As you all know by now, the new, modern lighthouse beacon with solar generated power went online in mid-November. We (Nate Curtis, Dennis Curtis, myself) did not have much time to do any fine-tuning that day, as the daylight was getting short and we had a lot of mechanical and electrical aspects to install. The great news is the system operated better than expected through the darkest, coldest winter mother nature could throw at us! As I watched the beacon switch on in mid-afternoon and switch off mid-morning (adding even more hours and stress to the electrical system), I stood amazed at the consistency of the light through all weatherconditions. I mentioned that we didn’t have a lot of time to do any fine-tuning the day of the installation. We chose settings for the light’s flashing pattern and intensity, as well as the light-sensitive power on/off circuit, based on our best guesses of what looked right (there are over 250 different possible flashing patterns alone!). 2 seconds on/2 seconds off was our choice, and I think it was the right one. The light intensity was more difficult, because we couldn’t be there at nighttime to make the adjustments; the daylight made the light look less bright than it actually is. Even the chosen intensity, requiring more power through a long winter’s night, did not drain the system. However, just two weeks ago, Nate and I returned to the lighthouse, checked the health of the system (which is great), and adjusted the relative brightness downward by about 30%. It is less intense but still effective for nighttime navigational reference. We will perform a follow-up to adjust the light-sensitivity for the time of day it turns on and off. On a final note, Keeper of the Light Hugh Stephens has returned to Maine for a month. He is thrilled with this achievement. “Now, that’s a LIGHT!” was his first comment to me when he arrived. I plan to make sure he gets a first-hand look at the system very soon. Stay tuned for more updates. The efficiency of the power gathering system has given us some ideas for future fun with the Lighthouse!
Respectfully submitted: Bill Kieltyka
Testing in the garage.
The old system.
Power for this old system supplied by Charlie and Lucie McCarthy!
New power supply.
Working on it!
She is definitely a beauty!
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