Jump to content

emergency strobe?

rick stoehrer

Recommended Posts

okay, i have had/used firely products (bright orange plastic generally) and then another co (red plastic, forget the name) and have had poor luck with both. and of course, since this is an item i have never had opportunity to use, to find out that they have somewhere along the line broken for no apparent good reason, this kinda upsets me. i have better things to do than spend $30 odd dollars on something that is going to break without having been used....

looking to replace my now defunct strobe so the question before you is which brand of strobe do you use, how often do you check it and what luck have you had?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bought mine at West Marine. They have been quite good at replacing them as needed - so far twice.I have one in the car right now waiting to be replaced.

I take the strobe and solid white light off after each weekend and when putting them back on after the pfd is cleaned/dried, I turn them on to make sure that they are still working. I do not remove the batteries each time as someone suggested to me once.

If anyone has found anything better, that would be great. The C-Strobe and the solid light are made by ACR and they are orange.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Like Suz, I use the ACR C-Strobe and it's running light cousin with the clear plastic focusing lens on top. Both have lived on my PFS and both have been bombproof for 4 years. That said, I've never had to use the strobe and have only used the running light a couple of times.

I rinse all gear in fresh water after use. I test the strobe and light about once a month, mostly for the battery. Never had a problem.

I do carry an extra of each in my emergency ditty bag as a back up.

I keep meaning to find a good grease to lube the O-ring, the only thing aside from battery leakage that would seem to be at risk. The grease would both protect the rubber/plastic and help maintain the seal.

I'd welcome suggestions for a good grease for this and other similar applications (like the rubber plug on the AC charging port on my Standard HX406S VHF radio).


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sounds like cleaning these may be the key to keeping them in working order. I never rinse them off while cleaning the pfd. I guess I will add that to the "to do's" and clean them with the VHF.

Do you ever get the feeling that the clean up and maintenance of the boats/gear is a lot of work?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe. It's small, lightweight, easy to mount to a lash tab or PFD shoulder strap, and best of all has survived 3 years of complete neglect and abuse, and still works fine.

It's made for divers, so watertightness is a given. Supposedly good to 1,000 feet. If I ever find out if that's true, I'll have a serious problem...........

And the company's customer service is top-notch. I have a matrix headlamp, and the contacts corroded. Princeton Tec sent me new parts free of charge & no questions asked.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have a Princeton Tec Aqua Strobe (clear lens).

Small, rugged and bright.

2 years old without a problem.

I usually check it between trips to test the batteries.

Just applying grease to the O-ring may not be a good way to insure a good, reliable seal.

Cleaning and reconditioning is highly recommended.

My simple procedure for cleaning and reconditioning O-rings and seals -

Remove the O-ring (seal) while being very, very careful to prevent scratches or cuts to the ring and housing surfaces.

Wash the O-ring in dish washing liquid to remove particles (sand, salt, etc.) that could score the ring and surfaces. Wash the O-ring housing surface and inside lens surface to remove particles and old lubricant.

Inspect the O-ring and lens. The O-ring should be round, smooth and shiny. If the outside surface is flat, it should be replaced. The inside surface of the lens should be smooth and free from scratches. If you notice any surface scratches, cuts, or irregularities, stop, and order new, replacement parts.

Since I always use "303" on rubber gaskets to prevent breakdown, I also spray some on O-rings. If nothing else, it makes them look like new.

Grease: silicone type grease used by plumbers.

Available at most hardware stores, Home Depot., etc.

A small tube will last a lifetime.

Use, very very sparingly.

Place a very small dab on your finger tip and coat the O-ring with a very thin film to act as a lubricant and insure a good seal. All you need is a smooth thin coat without any obvious or noticeable amounts (lumps) of grease.

NOTE: If you use too much grease, you risk the danger of collecting dirt that will, over time, scratch the housing surfaces and cause the seal to leak.

While reassembling, be careful to prevent lint or particles from entering the housing or attracting to the O-ring.

Total time to recondition your seals: slightly more than it takes to read this post.

Richard N

Living to learn.

Romany, White with Blue trim

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Lest you think I am completely anal or don't have a life, my rinsing of the strobe is pretty automatic: it's attached to the PFD so when the PFD gets rinsed, the strobe gets rinsed.

While we're on the topic:

To rinse gear, I have a large plastic tub ($7 at Bradlees which I guess is out of business). I toss all the gear in the tub while the hose is running. I let the gear soak while I'm washing down the boat. Then I slosh and toss into another smaller tub, drain the water out (less weight) and carry it to the garage where I let it drip dry.

Benefits compared to hosing each piece:

1. A lot easier.

2. I stay drier.

3. Use a lot less water.

4. Soaking for several minutes loosens salt and crud, resulting in cleaner gear. Actually, soaking does all the work.

I do not use any soaps or disinfectants as they end up in the groundwater. No real smell problems as long as gear is rinsed (salt water harbors lots of nasty bugs) and dried thoroughly (moisture is necessary for bug breeding).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey you don't need to remove the batteries, but you should, according to ACR for one manufacturer's take on this, crack the seal on the strobe or on PFD mounted lights if you are not going to use the unit for a week or more. Allows gases that build up inside the unit to escape, which helps limit long term damage to the wiring contacts etc. Just what the company told me, so far it seems to work on mine after 3 years of use.

Alex L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...