I am considering gett8ing a PLB for myself. I have looked at SPOTs and similar, but I am not a big one for texting even with my phone, so not sure I would use the check in feature enough to justify the annual fees.
So am leaning towards a PLB. Must be waterproof, as I would keep it attached to my PFD and I surf, rock garden, roll, swim, etc. Prefer small.
Suggestions? Anyone know of a review of PLBs?
Classic Freestanding Rack
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|Messages in this Topic|
Antennae issue ?|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-25-12 12:42 PM (EST)
non issue for most|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-25-12 1:05 PM (EST)
I have a SPOT and it transmits just fine. With a weak transmitter I'm sure it has to retry at times but my wife can follow my track on trips and get messages I send for change of plans ("winds up, delaying return trip"). Generally the unit isn't under water much for that to be a transmission issue.
I have a basic SPOT|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-25-12 1:00 PM (EST)
Gen 1. It does not have a text feature but over some 300 nights it has sent OK reliably. It can be rented if the use is short term. I subsribe to the most basic service
The two most compact PLB's ...|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-25-12 1:38 PM (EST)
... currently seem to be the ACR ResQLink and the even newer McMurdo FastFind 220. They are very close in size and both are waterproof.
Dissecting this little bit|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-25-12 2:04 PM (EST)
from an otherwise accurate post
Dissecting the two products |
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-25-12 3:08 PM (EST)
Looking at the specs, it appears that the ACR ResQLink is a little bit smaller and lighter and is more expensive. The FastFind 220 appears to have a six year battery life instead of a five year battery.
Agree with Glenn|
Posted by: yknpdlr on Oct-25-12 5:30 PM (EST)
I have a SPOT, but not a 406 MHz PLB.
Need to define what definition is used|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-25-12 4:07 PM (EST)
Willi and others...the Fast Find uses|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-25-12 4:55 PM (EST)
both frequencies. The 121.5 frequency is still used for honing in on final approach by rescue aircraft. Of course it is not the primary frequency.
I have the "Fast Find"|
Posted by: roanguy on Oct-25-12 5:31 PM (EST)
and it is completely water proof.
Eliminate obsolete purchases|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-25-12 8:03 PM (EST)
I'm hoping people don't|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-25-12 11:23 PM (EST)
buy their PLB's on eBay...or a NYC street vendor....
Fast find 4 me...|
Posted by: t.george on Oct-25-12 11:45 PM (EST)
Peter, I had my "fast find" with me last Sun. while we were out at Goat Rock. If you want more user info,(though I think Glen did a nice overview), check out some of the posts over on TelemarkTips.com,(the search function sucks but the subject has been talked to death). In my decade involved in SAR we had some less than optimal results with the Spot. I'm told their system works better now but for a rescue beacon the PLB's are superior IMO. One drawback to the PLB's is the antenna needs to be deployed above the water so could be probematic but not impossible if out of your boat. Feel free to pm me if you care for any further details on the info I provided.
I have res q link |
Posted by: rpg51 on Oct-26-12 7:46 AM (EST)
I am a plb fan. Not a fan of spot as a primary emergency services contact method but I know for many people it is great. My issue is this - if my wife is expecting contact from me when I am on a trip and she doesn't get it she will hit the panic button. Its better just to have it understood that I won't be able to contact her but that I have a way to get emergency help if I need it. I find this is best for her piece of mind when I am on a trip in the far north. Also, not sure if this is still true, but in the past if you traveled up along the arctic ocean you were in the fringe area of the spot (globalstar network) territory and since I do go up there I don't feel I can rely on it. The res q link is cheap and small, waterproof and it does one thing very well. It reliably brings in the helicopters if you are in a life threatening situation. That is what I am looking for. I do sometimes carry a sat phone as well but I do not call home on - just use it for emergency assistance if needed and to call for the flight out.
Posted by: t.george on Oct-26-12 10:50 AM (EST)
...my invitation to PM me was to Peter, someone I know. I guess it was bad formto post it the way I did on a public forum. Apologies to all.
follow up question|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Oct-26-12 1:49 PM (EST)
Ok, sounds like PLB is what I want. Something I can activate in an emergency.
Battery life and replacement|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Oct-26-12 2:07 PM (EST)
The international specs for 406 beacons (PLB, EPIRB, ELT) require that the device be able to transmit the SOS signal for at least 24 hours when activated even after five years of age.
Self test after deployment,|
Posted by: t.george on Oct-26-12 4:21 PM (EST)
I've secondhand info that the mcmurdo can be repacked and the cover "resealed" with duct tape, then the battery test performed & if good you're set to go again. This is not a factory authorized procedure. After deployment they instruct you to send the unit in or take it to an authorized service center where they will test the battery, replace if needed and place a new cover on the unit. The cover is suposed to be a one time use; the primary reason for the cover is to prevent accidental deployment.
to answer one question|
Posted by: rpg51 on Oct-26-12 6:12 PM (EST)
the rules are that you are not to use a plb except in a the event of imminent threat to life. The reason for the rule is that you are summoning helicopters and it is very very expensive and puts others at risk.
True but do that in New Hampshire|
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-26-12 7:03 PM (EST)
and it may well be that you will be soon looking at a bill.
thus advantages of SPOT for some|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-26-12 7:14 PM (EST)
If paddling in a less remote area then there are other options such as calling on VHF or even a cell phone. Sometimes you want a more measured response such as a knowledgeable friend could provide. Sometimes the goal is just to let the spouse know weather has delayed you a day or so. For some trips I'd want nothing less than a good 406 PLB but for others that's overkill and lacking in more handy features.
the big bill |
Posted by: rpg51 on Oct-26-12 10:56 PM (EST)
is better than the alternative.
the situation was...|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Oct-26-12 7:58 PM (EST)
The situation was where the Coast Guard instructed the person to trigger it, as they were not able to find them easily without it. I doubt that even in State that are getting a bit ambitious with the charging for expenses wouldn't do so just because this was tripped (though,m in those cases, you might already be on the bill for calling it in in the first place).
Country of Registration|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-26-12 8:35 PM (EST)
PLBs are meant to be bought from and registered
You register in the country where you |
Posted by: kayamedic on Oct-26-12 8:50 PM (EST)
As my fading memory recalls...|
Posted by: t.george on Oct-26-12 8:57 PM (EST)
...in North America an incident that originates from a registered PLB starts a two pronged responce. A SAR begins in the jurisdiction of origin by sending resources to the coordinates and an investigative effort begins in the country of registration by following up on contacts provided when registered. The investigative will try to gather info like travel itinerary, how the subject is equipped/prepared, medical issues and any other info to help with planning should initial contact fail.
That is correct -|
Posted by: rpg51 on Oct-26-12 11:06 PM (EST)