Have anyone considered this use for a laser pointer?

o0o

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Jun 3, 2007
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Would a 5 mw laser pointer make an effective beacon?



For example, taking on a hike... if one gets lost at night and sees a search party at a distance at night.... would it be reasonable to use a laser pointer to get their attention (for example SAFELY aiming it in such a way that no ones eyes are directly in the path, and in a non-threatening manner-- perhaps straight up since green lasers tend to be easily seen at night)? SOS pattern maybe?



My understanding is that a 5wm green laser has an effective range of 2 miles or so. Probably more visible than a flashlight at that distance?
 

Paddy

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Mar 16, 2011
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I don't think a 5mw laser would reach far enough, i'd say anything 50mw or over would be a safe bet anything below could be hit or miss as to whether it's seen over great distances.
I have done a test with a 1watt blue laser; shinning it straight in the air while on the phone to my brother at home about 5 mile away and he could see it clear.
(i made sure there was nothing about that i could hit with the laser before anyones says about planes lol)
 

LED_astray

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Apr 22, 2007
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I suggest searching for laser flares.

I don't remember the exact details or the source, but I remember a study about lasers for search & rescue and they are extremely hard to aim well enough to effective as a signally device. The "laser flares" are lasers modified to spread their pattern and make aiming less critical and are designed for signalling to search & rescue teams.

At one time REI stocked them and Doug Ritter wrote about them. Good luck in your search.
 

Dr.Viper

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Mar 17, 2011
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No. A 5mW laser is too weak. I'd suggest at least a 50mW one, preferably green if you are interested in using as a beacon.....
I have a 200 mW red from DealExtreme and it was a good one. But i never found any use as a beacon....
 
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