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SOS Code

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Dan2, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    I doubt it. Most patterns would be thought of as just so much "background noise." A pattern that's different, that's not appearing to be just random or robotically repeating gets more attention.

    However, you also have to remember that a lot of people in the world would step over a bleeding person to get their cup of coffee or that hard to find gift in the Christmas rush. Others are simply oblivious and assume it would be just another tower marking light, even if they saw it a ground level. Too many people are locked up in their own little world.

    The SOS or beacon needs to be distinctive and cause folks to pay attention. A simple blinking light ain't gonna cut it.
     
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  2. adubbz

    adubbz Loaded Pockets

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    A couple points. I and I think many people, don't read/understand morse code...BUT, I do know SOS. Everyone knows SOS don't they?

    Alas, the SOS modes on my flashlights just annoy me. If i'm in a situation where I need it, I can just do it manually by clicking my switch the required amount of time. Another thing is, I can't think of very many times that someone would SEE my SOS signal? When would it be used? The times I can think of are maybe, I dunno, trapped in a building or something...but a strobe would maybe have the same attention grabbing-ness?
     
  3. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    Agree with your points. The potential for needing "emergency mode" influenced by our activities. Mostly urban? Probably not a big deal. For me, even though I'm a city-dweller, there's potential. I log time exploring the desert solo, either by Jeep or on foot (dayhikes), nosing around abandoned mines/ghost town sites — usually 10+ miles from traveled roads. Or my twice annual solo roadtrips out-of-state, which, by design, include a lot of backroads and out-of-the-way routes ... fun things I could never do before retiring from a demanding job. So, if I get injured, or vehicle breaks down etc. while I'm somewhere isolated with no cell service, a powerful strobe/beacon/SOS could conceivably save my bacon. I'm always mindful that being alone increases risk, so I try not to do anything too stupid, but you never know. To quote from the book The Limits of Safety, "Things that have never happened before happen all the time." :)
     
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  4. adubbz

    adubbz Loaded Pockets

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    I like that. The Beacon saves your Bacon!

    Thanks for the input!
     
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  5. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I don't like SOS or strobe modes either and I'll rather buy a light that doesn't have them. However, I believe the intention behind them is that you don't have to do it manually. You can leave your light flashing the SOS while you sleep and dream of rescue.
     
  6. angusW

    angusW EDC Junkie!!!

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    I like how the Quark Mini's and Preon's have all the blinky modes hidden but are still easily accessible if needed. I really like my Quark X 132² Neutral's/Warm but could really do without those pesky SOS/bacon modes in the main operational lineup. I don't know why it couldn't have been re-programmed when they went with the XM-L but as far as SOS version, I prefer the way 4Sevens does it which is the correct way (...---... ...---...). My EagleTac G25C2 seems to do it the correct way as well. It has a longer gap between each SOS than the 4Sevens and like the Mini and Preon the G25C2 hides all the flashing modes.
     
  7. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

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    With respect to your viewpoints, but I think it is not safe to do so many of those risky activities on your own. You need at least one person as a safety buddy, preferably someone who is at least somewhat skilled and experienced in those expeditions. That buddy system is also part of military policy in many countries, and for good reason.
     
  8. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

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    If you are bleeding, soaking wet, hypothermic or with frozen fingers, maybe one arm fractured and with the other arm clinging to a tree above flooded terrain, it may be impossible to manually produce a distinct SOS-signal for many hours. I am not suggesting that an automatic SOS mode on a flashlight guarantees a successful rescue, but in some situations it can make a life saving difference IMHO.
     
    Last edited by Dan2, Nov 3, 2012
  9. Rpuppet
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Rpuppet Loaded Pockets

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  10. Dan2

    Dan2 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the amazing scheme. That makes it much easier to learn morse.
     
  11. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    As I see it ...---... ...---... should be slightly more recognisable - most people know that pattern, and the fact that there is a pause in it between repeats makes it more obvious as a piece of repeating code, rather than a flashing light from a party or something.

    It is not something I have in any of my torches, but is something I can see as useful for emergency use outdoors - if you injure yourself out hiking and it gets dark, you can set the signal going to mark your position and the fact there is an emergency then bed down - you can hide under shelter from the rain or cold, wrap up warm in extra blankets and layers and conserve your energy without having to be awake, alert and continually making the motions while positioned somewhere obvious that may nto be as safe and sheltered.

    I would also hope that the places I would expect this to be useful - outdoors, large open areas where there may not always be people within whistle/shouting range - that the people likely to find you should be the people prepared for the conditions - so knowledgeable enough of basic signals like SOS. I know if I am ever in the hills and see or hear a repeating signal (even just a basic signal - I was always taught that a signal of three repeating blasts was a known emergency code), I would instantly start paying attention.
     
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  12. adubbz

    adubbz Loaded Pockets

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    Right..thanks...I didn't ever think about that. Duh...If you need to use SOS, there's something majorly wrong! The easier the better.