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#165806 - 01/31/09 03:56 AM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: OilfieldCowboy]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
We usually went with what we had. I do remember there was one (either green or red) that didn't show up well or at all on NVG's. There are IR chem sticks that show great on NVG's but are invisible to the naked eye. Cannot see needing those in the civilian world though. Wouldn't even know where to get them.

I also like keeping one or two of the ultra bright 5 min. sticks handy. Usually when I would set an LZ, I would use one of those into the wind. Don't use them near NVG's though.
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I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

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#165859 - 01/31/09 04:46 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: yeti]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
Originally Posted By: yeti
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
Our team uses chemical light sticks at night to check for “strainers” under bridges, etc. and to get an estimate of how fast the water is moving.

"strainers"?

Strainers are basically bushes or 'something' that will let water flow through but 'catch' anything of larger size. If you're caught in one, the waters current will hold you in place. They're damn near impossible to get out of. Big time drowning hazard!

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#165861 - 01/31/09 04:58 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: scafool]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
Originally Posted By: scafool
"...being used by miners as backup lights instead of Zippo lighters."

I live in east Pennsylvania - "the coal regions." I can say for a fact if you're caught in a coal mine with anything that makes a spark, be it matches, lighter, or anything else, you will get your arse beaten to a pulp. Too many people have died because some fool decided to have a cigarette off in a hidden corner of the mine, only to find a methane pocket. Look at any professional mine and you'll see a line of cigarette packs and lighters sitting just outside the door to the elevator that takes the miner's down to the mine. If you're caught with one, you'll suffer what's know in the service as a "blanket party." There's a difference between a mine and a cave!

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#165879 - 01/31/09 09:14 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: snoman]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Originally Posted By: snoman
Originally Posted By: scafool
"...being used by miners as backup lights instead of Zippo lighters."

I live in east Pennsylvania - "the coal regions." I can say for a fact if you're caught in a coal mine with anything that makes a spark, be it matches, lighter, or anything else, you will get your arse beaten to a pulp. Too many people have died because some fool decided to have a cigarette off in a hidden corner of the mine, only to find a methane pocket. Look at any professional mine and you'll see a line of cigarette packs and lighters sitting just outside the door to the elevator that takes the miner's down to the mine. If you're caught with one, you'll suffer what's know in the service as a "blanket party." There's a difference between a mine and a cave!


Sorry Snoman. I was never in a coal mine.

Hard rock, narrow vein gold, silver, barites, nickle, salt etc.
Jackleg and stoper, jumbo and a bit of longhole.
I went through being a nipper, timberman, trucker, miner, raise miner.
The first mine was Port Radium (Echo Bay) on the Great Bear lake from 1978 to 1979.
The last time I was in a mine was for 2 years from 1995-1997.

From there I was back to construction (formwork) for 4 years on the Toronto subway system, and from there as a scaffolder to the Tarsands in Alberta (Syncrude, Suncor...) where they strip mine oil.

Almost my entire working life has been split between mining and carpentry on major projects.

We were always required to have a sharp knife, a watch and a good lighter underground.

Zippos were counted as good lighters. A bic could not be trusted to light once the wheel got wet and they had a nasty habit of going empty in the pocket.

"Powder is the ultimate power tool."

If you want to ask a question about something I said you are more than welcome to ask.
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May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#165884 - 01/31/09 10:40 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: scafool]
yelp Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 172
Loc: Colorado
scafool, I have no questions for you but rather a comment.

Just reading about your mining life brought back a lot of good memories.

I went to a school with an old mining history, and one of the neat things about mining schools is that they have experimental mines...in this case, the Waldo. (Actually, the Waldo was the Waldo adit, the mine itself the Graphic...but it's always been the Waldo). The Waldo adit was punched in 1908, in production until the mid-fifties, and leased to the school after that. Officially closed about 2002.

18 levels, but flooded up to the ninth (also the adit), six miles left of accessible tunnel, and no power - so there were ladders made from timbers next to the winzes.

The mining engineering kids pretty much had the run of the place...we had the old mine maps and would spend a lot of days and nights pushing the old drifts, re-surveying, and "accurazing" the maps. We'd even have races to get the best times to and through the escapeways (beer handicap optional). I was with a local subterranean SAR group and we did a bit of training there. We would set up and run exercises for the state mine rescue teams as well.

