought to mounting options on the light?

Happy Holidays and warm regards from the crew of Jacaranda

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Old 26-12-2013, 11:20   #57
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Chuck-

"Will blue lights be part of the mix as well?"

Unless you are a military or law enforcement vessel, showing a blue light in US waters will get you in deep trouble. IIRC flashing blue lights are only for law enforcement on active calls, and solid blue lights indicate military vessels on maneuvers.

You'll get lots of attention from your uniformed neighbors if they see blue lights and ask who else is operating in their area.

I thought that was international, too. Or is it just our quaint US tradition?
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Old 26-12-2013, 11:45   #58
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

I think just a Quaint US tradition, rather like the baseball / American football World series etc.
Lots of fiz boats and some super yachts have been fitting blue underwater lights for when they are in the marina.
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Old 26-12-2013, 12:01   #59
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Chuck-

"Will blue lights be part of the mix as well?"

Unless you are a military or law enforcement vessel, showing a blue light in US waters will get you in deep trouble. IIRC flashing blue lights are only for law enforcement on active calls, and solid blue lights indicate military vessels on maneuvers.

You'll get lots of attention from your uniformed neighbors if they see blue lights and ask who else is operating in their area.

I thought that was international, too. Or is it just our quaint US tradition?
HelloSailor
I used a blue tube light for many years in Calif before departing in 2005. This was in addition to our all around white anchor light. Never had any issues with police or military. Bebi was making these lights for the past few years.

We get a lot of attention from our neighbors inquiring where we purchased them and how they can get their hands on one. Why because they can be seen miles offshore even when there is a large city front with a zillion other lights. Many folks are now using LED strip lights in various colors to increase there visibility while at anchor.

I hope the blue lights will be thrown into the hopper for consideration.

Safe anchoring

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Old 26-12-2013, 12:12   #60
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Steve-
I don't think COLREGS and the other laws cover underwater lights. I don't even think they cover underwater lighting on submarines.

If a submerged submarine is towing a barge string with more than 100 meters of cable, in reverse at high speed, what color light patterns does it show anyway? :-)
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