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Old 12-19-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
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Docking Light Mod.

I have a pair of Morse docking lights in the nose of my boat (makes the bow look like a Dungeness Crab, but I digress) that have sealed beam bulbs in them. The problem is, they are 12 volt, 100 watt aircraft landing lights and they are rated for 25 hours. Yes, 25. That means they will bake exactly when you need them, they pull lots of watts each, require thick wire and/or relays because of the run from the switch and they are a complete PITA to change. Morse lights are very expensive ($500 a pair), are cheap plastic (that doesn't like sunlight) with an aluminum ring that clamps the light in place and aims the "eyeball" while disintegrating slowly when exposed to sea water (the nose of a boat? Go figure). So I have been looking for a substitute, started out looking for halogen bulbs, no luck, then I found some LED "tractor lights" that would fit at large cost (about $135 each) and not very good output. I have to keep the Morse things.

Then I found some 42 watt round LED spot/flood lights the same diameter as the sealed beams. They were about $30 each from some American eBay supplier, I cut off the mounting bracket with a Sawzall, polished the cut with my grinder (no aluminum boat owner can be without a grinder and a huge selection of discs) and removed the sort of eyebrow over the top of the unit, clamped the modded unit into the Morse and wired et voilŗ!

The first photo is the new LED installed, the second (sorry about the 90 degree rotation) shows the old spot, the round yellow light on the canvas) and the bright white LED that was just installed. It lights the entire area while the old spot might be useful for spotting logs if it was properly aimed and hadn't just burnt out(!).
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Old 12-19-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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Could you post a link to the eBay page?
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:35 PM   #3
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Nicely done. Those Morse docking lights are miserable things.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:45 PM   #4
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Don't know how to do a link but here's something: I also bought it in Canada, surprise, used Loonies! I guess they have to be useful for something.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:08 AM   #5
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Nice light. Maybe I'll go looking also.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:24 AM   #6
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Nice light. Maybe I'll go looking also.
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Try here.........Kawell 42W 30 Degree Round LED Spot Light OFF Road Lighting 12V 24V ATV CAR Lamp | eBayKawell 42W 30 Degree Round LED Spot Light OFF Road Lighting 12V 24V ATV CAR Lamp | eBay....I already looked....
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:28 AM   #7
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There you go, always a better way. If you want them, look for the ad he has where he sells a pair, save you $10 or so.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:31 AM   #8
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Thanks, I snuck a look. I've got enough projects right now but these lights will go on the list.

It's the winter for catching up on several half finished, just got working messily, boatjects.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:43 AM   #9
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I have a pair of Morse docking lights in the nose of my boat................
A lot of the "deck boats" (party boats) around here have "docking lights" but the people running them think they are headlights. We sit on the dock and see them coming up the river and they look like a car on the highway.

I find that even at my age I can see pretty well in the dark but only if nobody shines high powered lights in my eyes. It takes me several minutes to recover from that.

Back to topic: One thing you have to worry about with LED lights on a boat (or car) is voltage. Our boats may have 12 volt batteries but the voltage can be far greater than that when the charging system is operating. Incandescent lamps can withstand higher voltages for short periods but LEDs will fail very quickly when exposed to voltages higher than the design voltage.

To make a long story short, the highest quality LED assemblies will use constant current drivers to supply a constant current to the individual LEDs. Lamps that use simple dropping resistors are likely to fail a lot sooner than you would like on a boat.
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Old 12-20-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
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Good point about LEDs and voltages. These lights are rated 10 - 30 volts.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #11
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Good point about LEDs and voltages. These lights are rated 10 - 30 volts.
That means they have the drivers and should be fine.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:35 AM   #12
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Speaking of LEDs on boats, I installed some made for RVs in my stateroom several years ago. Only issue is a faint flicker when on the charger. Rather than add back in the 120Vac adapter, is there a noise filter I can add inline?


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Old 12-23-2015, 05:57 PM   #13
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Speaking of LEDs on boats, I installed some made for RVs in my stateroom several years ago. Only issue is a faint flicker when on the charger. Rather than add back in the 120Vac adapter, is there a noise filter I can add inline?


Keith
Some of my LED lights with constant current drivers interfere with low band (7-13) TV reception. I installed a small capacitor across the leads inside the fixture. This removed the problem for strong signals (at home) but weak signals (away from home) still have the problem. A more sophisticated filter or even a larger value of capacitor would probably take care of it but the space inside the fixture is pretty cramped.

So, a capacitor might work for you. Since it's a flicker, you could put the capacitor (or filter) anywhere in the circuit feeding the lights.

A combination of capacitor and inductor (choke) would be the best filter. Radio Shack might have something to do the job if you can still find one. A shop that installs car radios might be a good source.
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:11 PM   #14
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Some of my LED lights with constant current drivers interfere with low band (7-13) TV reception. I installed a small capacitor across the leads inside the fixture. This removed the problem for strong signals (at home) but weak signals (away from home) still have the problem. A more sophisticated filter or even a larger value of capacitor would probably take care of it but the space inside the fixture is pretty cramped.

So, a capacitor might work for you. Since it's a flicker, you could put the capacitor (or filter) anywhere in the circuit feeding the lights.

A combination of capacitor and inductor (choke) would be the best filter. Radio Shack might have something to do the job if you can still find one. A shop that installs car radios might be a good source.
I was going to head to my local Radio Shack for something and noticed last night that it's turned into 7-11!

And I left out a couple of details....I have these connected to a Blue Seas 12vdc dimmer. And I only get the flicker when they are partially dimmed AND on charger. Looking at the Blue Seas wiring diagram, I'll just start inlining stuff in the red input to the dimmer module:
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Old 12-25-2015, 05:57 PM   #15
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Most of the Radio Shack retail stores were close last year. Few people are buying individual; electronic components anymore and they were pretty much left selling Cell phones and accessories. And there's a lot of competition in that area.


Their quality was very low anyway. My last choice for parts.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:28 PM   #16
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I was going to head to my local Radio Shack for something and noticed last night that it's turned into 7-11!

And I left out a couple of details....I have these connected to a Blue Seas 12vdc dimmer. And I only get the flicker when they are partially dimmed AND on charger. Looking at the Blue Seas wiring diagram, I'll just start inlining stuff in the red input to the dimmer module:
Some LED lights are dimmable, while others don't behave properly. If you're having a problem with an LED behind a dimmer / LED controller, check to see that the LED is rated as dimmable.

The capacitor may work regardless, since it would smooth the chopped power to a more even voltage going to the LED. Amazon has capacitors that you used to buy from Radio Shack.

Stu
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:53 PM   #17
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. Amazon has capacitors that you used to buy from Radio Shack.
But it's a shame to pay $4.95 shipping for a $.95 part.
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Old 12-25-2015, 10:12 PM   #18
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Be interested to see how the OP's lights hold up over time in salt water.
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:10 AM   #19
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where did you buy this LED ?

i have exact the same Morse at my Princess yacht, and would like to modify them at the same way as you, do u have the art number of the led and the store ?
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:38 PM   #20
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But it's a shame to pay $4.95 shipping for a $.95 part.
FWIW I ordered "SODIAL(R) 5 x 25V 1000UF 105C Radial Electrolytic Capacitor 10x20mm" back in December for this project - $3.88 including tax and shipping, so that makes them $.78 each. Now I just have to find the darned things...
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