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Old 28 January 2011, 05:34   #1
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Light Houses and Fog Signals: Going going gone...

Not an auction, that would be cool.

Locally the lighthouse here in Alderney is being turned off, the diesel backup generator removed and the lense covered up.

In place of the light, currently with a range of 24nm, will be a set of LEDs attached around the railing of the tower. With a mains charged backup battery bank. The LEDs will have a range of around 12nm.

The fog horn is also going.

Any similar reports from around Britain and beyond?

I have mixed feelings, LED light seems to penetrate better and has an eye-catching twinkly quality. Certainly the set-in-the-ways brigade will have a harder time arguing that they don't make good nav lights.

On the other hand, is this a move towards electronic only navigation? I quite like (sailing rather than powerboating) with a minimum setup, paper charts, compass and a cup of tea. Less light range will, I think, effect our ability to engage in that sort of boating. Maybe that is a good thing?
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Old 28 January 2011, 05:54   #2
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Progress marches on I suppose. Won't be quite the same though, and standing on a clear night at the bottom watching the 4 beams of light spinning round won't be quite as 'romantic'.

And what about Casquets?

I suppose the next step will be to sell the tower for conversion to residential use, and provide a new lighthouse, which won't need to be anything more than a pole with an LED torch at the top and a few duracells at the bottom!
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Old 28 January 2011, 05:59   #3
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And what about Casquets?
As far as I recall from the time of the review, Casquets is being left as it is.
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Old 28 January 2011, 07:00   #4
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12 miles or 24 miles makes no difference to RiB users, you can only see for 3-4 anyway
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Old 28 January 2011, 07:04   #5
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12 miles or 24 miles makes no difference to RiB users, you can only see for 3-4 anyway
I disagree with that a little bit. If I'm travelling north from Jersey (30 miles from Alderney) I can see Casquets, Alderney and Goury lighthouses with their specific 3, 4 and 5 grp flashes. I therefore know I'm pointing the right way at night without looking at any other navigation instrument. Obviously to save me from destruction on rocks, 3 or 4 miles is more than adequate, but they do have other benefits. Dipping distances would be useless with such a short range too.
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Old 28 January 2011, 07:07   #6
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12 miles or 24 miles makes no difference to RiB users, you can only see for 3-4 anyway
You need goggles
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Old 28 January 2011, 07:42   #7
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Irish Lights turned off the few remaining fog signals this month.

This was not in any way connected to the UK discontinuing financial contributions to the service
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Old 28 January 2011, 08:07   #8
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This was not in any way connected to the UK discontinuing financial contributions to the service
Nope, it's cos you've all got tinitus from too much beer and Ceilidhs and can't hear em anyway
Either that, or your economy is so bad that you've gone back to piracy and luring ships onto the rocks for their bounty.
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Old 28 January 2011, 10:05   #9
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too much beer
That's a novel concept
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Either that, or your economy is so bad that you've gone back to piracy and luring ships onto the rocks for their bounty.
Hmmmm. Maybe we should look at cutting our lekkie bill too...
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Old 28 January 2011, 13:17   #10
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On the other hand, is this a move towards electronic only navigation? I quite like (sailing rather than powerboating) with a minimum setup, paper charts, compass and a cup of tea. Less light range will, I think, effect our ability to engage in that sort of boating. Maybe that is a good thing?
I think your right in the view that everything is moving towards electronic navigation. With the use of AIS for navigation being used more prominently (considering it was never designed for this purpose), this will be replacing many physical navigational marks in the future. Replacing them with Pseudo Buoys where the signal will be sent from a shorebased station creating a virtual buoy. Therefore using your chartplotter/AIS to navigate with.

As a side note many of the modern ships you may see now (especially cruise ships) sailing out of Southampton will no longer carry any paper charts and rely purely on Chartplotter/Ecdis setups.

James
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Old 29 January 2011, 09:18   #11
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Yes it uspet me when I found out that the Royal Navy are doing away with paper charts! End of an era methinx!
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Old 29 January 2011, 11:37   #12
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12 miles or 24 miles makes no difference to RiB users, you can only see for 3-4 anyway
Not if the lighthouse is on top of a cliff!!
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Old 29 January 2011, 18:26   #13
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Not if the lighthouse is on top of a cliff!!
Ok, so a lighthouse rated at 12 miles could be visible from a lot further if it's on top of a cliff then??? Hehe! Yeah I think I sense the irony in that..........!
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Old 29 January 2011, 18:36   #14
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Ok, so a lighthouse rated at 12 miles could be visible from a lot further if it's on top of a cliff then??? Hehe! Yeah I think I sense the irony in that..........!
That's not what Pikey said.
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Old 30 January 2011, 04:33   #15
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Ok, so a lighthouse rated at 12 miles could be visible from a lot further if it's on top of a cliff then??? Hehe! Yeah I think I sense the irony in that..........!
Err no irony intended, just fact! Starovich said that "12 miles or 24 miles makes no difference to RIB users, you can only see for 3-4 anyway"
Which would be about right if the light was at sea level. However, most lighthouses I've ever seen tend to be on clifftops which puts them above the horizon of a viewer in a RIB. Ergo, the light would be visible to a person in a RIB from much further away than 3-4 miles. In fact about 12 in my guesstimation.
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Old 30 January 2011, 04:53   #16
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Light dues

I think it is commercially driven. Commercial vessels pay light dues which they have been questioning for years and no longer wish to pay for a service they do not need. The carriage requirements for commercial vessels specify the equipment they must carry and have backups of which make many of the ground based facilities defunct.

Pleasure vessels make no contribution towards these facilities but are probably the biggest user group.

I think it is only a matter of time before more lighthouses are switched off and are replaced with AIS transponders. This may even extend to channel separation buoyage. These cost a fortune to maintain but could be provided by a shore based transmitter (poss on Alderney) emitting a signal to show a symbol on the ECDIS delineating the TSS.
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Old 31 January 2011, 05:08   #17
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Ok, I formally ajolopise..... I was under the impression that the stated range was based on a 2m eyeheight and after a little research I now realise I am in error.

Sorry Pikey!
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Old 31 January 2011, 06:10   #18
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Ok, I formally ajolopise..... I was under the impression that the stated range was based on a 2m eyeheight and after a little research I now realise I am in error.

Sorry Pikey!
No worries
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Old 31 January 2011, 07:17   #19
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i never did think lighthouses lit up much of the sea in the first place ,,not as good as proper flood lighting or street lighting
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Old 31 January 2011, 08:21   #20
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The Northern Light House Board - did this in Scotland few years back and removed some navigational marks on the Forth.

Including Thill Rock outside our harbour in Elie, we been told they will not replace the steal beacon at Vows either.

As a club we are trying to find a cost effective way to re-mark the rock, so we remember where it is, and visiting yachts don't hit it.

They also sold Elie Light House to Forth Ports Authority and installed LED Light and removed the generator shed and external ladders to light house.

Comments have been made if Forth Ports own it, when will they build a housing complex, since this seems to be one of there major activities!

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