Rain Lights

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schomosport
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Rain Lights

Postby schomosport » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:27 am

Does any one have a copy of the as published (or as will be published) 2009 MSA Blue Book text addressing rain lights? I'm not interested in what people think might be published, I would like to see the actual text.

Thank you.
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby tristancliffe » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:54 pm

I do not know what WILL be published, but I do believe that the rain lights must be 'MSA approved'. The other rules, on dimensions and brightness are not changing as far as I'm aware.

What defines MSA approved is another matter. Presumably there will be a list of approved items available. I've bought one from DC Electronics that is on the list of FIA approved rain lights, so I'm hoping I'm safe from the scrutineers - it's about 20 times brighter than the little, horrid, round 'Ultimate Rain Light' we had on the Reynard.
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby Nick Harrison » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:08 pm

Are the MSA not just adopting the current FIA spec which is in the 2008 Yellow Book. Available on the FIA web site.

http://www.fia.com/en-GB/sport/regulati ... Lists.aspx

You need list 19, has approved manufacturers and the test criteria.

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby Nick Harrison » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:10 pm

schomosport wrote:Does any one have a copy of the as published (or as will be published) 2009 MSA Blue Book text addressing rain lights? I'm not interested in what people think might be published, I would like to see the actual text.

Thank you.

Mark

Got my Blue Book today. Rain light text has not changed from 2008.C(c) 69

However keep any eye on the forthcoming Mono Regs.

And while we are on Blue Book dry breaks for fuel tesing are for injection cars only in MSA and/or British championships.C(b) 19

Nick.

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby schomosport » Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:22 pm

Its all right, I'm in 'spot the rip-off mode'. I note from the FIA list there are three examples of the same light unit all of which appear to be identical to that manufactured by Kingston and available at about £4 each if you buy in quantity. I know, I was going to buy a batch until I decided there were too many Ebay vendors already doing the same thing. Now, how are the manufacturers, some who are charging £50 for the same thing, distiguishing their FIA homologated versions from all the others? Got a serial no. / homologation no. on the back have they? Anyone seriously going to tell me the product from those three suppliers is any different to the Ebay special on the back of my car that, presumeably I am going to have
to take off and replace with one from an 'approved supplier'? Or provided it looks like the one on the list am I going to be OK? Come on people, if we follow this to the letter it is going to collectively cost the Mono competing members about £4000. A well known motor sports supplier offers a range of 'MSA approved' lights between £48.90 and £141.14 (+VAT). Puts a different complexion on PH's flippant remarks about spending the money saved by not havingto fit expensive dry-break couplings in a different light (sorry!). Surely there are better ways for Clubmen to spend money in a recession?
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby tristancliffe » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:08 am

I agree it's silly to sell something for £50 as an MSA Approved item when it is identical to the £4 version that's been around for a while.

But, MSA Approved or not, those little round rain lights (Ultimate Rain Light in Demon Tweeks) are simply rubbish. Just about good enough to see on a nice clear day, but as soon as an ounce of spray appears you can't see it at all. We had one on the Reynard, and had I realised earlier just how bad it was I wouldn't have had it. Sadly it took until Cadwell where I spun off behind Patrick to realise they are rubbish - Patrick has that same rain light as me!!!!

I know people think it's stupid to spend the money on a 'special' rain light, but the decent ones on the list needn't cost much more than the MSA approved version of the URL, and offer lighting about 20 times better than it. I think our new one was about £70 (but I'd have to check the invoices).

It's certainly MUCH cheaper (and safer) than having another car run into the back of you with a closing speed anywhere between 20 and 60mph!

