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Old 10-11-2013
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Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

I know this may sound a little off the wall....

I was watching a PBS special on Hurricane Sandy. The power company was being interviewed (ConEd I think) and they stated all their copper cable was rendered useless by the ocean surge. To combat it they were rewiring with fiber optic cable which was impervious to salt water. It set my mind to thinking.

How much more would it cost to do the same in new build sailboats? And, if more expensive up front, might the lack of maintenance and stability down the road overcome the upfront costs?

Just a thought.

ps-love this site! So much to learn
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Old 10-11-2013
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

Fiber optics is a communication medium... not a power medium. To convert (even digital communication energy) to light - and back - takes specialized equipment.

I would expect that the 'power company' lost the ability to communicate with their substations and networks... rather than the actual power lines..
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

thanks Faster, you're probably right.
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Old 10-11-2013
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

What about this - Fiber Optic Endglow Cables
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Old 10-12-2013
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

Rugosa,

Let me try and rephrase what Faster wrote, correctly, above. Fiber-optic cables transmit light. The cables you linked to transmit light from a source to another location where light is desired. They can not transmit electrical energy; only light energy. Communications companies use them to transmit data by translating the data into fluctuations (modulations) in the light being transmitted. That's why you need a modem (MOdulator/DEModulator) at the each end of the cable.

Electrical power, or electricity, is a flow of electrons. They can't pass along fiber-optic cables, as they are not electrically conductive. Similarly, light can't be transmitted by standard copper wire.

I've seen fiber optic cables used to transmit light from one single source bulb hidden in the dash board of a car to many locations on the dash via optic cables. Pretty neat design; only one bulb to burn out and eventually replace, and much fewer corrosion-prone electrical connections. There's no reason you couldn't do something similar on a boat, but it'd require a pretty substantial light source and fiber cabling to do anything resembling ambient lighting. Usually, at least in my experience, fiber-optic lighting is used for very specific pin-point lighting. Of course, I haven't got much experience......

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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

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Originally Posted by bblument View Post
Rugosa,

Let me try and rephrase what Faster wrote, correctly, above. Fiber-optic cables transmit light. The cables you linked to transmit light from a source to another location where light is desired. They can not transmit electrical energy; only light energy. Communications companies use them to transmit data by translating the data into fluctuations (modulations) in the light being transmitted. That's why you need a modem (MOdulator/DEModulator) at the each end of the cable.

Electrical power, or electricity, is a flow of electrons. They can't pass along fiber-optic cables, as they are not electrically conductive. Similarly, light can't be transmitted by standard copper wire.

I've seen fiber optic cables used to transmit light from one single source bulb hidden in the dash board of a car to many locations on the dash via optic cables. Pretty neat design; only one bulb to burn out and eventually replace, and much fewer corrosion-prone electrical connections. There's no reason you couldn't do something similar on a boat, but it'd require a pretty substantial light source and fiber cabling to do anything resembling ambient lighting. Usually, at least in my experience, fiber-optic lighting is used for very specific pin-point lighting. Of course, I haven't got much experience......

Barry
I was thinking only of lighting - like one source to light all cabin lights. Could eliminate of the typical 12v incandescent bulbs, lots of wire weight, contact corrosion. Maybe create some great mood lighting at boat shows to romance the buyers of shiny new toys. No idea where to start though. Then again, LED lighting has now filled the power gap issue.
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Old 10-12-2013
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

The OP has confused ConEdison with Verizon.

One turns out your lights and heat, the other turns out your phones, computers, and TV's.
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

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Originally Posted by bblument View Post
I've seen fiber optic cables used to transmit light from one single source bulb hidden in the dash board of a car to many locations on the dash via optic cables. Pretty neat design; only one bulb to burn out and eventually replace, and much fewer corrosion-prone electrical connections.
Barry
I have a 1972 Fiat Spider with that set up from the factory. All the lights on the centre console are connected to one light by an "octopus" of fibreoptic cables... so it is not new technology, nor all that expensive
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

Coincidentally, that's the car I was referring to!! I renovated two of them... a '71 and a '74. I don't have either any more, but I'd love to find another one in good shape... they're a TON of fun, and handle beautifully. I just got sick of working on them all the time...

Barry
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Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Boat Wired w/ Fiber Optics

My '69 Malibu has a fiber optic cable to the ash tray for illumination.
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