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Old 25-01-2016, 10:48   #31
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

I don't know the internal details of the Optolamp design, but there is no noticeable heat when the thing runs at 13V. If I recall correctly, the Optolamp tricolor draws about 150mA at 12V.

I've built and tested a linear constant-current regulated anchor light that runs from 10V to 30V. The regulator transistor gets a little warm at 30V, but not enough to cause problems, even at high ambient temperatures. At 15V the transistor temperature rise is practically imperceptible. I agree that in some ways a linear regulator is not the most efficient way to go, but the modern LEDs are so efficient and bright that the power required, and linear regulator power loss, is quite minor.
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Old 25-01-2016, 13:37   #32
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

Thanks Paul for your support of the Optolamp! Your recollections are spot on.


The Amazonia Mirim 111 draws 0.15a at 12v. There is no noticeable heat at all. There are two models though, a 12v and a 24v for the reasons discussed above. There will be NO noticeable radio interference with these units. I will refund the cost of the light if this is not the case - but it will be :-). This particular model is auto on/off via a light sensor (but you can turn it off altogether if you want), has Anchor, Tricolor and strobe functions, and meets colregs for vessels up to 24m. It's a great light - I've had mine going on 6 years now, and over 10,000 miles.
I have sold quite a few since I returned from cruising. Not a single failure. Great product!
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Old 25-01-2016, 13:58   #33
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Thanks Paul for your support of the Optolamp! Your recollections are spot on.


The Amazonia Mirim 111 draws 0.15a at 12v. There is no noticeable heat at all. There are two models though, a 12v and a 24v for the reasons discussed above. There will be NO noticeable radio interference with these units. I will refund the cost of the light if this is not the case - but it will be :-). This particular model is auto on/off via a light sensor (but you can turn it off altogether if you want), has Anchor, Tricolor and strobe functions, and meets colregs for vessels up to 24m. It's a great light - I've had mine going on 6 years now, and over 10,000 miles.
I have sold quite a few since I returned from cruising. Not a single failure. Great product!
So, what is the current price for the 12V unit?
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Old 25-01-2016, 17:46   #34
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

The original older, first generation LEDs with current regulation by PWM operated at low switching frequency. The manufacturers of GOOD, HI-END replacements have recognized this and adjusted the product. PWM uses high speed switching to turn the current on & off in proportion to give an average forward current proper for the LED. In order for this switching to not create RF interference it must be above the VHF frequencies. Modern LEDs switch above 30 KHz and have other provisions added to the circuit to reduce interference. I have all LEDs in my NAV lights and other mast lights. The only problem light is an 800 lumen spreader light. My mast lighting as all https://store.marinebeam.com/ Read ALL of their tech stuff. https://store.marinebeam.com/technical-info-1/ and become an expert or at least dangerous.


see my post #25 with other inks
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Old 25-01-2016, 18:20   #35
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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[...] PWM uses high speed switching to turn the current on & off in proportion to give an average forward current proper for the LED. In order for this switching to not create RF interference it must be above the VHF frequencies. Modern LEDs switch above 30 KHz and have other provisions added to the circuit to reduce interference. I have all LEDs in my NAV lights and other mast lights. The only problem light is an 800 lumen spreader light. My mast lighting as all https://store.marinebeam.com/ Read ALL of their tech stuff. https://store.marinebeam.com/technical-info-1/ and become an expert or at least dangerous.


see my post #25 with other inks
A 30KHz switching frequency won't be much of a factor, good or bad, since the VHF frequencies are around 156MHz. As you say, other provisions must be made for an interference-free product. And yes, Marinebeam does seem to have their act together when it comes to RF interference. I have a Marinebeam bi-color and while it uses a PWM switching-regulator, the interference is negligible. I can measure it with my test equipment, but it is low enough to not be a problem even when the VHF antenna is within a couple of inches.

By the way, Marinebeam shows an EMI (interference) plot with their measured noise being well below what I presume is the FCC limit for radiated noise (the text is too small to actually read):


Other navlight vendors have also shown their interference plots, with the noise being barely under the limits. Sure, they "passed", but this limit is nowhere stringent enough to ensure interference-free operation when the antenna is within an inch, or a foot, from the navlight. So don't assume that a passing grade is actually sufficient. It's definitely not.
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Old 25-01-2016, 18:44   #36
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

The switching frequency is only part of the equation for determining the potential for interference. The bandwidth of a signal is proportional to the inverse of the waveform rise and fall time. Specifically the current waveform is most relevant for EMI problems but fast voltage edges almost always cause high speed changes in current. The faster the switching speed the less heat generated. So the two requirements (low heat, low EMI) are at odds. It's possible to filter and shield the switching noise but that costs money and these products measure their manufacturing cost to fractions of a penny. That's so they can pay all the middle functions (shipping, wholesaler, retailer, marketing, etc.) that sit between the cruiser and the manufacturing plant.

