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    LED lights
    From: Joe Shields
    Date: 2003 Oct 13, 12:59 -0400

    I made a white all-around mast head light using four Radio Shack [$5 a
    piece] bright white LEDs (and appropriate resistors all soldered to a small
    circuit board) stuffed up into a clear fresnel-type replacement lens (found
    on sale for $5) and then sealed at the bottom with a glob of marine tec
    (LEDs are good for 10,000 hours!). Before the marine tec hardened, I stuck
    an aluminum bracket in the bottom of the glob for use in mounting the light
    to the masthead. Waxed paper helped hold the glob in place overnight while
    it hardened. For milli amps of power, it can be seen for miles.  Brightest
    light on the lake.  Will still light even when battery is so dead
    incandescent cabin light won't glimmer a bit.  An inexpensive 5watt solar
    panel (doesn't require a volt. reg.) keeps the battery charged enough to
    keep my night sailing worry-free (my new base of operation for celestial
    nav. practice).
    I was experimenting with red and green LED lights from Radio Shack in hopes
    of making side running lights, but it was taking too long and I was running
    out of Summer, so I bought the Perko 602 DP1 LED lights (around $100). They
    work OK, but I was a little disappointed that at low battery voltage (unlike
    my home-made all-around), some of the LED's in the "602 DP1" cluster don't
    shine. Don't know if this is by design or what. I think it's still legal,
    just not as super bright.
    Here's my lighting strategy (23 ft sailboat):  red and green side lights,
    all-around white masthead light (for use as anchor when lit alone, for use
    under power with r/g side lights), and a stern light (for use under sail
    with r/g side lights).  Is that OK?
    Also, made internal cabin lights at low cost.  I put in a low power LED
    light and a higher power 5watt incandescent light that can be toggled off
    /on depending on how electrically extravagant I want to be.  The white LED
    is more than adequate for seeing in the cabin.
    Here's some pics:
    > -- Joe
    > 40d34m N, 80d03m W

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