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Frequently Asked Questions...

What is something weird you have always wanted to do?

I am having a week of ridiculous things to do before I leave for college with my friends. I am just looking for weird things to add to my list. To set a standard some things I am doing are run a round the mall in full camo and another is drink a raw egg and another is to ride a ice block down golf course hills, so just looking for fun, weird and crazy things to do. Thanks!
Don't be a smart ass.....


Get Married !!
To me that's gotta be the weirdest thing anybody can do.

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Camo Golf

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Just How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work?

How Does A Laser Rangefinder Work Anyway?

So you point your laser rangefinder at your target, push the button, and it gives you a number. We know that there's a laser involved somehow, but just how do these things  do what they do? Turns out it's a pretty old idea.

The same principle as sonar and radar

Just like sonar and radar, with a laser range finder you send something out and see how long it takes to bounce back at you. As long as you know how fast the thing you sent out goes, then you can figure out - with a little math - how far away the target that bounced it back to you really is.

With sonar, you send out a sound wave. Like any kid who was taught how to tell how far lightning is can tell you, sound goes about a mile in five seconds. And just like all those WWII movies taught us, ships use the exact same principle by sending out a sound wave and measuring how long it takes to bounce back to determine the depth of that U-boat they're hunting. A more mundane use today is the fish finder that fisherman use. Bats use their own version of sonar to fly and find prey.

Radar is pretty much the exact same thing, using radio waves. Radio waves travel much faster of course, but it's the same principle - send out the wave, measure how long it takes to be reflected, calculate the distance based on the time it took. Other factors like the strength of the reflection and other characteristics can also give useful information, but that's another subject.

A range finder is like sonar and radar but using a pulse of light

A laser rangefinder works the exact same way, but instead of sound or radio waves, it uses a focused, coded pulse of light in an eye-safe laser to do the reflecting and measuring. Like all light, it can be blocked by heavy rain, smoke, a twig, etc. The better range finders will include logic to let you select whether you want the first reflection or to ignore it if there's branches in the way, etc.

The rangefinder sends out the laser pulse and measures the time it takes to reflect back. All this is pretty much instantaneous to us, since light travels at somewhere around 186,000 MILES per second. No human could time this. But the machine can handle it.

Used in a variety of applications

Laser rangefinders are useful in many ways. They're used in hunting, golf, foresty, industrial applications, surveying, and of course the military. The M1 Abrams tank that I used to ride on back in the day had a very powerful laser range finder that would go out many kilometers. Spotters use them to send a signal to 'smart' weapons to guide them precisely into their target.

Again, any rangefinder you would buy for normal consumer use would be eye-safe. The unit on that Abrams tank and other military applications? Not so much.

A key piece of equipment for hunting

One of the most important aspects of making a safe, ethical, clean kill while hunting is knowing exactly how far away your target REALLY is. There is no better way to do so than using a quality hunting range finder. This piece of equipment is fast becoming as necessary as camo clothing. And with the reasonable prices of high quality rangefinders, there just isn't much of a reason not to have on anymore.

About the Author

For more on hunting range finders of ALL types - including in-depth, objective product reviews - and MORE, check out Hunting Range Finder Review.

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