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STANDARDIZATION OF MINOR AIDS

In order to avoid a heterogeneous supply of lamps for spares and replacements, the Aids to Navigation Section received Headquarters' approval to replace 3.5 volt and 4 volt lamps in many of the stations with an 8 volt lamp. This change was prompted by a survey of lamps in the District which shows that the use of 3.5 volt lamps had almost been eliminated by the increased installation of the Willard cells and that the 4 volt lamp was used in a comparatively few number of stations. The four volt lamp could be used at stations having a fixed characteristic but, since the installation of 4 volt flashers had been avoided for several years, insofar as was practicable, the 8 volt lamp was favored from the standpoint of efficiency and utility. At stations where the 4 volt lamp had been required, an additional battery cell had been provided and placed in series with the main lighting batter,y but wired to provide current for operation of the 6 volt flasher only. This practice had been entirely satisfactory but, while limiting the requirements for flashers in the District to only two types ( 6-8 and 12-15), was open to the objection of requiring one additional cell at each station where a flasher was used. This cell was not utilized to the full extent of its ability since only a small portion of its charge was consumed by the time the main battery was discharged.

The charge in lamps was accomplished immediately in all stations where no charge of flashers was required. In those lights where the charge was necessary, the new lamp installed at the time of the regular servicing of the station. The entire replacement was completed withing six months after Headquarters' approval. by this program of standardization of minor lights, a uniform observed candle-power was maintained and the problem of servicing was materially lessened.

At the same time, Headquarters requested that the characteristics of flashing minor lights in all Districts be standardized as nearly as possible. The characteristics of light 0.4 seconds and dark 3.7 seconds and 0.4 - 0.6, respectively. It was the policy of Headquarters to show a fixed light where commercial current was available and where such a light could be readily distinguished against a background of other lights. The 0.4- 3.6 flashing characteristic was used on lateral aids along the sides of clearly defined channels where the importance

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