How to build your own.....I found this and decided to post it here.......
great idea, but I'll add a switch so I can turn it off easily.....
EDIT: decided not to switch the light, for the reasons the designer stated....what I WILL do is sew a hood for the light out of naugahyde or vinyl.....when I'm paddling with a group and wanting to not blind anyone I'll simply cover the light..and the hood will pull off quickly when I need it...
How to build your own.....I found this and decided to post it here.......
Good project for my digital electronics students! Thanks.
found the parts
all at wally world just as he said…first fill of epoxy is in the ping pong balls…the led bulbs have been trimmed…
I prefer doing these sort of things myself, so this should be cool…making TWO because it’s just as easy to do two as one, and I’ll give one away to someone who wouldn’t (Couldn’t) do it for themselves…
Pass on what you learn to someone else…one of lifes important lessons…
thank you for the posting.
Excellent and inexpensive project.
The waterproof switch can be the toggle type with a waterproof boot often found at electronic supplies stores.
A thought for simplification
Would it be bright enough if the ball was simply epoxyied to the PVC with the logo hidden inside the pipe, and the flashlight shining directly up at the ball?
Or, head to Target
and get yourself a floating submersible kids’ flashlight with a domed front over a white light for 360 degree visibility, plus an array of three LED lights next to it that can all light-up or one by one or flash -
All for $7.95 and it comes with a lanyard and velcro strap. And it is shaped like a fish -;))))
I got one and it is fine but weak on just two AA batteries.
I much prefer the $17 crank-powered submersible and floating flashlight with one strong LED. I had a chance to test that a few nights back and it is very decent - a one minute crank is enough for over 30 minutes of continuous light that did not seem to diminish as I exited the water. And it is pretty strong and focused beam. Still, just barely good to light your way at about may be 10 feet ahead of you (works to just before your bow that is). But very small and versatile for map reading, camping, etc.
I see the appeal of making your own for under $10 - it can be fun. Though I would probably opt for rigging-up a stronger LED from a minicell battery powered miniflashlight that operates at one, two or three 3V cells and substitute these with AA batteries in the PVC pipe housing…
tried that first thing…
not with the bulb described…i tried it first just sticking the flashlight in…the bulb has a concentrator to force the beam, result: a bright spot on the top of the ball, little to the sides.
Tried after cutting down the bulb…better but lacked power…
tried after the first epoxy hardened…much better… the statement about the bubbles in the epoxy helping to diffuse the light seems to be true…I’m sticking with the epoxy…
about TARGET though…
Target sells a 4.95 mini-lantern made by Rock Creek that is about 1n inch and a quarter high by 3/4’s wide…puts out 15 LUMENS with a top reflector for 360 light output…they work WELL. Could just glue one to the top of the PVC and have done with it…they use 3 button cells (357)…
but there’s no fun, and no learning curve there…
This lights subject
has been tossed around a lot. You may wish to consult the Nav. Rules (Colregs) regarding lighting. Some inland lakes etc. may allow for a constant white light, but International and Inland Rules do not. Specifically Rule 25.
Please understand I’m NOT telling you what to do, just suggesting that it’s worth some research to ensure you are in compliance. The arguments may likely follow about forgetting Rules and doing whatever so you are seen. That’s one’s own choice, but at least you’ll know what your doing and why. Good day.
Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars
(a) a sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:
(ii) a sternlight.
(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.
© A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower Green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.
(i) A sailing vessel of less than 7 meters in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
(ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
(e) A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards.
Cut and paste from the COLREGS
Seems to me it’s a matter of interpretation…a lantern or electric torch exhibited in time to prevent collision…and a constant light is just that…
score one for the uncouth !!! NM
Discovered the C-Lite in my PFD
pocket slides into a piece of thin wall 3/4" pvc pipe, long enough that its above my head when I stick it into my rod holder. Hold it in with a little ss hook bungee. Should work on a yak or noe rod holder either a Scotty/Atwood or simple sleeve. Handy when our paddles extend into the evenings and powerboats around. My Scotty, mount clamped to canoe forward thwart, and rod holder notched a bit on the bottom face also holds my little GPS with a few rubber bands.
not sure about international compliance
but Australian Maritime law requires that on a kayak you have a running white light as minimum.
Flashing red light (bicycle style), which are occasionally seen being used for the purpose, are illegal (they could mimic a buoy).
If you want to be fancy you can get a specific red/green running light that has a small suction cup for attaching to a composite deck of a kayak (plastic kayaks sometimes are not smooth/shiny enough for suction cups)
I have one and currently use it like that…I have questions about it’s visibility though so I’m going this route…(My pole is also a flag staff… the C-light mounts up top).
PA regs are typical
Scroll down to Figure 7-C
Red & green lights…
...on a kayak has never made any sense to me. It seems that a white light is all that is required if you do as most people do and apply the rules for "a vessel under oars" to kayaks.
Imagine crossing paths with a really large vessel at night. Is there really any point in confusing the issue by using lights which can imply that the large boat should slow down or alter course to let you freely pass (or at least force the captain to spend time figuring out what that red light belongs to and whether it makes sense to try to alter course). Even for more nimible powerboaters, I think it makes a lot more sense to display a while light so they can choose the most sensible path to avoid you, rather than put them in the position of trying to figure out what you are going to do. After what people wrote in Salty's recent "right-of-way" thread, it seems that most people would agree that putting red & green lights on a kayak is pretty silly.
nope, not silly
a kayaking club in Manhattan did a study on various lighting setups, they determined that the more you looked like a boat, the more information you provided for direction and position. That you are seen as a slow moving boat does not mean you are exempt from prudent seamanship and able to make larger vessels adjust their courses,,it means that you are seen a lot farther away and improve EVERYONES situational awareness on the water.
The relative position of red/green and stern light will define your size, your height from the water is obvious to anyone in a boat on a deck. It's the person in a kayak that's confused about distances as they're so close to the water.
I've paddled in the S.F. bay a fair amount with dimming ACR 2AA penlights and various hand held waterproof dive lights going dim. Not until Tek-tite came out with a BRIGHT 3AA 2led penlight setup was there a substantial improvement for running lights for kayaks as it's flush and absolutely waterproof.
The colregs for rowing craft understandabley developed from a time where techonology couldn't put adequate running lights on a dinghy.
Practically speaking having a "white light to shine to prevent collision" is an acknowlegement that maintaining a constant running light was not possible or effective with little dry cells. It is now.
The problem with a singular white light is that it's the same as an anchor light. Also that single white light would have to mounted on your head to be visible all around. The standard forward running lights with stern white light satisfies 360 visibility. The Tek-tite red/green setup can be configured so that the lense doesn't shine up in your eyes and the reflected colored light off the deck doesn't mess with night vision.
If a person is really paddling where there's a chance of crossing paths with other boats,,you should be using running lights that help communicate your position and direction. A single constant white light does not do that.
what i don't get is why they don't offer a 1AA cell white LED light to replace the ACR. Something like the Mark-lite but a white LED
c-light old incandescent technology
it goes dim after a few hours. The beam is 360 with a narrow band. The get sold because that's what existed in their product line for affordable SURVIVAL gear that's not an emergecy strobe but it's not a navigation light and it's really a marginal rescue light.
14yrs ago I went on a night time paddle with BASK from Pt. Richmond marina with about a dozen paddlers. Nearly everyone had ACR lights. This was before white LEDs became common. I usually paddled with three lights, a Bright halogen light on the fordeck to be used intermittantly as needed, "the white torch", an ACR on the back of my pfd and another ACR on the back deck of the kayak.
All the the ACR lights look like dim candles flickering away as the narrow 360 beam bobs around. With regular batteries, non-lithium disposables, the beam becomes weaker in a few hours. Nearly half the kayaks had weak beams and some nearly dead as it was a two hr paddle and folks had used these ACR lights other times.
When we came back to the marina a big charter sport fishing boat was returning. We all thought we were well lit up...I certainly was because I turned on the 2watt halogen on my front deck as we came in and I was far from any boats in the middle of the marina channel.
When the charter boat came to the public dock he screamed holy murder down on us that he couldn't see us worth shit and it wasn't going to be his fault if he ran into us. The guy was terribly upset, he certainly didn't want to see his 30" twin screws chew up people in kayaks but we were floating around like faint fireflies, blinking in and out of visibility.
Please do a test. Get the ACR and the 2LED 3AA cell Tek-tite white light (or equivalent), put regular alkaline batteries in them. And head out into the night and see how the two look from 1/4mile. Then let the lights burn for a few hours and do it again the next day. I went through this paddling regularly at night. Having your faint yellow light,,turn yellower and yellower while totally surrouneded by black water is not a good thing. That's why I always went out with three lights.
You can get at least 24hrs of usable light from any of the small waterproof LED pen lights with more useful light output than the ACR incandescent light that's been around for decades.
The tek-tite lights are even better.
Good info LeeG
"The problem with a singular white light is that it's the same as an anchor light. Also that single white light would have to mounted on your head to be visible all around. The standard forward running lights with stern white light satisfies 360 visibility. The Tek-tite red/green setup can be configured so that the lense doesn't shine up in your eyes and the reflected colored light off the deck doesn't mess with night vision."
"If a person is really paddling where there's a chance of crossing paths with other boats,,you should be using running lights that help communicate your position and direction. A single constant white light does not do that."
An constant all round white light means you are at ANCHOR. I suppose some here won't care, and neither do I. For those that do, Lee's advice is excellent.
BTW, never shine your light at a vessels bridge / wheelhouse.
> BTW, never shine your light at a vessels bridge / wheelhouse.
That would be my first instinct if I was just carrying a flashlight and a vessel was bearing down on me.
(Not meant to be argumentative, I’m honestly curious.)