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post #11 of 22 Old 08-20-2007
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Lancer28-

As I said previously in this thread... my Tricolor/Anchor light is an OrcaGreen Marine LED fixture, that replaced the original unit off of my boat. I wouldn't go all LED lighting for one major reason... color and usability. The LED-based light fixtures don't really give off as good a quality light, both color-wise and quantity-wise IMHO ATM as traditional incandescent or halogen light fixtures.

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post #12 of 22 Old 08-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Valiente-

Just be aware that the replacement bulbs have not been USCG certified in any fixture to date. That could leave you open to some serious legal liabilities if you were hit while using them, as you could be considered to be operating without the proper navigation lights. The Lopolight and Orcagreen Marine fixtures are USCG certified.

Also, the FirststarLED fixtures use a PWM controller chip and may be more likely to exhibit the VHF interference that was mentioned previously. YMMV.
Thanks, SD. I am still in evaluation mode. LED decisions, like getting AIS and radar, will be among the last gear purchases I make. Right now, I'm installing dual filter systems, inverters, windlasses, etc...stuff that won't likely change much in price or design in the next 24 months or so.

Electronics seem to change on a six-month/boat show cycle.
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post #13 of 22 Old 08-20-2007
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I'd be quite happy to go Lopo for the nav lights. Looks like good gear to me.

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
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post #14 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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LED running lights and VHF radio

I am the designer and mfg or the firststarled.com LED navigation and cabin lights.

Yes our lights are a Pulse Width Modulated (PWM) design, a variant I call a Variable Pulse Width (VPW) LED driver design, where the LEDs are turned off and on at a rate so that it appears to the eye they are on all the time but such that the pulses 'trick' the eye and look brighter than the average light intensity, thereby saving battery power.
The width of the pusles are a function of several things such as input voltage to the light and the LED arrays temperature and the lights ambient enviromental temperature and overcurrent conditions.

Regarding our lights and radio freq interference, a few of our first lights DID make some RFI, but that was almost ten years ago, designs from around nine years ago used a low pass filter to remove any generated RFI before it could get into nearby radio antennas and so RFI was not a problem with them after that.
Since six or seven years ago our designs use components that operate on different frequencies than before and so produce no RFI and these lights also use other internal components to prevent or block any RFI from getting into the light from outside, primarily by the means of an opticoupler/isolator between the PWM chip and the switching transistor.
The opto isolator is a component that in this case is spece'd so that it cannot pass RFI freq in either direction but can pass much lower freq signals.
Even though the microprocesser in our lights is in fact a PWM chip, its output is hundreds of thousands of times to low in freq. to make any RFI by itself and the chip only consumes about 2/1000th of an amp (2 ma) so even if radio freqs WERE produced by the IC chip they wouldn't go far (but they aren't in the first place) and the PWM waveform coming from the IC chip to the switching transistor is very clean and sharp with no harmonics, and that output signal goes through the opto isolator which would as mentioned block any RFI getting to or from the switching transistor in any case, and from the opto isolator to the gate of the transistor, a very short distance, the switching signal is 'buffered' to prevent any reasonences from being produced, and from the switching transistor to the LEDs at last, the waveform is very, very clean, there are no reasonences to make any RFI.

Great care has been taken to make sure there is NO radio freq interference.
You can hold the light as close as you want or even touching a radio antenna and tune the radio through any band you want and you will hear nothing.

The result is a light that is much more compact than others, fully sealed, tough, and about twice as efficient as the rest, for considerably less money!!!


I am about to introduce the MKIV version of the anchor light and it will make more light than earlier models as it uses the worlds most advanced LED as of this date.

If anybody wants more information on this subject I will be happy to help if I can, go to my website at firststarled.com and send me an email-Ken
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post #15 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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For once, I am happy to hear from a vendor. As you were already on my shortlist of possible suppliers, I will follow developments with interest.

I have 25 watt AquaSignal nav lights on my pilothouse and stern (not at the bow) and a 25 watt Perko for a masthead light. Any problem just swapping out the bulbs (OK, yours isn't a bulb, but you know what I mean).

Also, will your distributor in Canada be at the Toronto Boat Show in January?
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post #16 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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I have changed ALL my lighting over to LEDs. inside and out.. it was all a pretty price but the draw of amps (my one concern) has dropped to almost nothing.. My anchor light is a OGM-LX series (orcagreen) and works just great.. The only problem I had with the lights, was taking the money out of our kitty to pay for them.......
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post #17 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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Quote:
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Also, will your distributor in Canada be at the Toronto Boat Show in January?

Val, when is the boat show in Toronto? I wonder if I can get my passport by then. (Damn new US border regs..... )

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But I think It's Only For My Money
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post #18 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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FirstStar lighting

I am impressed with the openness of the FirstStar web site. They tell you right up front that they are not yet USCG approved, they are working on it, but cannot give a date for when they might be approved. This gives me a good feeling for the company, irregardless of where they are in the approval process.

Gil
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post #19 of 22 Old 11-20-2007
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Int'l Boat Show Toronto

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjariBonten View Post
Val, when is the boat show in Toronto? I wonder if I can get my passport by then. (Damn new US border regs..... )
Boat Show in Toronto runs from Jan 12 - 20, 2008. You have two months to get your passport.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-21-2007
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Originally Posted by AjariBonten View Post
Val, when is the boat show in Toronto? I wonder if I can get my passport by then. (Damn new US border regs..... )
January 12-20, 2008.

http://www.torontoboatshow.com/

I've never been to another, so I can't compare, but physically, it's quite a large event and includes a lot of "cross-over" stuff like docking systems, kayaks, and the sort of fishing boats you only see on Canadian lakes.

I go for the "show discounted" deals (it's a great place to save on sails, usually) and to see in real life products I've only read about.

The powerboat to sailboat ratio on the exhibit floor is about 8 to 1, which is a little misleading, as I would estimate the crowd is 50/50 in composition.

It's also a good place to acquire "light duty" coats, vests, etc., because a lot of the show is devoted to Canadian cottage-oriented watersports and activities.

Last year, I bought a VariProp, a windlass and a FilterBOSS system, both at a discount. This year, I may buy four 8D batteries. We'll see what's on offer.
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