I would plead with even the most impoverished racer to spend a little more on their rain light. Please. With a cherry and sugar and nuts and chocolate sauce :)
Tristan Cliffe - MSV F3 Cup - Dallara F307 Image
Monoposto Champion 2008, 2010 & 2011 with a Reynard 883 and a Dallara F398, and F3 Cup and Team Champion 2012

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby Dermot Healy » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:26 am

There are vast differences in quality/performance/reliability between the different rain lights

I can recommend the Lifeline ones (even though they are expensive) as i have personally subjected them to my 'Quality Assured Supplier' test which is significantly more stringent and realistic than anything the FIA might devise. It involves attaching the light in an inadequate fashion to the rear wing of an F3 car & then setting it off to do 3 laps of Castle Coombe with the light trailing along on the ground by the wire...... when the car returned the light still shines brightly.....in fact, it is still in use several seasons later.....

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby phuston » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:15 pm

As someone that sometimes signs themselves 'impecunious motorsport', readers can be assured that I am not flippant about any expenditure.

I think that there is a valid question to be asked about LED rainlights. While I recognise that they are better than lights with tungsten bulbs, are they bright enough to be seen in the sort of conditions that we experienced at Cadwell?

I may have been circulating in the wrong part of the field but at Cadwell and when in similar conditions elsewhere, I have not seen a rainlight that can penetrate heavy spray. The question is simple, are these LED rainlights bright enough?
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby broadside » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:48 pm

I have the round LED type (off ebay) but after Cadwell, if someone can assure me that the FIA ones, like Dermots Lifeline for example, can be seen significantly easier then I'd be glad to see them made mandatory - I'm careful with my expenditure, but I now understand the reason behind the proposal!
Anyway if Tristans providing all the confectionary I'll be able to eat my moneys worth back :lol:

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby schomosport » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:59 pm

So with reference to the FIA approved list and the conflicting experience of users, "All LED lights are equal, but some LED lights are more equal than others......."

Apologies to G.O.

Must find something better to do with my life.................
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby tristancliffe » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:01 pm

I think it's more like "all pass the minimum standards, but some pass it by miles". Whether or not you agree that the minimum is actually sufficient in wet conditions is up to you, but I don't believe the cheap ones assist safety at all. Just ballast and a drain on your battery - but this doesn't matter if you've been rammed!

If your goal is to pass scrutineering for as little cost as possible - get a cheap one. If you goal is to pass scrutineering and give yourself a little more chance of being seen, thus improving the safety of everyone - spend a little more.

Like an idiot (typecast again!) I did what Andrew suggests below a few weeks ago when our new light arrived. I saw blobs for a few hours. I decided that was bright enough! Brightness verging on painful, at less than arms length.
Last edited by tristancliffe on Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tristan Cliffe - MSV F3 Cup - Dallara F307 Image
Monoposto Champion 2008, 2010 & 2011 with a Reynard 883 and a Dallara F398, and F3 Cup and Team Champion 2012

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby andrewcliffe » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:07 pm

To test, switch on and look into it. If you see a grid of spots for the rest of the day, chances are it will do.

If you regain your vision within a few minutes, its not good enough.
Andrew Cliffe - Monoposto photographer - http://www.norwichphoto.co.uk & Racing Exposure - http://www.racingexposure.com/blog

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby jimblockley » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:02 am

i now see the point of all this discussion

buy the most powerful light so you can and blind the driver behind you (assuming you are in front) Tristan being very good in the wet it should work for him.

perhaps we ought to fit 60w halogen lamps as we used to years ago as a reversing light on rally cars

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Re: Rain Lights

Postby schomosport » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:06 pm

Succumbed to the zeitgeist alas - or, more accurately, not prepared to wager a race entry on persuading scrutineering my existing light is compliant.

Bought a Lifeline one, delivered within 24 hours of ordering from www.polevolt.co.uk at £80.50 all in which is usefully cheaper than that available from the more well known motor racing emporia............
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Re: Rain Lights

Postby Dermot Healy » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:52 pm

schomosport wrote:
Bought a Lifeline one, delivered within 24 hours of ordering from http://www.polevolt.co.uk at £80.50 all in which is usefully cheaper than that available from the more well known motor racing emporia............


Excellent choice......but some of your competitors have bought the same item rather cheaper from
another source which modesty prevents me identifying


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