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Old 11-02-2016, 09:50   #31
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
Bill, have you ever tested the ACR Firefly? I've got a couple of them but have never tested them to see how much visibility they produce.
Dr. Sea,

Since posting my last reply to your question, I discovered that the Feb-2016 issue of Practical Sailor has an article with test results on this very topic...

FYI in case you haven't already discovered it yourself.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 12-02-2016, 14:40   #32
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Dr. Sea, Since posting my last reply to your question, I discovered that the Feb-2016 issue of Practical Sailor has an article with test results on this very topic.. Bill
Thanks for the link, Bill. It's a very good article. I am a little surprised that they didn't include the Ocean Signal RescueME EDF1 (Electronic Distress Flare). It is small and claims a range of up to 7 miles, 360 degrees and overhead, and 6 hours battery life. The six hours is little disappointing, not enough to last through a night, but it can be turned off to save batteries if no rescue vehicle is in the vicinity.
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Old 16-02-2016, 13:42   #33
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
Thanks for the link, Bill. It's a very good article. I am a little surprised that they didn't include the Ocean Signal RescueME EDF1 (Electronic Distress Flare). It is small and claims a range of up to 7 miles, 360 degrees and overhead, and 6 hours battery life. The six hours is little disappointing, not enough to last through a night, but it can be turned off to save batteries if no rescue vehicle is in the vicinity.
Dr. Sea,

I agree the EDF1 is an intriguing light, and I suspect Practical Sailor didn't include it because it is considered a substitute for flairs vs. POB light, but I'm just guessing.

Because of our discussions, I have been looking for more information about the light, and more importantly, its replacement batteries. [To me, further analysis and research is warranted because, not having an unlimited budget and desiring 4 or more of these or similar units, the cost/benefit analysis is worthwhile for me... or perhaps my time is just worth less (or worthless?) in retirement?...]

I also have an inquiry into Ocean Signal and will report back once I hear from them.

Preliminarily, I find nothing online about the replacement batteries [e.g., pricing, availability, shelf life, shipping restrictions, etc.] when searching for:
  • Ocean Signal EDF1 replacement battery
  • lb10f replacement battery 751s-01771 [Model numbers from OS website...]

None of the online retailers of the EDF1 I checked had anything listed either.

Therefore, following are my musings based on what I have learned thus far: [which isn't much...]

All I know about the battery is it is a field replaceable proprietary lithium cell with an undetermined shelf life. [Model# LB10F; Part# 751s-01771]

My assumptions about the battery include:
  • It has a 5- 10 year shelf life [based on standard lithium batteries]
  • It will be costlier than standard batteries [e.g., AA, C, D, 123A, etc. cells]
    [I'll guess 30-50% of the cost of the light- until I receive pricing info...]
  • It will likely require HazMat shipping [Which would exclude normal postal mailing which may possibly rule out the viability for boaters cruising away from 'the mainland'... Including me on an island in Alaska where UPS won't deliver...]

Although the HazMat shipping restriction is no worse than for PLB, EPIRB, etc. units and their batteries...

My usability requirements:

I would want to get more than 6 hours total use from the light [or several uses totaling 6 hours... i.e., I would want extra batteries...]

Unless I kept several spare batteries on hand [6+ hours of run time/battery...] then I would effectively have a US$120+ disposable 6 hour electric flair.

But then, pyrotechnic flairs cannot be recharged either, and 6 hours worth of those would certainly cost more than one EDF1 unit [and take up a lot more space, and have a shorter shelf-life...]

Acquiring one or more EDF1 flairs is a no-brainer if one thinks of it as a disposable flair that costs less than 6 hours worth of burn time using pyrotechnics- and this option won't melt a hole in your inflatable PFD or life raft [or start a fire through normal operation...]

In summary:

The EDF1 costs ~US$25/hour to use- with the per hour cost decreasing slightly once you amortize in additional (user replaceable) batteries.

