RofisLight        
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 49

Thread: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Wattnot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Longmont Colorado
    Posts
    958

    Default Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    http://www.wbaltv.com/news/16316054/detail.html

    Ever since I ended up in one of the many heated debates of the merits of SOS, I've had automatic news searches set up. I got a hit today with that article above.

    The flares failed and the people were rescued by signaling SOS with their flashlight. The article didn't mention the type of light but that doesn't really matter because the flashlight doing it by itself will always be better than doing it manually . . . . of course, sitting in a boat waiting to be rescued gives you a lot of time with nothing else to do!

    Displacing night on a daily basis.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LED-holic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Terminal 4
    Posts
    1,682

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Very cool. Maritime travelers should always carry lights with SOS modes.

    People who go outdoors should also have this mode. Never know when it comes in handy in signaling a helicopter or someone traveling by.
    Mini split rings for attaching lanyard trick. D10 DIY diffuser trick.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    My problem with all SOS modes that i have seen yet is that they are TOO SLOW.

    Somebody who doesnt know morse wont notice it fast or slow.
    But a faster morse is so much easier to recognize. With a fenix, a cycle takes what? 15 seconds? Everybody staring so long at a point of light already knows what to look for, and wouldnt need the signal. With the slow morse, on phases are long enough that if you just spot it, it might seem like a normal light. Same for the brakes inbetween: several seconds without any light.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* LED-holic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Terminal 4
    Posts
    1,682

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    IMSabbel - a valid observation. If they do speed it up it would be nicer.

    But having a SOS mode is better than none.
    Mini split rings for attaching lanyard trick. D10 DIY diffuser trick.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA *GO PENS!*
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    I agree that faster would be better. But I'd think better to have it than not have it - imagine if you were stranded or severely injured at night, the SOS could keep going in the event your hands were too tired/cold to signal, or if you lost consciousness. If you're in the wilderness or on the water I'd see it as a big plus (and maybe a diffuser?).

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* xcel730's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    They could possibly be using rescue strobe lights. ACR is popular among them: http://www.landfallnavigation.com/personallights.html. I have the ACR firefly plus in my car

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Wattnot View Post
    http://www.wbaltv.com/news/16316054/detail.html

    Ever since I ended up in one of the many heated debates of the merits of SOS, I've had automatic news searches set up. I got a hit today with that article above...
    Talk about being desperate to win an argument..

    But anyway, I personally don't mind an SOS and/or Strobe feature on my flashlight, as long as I don't stumble upon it while switching my regular modes. It shouldn't be too hard to access in an emergency, but it shouldn't get in the way of normal usage either. I don't know which flashlights work how with their strobes and SOS's, but the sequence of regular modes and the SOS mode is considered greatly when I would be buying a flashlight.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Funny this thread came up. I just went across the Chesapeake Bridge (twice) today, and packed a 6P Led and my Fenix 2PD, solely for it's SOS/Strobe functions. Just on the off chance the bridge fell into the bay, or more likely, my car died on it.

    But, yeah, Fenix REALLY needs to pick it up with the strobe function. Flicker.....flicker......flicker......flash......f lash....flash......etc is just too blazing slow. I'd fall asleep waiting for the message to finish if I was on the receiving end

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* yaesumofo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Eastern Pacific, LAX DM03 sw actual
    Posts
    3,696

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    There must be some sort of standard set up by the Coast guard.
    Here is the offical requirement for SOS from the 46 CFR 161.013.
    So if you want it to be certified then ...



    PART 161--ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT--Table of Contents

    Subpart 161.013--Electric Distress Light for Boats

    Sec. 161.013-7 Signal requirements.

    (a) An electric light must have a flash characteristic of the
    International Morse Code for S-O-S and, under design conditions,
    (1) Each short flash must have a duration of \1/3\ second;
    (2) Each long flash must have a duration of 1 second;
    (3) The dark period between each short flash must have a duration of
    \1/3\ second;
    (4) The dark period between each long flash must have a duration of
    \1/3\ second;
    (5) The dark period between each letter must have a duration of 2
    seconds;
    (6) The dark period between each

    S-O-S signal must have a duration of 3 seconds.
    (b) The flash characteristics described in paragraph (a) must be
    produced automatically when the signal is activated.


    There isn't anything in this spec about intensity.
    Yaesumofo

    Quote Originally Posted by IMSabbel View Post
    My problem with all SOS modes that i have seen yet is that they are TOO SLOW.

