What Is a Range Finder?
You may have heard the term “range finder” used before in such a wide variety of places, but many people have no idea what a range finder even is or what it does. Even though it may seem to be highly complicated to understand, it truly is not very difficult at all. The basic purpose of a range finder is to measure a distance between the person that is using the device and a specified point of visibility.
Depending on the exact model that is being used, the range finder may use such technology as lasers or sonar imaging but the basic operation works the same in most cases in order to achieve a common goal. The bottom line is that these devices use basic mathematics in order to calculate the desired distances based on the objects that are viewed directly by the user.
How Does a Laser Range Finder Work?
One of the most popular types of range finders that are currently available on the market today is the laser range finder. In many cases, these devices are referred to as being LIDAR devices, which is a basic acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. Regardless of the brand or model that you purchase, most laser range finders work exactly the same. Basically, they use sonar technology to send a narrow laser beam directly towards the target while measuring the amount of time that is required in order for the beam to bounce and return back to the device.
A Major Flaw of Laser Range Finders
Even though laser range finders are very popular and some of the most efficient devices available within the industry, there is one significant flaw that needs to be taken into consideration before purchasing one. In many cases, the laser will not directly reach its target even if the beam is narrow and tight. It can easily become shone over extensive distances and ranges, which can cause discrepancies in the calculations which are generated by these devices.
This is primarily because the beam will usually reflect off of other objects that are not necessarily the desired targets and then bounce back sooner than it should. In order to avoid this discrepancy, many experienced and professional hunters and archers will use a high-quality, efficient laser range finder that is specifically designed to detect all objects within a given area in order to focus on the correct one.
How Do Sonar and Radar Range Finders Work?
Sonar and radar range finders work in a way that is very similar to standard laser range finders. For example, radar devices send out clear radio waves instead of laser beams, but these waves will also bounce and return to the transmitter after they have hit their desired target. The timing that it takes to complete this process is recorded in order to calculate the distance. On the other hand, sonar uses sound instead of radio waves and laser beams to ping when locating objects and calculating this distance. In most cases, sonar is used to find the distancing of objects that are underwater and radar range finders are used to find the distance between ships as well as flying objects.