Letter Re: Critical Capabilities for Retreat Defense: “Move, Shoot, and Communicate”

Dear James,
A couple of things to ponder: IR Cyalume sticks are costly and have a limited shelf life. High intensity IR LEDs can be easily built into an “intrusion illumination” system that can be actuated by a number of means (trip wire, seismic, passive motion detection, command, etc.) LEDs are cheap and a simple, reusable, battery powered unit with indefinite shelf life can be cobbled
together for a few dollars.
Visible and IR LEDs can be made into lights for a variety of uses including illumination and signaling. See: http://www.trailquest.net/TQaltgear.html#LED
Years ago, I had an odd dream. I dreamt that I was awakened by a noise from my living room. I arose, shotgun in hand and silently rolled a small, clear plastic ball into the room. After a few seconds’ delay the ball glowed and lit the room with the characteristic glow of a cyalume stick. The implications were obvious – a flashless, noiseless, nonexploding, nondestructive illuminating “grenade” might have a use in certain circumstances (especially if it emits in the IR end of the spectrum.) These days, however, I’d opt to build a small, tetrahedral array out of tubing (think of a caltrop, one LED would always point skyward) using visible or IR diodes with a battery and a timer chip to provide a delay. I’m not certain what the EMP issues would be, but LEDs would take up very little storage space inside a grounded locker or can.
For electronics bugs, it’s also worth noting that inexpensive laser diodes can be used to build a secure, line-of-sight communications system that can, with appropriate tweaking, “broadcast” over several kilometers. No FCC license is required.See: http://captain.haddock.8m.com/laser/laser1.html and http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/ee476/FinalProjects/s2003/kmc29/index.htm