OGM trianchor light how-to add a strobe - SailNet Community

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Old 04-05-2011
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OGM trianchor light how-to add a strobe

I have since many years a masthead OGM trianchor light. Sometime in a crowded anchorage it would be nice to have a distinct signature such as an intermittent light but unfortunately my OGM doesn't have that kind of circuitry. It is wired with 2 wires and switching the polarity you select either the runing lights or the mooring light.

I wonder, would it be possible to insert a small strobe circuit nearby the polarity switch which can add the strobe or intermittent feature to the mooring light? There are many available for bikers' blinkers and similar (allthou' I'd like to be able to set the light cycle) but I'm wondering why OGM now makes the trianchor with a built-in circuitry instead of providing a small circuit retro-fittable to the switch eventually.

Any thought about this?

Scud
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Old 04-05-2011
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Scud,

I'm not familiar with that light. But I do know strobes are only permitted in certain very limited circumstances (e.g., navigational beacons, fishing buoys, emergency rescue beacons), and using them otherwise is not a legal light configuration.

I'm not exactly sure what your intended application is here, but it wouldn't be a good idea to set a strobe flashing at the top of your mast when you leave the boat to go ashore. The flashing strobe would normally be interpreted as a distress signal, or might even be confused with a local aid to navigation.

If you are just trying to come up with an easier way to locate your boat in an anchorage at night, I've read of some very clever ways to do this. The one I probably like best is the adaptation of automotive style infrared fobs for the boat. They are used to remotely activate deck/spreader and/or cockpit lights from a fairly long-distance away, when returning to the boat. Just a suggestion.
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Hi John

I agree about the confusion that a strobe light might engender but in some sailing areas there is a certain latitude on what you can do and I keep seeing plenty of chartered yachts with a strobe light at masthead.
The solution you propose is also a smart one but requires additional wiring.

Another pros of having a strobe mooring light is the power usageLED wearing. theoretically the LED life will be longer but who know about the on/off abuse it can actually take. not being a light bulb the on/off shouldn't supopsedly affect it alot.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scud View Post
.....I agree about the confusion that a strobe light might engender but in some sailing areas there is a certain latitude on what you can do and I keep seeing plenty of chartered yachts with a strobe light at masthead....
The COLREGS international rules have a well ...pretty international coverage... Do you have an alternate set of local rules like the US Inland in mind?
I haven't seen a yacht with a strobe in years...anyone else comment on this? Beacuse someone else ignores the Rule would seem a poor reason to do so.
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Old 04-05-2011
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I agree with others that for routine use a strobe is a bad idea particularly one with at least a 2nm visibility.
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Old 04-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scud View Post
The solution you propose (remote operated deck or spreader lights) is also a smart one but requires additional wiring.
If you already have a deck light or spreader light, I don't see how this requires additional wiring beyond your proposed insertion of some flasher circuitry into the wiring for your tri-anchor light. In John's idea, you would just insert the remotely controlled switch into the existing wiring for your deck lights. Maybe there's wiring between the IR sensor and the switch?
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Old 04-06-2011
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Of course John's idea is correct and in full compliance with the rules.

I'm sailing most in the Mediterranean area and here is full of sloppy and improvised sailors who charter a boat for a week and sail around ramming somebodyelse boats. The situation is such a chaos in summertime that a blinking mooring light would be the least of the discrepancies with the rules.

Plenty of people chatting over the VHF channels (mostly the rescue channel) and broadcasting music or pushing the DSC mayday button just for fun. On top of that add the drunk people who motor around with large powerboats and most often put a sailboat sailing under sails in their sights and cross her bow a few yards away lifting a 3 feet wave. sometimes their aim is not so accurate and then **** happens.

Now ... that was a little OT .. getting back to us do you have a suggestion about the kind of circuitry?

Scud
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Old 07-15-2011
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White strobe masthead light

Interesting, as I just joined in order to look for an explanation for a white strobe (other than distress). I was at anchor in a creek off the Chesapeake Bay when a sailboat came in to the anchorage under power with proper sidelights and stern light, but no steaming light. Instead of a steaming light it had it's anchor light on and it also flashed with a period of about 2-3s.

The boat lives at a private dock in the creek. I had never seen such a thing so I was looking around for an explanation. The only thing in the rules (as far as I see) dealing with white strobes is for an Inland distress signal. The strobe was certainly confusing to me, since the boat obviously was not in distress.

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Old 07-15-2011
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Use a handheld GPS to mark your location and take it ashore with you. Better yet, use the MOB function.
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