MicroNavigation Forum

Equipment => Emergency & Backup Equipment => Topic started by: krenaud on November 21, 2014, 05:09:30 PM

Title: Rescue me balloon
Post by: krenaud on November 21, 2014, 05:09:30 PM
A new kickstarter project for a new signalling device has launched.


I'm not sure it is worth carrying if you already have a PLB, but it might be useful as an alternative / complement to flares if you own a boat.
Title: Re: Rescue me balloon
Post by: Lost Soul on November 22, 2014, 09:36:11 AM
Interesting idea, and it is nice and light in weight too.  OK I know its a development product and its from sunny California.  It flies at a height of 150 feet above the ground.  Its a visual signal.  So of no value in mist or a cloud base of less that 150 ft.  Not untypical conditions in the UK any time of the year dependent on the weather system blowing through.

How robust is the tether?  What is the maximum wind strength both continuous and gusting it will tolerate before it breaks?  Again I think of the British weather.
Title: Re: Rescue me balloon
Post by: ianj37 on November 22, 2014, 02:31:04 PM
I think Lost Soul has hit the nail on the head, the British climate would make this inoperable for some of the year.
From a hillwalking perspective I guess it would have the potential to allow someone who was lost to get assistance from those in the local area rather than having to call out MR but  the salient point is that someone who lacks the experience and doesn't have a map or compass is unlikely to have bought one of these in the first place. After many years of happy solo walking in the Peak District age and hearing of others injuries has made me finally succumb to a PLB - still I've pushed up Shaven Raspberry's profits a little!

Title: Re: Rescue me balloon
Post by: Lost Soul on November 25, 2014, 07:08:28 PM
Just as an update to my post above.

Came across this yesterday for entirely different reasons.  something called a Helikite  http://www.allsopp.co.uk/  (http://www.allsopp.co.uk/)  A cross between a balloon and a kite.  Used in professional circles, including the military for hoisting things aloft. 

2 things of note.  First is that normal balloons tend to get forced down towards the surface in a high wind - which is what will happen to the rescue me balloon.  So detracts from its utility as a visual signal.  The Helikite does the opposite due the nature of its design.

The Helikite has a maximum wind speed limit of 35 mph.  Which is probably well in excess of the Rescue Me Ballon's capability.  And still not good enough for the British hills and Moorland on a bad day.

Nice idea Rescue Me Ballon chaps but fraught with impracticalities.  That severely limit its functionality to all but a nice Californian sunny day.
Title: Re: Rescue me balloon
Post by: krenaud on November 27, 2014, 08:21:54 PM
Great points @lostSoul.