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Old 05-05-2015, 18:50   #1
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Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Yep, that's me! Our optolamp 5 in one anchor/tri color/strobe/fast strobe/vertical light has let us down and is now flashing like a Moroccan fishing boat and I'm the anchorage idiot

These lights come with various wiring options, but since we just wanted nav and a photovoltaic anchor light we went with the basic 2 wire install, replacing our existing anchor light. This method should only allow you to select nav, anchor or off using the supplied 3 way switch.
It's worked perfectly since installed 10 months ago, but now it's turning itself on at dusk and strobing. Turning it off and back on again seems to fix it and it stays on like it should.
Any ideas on how to troubleshoot it would be much appreciated. I'm thinking a loose connection is unlikely and the most likely is a messed up circuit in the 'smart' light. Hopefully the manufacturer will honour any warranty if it is a problem with the light.

I've emailed the supplier to ask the story, but wanted to see if any others had similar experiences or guesses on troubleshooting the problem.

Yeah yeah I know I should have stuck with the kerosine lantern hanging in the rigging, bloody newfangled electronics!
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Old 05-05-2015, 18:58   #2
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Mariners will think your a grounded submarine and steer well clear. It could be that the nation your anchored in will take umbrage to your posing as a foreign submarine in their waters and lay off a couple miles for safety before shelling you. The only recourse is to hang a lantern in the rigging and abandon ship when ever the strobe turns on.
You know it might be satisfying to see the dang thing blown up.
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Old 05-05-2015, 20:11   #3
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

We have a OGM tricolor/anchor/strobe with photosensor and right at dusk, it strobes for a minute or so as the photosensor shuts it on/off with the dwindling light. It then goes fully on after that one minute right at dusk.

Perhaps it is the photosensor circuit on yours that is causing the problem?

Next time it strobes, climb up the mast and shine a light into it and see if it goes off. Good suggestion, no?

Mark
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Old 05-05-2015, 20:29   #4
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Maybe the photo sensor but it stays flashing for hours..well..till I think to check it and switch it off and on again. Hopefully one of those boat things that fixes itself?
I guess I need to go up the mast and fix my intermittent wind gear problem sometime so maybe I'll wait for something else to bust up there and make a day of it..
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:02   #5
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Cover the photo sensor with black tape and go manual. If the problem is still present suspect the circuit.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:23   #6
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Not knowing anything about the make and model, I would guess the circuit that decides what mode the light should be in has a problem, normally on modern electronics it's all on one chip for cheap manufacture and sale price and there is no way to fix it but to replace. You might be able to override the chip and just power the light without the fancy options.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:42   #7
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Finns drop depth charges in submarine hunt - Worldnews.com


monte, is that you?
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:52   #8
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

I'd suspect the switch first...
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:30   #9
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

It is not bad: At least you know that a strobe light is not an anchor light and that is more than many. I see lots of strobe lights being used as anchor lights and believe it or not somewhere I saw several yachts using a strobe red light. At least your's is white...I mean I hope.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:13   #10
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

If the light sensor sees the anchor light bulb, wouldn't the whole shebang switch on and off until daylight or emptied battery ends the misery? Perhaps screening the sensor in the direction of the light source then will do the trick.


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Old 06-05-2015, 15:20   #11
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Switch 'looks' good. Wiring between the switch and light also looks good. I'll keep an eye in the light and see how it behaves over the next few days, hopefully will hear back from the manufacturer at some stage. I'm thinking it will be something un fixable by me though, like a circuit board in the light...Polux I think masts over 60m are supposed to have a red flashing light at anchor for aircraft, but I've also noticed quite a few shorter ones displaying them. I think it's just a bit of mast envy
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:52   #12
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Could be something simple like an unsecured control wire shorted out to ground and turned on the strobe feature, sure. You'd have to go aloft, pull the lift and check for that.


Could equally be the electronics have gone mad and switched themselves into the strobe mode, and no amount of fiddling will fix that. In which case you still have to go aloft.


Slight possibility the electronics have gone nuts, and TOTALLY disconnecting power, giving it a few hours to discharge any capacitors, etc. that might be in it, and then re-applying power will reset it.


If that worked I still wouldn't trust the damned thing, I'd still find myself going aloft with tools of destruction.
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Old 06-05-2015, 16:49   #13
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Strobo comes at a cost

You have it for free
Do not lament!
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:59   #14
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

Quote:
Originally Posted by akkebeng View Post
If the light sensor sees the anchor light bulb, wouldn't the whole shebang switch on and off until daylight or emptied battery ends the misery? Perhaps screening the sensor in the direction of the light source then will do the trick.


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It ciiukd be a voltage problem. But as above, you might try tilting there photo switch to angle it farther away from the light. does the regular strobe position strobe at a different speed. if the photo switch is sensing the light it will strobe faster.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:08   #15
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Re: Idiot using a strobe light as an anchor light - Optolamp Amazonia

I recall back in the 60's when only military vessels had strobes, some guy anchored in the bay in Minstrell Island up the coast in BC... some Indian came out of the pub grabbed his rifle and shot the thing off the mast head from the Government Dock!
While that was many years ago, I don't think that the attitude of using strobes as anchor lights has changed much in anchorages. Phil
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