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  #1  
Old 10-14-2013
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FrankenBebi

It's Alive!... With the sad demise of Bebi Electronics of Fiji, we have decided to start an "open source" project to resurrect the Bebi Owl.
The goal is to offer a replacement for the Owl anchor light taking advantage of the latest technology, while keeping the price and quality in line with the original Owl light. We plan to offer the FrankenBebi in three versions.
  • A complete, ready to install FrankenBebi
  • Build your own FrankenBebi kit with parts and instructions. (Igor not included)
  • An open source list of parts we use to assemble the FrankenBebi free to anyone who wants to figure it out and/or modify it for themselves.
.

At this point, we have several prototypes under test, and expect to have finished prototype products (version 0.01) ready in 4 to 6 weeks. We need 5 or 6 beta-testers to put these prototypes through their paces. If anyone is interested in being a "beta-tester", please send me a PM. We would prefer beta-testers to be active cruisers in order to subject the prototypes to the maximum "real world" conditions in the least amount of time. The beta-test prototypes will be straight 15 LED radial lights with no "day-night" switch. They will include a 5 meter power cord with a "lighter plug" or bare wire connection as you choose. Each unit will include a top ring so light may be hung from a flag halyard etc. There will be no charge for the beta-test units. We only ask that you beat 'em up, and let us know how they perform. The new system we are using provides a minimum output of 27 candelas per LED which according to the USCG intensity tables from 33 CFR 84 will provide a visibility of 4 nm in specified conditions in a 360 degree arc.

We do not expect to have these lights "certified to meet requirements" by an outside laboratory due to the cost of testing. Please be aware of the risks of using "uncertified" equipment, even if it meets requirements. You may bear the burden of proof.

We are not sure at this point that we can offer the original Bebi "lifetime" warranty, but we know we can offer a 5 year, no questions asked, replacement. If this project is successful we will also offer to replace any original Bebi Owl light bearing the "A Genuine Owl Lignt" logo that fails to operate. This offer is out of respect to the original Bebi Electronics founders and crew.

This post is not a solicitation for business, but rather a request for input from the cruising community. The Owl was too good a product to let fade into the past. We hope to resurrect it with this project.

Regards,
Cap' Couillon and the FrankenBebi Project

(For a quick view of the typical goings on at the FrankenBebi project, click here)
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Last edited by Cap-Couillon; 10-14-2013 at 03:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Glad to hear there is a pulse!

I wish I could help test, but I'll be on the hard in a few weeks.

Ordering an Owl was on my winter list, so count me in after the Beta Testing.

"Put the candle back!"

Dr. Fraankenstein

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Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

As a Bebi fan, glad to hear that a come-back may be happening.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Just so there is no misunderstanding, the FrankenBebi project is in no way related to Bebi Electronics. We are only hoping to take a great basic concept and be at least half as successful as the original Bebi founders and crew in terms of quality, and customer satisfaction.

@SkywalkerII
Quote:
"Put the candle back!"
Thanks for the quote... Looks like a day at the project. Added it as a PS to the OP

Cap' Couillon and the FrankenBebi Project
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Last edited by Cap-Couillon; 10-14-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Hey, Cap. I had discussed some of the technical issues with Michael (Bebi) some time ago, and as you mention "open source" I'd think it worth going over some of the design points you will be choosing. For instance:
How will you be regulating the power to the LEDs?
Will you be stinging them in strings of 4 to make '12-ish' volts, or putting them all in parallel?
Any lightning or surge protection?
How will you be spec'ing the LEDs? Prime LEDs can come in three lots, each 2x different in brightness, as well as three color, making 9 very visibly different LEDs for each single "part" unless oyu pay extra to spec the sorted ones. Which way are you going on that?
And will they be fully potted? If so, in what kind of resin/potting?
Any provision for heeling, i.e. an adequate beamspread vertically by using two or three rings of LEDs?

I wouldn't write off Bebi yet. If they were doing enough business, I'd expect he could set it up again in another location. A lot of their uniqueness was "just" the fact that he was taking the high road and using prime components to build a top-quality product. (Which many folks would only see as "expensive".)
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Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Quote:
How will you be regulating the power to the LEDs?
IC chip linear current control
Quote:
Will you be stinging them in strings of 4 to make '12-ish' volts, or putting them all in parallel?
Latest prototype is running 3(s)x5(p) array with current control at 20mA (to match our diodes) Input voltage range 11.9V - 15V DC. Vf for each LED rated at 3.2V and testing shows rated Vf is very close to observed.

Quote:
Any lightning or surge protection?
Not as such.... We will recommend 1A fusing for the circuit the light is connected to. The IC will dissipate over currents up to this level. As to lightning strikes, your cheap anchor light is the least of your worries.

Quote:
How will you be spec'ing the LEDs?
We are binning the LEDs to stay within the USCG requirements (USC33-84.13) Color specification of lights. Using a well known, major manufacturer as a supplier, not a "catch as catch can" cheapo. Output level in mCan is a broader spec, but minimum output in the selected bin exceeds the requirements for visibility at 4nm as specified in USC33-84.15 (table "b" ).

Quote:
And will they be fully potted? If so, in what kind of resin/potting?
Lights will be fully potted using 2 part epoxy potting compound. Selected compound is "loaded" with AO2 to provide thermal conductivity/mass to aid in heat dissipation during high voltage cycles (eg: battery charging) It is recommended the lights be disconnected during battery equalization. We expect to be able to meet or exceed the original Bebi spec of 1m submersion for 1 hr, although as Bebi Electronics stated... If your anchor light is under water for over an hour, you have bigger issues.

Quote:
Any provision for heeling, i.e. an adequate beamspread vertically by using two or three rings of LEDs?
While we are kicking around the idea of "BibiZilla" with a two row 30 LED radial configuration, the initial prototypes with a single row 15 LED configuration provides adequate vertical beam spread to meet USCG requirements for vertical sectors (USC33-84.19) while at anchor. One would not expect a heel much in excess of 2-3 degrees while on the hook which would still allow the lights to remain within the required 60% above and below 7.5 degrees from horizontal. This is an anchor light, not an underway light.

I hope this information has answered your questions. Thanks for your interest and input.
We will release the full specs of parts including current control chip and LED mfg and part # (including bin specs) after prototyping and beta testing is complete.

Cap' Couillon and the FrankenBebi Project
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Last edited by Cap-Couillon; 10-14-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 10-14-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Hot damn!!! I was musing about this very thing a few days ago and viola!!!- this post shows up.

Hope Bebi recovers and I hope this is successful as well.
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Old 10-15-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

Any idea what happened to Bebi? Was it purley a marketing/sales issue?
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

While I cannot speak for Michael, if you go to bebi-electronics.com the opening page pretty well explains the situation.

Regards,
Cap' Couillon and the FrankenBebi Project
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2013
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Re: FrankenBebi

I met Michael in Savusavu in 06. His lights still burning bright on Aeventyr after 7 years. Sorry to see him go.

Bring on the new Frankenbebi!
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