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Old 18-03-2009, 09:04   #1
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Signaling With A Laser Pointer

During our circumnavigation, we sometimes used battery powered laser pointers as a signaling device to get the attention of friends on the other side of an anchorage hundreds of feet away. We would bounce the laser off their yacht in the dark. A bouncing red light at night does get your attention. It gave us a silent way of communicating without hailing them on Channel 16. Weak lasers viewed at great distance don't present a hazard to people looking in their direction. (I shoot high powered lasers into eyes every week as I am an eye surgeon)

A laser pointer could be used as a signal to come up on a prearranged VHF channel or HF radio preset.

Don't look directly at laser pointers up close. You may damage your eyes.
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:09   #2
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Just make sure you don't "hit" an airplane with the laser.

Tip leads police to Sea-Tac Airport laser arrest - Seattle- msnbc.com

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Old 18-03-2009, 09:25   #3
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Better Mouse Trap

See EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Rescue Laser Flare Review . These work much better than a pointer.
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:25   #4
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Quote:
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Just make sure you don't "hit" an airplane with the laser.

Tip leads police to Sea-Tac Airport laser arrest - Seattle- msnbc.com

craig
Whatever happened to common sense?

I can't believe that someone would shine a laser into the cockpit of a plane landing at 180 mph. Every week I land at 100+ mph in King Air and twin engine Barrons aircraft, and I can't imagine anyone would distract a plane on approach with a laser.

Things happen fast in the cockpit when you are landing. You don't want any distractions.

Your article does show how powerful a battery powered laser is as a signaling device, and it's worth putting one of them in your go bag as a possible emergency night signaling device at sea. It may not be as good as a flare, but it is a portable device that could help in an emergency.

If your flares are gone, it might make a difference.
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:31   #5
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See EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Rescue Laser Flare Review . These work much better than a pointer.
Thanks for the article. I have favorited it, and I may even get one.
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:47   #6
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As I am certain Dave knows, there is a big difference between eye - safe lasers and some of the 'toys' sold to the unsuspecting public. They are a great device for presentations, but I have heartd lots of times people saying, that the proper lasers are too weak to display but this one they got down the market was much brighter. And then watch the plonker shining it around the room at people!
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:57   #7
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David--

We have one on every life vest, hooked on the harness with a velcro strap and tied with a rope chained lanyard.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 18-03-2009, 11:35   #8
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This may be a dumb question, but how do you know where you are aiming if the beam is so fine that you cant see the reflected light from where it is hitting? Or can you? For it to be effective for the person aiming, the light would have to go to the target and and reflect all the way back...right?

And yeah...who in their right mind would point a laser at into the cockpit of an airplane? Those not in their right mind is all I can think of.
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Old 18-03-2009, 12:22   #9
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a caution

laser sights are commonly used on firearms these days. Someone seeing a laser spot reflecting off a bulkhead, especially someone trained in police work, et cetera, may think he's just been targeted rather than signaled.
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Old 18-03-2009, 12:40   #10
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David--

We have one on every life vest, hooked on the harness with a velcro strap and tied with a rope chained lanyard.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
Brilliant idea.
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Old 18-03-2009, 12:50   #11
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This may be a dumb question, but how do you know where you are aiming if the beam is so fine that you cant see the reflected light from where it is hitting? Or can you? For it to be effective for the person aiming, the light would have to go to the target and and reflect all the way back...right?

And yeah...who in their right mind would point a laser at into the cockpit of an airplane? Those not in their right mind is all I can think of.
If you are shooting the light at night several hundred meters, you will see the spot made by the laser.

If you are shooting longer distances, you need an aiming technique like you use with a signal mirror. It's simple to do. I extend my arm all the way out in front of me toward the target, and I place my thumb just below the target. Then I shine the light/laser first on my thumb and then just above my thumb to hit the target. I alternately flash my thumb and the target which aligns the light/laser with my target, and causes rescuers to see a flashing light.
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Old 18-03-2009, 15:09   #12
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I place my thumb just below the target. Then I shine the light/laser first on my thumb and then just above my thumb to hit the target.
Sometimes its the simple things that seem so miraculous. Thanks Dave, it would have taken me a few lifetimes to work that out LOL


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Old 18-03-2009, 15:39   #13
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Hyite & Dave:

Where did you get the lasers. I like the idea of having a few on board.
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Old 18-03-2009, 15:51   #14
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Charlie--

Go to www.greatlandlaser.com. Note, however, that there seems to be a bug on that site that tries to redirect one to a porngraphic site unless you have something like IEPro7 or another blocker that prevents the redirect. I send an email to Greatland about it but have not rec'd a response and the defect is still evident (2 min ago).

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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Old 18-03-2009, 17:55   #15
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Sometimes its the simple things that seem so miraculous. Thanks Dave, it would have taken me a few lifetimes to work that out LOL


Mark
After you burn a hole in your thumb with the laser, you won't be so grateful.
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