Heard of laser flare lights? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-31-2013 Thread Starter
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Heard of laser flare lights?

Thought about putting this in the gear section, but it pertains to possibly everybody, so figured it might be better in general interest. Just came across this Greatland Laser on another site. They seem to have been around for a while, but I had never heard of them before. Seems to be an effective and efficient tool. Do you have them? What does the Coast Guard say about them? Anyone unfortunate enough to have used one?
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post #2 of 26 Old 10-31-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

I have not used one, but I read where the airline industry has the occasional problem with people aiming them at passing airplanes. If I remember correctly, a couple people were charged.

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post #3 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

Great idea, waiting for CG approval in north America last time I heard but already approved for use elsewhere in the world. Safe, effective, foolproof. Only illegal to point at an aircraft if not being used in an emergency situation, but frankly the same goes for setting off a traditional flare down the highstreet.

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post #4 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

exactly.. in am emergancy situation, you can flash anything you want at a passing airplane to get their attention. It is perfectly legal.

I like the laser flares. The time difference between phosphar flare and them makes the laser that much more effective. However, I would not go to see with just it. I would always keep regular flares about as well as they are much brighter

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post #5 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

What is the battery life (in storage) on these things?

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post #6 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

I've had one of these for several years and never had to use it. I like the idea....long range visibility, ability to focus it directionally, portability are key advanatages. It isn't as useful for what might be termed a "general broadcast" of distress as say a rocket flare, but if a possible source of assistance is within visual range the laser flare could be very useful.

I will say one thing for this company: They stand by their product. As I said I've had one for several years -- five, in fact. While I was prepping for our trans Atlantic passage last spring I hauled out all the gear in the ditch kit for testing. I couldn't get the laser flare to work. Tried everything...new batteries, etc. I called the company in Alaska and told them I was having a problem. The lady I spoke with walked me through some diagnostics, but nothing seemed to work. I asked them to send me a replacement part for the laser element as I thought that was the most likely point of failure.

She declined saying they didn't supply spare parts, but offered to replace the entire unit. I asked, "How much?"

She said there would be no charge and asked that I return my unit to them so they could figure out what might have caused the problem. I offered to pay for shipping for the replacement as I needed the unit right away, but she refused and said she'd send it to me second-day delivery.

When I got back to the US several months later I sent my old unit back to them and got an email from the lady I had spoken with saying that there was nothing wrong with my old unit...it seems I had the batteries in backwards. I offered to send their new unit back, but she said that was not necessary and they would use my old unit as a demo. unit.

So how's that for customer service? I had a five year old unit -- replaced with a new one at no charge whatsoever.
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
What is the battery life (in storage) on these things?
They use standard AA batteries and so the life of the battery is a function of the brand you choose. Most brand name AA batteries have a very long shelf life.
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

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Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
They use standard AA batteries and so the life of the battery is a function of the brand you choose. Most brand name AA batteries have a very long shelf life.

And if you choose Lithium AA batteries they are guaranteed to last a minimum of 10 years in storage.

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Great idea, waiting for CG approval in north America last time I heard but already approved for use elsewhere in the world. Safe, effective, foolproof. Only illegal to point at an aircraft if not being used in an emergency situation, but frankly the same goes for setting off a traditional flare down the highstreet.
I think these are already as approved as they are going to get, but there is the "new" laser flairs that has the rotating head, that is being approved is called the ODEO Laser Flare.

Odeo Flare :: #1 in Laser Flares
and

Looks kind of cool, but I am not sure I like the idea of moving parts in a device that will be stored for years and expected to work in the worst conditions. The Greatland is just a simple hand held laser that you point at a plane hoping it will shine on the windscreen and they will notice you.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
...The Greatland is just a simple hand held laser that you point at a plane hoping it will shine on the windscreen and they will notice you.
In the article that I read, that was the issue. The pilots couldn't distinguish the emergency laser from the laser on a rifle.

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post #10 of 26 Old 11-01-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Heard of laser flare lights?

If someone has activated an Epirb in the neighborhood 200 miles offshore and a laser is flashing in their windshield, most pilots are going to put 2 and 2 together and figure that the beam's coming from someone who needs help. Especially after they don't get shot at. If the range of the light is more than a mile - the site claims a range of at least one mile in daylight and up to 20 miles at night - a pilot can at least report the sighting to help with the SAR. What is the status of CG approval?
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