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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm fixing up a 14 ft aluminum skiff to flounder out of and I have a question about lighting that I haven't seen addressed here. I want to power with a generator and was thinking about using the 12 volt output to run 3 sealed foglights. They would be submerged. Is this safe and possible? I figured I could get more light and less draw this way. What do you think? Will it work or am I heading in the wrong direction?
 

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im assuming you are talking about automotive fog lights, and if so, i am wondering how you are going to keep the terminals water tight so the water doesnt short them out
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes automotive. The ones I use fit perfectly in a 45 PVC elbow. I epoxy to make it water tight. I use one of these attached to a PVC handle as my light for walking. It puts out a lot of light so I wanted to increase the number to use on my boat. I know 3 of them would drain the battery fast that's why I was wondering about the 12volt output on a generator.
 

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pmurphy (1/31/2010)Yes automotive. The ones I use fit perfectly in a 45 PVC elbow. I epoxy to make it water tight. I use one of these attached to a PVC handle as my light for walking. It puts out a lot of light so I wanted to increase the number to use on my boat. I know 3 of them would drain the battery fast that's why I was wondering about the 12volt output on a generator.


I use 12 volt lights submerged with a car battery. I don't see any reason it wouldnt work. Same concept except you are using a generator instead of a car battery. Just be careful about leaks shorting out your light.



I'm sure the generator has some kind of overload/short circuit protection, but always better to be safe than sorry. Plenty of people on here use generators attached to halogen lights, but I think they usually use the 120v output for those halogen work lights you can get from lowes, and they arent submerged. I wouldnt submerge a 120v light, but I wouldnt think 12v would be a problem at all
 

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I would think what you are trying to do would work but i would think about going about it a little different way. most generators with a 12v output are not made for a lot of amperage across the 12v. i would think about getting a 12v converter that you could plug into the 120v side of the generator and then hook your lights to the converter...that way you wouldnt have to worry about burning up your generator 12v and you would be good to go for as many lights as the converter could handle. also most of the converters have either a fuse or a curcit breaker in them for overload protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good idea Flounder Assissin. I've been looking online this morning trying to research this. I found some info on the Honda site about the 12volt output. They say not to directly run off of it. Instead run off a battery that is hooked to the generators 12volt out.The 12volt side is for charging. They didn't list an output but I'm guessing 10amps since it charges. If I went that route it might slow my drain on the battery enough to get several hours or more of floundering. I looked into the converters you mentioned. All I could seem to find were the ones that had the cigarette lighter recepticles coming out. I don't think it would give me the amps needed. I figured 3 lights at 55 watts = 165 watts / 12 volts is 15.75 amps. I don't think that recepticle will handle it. But I don't know that's why I'm asking.
 

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no i wouldnt go the with the car 12v plug...i agree that would be too many amps. what im talking about is a 12v converter that has a positive and negitive terminal on it. we use them a lot here on the boat i work on to power 12v electronics off of the generator. ill see if i can find a pic of what im talking about on line and post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That would definitly handle the amps from 3 lights. I wonder how big it is. I checked under the specs but it didn't give any deminsions.
 

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pmurphy (1/31/2010)That would definitly handle the amps from 3 lights. I wonder how big it is. I checked under the specs but it didn't give any deminsions.
those on that website look exactly like some of the ones we use here on the boat and (without using a tape measure) they are about 12"x8"x4" roughly
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Flounder Assassin. Looks like that might do the trick. I'm definitely gonna see about getting one. Now I gotta figure out a place to mount it where it will stay dry.
 

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One advantage to having a generator is to run AC lights like halogens or hps.



If you are only wanting to run 3 55-Watt 12-Volt DC lights, then I'd just buy 2 or 3 batteries and parallel them together. You'll run all night w/ no problem and you won't spend more than $300.00 or $400.00 - just charge your batteries between each use.



We run 2 star-fires all night on a single 12V battery - I believe they are 50 Watts each.



Batteries should last for 3 or 4 years if you take care of them and it is much quieter.



Keep it simple!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What kind of light pattern do you get with the starfires? And don't you have to shield the tops? I will be floundering in the bayous and will need my light focused toward the shore. I would enjoy the quiet w/o a generator but having it would allow me to use the halogens if I wanted to.I'm going to build a box for it with some sound profing. Of course I'll leave rhe back open for venting and it should direct most of the sound away from me.
 

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pmurphy (1/31/2010)What kind of light pattern do you get with the starfires? And don't you have to shield the tops? I will be floundering in the bayous and will need my light focused toward the shore. I would enjoy the quiet w/o a generator but having it would allow me to use the halogens if I wanted to.I'm going to build a box for it with some sound profing. Of course I'll leave rhe back open for venting and it should direct most of the sound away from me.


The starfires Ive used with Angus_Cow_Doc throw a 360 degree, he floats them under a white piece of foam to throw the light back down and keep it out of his face. I would think you would need some kind of reflector
 

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I have my starfires in split pvc shroud with metal tape for reflection. I hear hanging them vert. puts out a nice 360 patern, but i am never deep enough for that. Mine works fine sitting horizontal.This is what to expect for light patern.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thats a nice light Banjovie. My walking light is built the same way except I use the 55 watt foglight instead of the starfires. Are you using two of them? I couldn't tell from the pic. And what size PVC do they fit into if you dont mind me asking. I may make one for walking. Looks pretty bright and I'm sure it would be a lot lighter then the one I'm using now. I can always convert the one I'm using now to fit on the boat.
 

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I use a pair of them, They are set in 1" thinwall with tape to mke up the slack, but they fit in SCH 40 perfect. The rest of it is SCH 40 1" At the bottom it is a 1" Elbow with a 1/2 " threaded corner, with a 1/2" male threaded adapter that goes to the other Elbow.


It works good. You could make it all out of thinwall, would be real lite. I put a switch in, not reqd. but cool and convenient to save battery juice. About $40 invested.
 

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Just use 110v reg 100-150w light bulbs and waterproof sockets sealed with silicone. A lot cheaper. I've been useing them for 20yrs without any problems. Use the good yellow Moorehead (i think that's the name) sockets. Go simple less trouple that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just use 110v reg 100-150w light bulbs and waterproof sockets sealed with silicone.



You're running 120 under the water? Too risky for me. I'd be worried all the time about busting a bulb on something.
 
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