Alternatives for running lights

Topics primarily or specifically about the DS2. Many topics are of general interest, so please use forum sections on Rigging, Sails, etc. where appropriate.

Moderator: GreenLake

Alternatives for running lights

Postby talbot » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:54 pm

With the days growing shorter, we've been coming in after dark on every voyage. We use AquaSignal removable running lights. I'm not happy with their reliability.

The stern light in particular is very flakey. The terminals on the lamp housing corrode and have to be cleaned regularly. Even then, it takes some twisting and tapping for the light to come on, and it can dim or go out unexpectedly under way. For all I know, the bow light is doing the same thing; we can't see it from the cockpit.

Anyone have experience with alternatives? I have a 12v system for an electric motor, and I'm thinking of wiring in another circuit for standard running lights on the cabin sides. Because the wiring in the stern is more awkward, I would prefer to just keep using a AA-cell-powered temporary light. But I would like to find something more reliable.

(I am guilty of sending snarkey messages to other sailors on my lake who operate without lights after dark. Now I feel as if I need to set the standard for safety compliance.)
talbot
 
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:37 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Postby jdoorly » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:49 am

I would suggest an electrical system with NO crimps or push-ons; use only marine rated switches and solder all connections. Without doubt this would help, but it's not a perfect solution, because the problem is dissimilar metals that when in contact cause one of the metals to corrode and interfere with an electrical circuit.

Metals can be listed in order of "Most Noble" to "Least Noble" on a Galvanic Series Chart. That is, the Noble metals cause the less Noble metals to corrode. One of the least Noble metals, zinc is well known and we put sacrificial pieces of zinc on boats to keep more noble metals in propellers and shafts from deteriorating.

See Chart:
[url]
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... wAw&dur=39[/url]

So, check the contacts at the ends of the batteries, the bulb contacts, and the switch contacts for a build up of white corrosion. Clean it by mixing baking soda and water and pouring the mixture on the corrosion (make enough so you can clean your car battery too). Might need some tooth brush action as well. Then use some of that marine contact grease on the terminals to make the cleaning job last longer.

Electricity and water don't like each other, your probably better off with an old oil lantern...
DS2 #6408 "Desperado"
jdoorly
 
Posts: 379
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 2:24 pm
Location: CT

Postby Lil Maggie » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:03 am

jdoorly wrote:


Then use some of that marine contact grease on the terminals to make the cleaning job last longer.

Electricity and water don't like each other, your probably better off with an old oil lantern...


+1 on the grease, dielctric contact grease works the same as the "marine"type
A crappy day sailing is better than a good one at home...
DS 1 #2313
Lil Maggie
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:57 am
Location: Dover, NH

Postby GreenLake » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:36 am

One alternative is to use the battery operated lights that are sold for Kayakers and small tenders. They are completely enclosed and I've had no corrosion problems (used on fresh and salt water).

Here's a picture of the one I rig at the bow:

877

I made a simple "adapter" to be able to slide it onto the stemhead fitting where I secure it with a bungee around the forestay. The light screws onto a bolt I glued into the "adapter"

876

The bolt is not shown in the drawing.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Postby talbot » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:08 am

That's the kind of light I have now. I fasten it directly to the deck using a section of the bracket it came with slipped over a bolt. (I already had access under the deck for other reasons.) My concern is the quality of the lght itself. Who is your manufacturer?
talbot
 
Posts: 783
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:37 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Re:

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:23 am

jdoorly wrote:I would suggest an electrical system with NO crimps or push-ons; use only marine rated switches and solder all connections.


Except that marine rating is down on solder only connections...
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby jimfrens » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:53 pm

I've had good luck with all products from Hella Marine. They make LED versions of all navigation lights.
jimfrens
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:37 am

Thanks for the recommendation. I checked out their site. They don't give any indication of suggested prices, but they have a form where you can look up distributors.

BTW, I checked a number of states where I know members of the forum. Curious thing, though, if you enter "Washington" as state you get the map for D.C. :roll:

Their stuff is carried by FisheriesSupply, where you can compare it to the offerings of different manufacturers. Tough to get a reading on relative reliability of any item from an online catalog, but Hella seems to be among the pricier ones.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby daysailingDFW » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:52 pm

If you're not against running wire and keeping a small gel cell battery aboard... I have one of these tiny low profile LED combination bow lights on my 14' sailboat and intend to put one on my DSII. They are USCG rated, take up almost no space and are remarkably bright and low current draw.
Attachments
download.png
download.png (107.89 KiB) Viewed 439 times
daysailingDFW
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:19 pm

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby GreenLake » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:34 pm

Details? What are they?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby daysailingDFW » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:08 am

Sold at Bass Pro/Outdoor World, or under the Marine Raider name at Academy Outdoors... does that help?
daysailingDFW
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:19 pm

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby GreenLake » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:14 pm

What you are showing in your picture appears to be a dual color bow light and one with a small separation between left/right lens, which would make it fit well if mounted on the foredeck behind the stem fitting. It would work better than pthe typical paired sidelights. Those wouldn't work as well on a DS, because on a small boat, you are supposed to have your lights forward, but the separate light fixtures would seem to require mounting surfaces that are parallel to the centerline (otherwise it messes up the sectors).

Judging from the listed price for the set I could find, this one could be extremely affordable (in fact, the price I saw is suspiciously low), and, being LED, its power consumption would be small enough that you wouldn't need a very massive battery. Might get away with 4 3V Lithium cells in series (I assume these are configured for 12V, but the product details that came up on Amazon are clearly insufficient / wrong). Might be a clearance item - anyway, at that price, the risk would be low - great suggestion.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby daysailingDFW » Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:13 pm

Yep GreenLake they're rated 12 volt but seem just as bright on a little 9 volt smoke detector battery when I hook it to one.

Here's one mounted just like you're thinking on a 14' sailboat in my fleet... never gets caught on the jib, docking lines, etc.
Attachments
IMG_0140.jpg
IMG_0140.jpg (88.56 KiB) Viewed 423 times
daysailingDFW
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:19 pm

Re: Alternatives for running lights

Postby GreenLake » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:49 am

nice.

I know s Some LEDs have voltage regulators, but usually LEDs are sensitive to below nominal voltage. If these work with 9V that would make them super convenient.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
GreenLake
 
Posts: 5185
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:54 am


Return to Day Sailer II Only

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron