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Old 27-05-2016, 13:55   #1
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SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

Anyone use the ACR firefly pro? As a replacement for flairs? Being that most flairs only last 60 sec each, one would think that a SOS strobe type devise would be better in an emergency situation. Look forward to your imput
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Old 27-05-2016, 14:19   #2
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

I think having both is the answer. The flare to get people's attention (since it goes above the horizon, and the firefly since it flashes brightly and long enough to pinpoint your location.
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Old 27-05-2016, 14:31   #3
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
I think having both is the answer. The flare to get people's attention (since it goes above the horizon, and the firefly since it flashes brightly and long enough to pinpoint your location.


That's how I see it too. Having both is the better idea.

Rocket parachute flares can be seen for miles because of their height above the surface as they can fly high. They get attention. Then you need something with more "burn time" so the potential rescuers can locate you in the dark.

Every so often a thread is started about LED and LASER FLARES. You will find several good threads about electronic vs. pyro flares via this Google Custom search link on the search term "flares"

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...res&gsc.page=1
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Old 07-06-2016, 16:55   #4
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

I purchased a Sirius Signal LED SOS replacement for nighttime flares about 8 months ago. It was stored in a waterproof container in a lazerette. It looks brand new except for one thing.


I opened the container recently and found that the foam collar the would allow it to float cracked apart so that it can easily come off. Obviously the stresses generated by sliding in over the handle were too great for the material even over that short of time.


I have tried to call the company several times and they never answer.


Their customer service is zero. I would not recommend this product.
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Old 07-06-2016, 17:34   #5
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

I do not think a strobe is a substitute for a flare. Their visibility differs by too much.

I like parachute flares for attracting attention. Plenty of light, high up, and 30 seconds for the mate on the bridgedeck to finish off his or her 04:00 coffee ...

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Old 07-06-2016, 17:36   #6
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

Especially if you're close enough to hit the wheelhouse windows.
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Old 07-06-2016, 19:10   #7
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

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Originally Posted by mlibkind View Post
I purchased a Sirius Signal LED SOS replacement for nighttime flares about 8 months ago. It was stored in a waterproof container in a lazerette. It looks brand new except for one thing.


I opened the container recently and found that the foam collar the would allow it to float cracked apart so that it can easily come off. Obviously the stresses generated by sliding in over the handle were too great for the material even over that short of time.


I have tried to call the company several times and they never answer.


Their customer service is zero. I would not recommend this product.
Check your PM's. I contacted the Sirius people directly through alternate means and they have asked me to pass a direct number to you via PM. (they are not "members") Hopefully they will be able to remedy the problem for you.
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Old 08-06-2016, 22:27   #8
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

I thought that I had posted a follow-up, but don't see it so I will try again.

When I finally got through to Sirius Signal about the failure of my SOS device (LED strobe light), they were happy to replace my unit in a manner that was convenient to me given that I'm in CA but my unit is on my boat in NC.

As for customer service, they seem to be willing to help, but the difficulty is in contacting them from their website by phone. Yes, you can leave a phone message for them, but when sailing telephone tag can be difficult. They do have an online contact form. But I've never seen a company that doesn't have someone to answer a phone ... even Amazon does though they make it hard to find the phone number.

As for the SOS strobe light, I think that it is a reasonable replacement for nighttime hand flares. The nice thing is that it will operate much longer that say a half dozen flares.

I don't think it is a replacement for parachute flares if you carry them. Parachute flares increase the affective distance it can be seen.

In theory, if you can see a ship and their deck or pilothouse is at least as high off the water as their running lights, then you should not need parachute flares.

But if the boat is a sailboat, then you might be seeing a tri-color at the top of the mast. If they are 5 or 6 nm away, you may see that light, but they will not see a flare at your deck level. I.e. you need a parachute flare.

The SOS strobe light is not useful in daytime. They sell it with a piece of orange plastic for daytime use, but in my opinion that is worth zero. For daytime I carry smoke flares.

Finally, if you buy an SOS strobe light to replace nighttime flares, and keep your out-of-date traditional flares, be aware that the Coast Guard requires that you keep out-of-date flares separate from in-date flares so that it is easy to distinguish between those which are good or possibly bad.

I personally think that keeping old flares, within limits, is good because they don't all of a sudden go bad.
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Old 09-06-2016, 00:39   #9
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Re: SOS strobe light as a replacement for flairs

I think that with the advances in electronic signaling devices the days of pyrotechnic signals are numbered.

If you are near the coast your VHF and cell phone will get people looking for you in a hurry. If you're offshore, your Epirb and sat phone will get help on the way pretty quickly.

All you need then is the strobe to guide the searchers the last mile or two.

I'd bet that sometime in the next ten years, marine stores won't be stocking pyrotechnics. Flares are a big PITA. I won't be sorry to see them go.
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