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#157050 - 12/04/08 02:27 PM Fireworks as emergency signalling devices
benjammin Offline
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Registered: 02/06/04
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Loc: Anchorage AK
Anyone here (besides me) consider this? I would think a cheap box of sparklers would be practical, conveniently sized, and cheap. Or how about a piccolo pete as a whistling signal, or a pack of firecrackers as a percussion signal, or a fountain cone, or a smoke ball?

Maybe I will have to reconsider what I will be putting in my PSK. There's some easy ways to make a lot of cheap fireworks more rugged and weatherproof.

Yeah, there's an associated risk of starting a fire when deploying some of these things. It should be managable if you know what you are doing.
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#157053 - 12/04/08 02:30 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: benjammin]
OldBaldGuy Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Probably work. As I recall, sparklers take a lot of flame to get going, so that flame might work almost as well. Some of the fireworks that really spew sparks would probably get someones attention...
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#157056 - 12/04/08 02:51 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: OldBaldGuy]
benjammin Offline
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As an inducer for sparklers, we used to wrap the tip with a couple winds of cannon fuse. Worked like a champ.

One of them little boxes of saturn rockets (50 rounds that go off like whistling bottle rockets then end in a report) would be great for SAR once they got within a mile or so of ya.

It's a thought. It might not be worth the effort in some cases.
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#157057 - 12/04/08 02:55 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: benjammin]
OldBaldGuy Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I suspect that durability would be an issue. A few years back our squad club ran a fireworks booth, and of course I had to take my turn working in it. We found all kinds of CA legal fireworks that were leaking powder while still in the factory boxes, and some that would start leaking as you removed them from the box to hand to a buyer. It would be a real bummer to carry something around in your pack for emergency signalling, get into a jam, dig your made in China gizmo out of your pack only to find that it has leaked itself to death...
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#157061 - 12/04/08 03:30 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Nishnabotna Offline
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Registered: 12/31/07
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Loc: Nebraska
You'd have to be careful that you didn't start another california wildfire.

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#157062 - 12/04/08 03:36 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: OldBaldGuy]
CANOEDOGS Offline
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Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1852
Loc: MINNESOTA

OR--someone would just write off your SOS as a jerk playing with fireworks-- "ya we were up on the mountain yesterday and some meatball was shooting off bottle rockets"

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#157065 - 12/04/08 03:50 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: benjammin]
big_al Offline
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Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 586
Loc: 20mi east of San Diego
benjammin.
During my desert days I would carry 2 full sized rockets in a 1 in. pipe attached to my jeep. Never had to use them for help but they made me feel good. once a year (4th of July) I would fire the old ones and put in new ones.
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#157066 - 12/04/08 03:51 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Blast Online   happy
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Loc: TX
Quote:
OR--someone would just write off your SOS as a jerk playing with fireworks-- "ya we were up on the mountain yesterday and some meatball was shooting off bottle rockets"


My thoughts exactly.

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#157070 - 12/04/08 04:02 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: Blast]
benjammin Offline
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Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yeah, I can see where if you were lost and no one was actively looking for you it might be mistaken for goofing off. I was thinking more if you were definitely overdue and knew they'd be looking by now, it would be more effective then.

As for making them more durable, we found that judicious use of elmer's glue, spar varnish, and now gorilla glue will go a long ways to improving on longevity of these items. We were able to improve the shelf life on some of our fireworks by a factor of 10 or so.

Just looking for inexpensive alternatives. The best bang for my buck, you know.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#157071 - 12/04/08 04:10 PM Re: Fireworks as emergency signalling devices [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Brangdon Offline
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Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1204
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
As I recall, sparklers take a lot of flame to get going
Some modern ones have a tip that is designed to be easily lit. You can do it with a match or lighter.

They burn with magnesium brightness, but only for about 5 seconds which doesn't seem very useful to me. They are also quite crumbly if you bend them.
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