Blinded By The Light

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Blinded By The Light

Postby rpmerrill on Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:49 am

I typed this long message out last night but it disappeared/crashed. Here we go again.

I have driven the BAY RANGER back to the marina several times at dusk. The interesting part of the ride is the last 6 miles up the Tred Avon River. There are several turns and a bunch of zig-zags. Several lighted daymarkers and a bunch of non-lightes ones. My GPS knows the way, but the Boy Scout in me keeps a good lookout. (I only made it thru Cub Scouts.)

A few days ago I was returning home a little after dusk. The unlit daymarks were pretty much invisible. So, for the first real time I used my spotlight. The light puts out a strong beam, but it also puts out a lot of peripheral light around the edges. That peripheral really lights up the bow deck. It is so bright that the effect of the beam is lost in the glare. It is like driving a car in the fog with the high beams on. :shock:

Clearly the light needs some sort of an under-side visor or a tubular extension. I wandered around Lowes looking for something approx 6-1/2" diameter. I found a 1 gallon paint can for $4. It is a little bigger than 6-1/2 but the top rim seal fits nicely against the front of the light bezel. I cut the bottom off with the kitchen can opener and painted the interior flat black. For mounting the can, I drilled 4 holes in the rim of the can and inserted 1/4" dowels, letting them protrude about an inch. These center the can firmly on the spotlight body. I still have to remove the wire handle and come up with a velcro of bungee method to secure the can. But first a performance test.

Last night I went to the marina. I expected that this prototype would be the just the first of several design attempts. (I had been thinking it would need some internal baffles.) I was wrong. It worked GREAT. The glare is 90% gone. The strong beam is clearly visible and well defined. I am totally pleased. Still have to take it out on the river for a "sea trial". The only caution is when looking more than about 45 degrees to port -- the mast gets in the way. Small problem. I realize it is not a very pretty solution. It will only be used at night and it will spend most of it's time in the cave.

I will continue to work on the mounting methods and will trim the dowels back a little. Stay tuned.

Has anyone else dealt with this issue? I'd love to hear about it.
Photos in my album of the prototype. More photos later too.
rpmerrill
 
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby CaspersCruiser on Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:55 am

I have the exact same glare problem on my 2012 R-27 that makes the spotlight next to useless. Some folks have moved the spotlight to the plate on the mast above the radome and the radome shadows the bow. I may do that, but your solution appears much more simple.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby Chimo on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:58 am

Had the same problem on a previous boat with the added frustration that "someone" left the light on one day at anchor and flattened a battery. I disconnected and moved to a handheld spotlight plugged in to a 12V outlet. I still have that light and I was quite happy when our 2017 R25SC came without a light mounted since I assume I didn't pay for something I would not use. The handheld out of the side window is a lot faster to aim and give a quick snap on/off to check a marker or whatever when running at night.
Chimo: a word of greeting, farewell, and toast before drinking once widely spoken in the Inuktitut language in northern Canada.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby rpmerrill on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:23 am

Yup, I've heard that too, but the handheld isn't all pretty chrome!
Ha.
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Vessel Name: BAY RANGER

Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby Chimo on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:25 am

You got a chrome paint can for $4 !! :shock:
Chimo: a word of greeting, farewell, and toast before drinking once widely spoken in the Inuktitut language in northern Canada.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby rpmerrill on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:28 am

TRUE !

Actually, I just got back from the boat and Lowes, again. I bought a stretchy velcro strap that hooks on the can wire handle and loops down below the lamp body and behind the mount. 10 second install and takedown.
I added two more photos.
No duct tape !!!!!!

Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed,
Poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed.....

Swimmin' pools, movie stars !
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby Red Raven on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:50 pm

Love it!
Curt and Tracy Johansen
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2014 R27
Volvo D3 200HP
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby NorthernFocus on Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:07 pm

This is a common problem on many boats. I've decided to take the good ole American approach to solving it. More power. It occurred to me while watching a work boat. That's their solution. Many commercial fishing boats have a light that's bright enough to allow them to see the surface of the water for a hundred yards or so ahead. Turn the night to day then night vision isn't an issue. I'll be installing a bank of LEDs on the mast that light up the world in front of me :D
Dan

Never confuse confidence for competence.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby rpmerrill on Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:22 pm

