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Question on Aqua Signal Series 33 LED Nav lights

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Rich Stidger, Oct 6, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,614 posts, 153 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    I have searched and can't find the answer anywhere. Perhaps someone who has purchased and installed these lights can help me.
    It appears that the side and stern light have 7" power leads. Is this really true- only 7" long? And are these leads tinned marine quality or just common copper?

    Aqua Signal Series 33.jpg
     


  2. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    2,836 posts, 167 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA


  3. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,614 posts, 153 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    Thanks, Terry. I saw that info. I am surprised that the leads could really be that short, but I am also concerned if the wires are tinned marine quality. It seems dumb that a manufacturer would use non-marine wire on a marine device, but I have frequently seen this occur. Hella NAV lights have 2.5 meter leads that are marine wire. But they are almost 3X the price of Aqua Signal. I may have to go to a supplier and actually put eyes on the product.
     


  4. capta

    capta

    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    2,009 posts, 339 likes
    Pearson 530
    XX Sailing in the Windward or Leeward Islands where ever we are anchored
    We have these. Yes, I think it is tinned wire but very small gauge and about 7". When you install them I'd stagger the butt connectors and use the expensive heat shrink tubing with the glue inside to insure an outdoor waterproof connection. Nice lights and no more messing about with bulbs in an only semi-waterproof housing.
     


    Rick D likes this.
  5. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    600 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    I too was surprised that the leads were that short when I helped a friend with them. We changed our lights to Hella LED's from the conventional Aqua Signal. The longer lead allowed us to make the connections below decks in the relative "dry" of the anchor/sail locker. I really like how they are sealed and work.

    The conventional Aqua Signal (non-LED models) that we had as OEM lights 19 years ago tended to get corrosion on the incandescent bulb fittings inside the light. I replaced them once after cleaning them twice in about 8 years -- the metal that held one bulb was pretty much shot. I don't know if the Aqua Signal solved those issues with the "new" LED lights. The bow lights spend a bunch of time in the spray (occasionally more than just a little water ;^))) ). If they aren't sealed, an LED light wouldn't last as well as an incandescent.
     


  6. jibes138

    jibes138

    Joined Jan 27, 2008
    2,717 posts, 82 likes
    ODay 35
    US Beaufort, NC
    I put in a new steaming and deck light fixture. Solder connection on the ground wire was a cold joint and fell right apart. Poor quality in my opinion. I used an LED for the anchor light and it seems OK
     


  7. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,614 posts, 153 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    According to what I have found the Aqua Signal LED NAV lights are rated for IP68 which is immersion. My real concern is making waterproof connections inside the bow pulpit tubes that won't give me trouble in the future. And 7" connection wires is totally stupid IMHO.
     


  8. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    600 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    And 7" connection wires is totallystupid IMHO.

    That's exactly what I thought. The rating on the fixture functionally means that the entry wires are "potted in". The 7" means your are connecting then stuffing in the connectors where you really don't want to.
     


  9. Ron20324

    Ron20324

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    5,716 posts, 396 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    I looked at the 33s at Fawcetts today. I think you can believe the stripped ends are tinned, but they were formed into a square- like they were supposed to plug into something. No open packs, so could not investigate.
     


  10. CarlN

    CarlN

    Joined Jan 4, 2009
    347 posts, 20 likes
    Ketch 55
    US Bristol, RI


    Sefuller likes this.
  11. Rich Stidger

    Rich Stidger

    Joined Feb 10, 2004
    2,614 posts, 153 likes
    Hunter 40.5
    US 1997 h40.5 Bristol, RI
    The primary reason that I am going to replace my OEM Hella 2984 fixtures is that the socket, wires, and bulb are badly corroded. I have cleaned and repaired all of this several times and I am pretty much out of wire to strip and crimp new terminals. These fixtures are supposed to be waterproof, but my experience is quite different. So I am thinking that a totally sealed fixture with a LED would be the way to go. I am just trying to find the highest quality product that will work well for a reasonable price.
     


  12. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    600 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    The Hella 2394 series are incandescent lights. The LED Lights that I have have been douched for seven hard seasons with a lot of salty spray. They haven't leaked a bit and are like new today.

    The old Aqua Signals (which like the Hella) have replaceable incandescent bulbs. The act of making a bulb "replaceable" leaves it vulnerable. If you never take spray (or worse, "green water") then they'll hold-up better than with just the deterioration from the salt air environment. However, in the real world, you need to get up there if you have incandescent bulbs and use WD40 or some other protector to treat the metal regularly. With a the sealed Hella LEDs, I haven't had to do that (and can't because they're sealed.)

    I looked around when I bought them, they were more expensive, but all the others seemed inferior to me.

    http://www.hellamarine.com/en/products/navigation-lamps/
     


  13. Larry -- DH

    Larry -- DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    177 posts, 59 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    Yes they are tinned and short. I've used some for about 4 years with no issues so far. The Hella LEDs appear to be similar construction (probably made in the same China factory).
     


  14. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    600 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis


  15. agprice22

    agprice22

    Joined Aug 3, 2012
    1,750 posts, 227 likes
    Performance Cruising Telstar 28
    US Upstate New York Watkins Glen
    I used the Aquasignal LEDs for my bow lights. I decided to skip the pulpit hung lights. I mounted them directly below the toe rail. They are waterproof. Mounting them directly to the fiberglass worked nicely. No problems so far.
    A8A54588-40A0-424B-9165-5196E412E273.jpeg
     


  16. Larry -- DH

    Larry -- DH

    Joined Jun 14, 2010
    177 posts, 59 likes
    Quorning Dragonfly 1200
    US home
    I looked at these http://www.hellamarine.com/en/products/navigation-lamps/portstarboard-compact/
    The construction methods and materials appear very similar to the comparable Aqua Signal line https://www.aquasignal.com.au/series-34/
     


  17. agprice22

    agprice22

    Joined Aug 3, 2012
    1,750 posts, 227 likes
    Performance Cruising Telstar 28
    US Upstate New York Watkins Glen
    Maybe they are made in the same factory?
     


  18. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    600 posts, 80 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    Maybe one is a knock off ;^)))
     


  19. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    2,109 posts, 139 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    You want everything! Quality, functionality, and price. I say, pick two.

    Anyway, what length leads do you want? Would that be a reasonable length to supply to all customers? Might cost more, how much "price" are you willing to sacrifice?

    Seriously, though - it's not too tough to make a good, waterproof connection from wire to wire, to extend the lead. Check these:

    [​IMG]

    These heat-shrink butt connectors are adhesive-lined to create a water-resistant and corrosion resistant connection, making them ideal for marine and off-road applications. The butt connectors are color coded to industry standards and come in an organizer storage case for quick access.
    • Tinned copper for maximum current flow
    • Assortment of the most popular sizes
    • Organized storage case
    $8.99

    https://shop.harborfreight.com/medi...b33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_20091.jpg
     


  20. Doug4bass

    Doug4bass

    Joined Jun 9, 2004
    484 posts, 32 likes
    Catalina 385
    US Marquette. Mi
    I find that newer led fixtures use really light gauge wire due to led loads. Makes it hard to butt splice to a larger gauge wire. :(
     


    Rick D likes this.

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