LADY ANNYA AND LED's
It was on the first night cruise, up river from Gt Yarmouth to Acle. I left the Swan pub, so as to catch the slack water and rising tide. Shortly after leaving Yarmouth, things became seriously dark. It was then that I noticed the worth of my navigation lights. A greenish shade of off white to one side and pink, tending towards white on the other. When Gin Palaces approached from astern, a torch added to the general yellowness to show where we were and which way we hoped to be seen as going.
Next season and something had to be done. I did not want to replace the navigation lights themselves. They were the originals, but the plastic lenses really had faded. Wearing my railway modelling hat, anorak if you insist, I used a fair number of bright LEDs. Why not use them on LA?
The firm I use, no connection, other than satisfied customer is http://www.ultraleds.com/, they have an efficient and reliable service, and do what the name on the tin says. They supply LEDs, thousands of them. Still, all I needed was around ten green ultra bright 5mm and 10 red of the same, plus twenty resistors. Remember these, or hings get a tad expensive, smelly too, if hot enough!
The wiring was simple. Attach resistors to the short leg of each LED. These are then soldered together, and a tail of wire added. The other end of all the LEDs was similarly treated.
The Norman navigation lights were removed, their innards discarded, well, put into the boating spares box actually. The LED clusters were screwed into the choccy blocks in each lamp fitting and then tested. Nothing on the Port side. Switch off and reverse the wires. Hey presto a red on one side and green on the other. I thought they looked a little dim in daylight. Testing them at night was a different thing. LA has a red side of the cabin and a green side of the cabin and a RED and GREEN lamp either side. A resounding success. They also draw far less than even one of the old lamps.
Later that week, I bought a stern light and removed the lamp from the off. Ten large bright white LEDs and we can now bee seen from the rear.
Now for a success and a not so successful effort.
Lady Annya used to have a heated fan that demisted the windscreen. It used 15A and left a small round almost clear bit to pear through. The only problem would be that you had to look through the heater to see anything! I left the ting in place, largely as I could think of no better use for the hole. This year I thought up a use for the hole and the heater went.
In Roys Kitchen Ware, I purchase the smallest Tupperware bowl with a lid. It was about two and a half inches across and pudding bowl shaped. I screwed the lid to the cabin roof and ran a lower current wire in from the lighting fuse. A switch was added to the side of the bowl. A plastic bowl with an on off switch? You should have seen the looks I caught, in the shop, whilst trying out the switch for size against all the bowls.
Anyway ten bright 5mm white LEDs and the resistors were wired into the bowl. They face into the cockpit and give a great light, again using so little power that having them on for some time, leaves you with no worries about push starting the boat next day!
Talking of the “Light Bowl”, this season it has been modified. I wished to have a mast head light, and some form of light so that I could find the boat after leaving the pub at night, or help stop people rowing into me at night.
Looking for a suitable container, I came across a Citadel Colours paint pot, ex Games Workshop. Washed and cleaned, it fitted the top of the mast nicely. It was small and would be waterproof. It provided and easy to fit transparent cover. The lid was screwed to the top of the mast. Thick copper wires drilled into the top of the mast, provided anchorage for the LEDs and resistors. Ten superbright white LEDS, 5 forward and five back give a decent masthead light. These are wired into the Navigation lights and are plugged into a four pin plug fixed into the “Light Bowl”. Three orange bright LEDS were fitted into the mid-line of the pot, between the two sets of whites. These use a Maplin’s water proofed miniature toggle switch. They are wired into the cabin lights circuit. The three LEDS give a bright deep yellow light, bright enough to find the boat, or see that there is one moored out on the broad.
There are some more plans for LEDs on Lady Annya, but that brings us up to date so far.
The photos show the pot developments.