Yup, but the light has to be high up and focused enough to keep the light off the deck in front of the helm. A small percentage of light leakage to the white deck on the bow will appear far brighter to the helm seat than the bright beam that is looking for daymarks and crabpots a hundred yards out in front of the boat.
The brightness is diminished proportionally to the square of the distance.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby knotflying on Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:29 pm

Looks good. What about using a piece of sheet aluminum or stainless and rolling it to the correct diameter and then pop rivet the seam. That housing is fairly hollow maybe a few small ss sheet metal screws to hold it in place. I think that paint can will eventually rust out. Just some thoughts.
“What we call reality is merely an ILLUSION we create for learning and enjoyment….”
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby baz on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:03 pm

Chimo wrote:Had the same problem on a previous boat with the added frustration that "someone" left the light on one day at anchor and flattened a battery. I disconnected and moved to a handheld spotlight plugged in to a 12V outlet. I still have that light and I was quite happy when our 2017 R25SC came without a light mounted since I assume I didn't pay for something I would not use. The handheld out of the side window is a lot faster to aim and give a quick snap on/off to check a marker or whatever when running at night.


I say good riddance to the stock chrome search light that RT has traditionally installed on their boats. I had one on my R-25 (Classic) and rarely used it. I did not bother to place a cover over it and after 6 years the chrome was badly spotted which I could not clean up, and in addition at around the 5th year the turning mechanism simply froze up so rotating the searchlight became impossible. Nothing but trouble IMO. Yea, it looked good and that was really all I gave it credit for.

I now have the 2018 R-27/OB boat and RT has abandoned placing the chrome searchlight on this model. :D So didn't have to pay for something I rarely used. I have purchased a hand held searchlight which as Chimo has said, can be aimed a lot easier than the RT chrome searchlight plus the control panel for it no longer is in my way at the helm station. I'm thinking of some form of bracket attached to outside near the helm station window that can be used to clip the hand-held searchlight to to free up my right arm/hand. ;)
Barry, Gill & (Jake Wire Hair Fox Terrier)
SOLD - 2010 R-25 LAXEY
Traded 2016 Ranger Gray R-21EC LAXEY to Ranger Tugs.
R-27/OB, LAXEY, Hull Midnight Blue
Edmonds, WA
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby rpmerrill on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Ya, knotflying, I thought about that, especially if I needed a longer tube than the 8" tall paint can. The paint can was the easy first choice. I did look at 6 and 7 inch diameter aluminum ducting.

One way to make the 8" paint can seem longer is to baffle the inside of the can. A tightly packed array of a dozen or more tubes inside the can would help align the light beam. Something like pieces of thin wall electrical conduit (about 1-1/2 inch dia) should help.

I really don't want to do anything to the spotlight to compromise its weatherproof integrity. So I'm very happy with my solution. Corrosion shouldn't be a big worry because it will only be used occasionally. Spending most of it's life on a hook in the cave.

Keep the comments and ideas coming.
This is fun.
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby mrrlc on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:25 pm

For the R21-EC I have a Golight LED search light with wireless hand held remote, model 30004. I made a removable mounting system using a aluminum fixture plate and three studded knobs. I only mount it on trips where I think I might need it, which so far has been none. Other than testing it at the marina, I haven't tried the light out on the water so I don't know how well it works. When I got the boat, Ranger was no longer providing the search lights for the R21-EC however the 12V cable connector and cabin switch were still in place which made for an easy installation. With the remote you can turn the light on/off, rotate, and move it vertically. See the photos in the album.
Bob
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby Chimo on Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:41 pm

Just a quick check, we do all realize that a spotlight is for momentary use and not intended to be like headlights in a car? Do we all have red lights inside the cabin? I'm looking to change a few of mine.
Chimo: a word of greeting, farewell, and toast before drinking once widely spoken in the Inuktitut language in northern Canada.
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Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:21 am
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Ranger/Cutwater Model: R-25 SC
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Re: Blinded By The Light

Postby NorthernFocus on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:07 pm

Chimo wrote:Just a quick check, we do all realize that a spotlight is for momentary use and not intended to be like headlights in a car? ...

That depends on where you operate. Many places on PWS between floating logs and shrimp pot buoys it's a bit risky not being able to see the surface ahead.
Dan

Never confuse confidence for competence.
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