Retro fitting LEDS to a Masthead tricolour?

Ian_Edwards

Well-known member
Joined
9 Feb 2002
Messages
1,938
Location
Aberdeen Scotland
Visit site
Hi,
I’m intending to fit LED’s to my masthead navigation light, I think they are BAY15D light with offset pins, so the “bulb” will only fit in one orientation, no problem for the all-round white anchor light .... it obviously doesn’t matter, but the tricolour needs the red and green sectors of the LED to face forward and be correctly aligned. The mast head unit is a standard Aqua Signal unit. So it’ll depend on how the lamp holder is orientated and if it’s not correctly aligned, if it’s adjustable.
Anyone had any experience retro fitting LEDs?
I don’t really want to get up there and find it doesn’t align.
 

demonboy

Active member
Joined
11 Oct 2004
Messages
2,229
Location
Indonesia
www.youtube.com
I went through all this myself a few months ago (there's a thread on it somewhere) and I too have an Aqua Signal. The difference was that it was an anchor LED light. Same fitting, blub etc. That was all good and great on saving energy. You can get them at ultraleds.

HOWEVER, I have read that you DON'T want to use a normal LED for navigation lights, where the plastic cover of the lamp is green/red coloured. You are supposed to use a clear cover with a coloured LED bulb instead.
 

RestlessL

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2007
Messages
703
Location
Solent
Visit site
I bought one of these (tricolour version) to fit in my Aqua Signal mast head light. It came with a replacement holder which could be fitted in one of 12 (IIRC) positions. Unfortunately, none of these aligned the segments correctly, and in the end I left the filament lamp in.

John
 

brianhumber

New member
Joined
30 May 2001
Messages
1,365
Location
Sussex
Visit site
Exprimented last year and pins where 120 degrees out foir the LED segments. Bit of a bummer when you are 21 metres up.
Job abandoned.

B
 

widgeon

Member
Joined
6 Dec 2005
Messages
130
Location
Gosport
Visit site
I had the same problem. I ended up taking the whole unit home and doing some modifications to the AquaSignal unit in order to fit the new bulb holder - supplied with the tri-colour LED lamp - in a position where the lamp sectors and the lens sectors aligned.
 

Ian_Edwards

Well-known member
Joined
9 Feb 2002
Messages
1,938
Location
Aberdeen Scotland
Visit site
Thanks for the post so far, I've looked up the tests done in PBO494 (Feb 2008) but that only tested a "white" LED behind a conventional lens. As others have said this is unlikely to be that good because white LED’s only produce spectral lines (frequencies/wavelengths) which approximate to white light and it would be pure chance if there is sufficient energy in the spectral lines which match the red and green filters. The LED source is also physically big, so it won’t have the same characteristics as very narrow filament of an incandescent bulb, so the angular cuts-offs will have to be less well defined. In my way of thinking this eliminates putting a white LED in a conventional masthead tricolour.
What I was hoping was that a tricolour LED would improve both the spectral match in the red and green, and give a better cut-off between sectors. As an aside, I think in practical terms the cut off isn’t that critical for a small yacht yawing around a heading. But for a tricolour LED to work in a conventional tricolour NAV lenses means that the two sets of sectors have to line-up.
It looks like they don’t do that automatically and there is no logical reason why they should because the orientation of the incandescent bulb is irrelevant.
So I’ll plan on fitting an LED to the anchor light .... that will be a useful reduction in amp hours per day whilst cruising this summer and wait for a more reasonably priced combined tricolour/anchor LED to come on the market to fit when I next un-step the mast.
 

Ian_Edwards

Well-known member
Joined
9 Feb 2002
Messages
1,938
Location
Aberdeen Scotland
Visit site
Re: Retro fitting LEDS to a Masthead tricolour? - Update

Hi,
I emailed Aqua Signal and asked if base of their new series 32 combined anchor and tricolour masthead unit is compatable with a series 40 anchor/tricolour base.
This is the prompt answer I got.
---------------------------------------
Good day Ian,
Thank you for your inquiry. The quick fit base with the series 32 is comparable to the series 40 in the mounting holes. However, the “1st generation” series 32 quick fit base connects to the light differently whereas the “2nd generation” quick fit base is completely comparable. Unfortunately there is not a sure way to guarantee that you will get the “2nd generation” series 32 quick fit base that would be completely comparable to the series 40 so we recommend using the quick fit base that comes with the series 32 light.

Sorry to not have a better reply for you.

Thank you and kind regards,
Shari Severson
Inside Sales
Aqua Signal Corp.
----------------------------------
So it seems, that if your lucky it might fit!
 

Seven Spades

Well-known member
Joined
30 Aug 2003
Messages
4,746
Location
Surrey
Visit site
Re: Retro fitting LEDS to a Masthead tricolour? - Update

I think if you want to use LED you should replace the whole tricolour unit and replace it with a purpose made LED module. I would not risk my life on a replacement led bulb unless I knew it would be as good as the original.
 

thalassa

Member
Joined
2 Feb 2003
Messages
907
www.wv-saeftinghe.nl
As said, the spectrum emitted by the LED is critical if you want to mount it in a red/green filter system. Apart from that, test the polarity of the lamp fitting first, as most (but not all) LED lamps are unipolar. In my case, I had to reverse the lamp fitting wiring.
 

VicS

Well-known member
Joined
13 Jul 2002
Messages
48,350
Visit site
Re: Retro fitting LEDS to a Masthead tricolour? - Update

As indicated the spectral considerations mean you must use a "bulb" intended as a replacement for use in a tricolour.

A couple of links you might care to investigate

www.ultraleds.co.uk

www.doctorled.com

It has to be said though that past reports on here of such replacements do not make encouraging reading!

My decision has been to stick with the filament bulb until the Aqua Signal lens is crazed and in need of replacing and to then replace the whole shooting match with a purpose built LED based unit.
 

maxi

Member
Joined
8 Nov 2002
Messages
973
Location
Hampshire
Visit site
Re: Retro fitting LEDS to a Masthead tricolour? Radio Interference

Being informally connected with a major supplier of these replacement bulbs, I am told that there is a high level of customer complaints that; the led bulbs are creating vhf radio interference.

My VHF aerial is on a stand-off bracket & I have had no problems - but it's just one more thing to consider.
 
Top