Strobe Light

Most of my fishing tends to be at night, often alone. In order to minimise the risk of ending up in a body bag I've purchased some extra gear lately, mainly with a view to safety.

The main purchase was a handheld VHF radio, an ICOM IC-M33, which I'll review in due course. Another new purchase arrived today in the form of a strobe light.

Flares are good thing to carry on board, though they only last so long and their supply is limited. This strobe light on the other hand, has a far superior lifespan once activated - 15 hours!


SPECIFICATION:

Visibility - 3.4 km.
Light intensity - 0.75 candela.
Waterproof - 50 meter deep.
Type - Arm Strap.
Power source - Alkaline Battery 1.5V C Type.

Flash Performance - Continuous Flashing for first 15 hrs.
Switch - Magnetic Reed Switch outside case.
Measurement - 39mm diam x 127 mm long.
Weight - 88gm without battery but with arm strap.

It comes with a Velcro arm strap, though I removed this and attached it to an existing plastic mount on my PFD using two tywraps.


Operation is straight forward with a full width rotary switch at the base. The switch is magnetic and isolated from the internals of the unit, and will therefore not degrade with exposure to saltwater.

I've tried it indoors and its flash is impressively bright.

It's cheap to purchase and not obtrusive when worn on my PFD, money well spent, hopefully it'll not be required though it's there should the unfortunate ever happen.

I've since acquired a second strobe light, an AQ-4 manufactured by the Norwegian company Jotron. It's slightly larger than the first, though it's SOLAS and US Coastguard approved - waterproof to 300m!. Operation is with a sliding switch on the side of the unit.

I've secured this one to the rear of my PFD utilising an existing accessory mount. Despite it's location I'm quite able to activate it should the situation require it.


SPECIFICATION:
Manually activated.
High intensity xenon flash strobe light. Light weight.
Waterproof to 300m (option of 500 m).
Flash rate: 50 flashes per minute.
Operation up to 12 hours at 15°C with decreased flash rate at the end of the battery life.

As a follow up to the question below:
"Hello mate, just wondering if where you have positioned your strobe light is the best place. In the event you have capsized and you are in the water, your PFD will ride up and put the flashing strobe in line with your eyes, destroying your night vision."
 
The position of the front strobe is such that, even should the PFD ride up once in the water the strobe is still situated below and behind my chin. The result being that the strobe does not hamper my vision, on the contrary it may even assist it. A positive effort has to be made to look down to make eye contact with the strobe unit.
 
Please feel free to comment.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello mate, just wondering if where you have positioned your strobe light is the best place. In the event you have capsized and you are in the water, your PFD will ride up and put the flashing strobe in line with your eyes, destroying your night vision. Perhaps somewhere on your shoulder straps would be more efficent, where your Hydration fluid pipe would be. Just a thought, hope you dont mind the comment. Excellent blog, Been gleeming a few ideas from you. Hoping to get my own yak this summer. Keep up the good work.
Stewart.

Rob Appleby said...

Fair comment on the postion of the strobe. To be honest it seemed the logical place to put it purely because of an existing accessory mount. I'll have a look at alternative positions with your comments in mind.

Rob

seajunky said...

Hi Rob
Where would you buy that stobe, and how much would you expect to pay for one. I am thinking of night fishing this summer and have been looking for a safety light.

Rob Appleby said...

I purchased the light off Ebay, £20 new.

They can be picked up second hand for less, though for that price it's not really really worth taking the risk.

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