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Old 13-07-2015, 14:47   #46
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Originally Posted by rgesner View Post
I got a reply from Greatland regarding their lasers, and the Red is 650 nm, which is 15nm below the range of night vision goggles (NVG's) approved for civil aviation (having a Class B Minus Blue Filter) are only sensitive to energy ranging from 665 to ~930 nm. Their green would also be below this range.

It seems odd that approved NVGs don't encompass the full range of FAA requirements for "Aviation Red" light from about 610-700 nm.

To be safe, I'd suggest verifying any emergency light emitting device is within the 665 to ~930 nm range.

- Rusty
Perhaps he was rounding? Helium-Neon lasers (the red ones) operate at 632.8 nm, not 650. This is even further below the NVG cut-off.
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Old 13-07-2015, 15:09   #47
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
Common sense will tell you that they are designed to replace the handheld flares and not the rocket flares.


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Just my point. flares held on deck are useless.
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Old 13-07-2015, 15:21   #48
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Just my point. flares held on deck are useless.
Ummm no....

Sure you can get the attention of a ship from much further with a rocket flare, but they still need to find you in the dark.
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Old 13-07-2015, 15:45   #49
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

jr-
My LNTM just says smoke, so maybe they're not allowed to surface at night.(G)
The Navy only says:
"SPECIAL SUBMARINE SIGNALS The following signals, though not part of the Rules of the Road, are prescribed for submerged submarines in emergency situations involving rising to periscope depth or surfacing. 1. A yellow smoke flare fired into the air from a submarine indicates that the submarine is coming to periscope depth to carry out surfacing procedures. Ships should clear the immediate vicinity, but should not stop propellers. 2. A red smoke flare fired into the air from a submarine is a signal that the submarine is in serious trouble and will surface immediately if possible. Smoke flares of any color, fired into the air at short intervals, mean that the submarine requires assistance. All ships in the vicinity should stand by to give aid."
Special Submarine Signals


So apparently it is smoke flares and smoke flares only. I suspect you'd see their strobe markers in normal circumstances, and in a true emergency surfacing maneuver? The sub would come airborne faster than any flare.


"What if..." If you haven't found it documented, try try again. And then don't worry about it.
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Old 13-07-2015, 16:04   #50
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Ummm no....

Sure you can get the attention of a ship from much further with a rocket flare, but they still need to find you in the dark.
I guess not getting in that pickle is the answer.
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Old 13-07-2015, 18:11   #51
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
jr-
My LNTM just says smoke, so maybe they're not allowed to surface at night.(G)
The Navy only says:
"SPECIAL SUBMARINE SIGNALS The following signals, though not part of the Rules of the Road, are prescribed for submerged submarines in emergency situations involving rising to periscope depth or surfacing. 1. A yellow smoke flare fired into the air from a submarine indicates that the submarine is coming to periscope depth to carry out surfacing procedures. Ships should clear the immediate vicinity, but should not stop propellers. 2. A red smoke flare fired into the air from a submarine is a signal that the submarine is in serious trouble and will surface immediately if possible. Smoke flares of any color, fired into the air at short intervals, mean that the submarine requires assistance. All ships in the vicinity should stand by to give aid."
Special Submarine Signals

So apparently it is smoke flares and smoke flares only. I suspect you'd see their strobe markers in normal circumstances, and in a true emergency surfacing maneuver? The sub would come airborne faster than any flare.

"What if..." If you haven't found it documented, try try again. And then don't worry about it.
Most submarines signals are "combo" signals, that emit both smoke and light of the same color...red, yellow, or green...and the green are generally used to signal a simulated attack during exercises...and is not an emergency signal.

These signals are very large (3 inch diameter) and emit very bright light and lots of smoke.
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Old 13-07-2015, 18:39   #52
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

Thanks, fryewe. I confess, I don't try to memorize the whole LNTM annual issue. All I remember is that if I see a black or green smoke on the water (and it just said smoke) that's a submarine either firing torpedos or doing something else that I really, really, don't want to be anywhere near.


If I'm out sailing over one of the submarine channels (and I have been) and I see any kind of smoke on the water (which I haven't) I'm getting the * out of Dodge and figuring out what it was all about after I see the sign "You are now leaving Dodge City Limits".


I figure that's about all I need to know about submarine signals, I'll let the Coasties and the Navy figure out the rest. I'm sadly underequipped to help even a conventional submarine perform an emergency evacuation, or to keep one afloat.


Oh, wait...that's a legitimate reason to get a bigger boat, isn't it?(VBG)
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Old 14-07-2015, 16:09   #53
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

I got a reply from Sirius, see attached.

While the Sirius SOS Distress Light is broad-spectrum white light, you actually can order special colored versions from them, including red. If interested, see the attached PDF.

