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Great alternative to signalling flares.

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by BigMonster, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. BigMonster

    BigMonster Full Member

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    Hi guys.
    I have just purchased this gizmo for my rock climbing and I realised this would make an awesome signalling device. GREEN LASER:
    [​IMG]

    MOD NOTE: Video showing illegal use of green laser against pilots removed.

    They can be powered either from AA batteries or rechargable 18650 so you can even keep tis device empty and use your torch batteries in an emergency. And they cost around £5!

    -Small and light.
    -Doesn't expire.
    -Can be seen for literally miles.
    -Fantastic targeting.
    -The cloudier the better really.
    -Last hours.

    I know it's not perfect but in my opinion sooooo much more effective than spinning a light stick or a 5 sec flare. I would love your thoughts and a discussion.
     
    #1 BigMonster, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2018
  2. troutman

    troutman Nomad

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    Hate to sound negative but having worked in Search and Rescue I can’t see how this would be a better alternative than a flashing beacon type light or indeed a parachute / hand held flare.

    Couple of reasons for this:

    Unless it’s cloudy you will surely only get a spot of light?
    You definitely do NOT want to be pointing this at a SAR helicopter or team.
    Green lights like this are not a recognised distress signal.

    A powerful strobe would be much better but even then you may be asked to turn this off once a SAR helicopter has your location in sight as it can interfere with sensitive night vision equipment.

    Best option? Viable way of contacting relevant Rescue authority (VHF, Mobile phone, Sat Phone, PLB) and know your position. From here signal them to it exactly with strobe, hand signals etc.
     
    Billy-o likes this.
  3. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    I seem to remember reading something about this a while ago, and the advice is don't. Lasers could well fall foul of civil aviation rules.
     
  4. BigMonster

    BigMonster Full Member

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    BIG disclaimer. I'm not advocating doing this and the video added is from an actuall arrest.
    But after playing with one it's got a really good reach. I'm thinking if I'm reported missing in the mountains by my fiancee for example, and there is a search heli or something else flying. Surely they would investigate a green ray flashing in their direction in the middle of alps...
     
  5. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    I see where you're coming from but the problem (and advantage) of lasers is they are very directional so only any use in an emergency if you can spin them in all three axis. Even then, if your would be rescuers are using any kind of optics you risk injuring them! No, a bright LED strobe is much better, quite cheap, and power efficient.
     
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  6. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Dangerous and irresponsible post BM. Lasers are lousy for signalling due to the tiny focus point, so focussed it burns eye retinas. Point one anywhere near a plane and you’ll end up in prison, not being rescued.

    A bright strobe light or torch will allow rescue teams to find you. Honestly, have you ever heard of a laser being used by any rescue agency?

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/11/laser_misuse_act_5_year_sentences/
     
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  7. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    Could a mod shut this thread down please? Lasers blind and are highly illegal to point at planes.
     
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  8. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    You fall, you break a leg, you are stuck out in the weather awaiting rescue, you become borderline hypothermic...now you need to direct a tiny point of light at people in a helicopter, or on a neighbouring peak? Apart from all that has been said about green lasers pointers being dangerous, and their use on aircraft being illegal, I think that the control and time required to aim one would make them unsuitable in the situations where you might want to signal.

    On the other hand, there are purpose made laser flares, which are meant for signalling, and are meant to be safe for pilot vision, and there are quite a lot of sources of information about these on the web, both manufacturer's sites, and forum discussions. They do not project a dot.
    http://www.rescue-flares.co.uk/faq_rescue_flares.html
    http://www.equipped.org/rescuelaser.htm

    Note that the eye safe, purpose built signalling lasers are not £5.00!
     
  9. C_Claycomb

    Mod

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    No, I think it is good to have this thread open.
    No one is encouraging anything illegal. In fact just the opposite. Better that this be left so that anyone else who has this as a bright idea can read it and learn that it is a bad idea.

    I would suggest to Big Monster that he might want to edit his opening post because it DOES read a bit like he is excited at the prospect of zapping aircraft and blinding pilots. Those that know him will know that he isn't someone to do that, or think it would be cool, but this being the internet, lots of people haven't met him and only have his post go go by. If he doesn't do it, someone will be along tomorrow and do it anyway, but otherwise I think this is a good discussion. Educational.

    Update 10:30 - 03/10/18: Video and comment now removed by Moderator.

    Cheers

    Chris
     
    #9 C_Claycomb, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  10. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The new LED flashlights with a strobe function are much better.
    I was involved in SAR a long time before this tech existed, and in those days the best was a normal flashlight night time, and a mirror day time.

    Both those worked extremely well.

    (Green) lasers are dangerous. Aim it one meter from the searcher and he will not see it. Aim it at his/her face and they might get a permanently damaged vision.

    Signalling flares, preferable with a parashute, are fabulous in open terrain, without forest cover. Or on water.
    Less useful in forest.
     
  11. Jared

    Jared Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Give it some time and expect LEP (laser excited phosphor) flashlights probably be the tech.

    They create tight beams that throw far distances without needing large reflectors, and it's not direct light from a laser.

    http://www.acebeam.com/white-laser-w10
     
  12. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    As they write, do not point in anybodys eyes....

    All powerful lights can cause damage to the retina.


    One of the basics in bushcrafting is learning to behave in a safe manner so you do not need a bunch of stuff to be found.
     
  13. Jared

    Jared Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    LEPs are already in used in car headlights. Think the BMW i8 was the first in 2014, as they are 1000x more efficient than LEDs.
     

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