I was never a blaster (and the mine wouldn't have handled vibration very well) but we did have those types around. I always studied the explosions, not the explosives. Fun stuff, nonetheless.

Hard rock underground, there's nothing like it. Thank you for bringing all that back.

I envy you and your experiences. Except for the jacklegging.

Oh, and we used cyalumes quite a bit for marking gear - rope bags, stokes, jackets, whatever - that would get staged or otherwise left behind.
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(posting this as someone that has unintentionally done a bunch of stupid stuff in the past and will again...)

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#165892 - 02/01/09 12:00 AM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: yelp]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Yeah I hear you, some good memories, some not so good, and some that I try not to remember.
When I was young going underground was all part of the great adventure.
It is a different world down there.
Ah well. I am brassed out for good now.

The two jobs I hated the most were mucking out the sumps and slushing a drift, but I loved taking a round and cycling. So long as our cross did the same we were in the top bonus.
I really hated seeing a bootlegged face or a frozen face with burned ground.

The word "loose" still has a different meaning for me too.
I have seen pieces of loose the size of railway cars. Kind of hard to scale with a bar when it is that bad.
The 8 foot rockbolts just helped hold it together after it fell out of the back.

I love it when I see a mine shown in a movie and they are always so nice and and there is no water flowing down to the sumps or spraying from the face.

You were at a mining school so it was different for you guys to be in the old drifts, and manways, but I still shudder when I think of people entering old workings.
It is so easy for them to fall down a winze or a raise, get trapped by loose or run into a bit of bad air.

Now I will stop and quit hijacking the thread again.

I find it interesting you were using the Chemlights for marking gear.
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May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#165943 - 02/01/09 12:37 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: scafool]
snoman Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
Originally Posted By: scafool
We were always required to have...a good lighter underground.

Hmmm. No idea. Maybe it's because of the coal thing. I understand coal and methane are likely to be found together.
Still, it's a dangerous, if not romantic way to make a living. My Grandpop was a coal miner since he was nine years old, as were most of the men from the town he was born in. He had some stories to tell! I know he loved it, but I also remember him saying no son of his was going to mine coal for a living. After 25 years of mining coal, he moved his family a few miles south and spent the rest of his life working for the railroad. He's been gone almost 30 years and I still think of how tough these men had it. I'm almost embarrassed by how easy I've got it today. I think "pop-pop" is due for another bouquet of flowers on his grave.

- Dave

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#165974 - 02/01/09 09:20 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: snoman]
scafool Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
Snoman;
Coal mines are extra dangerous, you could not be more right about that.
Dangerous even to the point that they made special bronze hammers and wrenches for them to prevent sparking.
There is a reason Davy Lamps were invented and why Mine Rescue often wear a pin representing one.

Different mines are different, but they are all dirty, wet, cold and very dangerous places to work.

When you do visit your grandfather's grave you be sure to carry a blessing for him from me too.
_________________________
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

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#165976 - 02/01/09 09:54 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: snoman]
yelp Offline
Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 172
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: snoman
I'm almost embarrassed by how easy I've got it today. I think "pop-pop" is due for another bouquet of flowers on his grave.


+10 to that. My grandfather as well. Know I'm giving my regards to your grandfather when you visit.
_________________________
(posting this as someone that has unintentionally done a bunch of stupid stuff in the past and will again...)

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#166047 - 02/02/09 01:31 PM Re: Cyalume lightsticks [Re: snoman]
Mike_H Offline
Addict

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 612
Loc: SE PA
Originally Posted By: snoman
Originally Posted By: scafool
We were always required to have...a good lighter underground.

Hmmm. No idea. Maybe it's because of the coal thing. I understand coal and methane are likely to be found together.
Still, it's a dangerous, if not romantic way to make a living. My Grandpop was a coal miner since he was nine years old, as were most of the men from the town he was born in. He had some stories to tell! I know he loved it, but I also remember him saying no son of his was going to mine coal for a living. After 25 years of mining coal, he moved his family a few miles south and spent the rest of his life working for the railroad. He's been gone almost 30 years and I still think of how tough these men had it. I'm almost embarrassed by how easy I've got it today. I think "pop-pop" is due for another bouquet of flowers on his grave.

- Dave


Coming from a coal area myself (Wilkes-Barre) I fully understand. Luckily my family never worked the mines, but God bless those that did. Not an easy job, that's for sure. Talk about dirty and dangerous. And when they used mules/donkeys to pull the carts, those animals were valued more than the miners.
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