Sorting thru my junk mail the other day I was thinking what good use I could put the CD's to that come in for free trial of AOL and other products.
Took one outside and played with it as a signal mirror and it works pretty good. It has the hole in the middle which aids in sighting it. Tho the hole is a little large. The mirror finish really does reflect well.
Maybe in a pinch it could be a life saver. I would recommend keeping it in the hard case it comes in as the mirror surface is probably prone to scratches.
When asked what position I take on issues of a serious nature I respond..."The prone position with a tight sling and solid spot weld".
Thanks, I've been wondering what to do with those AOL CDs, they really suck as frisbees and the container is about worthless. Couldn't even think of any artistic decoration, although they are pretty in the sunlight.
I guess you haven't seen the latest AOL commercial on the **** tube. A young couple is extremely excited when they get the latest AOL disc in the mail. They rush over to a large fish sculpture on the wall in the shape of a fish and add the last scale(disc) to the fishes head to finish the sculpture. The AOL guy shows up and tells them they really out to take advantage of the free trial offer.
I saw a good idea at the gun range before. They had probably 25 of the disks glued or taped or something to a piece of plywood. Then they propped the wood up and shot at them Though...not good if you get a bullseye since they have the hole, but you'll see the hole in the wood if it is fairly new. I may try this some time.
NOTE: We are often asked about, or see the recommendation online and elsewhere, the use of a CD-ROM as signal mirror. It is shinny, reflects light, has a hole in the center, and thus looks somewhat like a signal mirror. Moreover, many of us have lots of useless CDs around, AOL continues to send many of more of them, thus its appeal.
In tests a CD proved to be only about 20%-25% as effective (distance and brightness at distance, judged subjectively) as a 3 x 5 mil-spec plastic signal mirror, a bit more effective, but not even 50% compared to a small 2 x 3 mil-spec plastic signal mirror. It would compare worse against higher quality mirrors.
From an operational persepctive, in an After-Action Report of a major SAREX (Search and Rescue Training Exercise) conducted in 2001 by the Colorado Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, the conclusions were, "that "victims" who had never used a signal mirror (with the aiming hole in the middle) were able to use them effectively, while CD's (AOL etc.) are useless as signal mirrors."
It also has the disadvantage of requiring two hands to aim it as compared to a signal mirror with an integrated aiming device, the hole is not an aiming device. The mil-spec plastic mirrors also float, the CD may or may not, and certainly not as well. Given that a good signal mirror is not very expensive and is the most effective daytime (sunlight) signaling device, using a CD hardly seems worth the savings.
Not to say you couldn't be rescued using a CD. People have been rescued using the hologram on a credit card to signal with and the CD is far superior to that small reflective surface. A CD makes a decent improvised signal mirror compared to many other options and since they are essentially free, it may be worth carrying some for other members of your crew or party to use, multiplying your signaling capability. However, we cannot recommend a CD as a primary survival signaling device.
Thats funny, AOL can't even make a good mirror Whatever you do with them, cover the other side so your not showing the AOL logo, don't want people to think you might advocate using their service.