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#59770 - 02/03/06 02:27 PM Finally, a practical survival laser
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Now this puppy will do it all:

300 mW green laser pen

This is enough juice to start a fire, enough to drive off a grizzly bear (if you're lucky, or at least blind him completely), enough to signal for help like a flare, enough to communicate line of sight to the horizon.

My buddy got a 200 mW unit, and it will punch holes through electrical tape almost instantly, pop balloons, burn a hole in your thumbnail, and ignite dry leaves and twigs. He used it to drvie off a raccoon that was after his goslings. One shot in the eyes, and the coon couldn't get out of the backyard fast enough, and ended up running into a garbage can full on.

If I had the scratch, one of the 300 mW spyders would be going in my edc and/or my bob. It could be a darned nice self defense item to boot.
_________________________
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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#59771 - 02/03/06 03:15 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1715
WOW, pricy !
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#59772 - 02/03/06 03:40 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1951
The problem with these very powerful lasers is that they are potentially quite dangerous. They are also illegal to use for signaling aircraft. Illegal as in a Federal felony with penalties of potentially 5 years in jail and/or a $150,000 fine! You may have read about various prosecutions in the news of late. While they might make an exception in an actual survival situation, I wouldn't want to bet on it. And, soem pilots are finding it worthwhile to claim eye injury, adding to the potential liability.

Greatland Laser has developed a Green Laser Flare that they have been selling to the military and which will be introduced for civilian use at SHOT Show next week. In my tests we exceeded 30 miles range. Because this is a Class IIIa (3R) "Laser Signaling Device intended for use as an emergency distress signal," it will be legal for use as a distress signal and there is currently a bill before Congress (already passed the House) that will explicitly enable such use so there is no question.

So, the concept is fine, but I'm going to stick with legal lasers for survival use. Note that the green lasers are fine for terrestrial use, but for marine use probably want to stick with red as the green doesn't work very well with the night vision goggles commonly used by the Coast Guard for night SAR.
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Doug Ritter
Editor
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#59773 - 02/03/06 03:42 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
WTF is a "serious laser professional"?

The price is high now, but I'm sure it will drop down to where every a$$hole can afford one. As you indicated about your friend, the first thing the trash people go for is the eyes. I've heard that people will get in line with planes taking off and try to get the pilots. Now, it appears they may be able to succeed!

The first order of business in people who use lasers as a toy (most) is to burn out retinas. GOOD JOB!

Sue

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#59774 - 02/03/06 03:44 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
MissouriExile Offline
dedicated member

Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 125
Loc: SW Missouri / SE Wisconsin
As an addict of gear and gadgets I'd love to have one of these puppies. A grand is a little steep.
Anyone thinking of buying please remember; This device probably blinded for life the critter who ran into an object after being hit in the eye. It will do the same to humans, perhaps even quite a distance away. Take the same care you would with a gun.

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#59775 - 02/03/06 04:09 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yup, I have to agree with the caution warnings here. The coon incident was a last straw deterrent after other means to capture/drive off the critter had failed, and the bird investment was taking quite a hit. Also, both my friend and I have been temporarily blinded by spurious reflection flashes across our eyes. At the 200 mW power level, it takes nothing more than a quick strobe of reflected beam to KO your eyeballs for a good 10 to 20 minutes. I doubt that the coon suffered permanent injury, as he was moving and we only swept his face with the beam, so we're talking milliseconds of exposure, similar to what we experienced.

Believe me, it is more than enough to overwhelm you, especially at night when your pupils are well dilated. Like the website says repeatedly, "THIS IS NOT A TOY!!!!!".

Something else to note; even at 200 mW, the beaconing effect of the beam in the atmosphere is not very impressive. We concluded that it'd take several watts to make a bright enough column in nominal atmospheric conditions that searchers would be able to see where you were from miles away. That's not practical in a portable platform. I think even 25 mW is too much to direct at the eyes of a searcher, but it is a tradeoff.

One thing we did discover was that if you diverge the beam of a 200 mW green laser, the resulting spot you create is much more intense than even an U2 is capable of (orders of magnitude brighter, in fact), and diverging the beam enough would reduce the hazards proportionately.

20 lumens of cohesive light of a single wavelenght in a 10 foot diameter spot is intensely bright.
_________________________
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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#59776 - 02/03/06 04:27 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
A laserslinger? *whistling the opening bars to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly theme*

I want to take one of these things apart. How is it dealing with the thermal diispation? How long before the focusing system dies under continous output?
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#59777 - 02/03/06 04:36 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"The coon incident was a last straw deterrent after other means to capture/drive off the critter had failed"

The real problem is that that the raccoon is smarter than your friend. Anyone who has birds in a place with predators that doesn't have it predator-proofed is going to take some heavy hits from every raccoon, opossum, fox and rat that's passing. (Let me guess: he used chicken wire, right?)

Maybe your friend should sell his big-bucks laser and use the funds to invest in some electrified netting from the local farm store (they probably don't carry it, but can order it). IOW, maybe he should try something EFFECTIVE. <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Sue

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#59778 - 02/03/06 04:47 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
Milestand Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/02
Posts: 124
Yow! Killing the racoon outright would have been far, far more humane than blinding it! And the survival uses suggested are marginal at best, being more easily accomplished with other tools such as a 99 cent Bic lighter, with nowhere near the danger.

Reading this kind of post makes me a supporter of an all-out laser ban to keep them out of the hands of the irresponsible (which is likely the main target demographic for this type of laser)...

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#59779 - 02/03/06 05:22 PM Re: Finally, a practical survival laser
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yup, if there were more predatory problems, I am sure he would've turned to other more reliable means to predator proof his bird run. The coon was the first and only critter to have overcome the other obstacles (chicken wire was not one of them), and since he left, there've been no further intrusions.

I'll reiterate, the coon most likely did not suffer permanent damage, just had a miserable night holed up in some nearby tree waiting for his eyeballs to recover. He didn't get a long enough blast to suffer permanent damage in our opinion.

In any case, that wasn't what he got the laser for, it just happened to be handy at the time and got the job done. He's also into communications, and the pointer gets used for diagnosing fiber-optic problems, and he also does some amateur astronomy stuff that he uses it for. But being the gizmo geeks we are, we had to see what else it was capable of, within reason.

Just shooting the critter was problematic, and not very practical. Coons is coons, and they will get into things from time to time, and like I say, he learnt his lesson without undo suffering. Having taken the same hit as he did, it's highly doubtful he suffered any worse than us. After all, the government uses the same thing for driving birds and other critters from airports and such.
_________________________
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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