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News A timely reminder for those who own an EPIRB

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by POW_hungry, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  2. Ultrasteez

    Ultrasteez One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good reading. Im considering a PLB to take boating/ camping with me on inland lakes such as Dartmouth that at times are quite remote. Any suggestions about brand etc tha ti should be considering?
     
  3. D-eye

    D-eye Photographer and skier Moderator

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  4. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I too have 2 of these for my sea kayak:
    https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plus-plb
    positives:
    - GPS enabled (some plb's aren't so the search area if ever needed becomes a lot bigger)
    - waterproof
    - floats
    - has a loop so I can attach it to me by a cord for extra safety

    negatives
    - it's not the smallest one on the market but it's still small enough for me to fit into both my lifejackets and not think twice to throw it into a daypack if going hiking or backcountry.

    They often pop up on sale or bundled.

    what ever you get, be sure to register it ;)
     
  5. art

    art One of Us

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    For boating you might want to consider one that is buoyant or at least attach it to something buoyant. the EPIRBs are designed to float and send signal at the same time. the PLBs would be harder to get working if you are in the water even though some of them will float. The PLBs are much lighter and more compact.

    Last time i looked some of them only come with a 6 year battery life and at least one had a 10 year life. Battery life is pretty much the life span of the device as while some of them can technically be replaced the tech will have moved on and you will probably just buy a newer one.
     
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  6. art

    art One of Us

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    All the PLBs listed on the amsa site linked to by D-eye use GPS
     
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  7. SMSkier

    SMSkier One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I use this for hiking, biking and side country. Tested annually. 10 year battery. Registered etc.

     
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  8. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    When I was looking (2 years ago) most of the EPIRBs I saw were massive and not really portable devices but.. the signal emits for a longer period when deployed. EPIRBS generally mount to the boat or car or transportation device where as PLB's are located on you. If you want something for multipurposes a PLB is probably a better choice.
     
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  9. Bloke

    Bloke One of Us

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    Crikey!

    In the 2017-18 financial year, there were 1,150 non-distress activations of beacons and about 75 per cent were caused by mishandling or incorrect disposal, AMSA said.

    Also this:

    "...when the battery goes really flat, they self-activate,"

    Was not aware of that
     
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  10. art

    art One of Us

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    agreed. Just wanted to be sure Ultrasteez knows that PLB might not meet his needs for boating. Setting off a plb and keeping it above water and correctly orientated when swimming after your boat sinks could be difficult.
     
  11. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I seem to recall something about if you go offshore >2NM you have to have an "EPIRB" on your vessel.
    Not sure if a PLB qualifies in this scenario:
    https://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/...iling-boats/trip-preparation/safety-equipment
    Note this requirement is only for "offshore" and does not include rivers, lakes and dams, etc but it includes pretty much all boat types including Kayaks, Canoes, Rafts and row boats..
    2NM is ~3.7kms.
     
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  12. kylep

    kylep One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep and depending on where you are, that very quickly leads to aircraft being deployed. Expensive operation!

    Often end up being found in tips, or in a trailer boat on the side of the road that hasn’t seen water in a while!
     
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  13. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Timely thread - what's the best option for a PLB that I can use for land based (mainly). Just something that can send an SOS if I fall over dead from a heart attack / snake bite, and my son needs to raise an alarm.
     
  14. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    2 options IMO, both comparable in reputation and weightclass:
    SPOT - You can send preset satellite messages or Global Rescue SOS

    Or

    ARC Resqlink - Worldclass GPS PLB (this is what I use simple and does the job)
     
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  15. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Merci. I'll have to see what the subsription costs for each look like
     
  16. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Spot is Sub-based
    ARC Resqlink is not - it's the outright cost and simply requires AMSA registration, hence why I like the simplicity of this device.
     
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  17. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Looks like spot3 is about $180 to buy, versus $300 for the other , but the spots require several huindred USD per annum subscription even on a "basic" plan
     
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  18. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    With the battery life, what is the standby life? I noticed they said 24 or 30 hrs battery life, i presume that refers to an actual emergency active scenario ... all other times it can just sit in a back pack or whatever and not require frequent re-charging? Found their site a little frustrating to use.
     
  19. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The spec sheet states the battery should be replaced 6years from manufacture or after use. It will be a sealed non rechargeable battery.
     
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  20. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, it's a shit website TBH, this link should help you:
    http://www.bogong.com.au/acr-resqlink-plb-non-buoyant-with-flotation-pouch.html

    6 years is the batt life, or to 5 year Warranty.
    But yeah, 30 hours is the activated signal (‘operational’) life.
     
  21. art

    art One of Us

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    Look at the kti one smskier posted above. Does everything the resqlink does but has a 10 year battery life, its usually cheaper, and its from an Australian company I think.

    I run my kids through how to use it before each trip.
     
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  22. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Linky details ?
     
  23. jonathanc

    jonathanc One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've got an Arc Resqlink for the same reasons. Also it came with a free strobe light and braided flouro wristband, so there's that.
     
