#560 Hurst Point Lighthouse
Building the wonderful Paper Shipwright model of the historic Hurst Point Lighthouse, and bringing it to life with a Fl(4) W 15s LED array.
Here’s a quick demo..
I recently stumbled upon David Hathaway’s Paper Shipwright, offering a range of paper models of ships, lighthouses and other buildings. I had to buy a few (some are even available for free download if you have a suitable printer).
Hurst Point Lighthouse held special appeal for me, as I grew up in the area and spent many a day sailing this part of the Solent with my father.
The paper model is a 1:250 rendition of Hurst Point Lighthouse (Hampshire, UK). The current lighthouse dates from 1867 and was modernised and electrified in 1997.
- Location: Hampshire, UK
- Position: 50 42′. 44 N 01 32′.94 W
- Height: 26m
- Built: 1867
- Light: Fl(4) WR 15s 14nm
The lighthouse characteristics are recorded as “Fl(4) WR 15s 14nm”.
Translated, this means flashing 4 times every 15 seconds, visible to 14 nautical miles. “WR” I think means alternating white and red, but I’m not too sure and wasn’t able to find any clear confirmation. For the build, I’m going to simply do a flashing white light.
I decided to use a simple 555 timer circuit comprising two cascaded timers: the first provides the overall 15 second window with an on-period long enough to enable the second timer to perform 4 flashes at about 0.65 Hz.
First testing the basic circuit on a breadboard:
Some circuit notes:
- diode D2 is not required (I had it in circuit as originally I was using a smoothing RC circuit on the LEDs, but removed this in the final build as it wasnt adding much to the effect)
- timing is not 100% accurate, as it is at the whim of component values and tolerances. But I have it close enough for my liking.
- the first flash is a little longer than the following ones, as C5 must charge from fully discharged to 2/3 VCC and then oscillating between 1/3 and 2/3 VCC. There is probably a way to avoid this but I haven’t solved that problem yet.
Here’s a scope trace of the flashing sequence:
The circuit was finally transferred to some protoboard before installation:
I used three SMD white LEDs in a parallel radial array for installation in the model. Copper wire provides a solid mast making installation easier. A plastic sleeve and some aluminium foil complete the light fixture.
Testing the LED mast on the breadboard:
Building the Model
It’s quite an easy model to assemble, just requires a steady cutting hand and some patience. The fit of the parts was very good.
The support buildings:
I diverged from the paper model for the railing and light enclosure, fashioning these with some clear acrylic, cotton thread, and some component lead offcuts.
The base is made from some random balsa wood that I had on hand, and painted with a “seafarer’s oak chest” impression in mind.
The base after varnish and switch installation. Ready for the electronics and final assembly.
Circuit installation in the base of the model:
With a dramatic backdrop!