    Somebody who doesnt know morse wont notice it fast or slow.
    But a faster morse is so much easier to recognize. With a fenix, a cycle takes what? 15 seconds? Everybody staring so long at a point of light already knows what to look for, and wouldnt need the signal. With the slow morse, on phases are long enough that if you just spot it, it might seem like a normal light. Same for the brakes inbetween: several seconds without any light.
    Support your local flashlight builder.
    Buy American. Stop crying and start Buying.
    Flashlights are tools. Period.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Just so happens I was participating in a flare shoot off yesterday with West Marine and my Power Squadron. We were 1 1/2 miles off shore shooting flares to show people on the shore what different flares looked like. Some work great, some not so. The cheap flares claim a 700 lumin output but they couldn't be seen on shore.If you are a boater, don't go for cheap just to satisfy the rules, spend a few more bucks and get a 1200 lumin.

    As a test, I pulled out my P2D and set it to strobe and pointed it towards shore and it was easily visible. When the SOS mode was set, the flashes weren't as easy to pick up.

    Being a ham, the slow morse code drives me nuts, but anything is better than nothing.
    Last edited by DonS2346; 05-18-2008 at 06:29 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Keep in mind that over a long distance, a quickly flashing light will appear steady...the slow speed of the S-O-S may be needed so the flashes can be distinguished over a long distance? My guess.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    867

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by DonS2346 View Post
    Being a ham, the slow morse code drives me nuts, but anything is better than nothing.
    Same here. As a Ham myself, the first thing I thought of when I first tried out the SOS on my L2D-Q5 was how agonizingly slow it was, however on reflection, we Hams think of Morse timing in terms of keyed (aural) dots and dashes which can be really fast (although my personal speed is only 12wpm).

    But when using Morse visually, I think the brain needs a little longer to process it.
    So yea, I guess I'm good with the speed of the typical Fenix and other lights for SOS.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Thujone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,686

    Wink2 Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by e2x2e View Post
    Keep in mind that over a long distance, a quickly flashing light will appear steady...the slow speed of the S-O-S may be needed so the flashes can be distinguished over a long distance? My guess.

    time does not get distorted over distance.. 1/3 of a second is always 1/3 of a second.
    01001100011010010111011001100101001000000110100101 10111000100000011101000110100001100101001000000110 0100011000010111001001101011
    00101100000011010000101001100001011011100110010000 10000001110100011010000110010100100000011101110110 1111011100100110110001100100
    00100000011010010111001100100000011101000110100001 11001001100101011000010111010001100101011011100110 1001011011100110011100101110


  14. #14
    Flashaholic* TOOCOOL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    My Bushnell has a fast SOS

  15. #15

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Thujone View Post
    time does not get distorted over distance.. 1/3 of a second is always 1/3 of a second.
    It's a visual trick, I think...ever see those police cars with strobes that flash very fast from far away? It almost looks steady. A slow flash, on the other hand is very noticeable from far away.

    I'm just basing this on my observations with strobes...once again--

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,757

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by pbs357 View Post
    ...I'd think better to have it than not have it - imagine if you were stranded or severely injured at night, the SOS could keep going in the event your hands were too tired/cold to signal, or if you lost consciousness...
    Yes and in addition to those advantages a light with with an SOS mode may also allow you to get some sleep in an emergency and know that your distress signal is still going out. It might also be handy in some extreme situations to be able to start your light in the SOS mode and secure it in a location near you where it will have the very highest visibility -- allowing you to retire to a warmer, dryer, (or whatever) more sheltered position to cook, tend to injured or do any number of other important things that absolutely cannot be accomplished while sitting in a tall tree (or wherever) manually flashing an emergency signal.

    Survival is often about how many options one has.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 05-18-2008 at 09:16 PM.

  17. #17
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SoKy
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by IMSabbel View Post
    With a fenix, a cycle takes what? 15 seconds?
    For what its worth:

    My P3D and P1D take 12 or 13 seconds from start of the first 's' to the end of the second 's'.

    My Liteflux LF2(old model) does the same in just 5 seconds.
    I met myself in a dream and I just wanna tell you - everything was alright. I'm beginning to see the light. -L. Reed

  18. #18
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by pbs357 View Post
    ...imagine if you were stranded or severely injured at night, the SOS could keep going in the event your hands were too tired/cold to signal, or if you lost consciousness...
    However that wasn't a factor in this case.

    The distance was over four miles, which requires pointing the light in toward the rescue party. That in turn requires consciousness, which in turn means it could have been manually signaled.

    We also don't know whether it was even a flashlight. It could have easily been a spotlight or dedicated signal light.

    The likelihood of being in such a situation and needing a dedicated SOS function on a general-purpose flashlight is incredibly small. It's so small that nobody on CPF has ever posted an experience where they actually used this for a real rescue situation.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    I'm impressed, this is the first time in history I've heard of someone actually using an SOS light in a real situation. But they were right in Chesapeake Bay just 4 miles from shore. Did they have a cellular phone and did they try it?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Qoose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Between Seattle, LA, and Boston
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    After reading the article, I'm fairly sure that they didn't use a strobe mode on the flashlight. Sounds like they just mashed the tailcap at the coast guard.

