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Old 01-11-2013, 19:18   #1
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The FrankenBebi Project

It's Alive!... With the sad demise of Bebi Electronics of Fiji, we have decided to start an "open source" project to resurrect the Bebi Owl. This post is not a solicitation for business, but rather a request for input from the cruising community. The Owl was too good a product to let fade into the past. We hope to resurrect it with this project.


The goal is to offer a replacement for the Owl anchor light taking advantage of the latest technology, while keeping the price and quality in line with the original Owl light. We plan to offer the FrankenBebi in three versions.
  • A complete, ready to use FrankenBebi
  • Build your own FrankenBebi kit with parts and instructions. (Igor not included)
  • An open source list of parts we use to assemble the FrankenBebi free to anyone who wants to figure it out and/or modify it for themselves.
At this point, we have several prototypes under test, and expect to have finished prototype products (version 0.03) ready in 4 to 6 weeks. We need 5 or 6 beta-testers to put these prototypes through their paces. If anyone is interested in being a "beta-tester", or would like more information about the project, The Castle Gates Are Here

We are not sure at this point that we can offer the original Bebi "lifetime" warranty, but we know we can offer a 5 year, no questions asked, replacement. If this project is successful we will also offer to replace any original Bebi Owl light bearing the "A Genuine Owl Lignt" logo that fails to operate. This offer is out of respect to the original Bebi Electronics founders and crew.

Note: We do not expect to have these lights "certified to meet requirements" by an outside laboratory due to the cost of testing. Please be aware of the risks of using "uncertified" equipment, even if it meets requirements. You may bear the burden of proof.


Regards,
Cap' Couillon and The FrankenBebi Project

(For a quick view of the typical goings on at the FrankenBebi project)
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Old 01-11-2013, 20:31   #2
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Old 01-11-2013, 21:09   #3
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

One can only hope that you have been in touch with Michael and Kendra, ( Ex Waitui Marina, SavuSavu ) founders of Bebi nav lights? I can't imagine that they don't have plans to re-establish manufacture of them elsewhere They got a bum deal, and need support, not competition.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:33   #4
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Quote:
One can only hope that you have been in touch with Michael and Kendra, ( Ex Waitui Marina, SavuSavu ) founders of Bebi nav lights? I can't imagine that they don't have plans to re-establish manufacture of them elsewhere They got a bum deal, and need support, not competition.
This has been a major concern since the inception of the project. The bad news is since the closing of the Bebi-Electronics website, we had no way to reach Michael and Kendra. The good news is (as expected) the cruising community is a relatively small world, and it didn't take long for the word to get back to them.

We recently received the following message via another cruising forum.
Quote:
Cap Couillon, Good luck on your project, it is a great concept, I have had a Bebi for years.

Michael and Kendra are friends so I wanted to check with them about this. I just received an email back giving their blessing to your project.
Not only did they green-light the project (we will sleep better now), they were good enough to pass along some input on one of our earlier design iterations as well. Great folks and we wish them well.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:59   #5
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

I'll watch this with interest until spring, at which point my "test beds" will be afloat again.
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:02   #6
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

If they have given you the green light, then you have my blessing also. The last I heard they were in Guam.
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:34   #7
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

good news were all watching and waitin ive got 2 owls - and there great
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:40   #8
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

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Originally Posted by capt-couillon View Post
This has been a major concern since the inception of the project. The bad news is since the closing of the Bebi-Electronics website, we had no way to reach Michael and Kendra. The good news is (as expected) the cruising community is a relatively small world, and it didn't take long for the word to get back to them.

We recently received the following message via another cruising forum.
Not only did they green-light the project (we will sleep better now), they were good enough to pass along some input on one of our earlier design iterations as well. Great folks and we wish them well.
Great news, but I suggest that you somehow directly correspond with Michael and Kendra. You don't want there to be any misunderstanding about the details. This is for your sake and theirs.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:12   #9
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Great idea!! A couple of comments:

1) Maybe do some testing against the specs in the NavRules appendices so that users can be assured that the product they buy is legal.

2) Consider a combination steaming/anchor light. There are tons of anchor lights available, and quite a few steaming lights. My boat is rigged to use a combination fixture, but those are less common in LED versions. I suspect I'm not the only one who would like to see other options in this area.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:20   #10
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Nevermind
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Old 05-11-2013, 00:00   #11
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Michael and Kendra are in American Samoa not Guam. I have sent them this link.
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Old 05-11-2013, 00:05   #12
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Yeah I realised I had it mixed up after I posted, thanks for the correction.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:29   #13
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Quote:
1) Maybe do some testing against the specs in the NavRules appendices so that users can be assured that the product they buy is legal.

2) Consider a combination steaming/anchor light. There are tons of anchor lights available, and quite a few steaming lights. My boat is rigged to use a combination fixture, but those are less common in LED versions. I suspect I'm not the only one who would like to see other options in this area.

personally I see no point in testing, as few countries need it.

secondly I don't think the colregs allow a combined anchor and steaming, one is an all round and the other is a sector.

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Old 05-11-2013, 07:10   #14
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

(Edit: It would appear Igor has fallen asleep at the switch, and the project webpage server is currently [Tues Morning] unavailable. We are trying to shake him awake to resolve the issue. Thanks for your patience)

Re: Testing to meet USCG Inland Rules requirements.

A bit of expansion on the decision NOT to have the FrankenBebi lights tested in order to be certified as meeting the CFR Title 33 > Chapter I > Part 84 - Annex I: Positioning and technical details of lights and shapes USCG Inland Rules.

1. As stated by "Goboatingnow" the requirements are not necessarily valid outside the US Colregs lines.
2. The cost of testing by an outside laboratory and submission for approval of certification by the USCG is well outside the budget of this project. In addition, FrankenBebi lights constructed by kit, or open source parts list would not be covered even if certification were obtained for the "ready to use" version.
3. Using the values specified in CFR33 84.15 Table 84.15(b) and the absolute minimum bin output value at the 21.5mA drive level we are using will be in excess of 4 miles (27 candelas) Typical output at 21.5ma is closer to 32000mC per led. Beam-spread overlap at distances exceeding 200 meters should raise perceived intensity to the 45000mC range. In any case, this is twice the required range for recreational vessels up to 50 Meters. It is expected that recreational vessels in excess of 50 Meters will not be using the FrankenBebi

As far as Tri-Light or other versions of the FrankenBebi, we have decided the issues of required Horizontal Sectors and Color Specifications are beyond the stated goals of the project. 360 degree white... easy to design and implement. Design of lights with (x)degrees visibility within 5 degrees of the requirements rule 21 and maintaining the allowed chromaticity specified in 84.13.... not so easy to do. While it would be nice to do, the original goal of the project was and still is a replacement for the original OWL anchor light.

Off topic... One little hack we are trying out on the Solitaire. Using the FrankenBebi PCB and Leds mounted in a vertical rather than a radial configuration makes a dandy replacement for standard old-school surface mount dome lights with incandescent bulbs. Remove the old bulb and stick the FrakenBebi guts in its place with a little hot glue. Playing around with reducing the number and color of the LEDs as the anchor configuration is waay too bright. Current limiting circuit will need to be modified depending on final configuration, but this is trivial. Cheap alternative to replacing the entire fixture ?

Last dumb factoid learned after spending waay to much time in and around 33 CFR.... Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters apart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:47   #15
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Re: The FrankenBebi Project

Great idea!! And just to one-up Ram who has two I have three! But here's a pic of two of them. The other one's in Florida. I added a small extension to protect the skinny little wires.

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