Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-08-2009, 00:36   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
Fireworks: The Bad Kind



Little fireworks show tonight from our Alpenglow $127 overhead light. If I wanted a bon fire I would have gone to get some firewood. The small fuzzy bare wire you see are actually the terminals from a ceramic disc capacitor that blew up inside of the the lamp. It wasn't too serious but it was enough to fill the cabin with a nasty cloud of smoke. It was also enough to get me thinking about how nasty something like this could become if we were at sea or away from the boat.
__________________

__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 05:57   #2
Provocateur & Raconteur
 
knottybuoyz's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Iroquois, Ontario
Boat: Bateau.com TW31 Modified
Posts: 3,583
Images: 87
Nasty. Been there. Did the mfgr offer any clues as to what happened?
__________________

__________________
Yours Aye! Rick
~^~^~^^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~~^~^~^^~~^~^
"It's not the boat "you built" until you've sworn at it, bled on it, sweated over it, cried beside it and then threatened to haul the POS outside and burn it!"
knottybuoyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 12:44   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
Here is what I have so far from the company, I am impressed with the speed at which they got back to me. Now let's see if they fix the thing!

Ben,

You are correct in identifying the failed component as a ceramic disk capacitor. In some of our earlier lights, we saw a failure rate of on that component of a bit less than 1% which we considered unacceptable and have since changed to a different component and now see very few failures. The two most likely causes are:
1) A weak component, particularly if it was one of the earlier ones.

2) Using stock (unmodified) bulbs which would cause multiple voltage spikes as the the ballast tries repeatedly to start the bulb when in the low power position.
Usually when they fail, they do so with just a pop and a small puff of smoke, but on rare occasion, they do so fairly spectacularly with considerable smoke and some scorching in the vicinity, as you experienced. In over 20,000 lights, however, we have never seen anything approaching the fixture actually catching fire. The duration of the event is just too brief. We will be most anxious to have a look at it.

Bob



On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM, Alpenglow Lights <alpenglowlights@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello, Ben

Thank you very much for contacting us about your light. I have forwarded your email to our engineer for review, as we have not heard of this situation in the past. Although I have a few suggestions that come to my mind immediately, I want to be absolutely correct in my response.

Yes, certainly, please return your light to us for repair! We have made some changes I need to advise you about, though, with regard to the night-vision feature of your light. We no longer use the red fluorescent bulbs, and now use red LEDs instead. It is a great improvement -- the same brightness for about 1/10 the power consumption. Also, you would never again need to replace the red bulb. It gives a very nice pure red. There is a difference in switching pattern between the old and the new. With old light, the large switch selects on-off, and high-low. The small one selects between red and white. On the new one, the large switch still is on-off and high-low, but only for white. The small switch has the same functions (on-off, high-low) for the red. The cost of the LED night vision upgrade is $16. I am telling you all of this ahead of time because, depending upon the condition of your light and the damage to it, we may not be able to restore the fluorescent red option, and have no alternative but to do the upgrade for you while repairing your light.
__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 15:12   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,152
No offer to immediatly send out a replacement for something that almost caused a fire?

In this litigious society, that is the first thing I would do, especially if you have more of the same lights onboard that have not yet caught fire.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 16:18   #5
Registered User
 
Solitude's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Coast, BC , Canada
Boat: Cascade
Posts: 595
I would have expected them to ship you out a new one right away, considering it blew up and that they admited to a known problem in writing. How much could that actualy cost them?
__________________
Solitude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 18:04   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,588
I assume the light is fairly old, as they have been shipping the version with the red LED for at least a couple of years.

Paul L
__________________
Paul L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 18:47   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
I think it was original with the boat. It is an 86. I guess maybe I should expect more from these guys. I'll mail it out and see what happens.
__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 18:50   #8
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
I think it was original with the boat. It is an 86. I guess maybe I should expect more from these guys. I'll mail it out and see what happens.
You should expect more? A 23 year old light burns out and they offer to upgrade to the newest version for $16. I'd say you should be thanking them a lot, not asking for more. Alpenglow products are very good and well supported.

Paul L
__________________
Paul L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 19:11   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Virginia
Boat: Newport 16
Posts: 11
&quot;I'd say you should be thanking them a lot,&quot;I agree, considering the age of the fixture, and you were probably (through ignorance maybe) using the stock bulbs that he said could cause a problem.
__________________
e hilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 19:25   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
Yeah sorry for using a stock bulb when the original burns out. (that is me being very sarcastic) Do you resort to your user manual when replacing a light bulb? I used the bulb that the previous owner had left on the boat. Whether or not this was a stock bulb I do not know, either way it probably shouldn't start a fire.

And yes when your product almost burns down my boat I would expect the utmost customer service. With that said at the beginning of this thread I felt I was receiving it. After a few people voiced their opinions to the contrary I reconsidered. No biggy, I am definitely open to opinions.
__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 20:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Virginia
Boat: Newport 16
Posts: 11
Sorry, didn't mean to sound too critical. Obviously we were not in your shoes, that needs to be taken into consideration. But the fixture was way out of warranty, no way for the mfgr to know what modifications, if any, had been done. Could be that when you send the unit back, they will investigate and find it wasn't your fault. Their response could have been much worse, they could have denied any responsibility and told you to go away.
__________________
e hilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2009, 21:06   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by e hilton View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to sound too critical. Obviously we were not in your shoes, that needs to be taken into consideration. But the fixture was way out of warranty, no way for the mfgr to know what modifications, if any, had been done. Could be that when you send the unit back, they will investigate and find it wasn't your fault. Their response could have been much worse, they could have denied any responsibility and told you to go away.
yup absolutely, and like I said, so far I am happy with their service. I am hoping they fix the light for cheap and I can be done with it.
__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2009, 14:48   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,198
Images: 24
I just wanted to follow up on this by saying that those guys handled things very well and I am the proud new owner of a new AlpenGlow LED light.
__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2009, 15:00   #14
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
That is great to hear. Customer service like that is what makes me want to be their next customer.

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2009, 15:03   #15
Registered User
 
Dune's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: At sea
Boat: Gullfstar 50
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
I just wanted to follow up on this by saying that those guys handled things very well and I am the proud new owner of a new AlpenGlow LED light.
And the price tag was?
__________________

__________________
Dune
'Endeavor to Persevere'
Dune is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What Kind Are You, Really? unbusted67 Off Topic Forum 20 22-08-2009 17:31
NYC Fireworks from the Water OrangeCrush Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 2 28-06-2009 11:17
Home Depot Plumbing fittings - just bad or really bad? neelie Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 34 11-11-2008 18:21
Inverter fireworks. Thermal Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 18-08-2007 22:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.