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S.O.S. modes on flashlights
On another forum the discussion has come up regarding the usefulness of an S.O.S. function on a flashlight. If you're unfamiliar with this, it is a mode like high, medium or low but blinks out S.O.S. in Morse code (...- - - ... or three short, three long and three short). One new member of the forum actual went as far as saying that S.O.S. modes are for unintelligent people Rolleyes

I offered the following rebuttal:

Quote:I can’t accept your viewpoint Phil. A flashlight can, and does have more than one intended purpose. From walking the family dog, clearing a room, changing a flat, self-defense or gaining the attention of someone. All are legitimate purposes, some will be used more than others. But a ‘low’ priority purpose can become the number one purpose in a hurry in the right/wrong situation.

Successful preparedness involves prevention or mitigation of emergency situations. And there is a common trend in the bulk of emergency situations i.e. the ability to make fire (warmth, protection, disinfect water, cooking, psychological comfort and signaling for rescue), disinfect water (if fire isn’t available and/or you don’t have a container and/or you don’t know how to make a seep and stone boil). These assist in thermoregulation of your core body temperature and help get you out of the situation. The ability to signal for third-party rescue is a crucial element, particularly if you’re unable to affect self-rescue due to illness, injury or other mitigating circumstance.

I look at ‘blinky’ functions on flashlights the same way I look at carrying a firearm or a spare tire. Using the spare tire as an analogy, I don’t want a flat tire. I don’t go looking for flat tires. But if I have a flat tire I want that spare available. The same way with blinky functions (be it strobe, beacon or SOS). I don’t need a blinky function….until I need a blinky function. And then I’m going to be glad I had it. I never go by the ‘it can’t happen to me’ philosophy. Too many people in this country rely on that hope.

Additionally, there are many situations that could arise where I’m unable to ‘tap’ out SOS or blink it out on the light itself or some other external method. It could be an injury. It could be an illness. It could be that you’re busy attending to someone else or completing another important task to insure your survival (or that of others). The ability to place a light in a blinky mode and set it up in an appropriate spot, thus freeing me up for other considerations is a huge plus.

Is it inconvenient? Well, I suppose I’ll suffer through the one or two clicks to get to a more commonly useful mode. But for me, I don’t leave home without several specific items. And having a blinky mode flashlight is among them.

Apparently this newbie got all upset that I challenged his logic and 'took his toys and went home'. Too bad, but I fee like my response was appropriate, factual and very kind.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
I agree with you. I'm thankful for these functions. If you're ever hurt (let's say you fell down a mountain ravine or something and broke your arm or your shoulder came out of joint badly) or like you said trying to help someone who is hurt these things can be not only help but life savers.

And, other than SOS, I really like strobe features. In some situations this can throw off an enemy and probably be more effective than the weapon itself.
Agree... nice to have tools in the shed in case of need, better to have and not need than need and not have.
The build in 'sos' function or strobe allow you set up the light while your busy doing other things that may also be important to to situation.
I like strobe/sos modes to be hidden behind the main rotation of modes, on my edc light which was the Thrunite TN12 2014 you can access strobe 800lm 13HZ from any mode by holding down the mode switch for 1 second. Pressing the mode switch again returns the light to the previous mode, there is no SOS mode.

My dislike of all the strobe/sos modes in the main rotation of modes, this has stopped me buying at least a dozen of lights. A prime example is the sunwayman F40A, i really fancied getting one till i saw all the dumbass flashing modes, one of which will get you arrested in most countries.

On a different note i have just switched my EDC flashlight to the Thrunite TN12 2016 Turbo (1050lm/95min), Strobe (800lm/3.8hrs), High (370lm/4.2hrs), Medium (145lm/11.8hrs), Low (11lm/5.5days), Firefly (0.4lm/74days). The changes to the high and medium modes and runtimes from 280lm(5hours) 20lm(74 hours) of the 2014 model, have increased the usefulness of the light to me so i am upgrading the family over the next couple of months to the new model.
I have a led thumb-light that I picked up in an Army Exchange. It is on my keyring and it has a bright, dim, and SOS flashing mode. The main reason I purchased it was that it came with a keychain loop that I needed. The light has come in handy a few times. I changed out the battery a few months back and it is working strong.
(09-08-2015, 04:24 AM)Wolfman Wrote: I like strobe/sos modes to be hidden behind the main rotation of modes...

That's one of the reasons I like the Convoy S2+.  Very easy to switch between 3 and 5 modes.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
I picked the TN12 2014/2016 and the PD35 previously because of there duel controls, forward clicky tail cap and seperate mode switch.

The only convoy lights i have are acouple of there Convoy L4 model which i find a solid medium thrower good to 250 yards. The only down side to me is the cool tint, which maybe a plus to others, it is an easy fix to replace the LED.
I follow David's advice on flashlights. I appreciate an SOS mode if there is a car accident (and, of course, drunk drivers manage to kill policemen at an accident because they are attracted by the flashing light!). My general preference though is for a one mode or at most, a three mode flashlight. Don't assume that I remember what functions are on which of a few dozen lights I have and what comes next when a mode is changed. My girlfriend doesn't understand the mode conception and that is why she took my one modes.

The following is what happens when you get older. I went to the front door letter basket. Three identical gray Convoy 18650 flashlights. I thought at least one of them would be an S3. Wrong! Using a magnifying glass, one was a model 99 one mode. two were S+ models with a couple of blinking modes. It gets worse after dark and I cannot read with the glasses and the magnifying glass. Now you understand my preference, but if the SOS or blinking mode is "free", ok.
Just as one would train with a firearm or any piece of important gear, one should also train with whatever modes their EDC flashlight offers.  Since a flashlight is a defensive weapon, a light in the dark and a signal for rescue tool all rolled up into one item it is an important front-line piece of gear that one should be intimately familiar with.  One should do some periodic training with their EDC light just as they would a firearm or knife or other important piece of gear or task.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
I am probably old fashioned in my thinking - 4 in one printer - fax,telephone, printer, copier all in one. With some models, if one function goes down, the whole machine is down. Same bias carried over to multi function flashlights. If not accurate, going through the modes on a flashlight is not easy, particularly when you have multiple flashlights and some have any number of modes without a differentiation on the outside of the flashlight.

I am not going to be in the same situations as David, even after shtf.

Although the price has gone up, I just bought three more single aa cree flashlights that are or resemble the sk68. Have a problem finding one mode units. I want to turn those specific flashlights and have them work immediately without concerns for what mode it may be in or how to get to another mode. On the dresser in my office, there are 4 different models of 18650 lights. With the exception of the one mode MTE aa flashlight standing with them, I have no idea how modes each one has.

When I go to the girlfriend's place, I want to see two sk68 one (or perhaps now three ) mode lights in the letter basket. She doesn't understand or what to learn modes.

Comment on the Convoys. I put two Convoy S2+ in the garage. They heat up. I need flashlights that don't heat up as I explore the nooks and crannies. So, they are being rotated out. This is an example of why one size does not fit all in flashlights.

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