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
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.