If deployed by a floating POB in the water [or from a life raft] it would need to be held high to avoid blinding the POB... Perhaps attached to a SCUBA diver signal sausage to elevate it above the floater eliminating the need to hold their arm straight up, or even occupy use of a hand...

If Ocean Signal offered an optional battery holder that used standard sized batteries [e.g., AA, 123A, C, whatever] like some handheld VHF radio manufacturers do, I think this could be a real winner. [I haven't seen any electrical specs (e.g., battery voltage and mAh) for the EDF1 so I can only guess this might work...]

I will provide updates regarding the EDF1 replacement battery and validate/invalidate my assumptions once I receive more infomation.

In case anyone else cares...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 16-02-2016, 14:29   #34
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post

not having an unlimited budget and desiring 4 or more of these or similar units, the cost/benefit analysis is worthwhile for me... or perhaps my time is just worth less (or worthless?) in retirement?...]

We've paid our dues. Our time is Priceless, not worthless.


[All I know about the battery is it is a field replaceable proprietary lithium cell with an undetermined shelf life. [Model# LB10F; Part# 751s-01771]

It is probably lithium to keep the size as small as possible while achieving long shelf life. More shelf life, more costly.


[ . . . pyrotechnic flairs cannot be recharged either, and 6 hours worth of those would certainly cost more than one EDF1 unit [and take up a lot more space, and have a shorter shelf-life . . . - and this option won't melt a hole in your inflatable PFD or life raft [or start a fire through normal operation. . .]

The safety of safety equipment is very important to me. In an emergency situation it's easy to get careless and maybe create additional problems.


[The EDF1 costs ~US$25/hour to use- with the per hour cost decreasing slightly once you amortize in additional (user replaceable) batteries.]

It's not hard to justify $25/hour in a true emergency.


[If deployed by a floating POB in the water [or from a life raft] it would need to be held high to avoid blinding the POB]

I would not enjoy holding the Statue of Liberty pose for six hours for any kind of flare while floating in the water. I wonder if Ocean Signal has a solution for this.


[I will provide updates regarding the EDF1 replacement battery and validate/invalidate my assumptions once I receive more infomation.

Bill
Thanks for doing the research, Bill.
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Old 13-03-2016, 17:23   #35
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

Hi Dr. Sea, everyone.

I've been waiting for a price on the replacement battery for the EDF1 we were discussing, but the person I've been corresponding with admitted to not knowing the price. [I presume this to mean none have been sold, but since they can be ordered, they will pull one from manufacturing stock. My conjecture.]

Following is what I have learned to supplement our prior discussions:

Battery:
  • It is lithium as we figured, and contains under 2 grams of lithium, so it falls under the 'less restricted rules' for transport. [They could not confirm if this meant it could be shipped USPS...]
  • Shelf life is 10 years [They said retailers are not stocking so the batteries won't age-out in inventory.]
  • Operating life is 6 hours under rated conditions
  • Cost of a spare is unknown at this time
  • The replacement battery pack [LB10F] may be ordered from Ocean Signal retailers stocking the EDF1. The order code is 751S-01771
  • They have no current plans for a standard sized battery adaptor e.g., 123A lithiums, AA, etc.

Regarding the light:
  • 6 hour run time
  • It does not float [so a lanyard/wrist loop/float is warranted in my opinion]
  • Requires isolation from user's vision e.g., mounted on top of life raft or held in statue of liberty position, etc.

All-in-all I still believe an EDF1 is superior to hand-held pyrotechnic signals for situations warranting their use for all the reasons we have already discussed.

In case this is helpful.

Cheers!

Bill

PS: For Dr. Sea; RE my statement, "...or perhaps my time is just worth less (or worthless?) in retirement?..."

And your kind reply: "We've paid our dues. Our time is Priceless, not worthless."

I couldn't agree more; You didn't have the advantage of seeing the humorous twinkle in my eye as I 'penned' my comment...

May we remain priceless until the end; and perhaps appreciate from there...?
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