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Old 26-01-2016, 01:14   #1
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Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

I need to install a tricolour for offshore sailing. Others report RF interference from their Tricolour that blocks AIS reception just when you really want it, at night.
I favour a Lunasea light. Does anyone have experience with their new LED lights (12 V)
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Old 26-01-2016, 07:32   #2
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

I don't k.ow about Lunasea but I have aquasignal at masthead and the ferrite does not improve AIS reception.
Do you really, really need at masthead tricolor?

It can only be seen a few miles but reduces your AIS many miles.
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Old 26-01-2016, 07:43   #3
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
.......

It can only be seen a few miles but reduces your AIS many miles.
A properly designed masthead LED tricolor will not cause RF interference. Unfortunately there are plenty of LED drivers that do.
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Old 26-01-2016, 07:43   #4
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

No, but some good info in this thread LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?
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Old 26-01-2016, 11:45   #5
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alika View Post
I need to install a tricolour for offshore sailing. Others report RF interference from their Tricolour that blocks AIS reception just when you really want it, at night.

I favour a Lunasea light. Does anyone have experience with their new LED lights (12 V)

we are very happy with the marinebeam led masthead light and have not experienced any RF interference. Also they are very helpful with questions.

Good luck

Chuck
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Old 27-01-2016, 10:15   #6
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

My experience after several full conversions from filament to LED lighting on sailboats (and RV) is... buyer beware. Pay no attention to what the package says about RFI. Many brands/ bulbs that say no RFI emit strong ix at VHF marine frequencies (and even more to more sensitive marine/ ham HF bands.

Suggest to take a marine HT to store display/ ask they demo no ix to save you a lot of time up/ down mast/ store. HT is not best text, however, because FM is wide band channels and tends to mask the ix but it LED can still interfere with the short data pulses of AIS. To be fair it's a tough situation having the LED bulb just inches from the usual mast top VHF/ AIS antenna. For this reason I usually install a second/ backup VHF antenna on the back rail and A/B coax switch. Always good to have backups on important systems.

By the way, LEDs are not inherently noisy. To get them brighter they push them with much higher current which would cause overheating. But to address this at the base of the LED bulb there is basically a square wave generator/ power conversion that turns the LED on-off at a fast rate. That short duty cycle extra bright max lumens light fools our eyes that's it's always that bright and the longer off time allow the LED junction to cool down to acceptable temp before the process starts all over again. It's this sharp on/ off power cycle that actually caused all the noise... not the LED itself.


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Old 24-05-2016, 00:24   #7
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

Hi folks

I got to climb up to the top of the mast today ( only my second time)
On my original 1968 Cal cruising 46, docked in Marina del Rey, CA
The masts of these gems are shorter than most boats of comparable size

I went up there to trouble shoot why my signet wind direction indicator is not working

Well I've discovered the rudder on the indicator had broken off.... So there's the answer

What I've also noticed is that my masthead anchor or running light is
Severely "glazed" or opacified, like a beer glass mug left in a humid fridge

I guess this glazing is the result of over 34 yrs of sun and rain & moisture exposure
( a new mast was flown in from in Massachusetts and was installed in 1982
So I figured that's when the light was installed )


My question:

What would be an excellent LED masthead light replacement?

I want led for battery savings, long lasting, and of course waterproof
With at least 2 NM visibility
That would be compatible with this rig

Would enjoy hearing what you folks have done with yours


Would also like to know if anyone has replaced their VHF antennas and or if
They've installed those round TV antennas up there

Thanks in advance

Edwin
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Cal cruising 46
MdR, CA


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Old 24-05-2016, 06:35   #8
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Re: Any experience with RF interference with Lunasea tricolour?

Well I am still using the BIG TALL Perko Tricolor masthead light w/ strobe. It is easy to replace the 'all- in- one' lens as needed and many LED bulbs are available from multiple suppliers, including one with auto photocell built right into the built assembly. I'm not a racer so weight/ drag not an issue. Looked carefully at the LunaSea and believe it would be my current next choice (small size, bright, straight forward mounting).

My Cal 46 is a ketch w/ mast steps so that's where I put radar, tv, various amateur v/uhf antennas, wx station, horn, alt/ back-up marine VHF, and somewhat crude emergency backup anchor light. Managed to keep open slot for future wind generator. Yes I get comments! But as engineer I optimize for safety first, then comfort,... looks last! But honestly, doesn't look too bad (to me!). But when docked around minimalist sailboats used primarily for Wednesday night racing my mizzen stands out a bit.

LunaSea
I took one of my potable SSB HF radios (used for backpacking) fitted with small 'rubber duck' antenna into local marine store to check RFI of the various cabin & nav LED lights on display. They also let me bring a 12v battery with alligator clips and take out bulbs of packaging and test for RFI. They reckoned letting me do it efficiently in store was better than purchasing, going home, returning them all for refund... which store policy would allow. LunaSea was very quiet, many LED cabin cabin lights very bad, even though packaging says 'No RFI'.

TV Antenna
Posted this before, but as cruiser, TV becomes important as entertainment/ local weather info. The 'new' digital HD standard is very very good for us cruisers because most station moved to higher UHF channels and thereby smaller antennas work well. The off-air digital signal hasn't been tweaked by cable-tv middleman so pix quality is better than cable HD. Most stations transmit 3 or four additional streams of programming on the same channel. Most are old sitcoms, but nearly every market has one or two stations with 24/7 weather/ radar loops with long range radar views/ forecasts which is very good for us cruisers. And it's free! ... except for our marine antenna/ installation.

This is one of those things where size matters. The bigger Shakesphere 2030 type discs is soooo much better than the small 'frisbee' size antennas. They all work if you can see the tv tower, but when you get 30+ mi away the difference quickly shows. And of course higher is better. I place such value on this that our tv antenna is mounted about a foot from the top of our mizzen. It's rare that we don't have 30-60 channels of 'stuff' everyplace we anchor here in east coast. (my mizzen steps, spare time at anchorages, RF engineer background, curiosity allow me test various things of interests, like marine tv antennas, I mounted tried/ returned all popular brands based on real installation realities/ performance.


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