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  24. art

    art One of Us

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  25. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I just checked and my PLB battery expires October 2020. Shame to see, guess I'll be on the market next year for a new one myself.
     
  26. SMSkier

    SMSkier One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Try www.kti.com.

    Kinetic Technology International
     
  27. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  28. GS

    GS A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    In the case of my unit, GME charge $199 + freight to replace the battery....not much less than buying a new unit!
     
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  29. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I just bought a S/H ACR with 2+ years left on the battery, a replacement is half the cost of a new battery but while technically not allowed its a simply DIY replacement and the battery pack itself is !~$50-! Unit has a 7year sticker life while the batteries are good for 10 years, a huge safety margin. Check eBay for somebody who offers a replacement battery pack as it isn't rocket science. I can remember when EPIRBS and PLBs had "C" cells and were user replaceable so it's really profit gouging at $180- plus postage. Battery World also used to offer battery packs and I don't know when they stopped. The battery packs are standard and not proprietary stuff after all, shrink wrap and a small Molex is all they are.
     
  30. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hard to put a price on safety.
    For piece of mind I'd rather replace it legit at the cost of a few hundred bucks than to replace the batt, test it, activate it; only to find the battery cooks it and you're left high and dry fighting for survival.

    I guess... At the height of survival I'd love to blame someone else rather than my tight arse self.
     
  31. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    If it tests OK it is OK
    Too be honest I don't see how a battery pack can "Cook" anything, seeing as the pack is simply 3 Li-Ion camera batteries in series. Exactly the same battery pack was used in some older digital cameras too before the current crop or rechargeables became reliable, Panasonic camera batteries have a reputation for reliability.
    It's no different to wiring up your own replacement batteries for cordless devices but there the cost of a replacement pack is so cheap compared to the cost of making your own it isn't worthwhile.
    I did ask the companies involved what else they did when replacing the batteries and none of them have replied. That tells me its BS and they do nothing except replace the battery pack. I'm going to guess at a wholesale cost of $8- a pack that is pretty much my definition of gouging because the retail price of batteries is about making money and is a very profitable area for supermarkets etc The batteries retail for ~$15 a three pack
     
  32. POW_hungry

    POW_hungry Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Was more suggesting that if your unseal the unit it opens it up to increased risk of corrosion/deterioration of the components.
     
  33. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Granted if I was to DIY a battery replacement I'd do so in a clean environment with low humidity but the ACR units aren't rated waterproof, not like an EPIRB, only resistant to 10 metres for 10minutes so the O-Rings aren't that good. It seems as if I'll perhaps need to buy a new one anyway for Canada and Alaska because a quick read on the registration requirements seems to indicate you can't be registered in 2 places with the same PLB.
    The ACR unit in both types is heavily discounted at the moment so perhaps there is a new model coming soon
     
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  34. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have a PLB and have not worked out how to test it or needed to activate it. It sits in my pack.
     
  35. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Google how to test your model and also how to test for battery life - easier than you may think.
     
  36. iGlenn

    iGlenn Hard Yards

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    I've just replaced the batteries on my ResQLink via a mob on Ebay. About $90 from memory, seemed silly paying the prices from authorised dealers given a) simplicity and b) price of new compared to battery replacement.
    Piece of mind for another 7 years.
     
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  37. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Be aware that in the northern third of Oz the SPOT transmission success rate is < 80% (Pivotel's figure*).
    You have to repeat your attempts to ensure success, which won't be welcome if you've copped a compound fracture or whatever.

    (*See post #41 here: https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/satellite-phones-any-ideas.81720/)
    Edited
     
    #37 Ziggy, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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  38. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    did you mean <80% ?
     
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  39. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yep. Thanks Curra.
    Will try to edit it.
     
  40. beefa skiing

    beefa skiing Early Days

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    I'm a KTI PLB carrier - similar model to the one pictured in a post above.

    I prefer carrying a PLB rather than using a SPOT as the total price to buy is not much more than a SPOT annual subscription. Sure, it's emergency use only while SPOT has non emergency uses. The counter argument is if I am going to a remote location, being tracked every 10 minutes is not what I am looking for.

    Also, while SPOT can be used in an emergency, it is still across the SPOT satellite network. I think I would prefer using a device that uses the dedicated 406MHz network for emergency location, plus emitting a 121MHz homing signal.

    It was mentioned above about how PLBs can include a GPS location in their emergency signal. I wonder why this is not a standard feature because it significantly improves emergency services response to a PLB activation. If you are in the market for a PLB, make sure it includes a GPS location feature.
     
  41. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    SPOT uses GlobalStar satellites btw.
     
  42. art

    art One of Us

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    I think you will find that they all do. But worth checking to be sure.

    EDIT: by "all" i mean "all current models".
     
  43. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    GME used to be the only PLB maker and their base model didn't.
    I'd be surprised if any current PLB didn't.
     
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