I know Marinebeam are aware of the issues and field reports indicate they don't have a problem for the most part. But the FCC limits are useless when we are talking about antennas within a meter of one another. The FCC curves are based on the assumption that if there is interference the two devices can be separated enough to eliminate the problem. That's nearly impossible to do at the mast head. To be interference free at the masthead requires thousands of times less EMI than the FCC limits. Marinebeam seem to have this figured out. Many other suppliers do not as you can find many reports of interference.

The "best" solution is linear current regulation designed for the expected voltage (12 or 24). Very little heat will be generated and almost no interference when designed correctly. It's possible for linear regulators to oscillate so it requires attention to design but does not cost much to manufacture. The down side is multiple SKUs for different voltages which increases cost somewhat.
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:13   #37
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
...
I have sold quite a few since I returned from cruising. Not a single failure. Great product!
This looks like a good product with all the above, but heat, interference, reliability and everything else apart, can it be seen at 2 or 3 NM? Does anyone know how the optics compare to the Aqua Signal?
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:17   #38
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

The Optolamp on my boat is often the brightest one in an anchorage. It most certainly can be seen from 2nm, as otherwise it would not pass the Colregs. It does. I have been seen at 4.8 miles with the strobe function...


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Old 25-01-2016, 19:21   #39
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
A 30KHz switching frequency won't be much of a factor, good or bad, since the VHF frequencies are around 156MHz. As you say, other provisions must be made for an interference-free product. And yes, Marinebeam does seem to have their act together when it comes to RF interference.
Paul,
Thanks for the tech enlightenment. We do NVH testing machines for audible noise. Its much easier masking and squashing high frequencies than low. Perhaps the same is true for RF. If the switching frequency is high then perhaps hiding it is easier. Our antennas are inches away from the Aqua Signal tower as is the AIS. No problems with Marine Beam. Picture is the latest aluminum housing replacement with potted LEDs. Aluminum dividers added to make the transition sharp.
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:23   #40
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
The Optolamp on my boat is often the brightest one in an anchorage. It most certainly can be seen from 2nm, as otherwise it would not pass the Colregs. It does. I have been seen at 4.8 miles with the strobe function...


Matt
Thanks Matt. I guess you meant satisfy the Colregs... I don't think they pass or fail a light but I digress.

Where are they made and do they have a rep in North America?
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:28   #41
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
This looks like a good product with all the above, but heat, interference, reliability and everything else apart, can it be seen at 2 or 3 NM? Does anyone know how the optics compare to the Aqua Signal?
I can't compare directly, but my Optolamp tricolor is certainly bright enough. I've had other boats spot me in mid-ocean at a distance well beyond 4 NM. It's a quality product.

One minor issue is that it uses three wires (?) to control the functions (tricolor, anchor, strobe), so I couldn't connect it directly to my three breaker / switches. Optolamp will sell you a rotary switch, but I ended up building a control board using relays and diodes to adapt from my existing nicely labeled switches to the Optolamp wires.

Matt, any thoughts on how other folks end up wiring the tricolor?
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:51   #42
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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I can't compare directly, but my Optolamp tricolor is certainly bright enough. I've had other boats spot me in mid-ocean at a distance well beyond 4 NM. It's a quality product.

One minor issue is that it uses three wires (?) to control the functions (tricolor, anchor, strobe), so I couldn't connect it directly to my three breaker / switches. Optolamp will sell you a rotary switch, but I ended up building a control board using relays and diodes to adapt from my existing nicely labeled switches to the Optolamp wires.

Matt, any thoughts on how other folks end up wiring the tricolor?
Thanks for the info Paul. The rotary switch tip was great as I have limited switches left on my panel.
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:08   #43
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

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Thanks for the info Paul. The rotary switch tip was great as I have limited switches left on my panel.
Just a head-up on switching. Make sure you only operate one nav light set. We have both mast top and bow. We switch between these - low in the harbor & high at sea. You may only operate one set at a time.
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:23   #44
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

Another thumbs up for the optima. Not quite as bright as our deck Nav lights but still pretty good. We used the 2 wire setup rather than the three for a simple changeout from the anchor light. Unfortunately at the time I didn't seal the end of the third wire and I think it's shorting which causes our anchor light to turn into a strobe after a few hours. Also I fastened and sealed it quite well so a trip up the mast will take a little while at the top..
One word of caution - it's a bit tricky to align it fore and aft exactly using the aligning marks, so it's best to have a go at it, wait till dark, check the alignment from dead ahead and adjust the next day as necessary. Having Navlights slightly out of bearing isn't a good idea...
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:33   #45
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Re: LED Tricolour/anchor light- which one?

If you are looking for deck-level lights, these are extremely bright. They are red & green emitters so no colored shades. I made SS plate mounts & used an EDSON ball to attach to the rail at the bow.

Signal Mate https://signalmate.com/shop/navigati...-light-models/


They make mast head and other lights too.
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