    I would actually prefer a slow SOS. To me, the SOS should have a runtime of at least 8 hours, so I could go to sleep while the light is trying to save my life.

    Maybe a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't know how to do an SOS with momentary presses doesn't deserve to be rescued. Plus as joema said, you would have a much better chance directing the light at the coast guard if you were working it yourself.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Tempest UK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,648

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Qoose View Post
    After reading the article, I'm fairly sure that they didn't use a strobe mode on the flashlight. Sounds like they just mashed the tailcap at the coast guard.
    That's the impression I got from the article, too. It never mentions a dedicated SOS mode being used on a flashlight, just that a flashlight was used to make an SOS signal.

    Regards,
    Tempest
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk

    Currently looking for: SureFire E1W - PM with offers

  22. #22

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    time does not get distorted over distance.. 1/3 of a second is always 1/3 of a second.
    No, but time DOES get distorted over speed!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,757

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Qoose View Post
    ...Plus as joema said, you would have a much better chance directing the light at the coast guard if you were working it yourself.
    As you think about this try to remember that having an SOS mode built into a light in no way prevents the user from signaling manually AT ANY TIME! DUH! It's not an EITHER/OR thing. An SOS mode slipped into a good UI does not decrease the functionality of the light in any way. It does not FORCE one to use it any more than owning a handgun forces one to use it -- although there are many misguided souls who believe that one, too. SOS modes offer OPTIONS that the user would not have without them. Options are good. They don't dictate the user's actions -- they just give the user more flexibiity.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 05-19-2008 at 11:51 AM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    ...having an SOS mode built into a light [B]in no way prevents the user from signaling manually AT ANY TIME!...
    Nobody is arguing having an SOS mode prevents the user from manually signaling.

    Rather we're saying that the above situation (which was referenced to support inclusion of SOS modes) likely used manual signaling.

    Also that we've never heard of a reliable report of SOS mode in a general purpose flashlight ever being effectively used in a real life rescue situation.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Wattnot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Longmont Colorado
    Posts
    958

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by joema View Post
    Nobody is arguing having an SOS mode prevents the user from manually signaling.

    Rather we're saying that the above situation (which was referenced to support inclusion of SOS modes) likely used manual signaling.

    Also that we've never heard of a reliable report of SOS mode in a general purpose flashlight ever being effectively used in a real life rescue situation.


    Displacing night on a daily basis.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Qoose View Post
    Maybe a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't know how to do an SOS with momentary presses doesn't deserve to be rescued.
    "Harsh" isn't the word I'd use to describe this statement.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    753

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Great... so for ONCE someone has used SOS with a flashlight to catch someone's attention (as mentioned, probably was done manually and at a faster rate than the international standard). Does this justify pissing off the other hundreds of thousands of people with built in SOS lights?

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Tempest UK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,648

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Qoose View Post

    Maybe a little harsh, but anyone who doesn't know how to do an SOS with momentary presses doesn't deserve to be rescued.



    I wonder if you would still be thinking like that once you've been stranded in cold waters for hours, by which time performing even the most basic manual tasks become extremely difficult or even impossible.

    Regards,
    Tempest
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk

    Currently looking for: SureFire E1W - PM with offers

  29. #29
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    753

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    You know, I just thought about it. I'd rather have a blinking light than an SOS light. The reason being that if I was stranded and needed help, it would catch more attention than the SOS (which we've criticized for being too slow at specs). Also, a rescuer isn't going to look at your blinking light and say..."hmm, well there's a blinking light over there, but it doesn't seem to spell anything in Morse code, so we won't bother going over there".

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,757

    Default Re: Flashlight SOS rescue in the news

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernam View Post
    ...I'd rather have a blinking light than an SOS light. The reason being that if I was stranded and needed help, it would catch more attention than the SOS (which we've criticized for being too slow at specs). Also, a rescuer isn't going to look at your blinking light and say..."hmm, well there's a blinking light over there, but it doesn't seem to spell anything in Morse code, so we won't bother going over there".
    Yup, I've been thinking that since the start of this thread. If I needed to get someone's attention in most cases I wouldn't use SOS. A few weeks after Katrina rolled through New Orleans I wanted to attract the attention of a Missouri National Gard unit (bless 'em)....to quell some activity on my block. I blinked a really quick series of flashes from my EL Hyper-Blaster and the Hummer five blocks away headed for me immeadiatly.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •