Odeo Flare^

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Incayak
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Odeo Flare^

Post by Incayak » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:02 am

High tech alternative to pyrotechnic hand-held flare:

http://www.odeoflare.co.uk/

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maryinoxford
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:06 am

Sounds very good. I'd be interested to hear any comments from Coastguards or RNLI.
Not in Oxford any more...

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adrian j pullin
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by adrian j pullin » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:55 am

Interesting but expensive. £120 compared with for example this http://www.sailgb.com/p/red_hand_held/ at £10.
Cheers

Adrian J Pullin
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Kayak lore: "He who capsizes must also roll".

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sanddabber
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by sanddabber » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:15 pm

A day/night video demonstration on their website would be helpful, I understand the cost issue but as a Lifeboat Crew, knowing response times to launch, arrive on scene and locate a casualty, the 5 hour burn time is a big positive in my opinion.

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Jim
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Jim » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:36 pm

Wasn't there some issue with laser flares and SAR helicopters? This one seems to have been tested and is seeking type approval as a SOLAS compliant device, if it passes that I would definitely get one to replace hand held flares in the longer term (mine are in date for now anyway).

It's a pinpoint device, not really sure why you would even need as much as 5 hours continuous use out if it - if there is a vessel close enough to see you, it won't take them 5 hours to get to you, if there isn't a vessel to see, you wouldn't turn it on. Of course I am assuming that you have used VHF so send a mayday and have some idea whether or not there are vessels/aircraft on their way.

I Would still want to carry at least one parachute and some miniflares to get attention in the first place, probably smoke for daytime use. It's only actually going to replace 2 handflares, but still worthwhile I think.

Incayak
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Incayak » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:48 pm

Expensive as a one-off purchase but probably worth it if you're in the game for the long term. The FAQ section of the Odeo site states that it can withstand "damage" if dropped overboard so I assume that it's "waterproof" and it floats - another big bonus for the kayaker who can carry one in his/her pdf and switch it on easily without having to rip it clear of a waterproof carrier. Another big bonus is that you can practice using it for free! (as in learning how to activate it and checking that it works)

If there's such a thing as a white laser then, as a white light, it would serve as an effective collision avoidance flare.

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maryinoxford
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by maryinoxford » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:59 pm

I seldom paddle on the sea, but hope to do a bit more when I retire in a couple of years. I read up on flares, and took a decision that I was not going to carry pyrotechnics. Too many complications. So if this laser gadget does what it says on the tin, it could be a real boost to my safety kit.

All we need now is a compressed-air smoke-emitter.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

tg
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by tg » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm

If it's light enough I could lift it with my kite!

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

Odeo
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:33 am

Can I chip here as the inventor and a part of the company that manufactures the Odeo Flare ?

I developed it as a yachtsman, Ocean Yachtmaster Instructor and also as a Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator (SMC) in HM Coastguard.

We have lots of interest in the product - skiing, mountain climbers, Australian geologists, CEFAS, the list goes on.

It is not the "Holy Grail" and does not produce a cloud of smoke in daytime but when you are drifting in the water, holding onto your kayak for a few hours and hoping some one will see you, in the dark, then it has a purpose.

It is expensive - we are literally hand making them - once we invest in tooling the price will drop.

It floats (not the right way up - it floats so if you drop it you can retrieve it).
We have designed it so Search And Rescue Helicopters can see it but not be blinded by it. And it was tested it with them.

As to damage if it is dropped - A conventional flare has to survive a drop onto a steel plate on a concrete base. At the Marine Equipment Trade Shoe (METS) in Amsterdam I was asked that question "What happens if you drop it ?". So I threw it up in the air and said "It lands on the floor". Obviously it still worked.

Lifting it up with a kite is a fascinating idea - The flare comes with a string wrist loop through the base (and it works up side down) so if you can hang a 300 gramme weight from your kite you have won.

SOLAS Type Approval will take years in the UK but may be accelerated because the Danish Fisheries Authorities are very interested and currently evaluating it.

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Ceegee
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Ceegee » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:40 am

Odeo wrote:It floats (not the right way up - it floats so if you drop it you can retrieve it).
A foam collar of some kind would presumably fix that cheaply and easily?
Odeo wrote:drifting in the water, holding onto your kayak for a few hours and hoping some one will see you, in the dark
Doing that, I'd be hard pressed to keep one hand aloft "Statue of Liberty" style for a few hours - kind of defeats the advantage that it doesn't go out after 30 seconds. Floating upright would be VERY GOOD IMO.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by johnb » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:14 am

Thanks for chipping in to the discussion Odeo and welcome to the forum. Good luck with the flare, it looks like the future to me.

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puddled
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by puddled » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:53 am

These kind of things have been around in the yotty market for a couple of years now and they also seem to be popular with Ocean Yachtmaster instructors for pointing out the navigational stars.

Hope you dont mind me introducing some healty competition into this thread Odeo but this http://www.megagreen.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=538&bc=no at £99 looks a bit cheaper and maybe a bit more powerful?

Maybe yours has a better IP rated case?

Pud
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sanddabber
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by sanddabber » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:00 am

Odeo wrote:
It is not the "Holy Grail" and does not produce a cloud of smoke in daytime but when you are drifting in the water, holding onto your kayak for a few hours and hoping some one will see you, in the dark, then it has a purpose.
Odeo

Apoligies if i've picked this up wrong but does this mean its a night flare, how easy is it to see in daylight?

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by canoegnu » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:07 am

I notice the Megagreen website has a warning saying that it should not be pointed at aircraft, so may not be useable when SAR helicopters are around. Does the design of the Odeo mean that it will not dazzle aircrew ?

I'm going to ask what are probably really daft questions but here goes:-

Do the £15ish Xenon emergency strobes like these ( http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/Em ... cid=133635 ) have any real value for indicating your position to rescue crews at night, ie. are they powerful enough to be of any real use ? I imagine laser flares like the Odeo must be much brighter / more powerful, is that right ?

Cheers,

Ian

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maryinoxford
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by maryinoxford » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:31 pm

sanddabber wrote:Apoligies if I've picked this up wrong but does this mean its a night flare, how easy is it to see in daylight?
I wondered this as well. While on the subject, how visible is a conventional red flare in daylight? Against overcast or clear skies?

Mary
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tg
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by tg » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:58 pm

Odeo,

Where are you? You seem to have dissappeared!

How about some more specs on your site. weight, height etc. (I looked but did not find.)

Maryinoxford;

smoke for daytime, or a kite (stop me!). Maybe daylight visible lasers are available but I can't really see it!

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

bastonjock
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by bastonjock » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:17 am

The current pyrotechnic type flares all have their plus points in various situations,a smoke flare is not very good at night but is excellent during daylight,a Parachute flare will give you distance and is most effective at night but gives off a smoke trail to assist daylight spotting and the third type of flare in a "pack" is a hand held bright light.

i will stick with a coastal fare pack,a handheld vhf and a PLB.

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:08 pm

puddled wrote:These kind of things have been around in the yotty market for a couple of years now and they also seem to be popular with Ocean Yachtmaster instructors for pointing out the navigational stars.

Hope you dont mind me introducing some healty competition into this thread Odeo but this http://www.megagreen.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=538&bc=no at £99 looks a bit cheaper and maybe a bit more powerful?

Maybe yours has a better IP rated case?

Pud
That points in one direction. Also as 200mW rightly focused beam it makes a very effective weapon.

The Odeo Flare points in all directions. (Omni Directional Electro Optical)
Last edited by Odeo on Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:14 pm

Ceegee wrote:
Odeo wrote: Doing that, I'd be hard pressed to keep one hand aloft "Statue of Liberty" style for a few hours - kind of defeats the advantage that it doesn't go out after 30 seconds. Floating upright would be VERY GOOD IMO.
We have put a standard thread in the base. Put an m4 bolt through your kayak foredeck and you can fix it there.
Or bungee it to your paddle and hold it higher more easily.

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:16 pm

sanddabber wrote:
Odeo wrote:
It is not the "Holy Grail" and does not produce a cloud of smoke in daytime but when you are drifting in the water, holding onto your kayak for a few hours and hoping some one will see you, in the dark, then it has a purpose.
Odeo

Apoligies if I've picked this up wrong but does this mean its a night flare, how easy is it to see in daylight?
What makes a red hand held flare visible by day is the smoke it gives off. Of all the signals, the orange smoke is, from my observation, the best by day.

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Jim
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Jim » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:38 pm

If I'm not in my boat, it is probably upside down, I'll make sure to add and M4 stud to the bottom of my boat as well :-)

More seriously though, if that's a standard tripod thread, my ultrapod would screw into it and can be strapped to the paddle shaft. Not quite sure how I would hold the paddle in the HELP position, possibly between my knees, or something involving bungees and my boat.

Another thing I could do is turn an M4 thread on a lump of stainless to use as a ballast weight, or for a quick fix just pour some lead over an M4 bolt (made buggy weights this way, the bolt heads eventually shook out, pre-heating the bolt will help, the lead shrank away because the bolts were cold when I cast them).

For daylight pinpointing (as opposed to attracting attention originally), if there is a helicopter involved it will be searching with IR as well as visual, anything, smoke, handflare, strobe or laser will increase you IR signature and make you more visible to the helo. Don't know whether the flare or the odeo will give out more IR, I guess it depends how a tight a spectrum the laser uses and or how wide the IR equipment searches?

Good luck with SOLAS approval I would definitely augment my flares with one when you get it.

Jim

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Ceegee
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Ceegee » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm

Jim wrote: Don't know whether the flare or the odeo will give out more IR, I guess it depends how a tight a spectrum the laser uses and or how wide the IR equipment searches?Jim
Lasers generally emit energy to the specific wavelength of their gain medium, i.e. they emit a monochromatic light (just like yellow low pressure sodium lights). There will not be an IR or other spectral component. There are of course IR and tuneable lasers, but I presume this is not one of them?

That said, I think it is a great idea, particularly for night, but to be really useful (i.e. a cross between a long-lasting flare and a very powerful strobe), it either needs to float, or be held up elevated. How about some kind off danbuoy where it can be screwed to the top of the mast, and tethered to the floating casualty/boat by a lanyard. Would a "flashing" option be useful? IMO, it is often easier to notice a flashing source, although significant wave height could provide that.

Anyhow, good luck with the development.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Jim
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Jim » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:25 pm

Ceegee wrote:
Jim wrote: Don't know whether the flare or the odeo will give out more IR, I guess it depends how a tight a spectrum the laser uses and or how wide the IR equipment searches?Jim
Lasers generally emit energy to the specific wavelength of their gain medium, i.e. they emit a monochromatic light (just like yellow low pressure sodium lights). There will not be an IR or other spectral component. There are of course IR and tuneable lasers, but I presume this is not one of them?
Ah, I wasn't sure of that, I knew it was a focussed beam but couldn't remember of the wavelength/frequency was also distinct, makes sense.
I wonder of the IR detection equipment will pick up visible reds too?

As for the danbuoy idea and flashing, I reckon if you screw a suitable weight into the tripod boss, and let it float on a lanyard, the rocking in the waves will provide the appearance of flashing (I'm assuming it is multi-directional not omni-directional). I tell you what, that little M4 boss is the key to the whole device :-)

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:09 am

Jim wrote: It's a pinpoint device, .
No it isn't.

Watch it in action and then tell me that is a pinpoint device;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mROZpG5w6rc

In this shot the surround was only a few inches away. The vertical spread is 2,000 metres at 3 nm (1,000 metrs above and below the horizontal)

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:24 am

Jim wrote: Don't know whether the flare or the odeo will give out more IR, I guess it depends how a tight a spectrum the laser uses and or how wide the IR equipment searches?Jim
Zero IR. None. The Odeo use lasers at 630nm and no other radiation.
(other than the trivial heat from the motor and circuit boards etc, which is less than the hand holding it)

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maryinoxford
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by maryinoxford » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:35 am

The video gives a much better idea of what it looks like to an observer. It would be very useful to see others, filmed from a distance, maybe day and night.

On another forum, I just read of someone paddling a flat-calm Loch Lomond in thick fog. The paddler was well equipped with compass and GPS, but the question was raised of getting run over by power-boaters. My guess is that the Odeo would be quite a light show with fog acting as a projection screen. Probably a circle of red fog, x meters in diameter (depending on fog thickness) round the source.

Mary
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Jim
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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Jim » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:45 am

Odeo wrote:
Jim wrote: It's a pinpoint device, .
No it isn't.
Yes it is, by that I meant that it is used to pinpoint your location, nothing to do with whether or not it is a pinpoint source.
It will replace hand held flares rather than parachutes, although it will augment the latter.

The vertical spread means that it will be visible from elevated positions for long distances, but the horizon when standing at sea level is about 3nm, so any small boat, kayak or beach user will not see it from more than 3nm away, whilst a parachute flare is sent far enough above the horizon to be seen by people for whom you are well below their visible horizon.

The biggest problem in most forms of communication from kayaks is the curvature of the earth and the fact that we are only ever at about half standing height so have a visible horizon significantly less than 3nm which can hamper line of sight for radios.

I really think it is a useful thing, but we need to be clear on capabilities...

Shame about no IR signature, still it seems quite visible enough not to need one.

Jim

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by canoegnu » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:44 pm

I'm going to risk making myself look stupid by asking what might be daft questions........

The Odeo flare looks pretty good but is rather expensive at £119 (I understand the likely argument about shelf life of conventional flares etc.). Its possible to buy a red flashing strobe, which runs of one C size battery for about £15.

1. What are the advantages of the Odeo over a strobe ? Is is much more powerful, visible from much futher away etc. ?

2. Are those £15ish strobes of any realistic use on the sea ?

Cheers,

Ian

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:12 pm

canoegnu wrote:I'm going to risk making myself look stupid by asking what might be daft questions........Ian
Questions are never daft. Assertions frequently are.
canoegnu wrote:The Odeo flare looks pretty good but is rather expensive at £119 (I understand the likely argument about shelf life of conventional flares etc.). Its possible to buy a red flashing strobe, which runs of one C size battery for about £15.Ian
Intensity of the light is the key positive. When the beam crosses the eye it is very noticeable. All the energy of the strobe is pulsed in all directions. The Odeo gives a full strength "pulse" as the beam crosses the eye. Cost is very much a function of them being currently "hand made". When we gear up to mass production (massive investment in tooling etc.) you can expect a price drop. However - the key is in the intensity of the light.
canoegnu wrote:1. What are the advantages of the Odeo over a strobe ? Is is much more powerful, visible from much further away etc. ?Ian
It is red.
Also, partly answered above. In a flashing light (=strobe) all the energy goes everywhere. The rotation on the laser head gives a pulse that is noticeable.
The idea is that a pulse is brighter than a steady light since you get all the energy on your eye, instead of spread everywhere. In the cinema you watch a film at 32 frames a second. You see a continuous film but are unaware that you spent half the time in total darkness. Below about 16Hz (i.e 16 flashes a second) you see a pulsing light. The rotation is timed to give the best chance of the beam slowly crossing the pupil for best effect but not fast enough that what you see is as a steady light. The result of what we do is a strange flicker - what one customer called "sparkle" which is designed to be attention grabbing or "noticeable".
canoegnu wrote:2. Are those £15ish strobes of any realistic use on the sea ?Ian
No idea. Haven't tested one

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Re: Odeo Flare

Post by Odeo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:42 pm

maryinoxford wrote: On another forum, I just read of someone paddling a flat-calm Loch Lomond in thick fog. The paddler was well equipped with compass and GPS, but the question was raised of getting run over by power-boaters. My guess is that the Odeo would be quite a light show with fog acting as a projection screen. Probably a circle of red fog, x meters in diameter (depending on fog thickness) round the source.
Mary
What an interesting idea.

Now, you cannot see a laser beam unless it is shining directly into your eye from the projector OR unless the light is reflected off an object or dust particles in the air back into your eye. Which is why a laser display needs a smoke generator to provide the particles for the beam to be reflected back to you.
(Next time you do a power point presentation using a ceiling mounted projector, look closely at the screen. It is like miniature egg boxes or sand-paper so that the light is reflected in all directions - back to the audience).

The human eye sees green about five times better than it sees red. Which is why the starboard navigation light of a boat always seems brighter than the port hand light, even though they have the same power bulb. Or green traffic lights seem brighter than red. (Our challenge is finding lasers at below 630 nano-metre wavelength since they are perceived by the human as brighter than 650 nm lasers - which are also red).

So as "see me" device in fog, green (550nm wavelength) would be preferable. And since an Odeo would light up the particles in the air (water droplets in this case) it would give that "haze" around the user.

Unfortunately we have two conventions to consider; red is the accepted distress colour and the International Rules For the Prevention Of Collisions At Sea. For this purpose (anti collision) one needs a white laser which can only be made by using a number of different coloured lasers across the spectrum which theoretically total to white.

However a "sparkling green haze" around a canoeist would be "noticeable" and cause a navigating vessel to "think twice".

An interesting comment.

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