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#287873 - 01/16/18 01:12 AM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: rafowell]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1401
Loc: North Carolina
The ACR ResQlink has the normal emergency frequency transmission, a GPS location, a radio signal for closer direction finding, and a visible strobe light.

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#287891 - 01/17/18 01:45 AM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: rafowell]
WesleyH Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 82
Loc: OKLAHOMA
Great info, Thanks for sharing this. I have been considering how much survival information, and cheap consumer goods passed off as survival equipment actually proved its worth when put to the test.

Case in point, for an average survival kit, would pen gun aerial flares be of any value compared to say 12 gauge aerials? I had not been aware of any serious consideration of such things.

Not to mention, lots of other items should be evaluated on a scientific basis as well.

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#287896 - 01/17/18 04:39 AM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: WesleyH]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6571
Loc: southern Cal
I have used pen gun flares, during SAR ops, and they did the job. We didn't have 12 gauges available, so no experience. But if your kit includes a 12 gauge, flare rounds would make sense.

But any flare has a drawback. It is a one use item, and it probably won't mark your location as precisely as a stationary strobe right at your scene.

Some years ago, I and a SAR colleague encountered a serious accident scene while on a recreational climb and boy, did we have to improvise! We marked the hoist location with a large impromptu bonfire (quickly doused once the helo had us spotted).

Improvisation is often necessary. You simply can't carry everything that might be useful. Stuff must be versatile....
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#287898 - 01/17/18 05:31 AM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: hikermor]
WesleyH Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 82
Loc: OKLAHOMA
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Improvisation is often necessary. You simply can't carry everything that might be useful. Stuff must be versatile....


Excellent point Hikermor,

I totally agree that stuff must be versatile. Certainly, one cannot carry every item of survival gear as they wish. One of the nice things about having well researched material is that it gives a better chance to the reader to make an effective choice. (Solas items omitted) Consider, previously the only info I had was that a pen gun would rise 300' whereas the 12 version (there is a plastic pistol that accepts the round, but not regular 12 gage shells.) rises to 500 feet and as I recall.

Checking I find this

Pengun 300ft up to 6.5 sec 10,000 candela

12 gauge 500ft up to 7 seconds 16,000 candela

Advantage of pengun: more compact, less expensive ~1/3 of 12 gauge
Advantage of 12 gage: higher altitude, brighter.

So which would be better for a hiker?

My supposition is that the primary use for both is marine. (vast open areas over water, higher altitude and brightness for that would be advantageous. BUT what about scrub brush in the desert? Iced areas such as northern Alaska? Any value to average hiker in timber areas?

Your thoughts?

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#287903 - 01/17/18 02:40 PM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: WesleyH]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6571
Loc: southern Cal
Interesting question and topic. Actually, I don't think either is worth carrying for the usual hiker's circumstances.

At sea, a red flare is a universal signal of distress and vessels which sight it are under obligation to render aid or assist in some manner. on land, not so much (Honey,look, some fool is celebrating the 4th kind of early. Shore is purty!)

For a land bound hiker, weight and volume are more critical, and there are more effective alternatives which are also not likely to set the woods on fire (that capability might be useful as an ultimate fire starter, though). Modern electronics, especially the cellphone if service is available, are the way to go. Currently, a lot of emergencies seem to involve initial cell phone notification. But always pack a signal mirror!!

If you are out in the boondocks and hurting, you have to treat injuries or deal with the immediate threat, devise some kind of shelter, probably along with a fire for warmth and cooking/water purification, and get word out/signalling. Actually, your properly tended fire makes a pretty good signal and is likely to get the attention of the local kindly ranger.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#287920 - 01/18/18 01:12 AM Re: USCG Strobe lab & field test reports - 2012 & 2015 [Re: rafowell]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1401
Loc: North Carolina
Initial impressions of the ACR Firefly Pro:

It is built well, comparable to the military strobe

It has 3 settings: SOS, constant on, and regular strobe

I did have trouble getting it to turn on initially but after a couple of tries it worked fine.

It seems to be as bright as the military version

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