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Sub ID Beacon and then some......Now your Nav Lights!!

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  • Sub ID Beacon and then some......Now your Nav Lights!!

    As a former Quartermaster, safe navigation and all that it encompasses, is a big deal to me.

    In this case let's talk Light Characteristics for Vessels underway. Specifically in this case the modern US Submarine, post 1972 (w/respect to 72 COLREGS that is).

    We all know the standard light characteristics with color and arc of visibility. "He who shall not be named" would be best for positions among the various Classes. But generally on either side of the sail for your Port (Red) Starboard (Green), the Masthead Light (aka "Steaming light in some circles) on my boat has it's own pole I had to drag up to the bridge from it's storage in U/L OPS fwd, and the subject of this topic the Sub ID beacon mounted on top of that! They had to be assembled while on top of the sail. On a rolling boat in a seaway this was quite fun, but I was 17 and full of **** 'n vinegar! The Stern light was aft on top of the rudder. We also had an Emergency Stern light on the aft end of the Sail below the line of site of the aforementioned P/S sidelights. If the one on the rudder broke, it ain't getting fixed underway, hence the backup. Some of the newer boats have the Sub ID and Masthead on one of the mast's I believe, saving moron's like me from the dreaded "bridge rig".

    A typical powered vessel "underway, making way" will display these characteristics. There are of course many other light characteristics for different types of vessels, but that's beyond the scope of this post.
    For that, and more on this topic overall, please see this:
    NAVIGATION RULES COMDTINST M16672.2D


    Click image for larger version

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    Of note, the ARC of visibility is as important as color and location. These allow the Mariner observing the other vessel at night to get an approximate Angle on the Bow with respect to ownship, and hopefully avoid a collision. The whole point of this lol.

    The US Submarine (other nations may differ) has it's own method due to it's deep draft and restriction in it's ability to maneuver, on the surface anyway......
    From the aforementioned NAVIGATION RULES.........

    —INTERNATIONAL— General
    PART A—GENERAL

    Rule 1
    Application

    (a) These Rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels.

    (b) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere with the operation of special rules made by an appropriate authority for roadsteads, harbors, rivers, lakes or inland waterways connected with the high seas and navigable by seagoing vessels. Such special rules shall conform as closely as possible to these Rules.

    (c) Nothing in these Rules shall interfere with the operation of any special rules made by the Government of any State with respect to additional station or signal lights, shapes or whistle signals for ships of war and vessels proceeding under convoy, or with respect to additional station or signal lights or shapes for fishing vessels engaged in fishing as a fleet. These additional station or signal lights, shapes or whistle
    signals shall, so far as possible, be such that they cannot be mistaken for any light, shape or signal authorized elsewhere under these Rules‡.

    (d) Traffic separation schemes may be adopted by the Organization for the purpose of these Rules.

    ‡ Submarines may display, as a distinctive means of identification, an intermittent flashing amber (yellow) beacon with a sequence of one flash per second for three (3) seconds followed by a three (3) second off-period (32 CFR 707.7). Other special rules made by the Secretary of the Navy with respect to additional station and signal lights are found in Part 706 of Title 32, Code of Federal Regulations (32 CFR 706).

    Back in the day I had a Electrical Engineer friend of my lay out a circuit using a 555 timer. After languishing all these years it ain't working anymore lol. The EE long gone too. So a friend at my current company offered to do the same. Lo and behold a week this past Monday, he laid the schematic at my desk.

    As I sat there staring at it, I didn't relish the idea of purchasing all the parts, and bread-boarding these things for 591,722, 571 or any other US nuke I want to run at night and play their part looking all "Shipshape and Bristol fashion"!

    Look, I rigged the Sub ID Beacon and Masthead light almost every time the GRANT surfaced. A QM job I always volunteered for, I get to crack the hatch, open the bridge clam-shell and be the first to see the sky. Hauling the light up and rigging it was a royal PITA. So I'm damned if my RC boats aren't going to have this essential to me detail! I digress......

    Anyway, I thought there had to be a better way, then Ray' Mason's request to help him with an Arduino board popped in my head...they're programmable! I never did one but what the heck!! A quick Google showed people using them to flash LED's...YAY!! But wait!! They're BIG!! But wait again!! They come in flavors!! WTF? Leonardo, Uno??? So I found Beetle! Just a little larger than my thumbnail! BONUS!!

    Cost $8+ at Digikey (I'm sure you can find them for less), and runs off +5V...RX Power!!! It was on order last Monday. Here's the Digikey Link: Arduino DFR0282

    Be advised I had very little knowledge of Arduino before this. Went online and subscribed to Arduino itself (create.arduino.cc) and wrote my first code....

    /*
    */
    void setup() {
    pinMode(11, OUTPUT);
    }
    void loop() {
    digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
    delay(600);
    digitalWrite(11, LOW);
    delay(600);
    digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
    delay(600);
    digitalWrite(11, LOW);
    delay(600);
    digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
    delay(600);
    digitalWrite(11, LOW);
    delay(3000);
    }

    Got home from work yesterday and the package from Digikey was sitting there.......

    Less than 20 minutes later, this:

    Navigation Light: US Submarine ID Beacon-Arduino Beetle


    Be advised Bob M. offers a less expensive simple flasher, 1 second on, 1 second off, if you'd prefer that.

    "Sub" Ed
    v/r "Sub" Ed

    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

  • #2
    Ed,
    Great information! Might have to try this.
    Thank you!
    Peace,
    Tom
    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by trout View Post
      Ed,
      Great information! Might have to try this.
      Thank you!
      Peace,
      Tom
      Tom, I can't believe how easy it was. I was racking my brain trying to duplicate the original design I had, and perfect size and voltage needs too!
      its the little things that matter, like HWSNBN's introduction of seagull $#*! on the rudder lol.

      v/r "Sub" Ed

      Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
      NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
      USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by QuarterMaster View Post

        Tom, I can't believe how easy it was. I was racking my brain trying to duplicate the original design I had, and perfect size and voltage needs too!
        its the little things that matter, like HWSNBN's introduction of seagull $#*! on the rudder lol.
        All the great and magnificent achievements of a god-like Craftsman, such as myself.

        And...…..…. THAT is what they remember me for?!!!!!!??

        David
        "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh no we all have many memories of you, like the pimple on the butt image, I still am seeing a therapist over that image.
          If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ed Quartermaster-you are so far ahead of me, I can barely make out the stern light! Its going to take more then a bacon and egg breakfast for me to understand the whole tutorial..

            Comment

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