However, their wavelengths will be less visible or even invisible to night vision goggles, see the attached PNG file and Night vision goggles may not detect certain red LEDs, says FAA - LEDs

Even red flares are significantly less visible when viewed by potential rescuers through night vision goggles, as the old but still relevant test study shows: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a233798.pdf

While red or green flares, LEDs, or lasers maybe more visible to the naked eye, white light will be visible to all viewing methods. Best is to use to use both, but at least with the Sirius SOS Distress Light, you don't have to keep buying new flares when your expired ones are still good.

That test study also underscores the importance of retro-reflective tape, BTW.

- Rusty
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:08   #54
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

For southbound Mexico cruisers, this kind of USCG approved ELECTRONIC FLARE might solve the problem of not being able to fly back to the boat with fresh flares, to replace old ones still on the boat in foreign waters. Mexico doesn't sell marine flares, and you can't fly anywhere these days with flares or other pyrotechnics.
Does Canada sell pyro flares, anyone know?
From a safety view, I cringe the memory of having a pyro flare drip too close to my hand, then drip onto and burn the inflatable pontoon. One of the photos from the mentioned website shows an E-flare hoisted high in the rigging - so I would guess at no threat of it dripping burning phosphorous onto the deck either.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:26   #55
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

you don't have to keep buying new flares when your expired ones are still good.


I guess everyone keeps the old expired ones, I always have. The second go round the old, old ones worked for the 4 of July and didn't fail.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:44   #56
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

"you don't have to keep buying new flares when your expired ones are still good. "
That's true, you don't "have to". But you can and should expect to pay a more expensive citation if a vessel safety inspection finds only expired flares on your boat.
At least one member has reported that problem over the years. In some cases from an undereducated party who thought all of the pyros on board had to be in date. (They don't.)

Flying with flares? The TSAs search engine can't seem to figure that one out today. The UN's international agreements generally require carriers to allow "essential lifesaving equipment" and other safety equipment in the cabin, which would include pyrotechnic signals. Note that "pyros" in general are very different from "explosives", which the TSA outright bans. And of course, even when the TSA expressly allows carriage, any TSA inspector at any security checkpoint can ban them, for arbitrary reasons. Including blunt stupidity. There's no practical appeal on that, either.

But I'd find it hard to believe any coastal nation actually wouldn't be selling pyros, since they usually require them for their own vessels. I bet you couldn't find a good kosher pickle and pastrami sandwich in most of the same places either--but that just means they don't stock pastrami. Or kosher pickles.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:46   #57
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

Btw . . . . I have now seen one of these first hand . . . Seem like a really cheaply made plastic flashlight. Not very impressive. Might well work . . . But might not.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:02   #58
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"you don't have to keep buying new flares when your expired ones are still good. "
That's true, you don't "have to". But you can and should expect to pay a more expensive citation if a vessel safety inspection finds only expired flares on your boat.
At least one member has reported that problem over the years. In some cases from an undereducated party who thought all of the pyros on board had to be in date. (They don't.)

Flying with flares? The TSAs search engine can't seem to figure that one out today. The UN's international agreements generally require carriers to allow "essential lifesaving equipment" and other safety equipment in the cabin, which would include pyrotechnic signals. Note that "pyros" in general are very different from "explosives", which the TSA outright bans. And of course, even when the TSA expressly allows carriage, any TSA inspector at any security checkpoint can ban them, for arbitrary reasons. Including blunt stupidity. There's no practical appeal on that, either.

But I'd find it hard to believe any coastal nation actually wouldn't be selling pyros, since they usually require them for their own vessels. I bet you couldn't find a good kosher pickle and pastrami sandwich in most of the same places either--but that just means they don't stock pastrami. Or kosher pickles.
Glad I no longer fly. If trying to light the heel of a shoe is dangerous, I don't want a nut case onboard with flares.
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:31   #59
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

Don't look to the TSA for logic, they only use logic when it supports the dog and pony show. Congress and the airlines conveniently forget, they mutually agreed to shut down a very effective sky marshal program in the 80's, while the rest of the world kept them. And, that Tom Clancy wrote a best-seller (later a movie as well) clearly showing how effective a hijacked airliner could be as a weapon of mass destruction. Also in the 1980's.


I understand that in some places, if they ask you to remove your shoes, they'll properly clean and shine them after the x-ray inspection. (G)
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:44   #60
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Re: LED Flare alternative approved

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Btw . . . . I have now seen one of these first hand . . . Seem like a really cheaply made plastic flashlight. Not very impressive. Might well work . . . But might not.

I've got one, it is essentially exactly what you describe, a cheap flashlight that flashes SOS, with a floating collar. I got it to make me legal, not really to use.
If I need it, my go to is my expired flares and or smoke first, but if I get inspected I'll show them the silly flag and cheap flashlight.
I kept my old fire extinguishers too, I tested one that was 10 yrs out of inspection, but pressure gauge showed good pressure and you could feel the powder was loose, it worked just fine.
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