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Monday, 6 February 2017

Bright Ideas

On and off, I've been working on my navigation lights project for some time. I've created a few 3D model clips for the Guardian Adventure Lights I plan to base my design on. I need to replicate the clip so that the light will fit onto the shield that will create the 112.5 degree light arc.

After the first print, I realised I had simple modelled it to the wrong size. With this corrected, I printed a new clip. After a little fettling I tried it with the light and it fitted perfectly. I like this 3D printing thing.

I then started on a basic light shield to ensure the light is only seen over the correct arc. I needed a couple of goes at this to realise just how much light can be seen even from the tip of the light. You can see the evolution of the basic design here:
It's also worth noting the arc of light you can on the table top. This is caused by the lensing of the light's cover. It measures almost exactly 112.5 degrees.

The next thing to think about is where on the Tiki 21 these lights should be mounted and how. My first thought was to mount on the beam ends. From here it seems the lights would be prominent and perhaps easily mounted. There are a few problems with this position:
  • Nav lights will often be used coming into a port (in the dark!). For a Tiki 21, this is probably not according to "Plan A"! When you arrive at the end on a long day (Plan B), in the dark, the last thing you want it to break out the dock lines and find the beam ends cluttered with nav lights.
  • The beam ends are often close to and at the height of the dock. The light are vulnerable.
  • Moving the lights to the front beam would help, but in the dark and under less than ideal conditions, moving forward to position the lights is not good. 
  • Mounting over the water, means they will eventually get dropped in the drink.
The more I think about position, the more the beam ends are wrong. Next, the gunnels? A small threaded nut, recessed into the wood and a thumb screw on the light? Complicated I think.

Mounted on the top of the mast beam, just back from the cleat seems good. It also allows a better shape for the overall light housing. This is the approach I'm currently following. I've started on a full housing shape and it's looking good. See below and watch this space.

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