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Old 24-07-2014, 13:57   #16
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Re: EPIRB thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Spleen, there's a lot of counterfeit in the battery industry (as in many others) and a lot of cheap junk period. The AA cells that I can buy for a buck in the dollar store, won't last anywhere near as long as the ones I buy at higher prices in other places--sometimes even from the same brand, but a different "line".

But as with anything else, if you stick to a reputable vendor and a prime manufacturer, there are very few of those actually, and the odds are you'll be using the same quality and same brand that the manufacturer did.

All that NOAA said was "Certain aftermarket replacement battery packs...have been shown to be of inferior quality" and that's true of certain brand names in anything. They are not advising against replacements, just against certain nameless names.

You stick to a brand name, a reputable vendor (not an anonymous eBay seller from China), check the date is current, and you compare the amphour ratings, and you'll be fine.

Some folks buy the cheapest possible oil changes and tires...those folks probably shouldn't be doing any maintenance on their marine safety equipment, either.(G)
No doubt. eBay has so much junk from china, I now have to filter my searches with US only. Yes, get your point about junky batteries as well...

Galaxy girl, when are we getting photos of your new home? (Or have you posted and I missed?)
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Old 24-07-2014, 14:47   #17
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Re: EPIRB thoughts?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The cost difference between the two is about an hours worth of fuel for a boat this size, some things you need to and should save money on, EPIRBS in my opinion isn't one of those things.


The problem with this argument is that we all have limited budget when it comes to safety gear. No one can afford all the possible options.

There is a lot of gear competing with EPIRBs. PLB's, AIS scarts, DSC VHF units, Spot, flares, laser flares, SSB and satellite phones to name just a few. There is benefit with some of these in having multiple units. One for each crew member, perhaps attached to lifejacket.

This is just looking at mechanisms to raise the alarm there are many other bits of safety equipment that are not often carried.

The question should not be "why skimp on the $400 for an EPIRB", but "is buying an EPIRB the best way to spend $400". The answer will vary depending circumstances.

I think two PLB's are generally superior to a single EPIRB for a similar ball park cost.
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Old 24-07-2014, 15:32   #18
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

I agree with Noelex that PLBs are great value.
The EPIRB i just bought was the first thats a viable price... And with a 10 year battery instead of the nrmal 5 year.

But the normal cost EPIRBs with Gps are the same cost as two PLBs with GPS

The safety factors do have to include money.

Anyway, now I am right i have both... Mind you the PLB has an old battery! The next I buy will be another PLB to go with the EPIRB.

The thing about having two is that many people mention when they hit the button they dont know if its worked untill they see the plane. Thats hours of splashing around worrying. With two you can set both off for the first two hours, then turn one off till the first one is flat. So you still get 48 hours... Just double the chance it actually works.
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Old 24-07-2014, 15:44   #19
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

We had a Labbradoodle onboard who ate our GME epirb whilst we were on another boat having Happy Hour. Try explaining that to AMSA but the best news was that GME gave us another with instructions for re-registration. What great service.
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Old 24-07-2014, 16:19   #20
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

When you are changing the battery in a PLB you won't need to pay extra for a technician either. You can expect to pay $300+ for an EPIRB battery plus service but you can fit a PLB battery yourself.
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Old 24-07-2014, 16:25   #21
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by savoir View Post
When you are changing the battery in a PLB you won't need to pay extra for a technician either. You can expect to pay $300+ for an EPIRB battery plus service but you can fit a PLB battery yourself.

Not my ACR you can't. The new battery expense is often so high that you begin to think, I'll just buy a new one, it's not that much more.
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Old 24-07-2014, 17:35   #22
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Not my ACR you can't. The new battery expense is often so high that you begin to think, I'll just buy a new one, it's not that much more.
I've been making batteries for ours and it's a pain. The generic battery shops will not build a Lithium battery pack so you have to build your own. It's crazy, they re-build packs for computers but not an EPIRB. I only got 8 months from the last battery pack I made. There is so much stuff to spend money on but this might be one thing to splurge on.
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Old 24-07-2014, 17:45   #23
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Re: EPIRB thoughts?

[QUOTE=MarkJ;1591665]I just bought a new one thats $320 plus shipping...

EPIRB KTI SA1G-INTERNATIONAL GPS 406 MHz MMSI BEACON - SkippersMate
Emergency beacons and marine safety equipment by KTI Australia

Mind you the shipping is from Australia.

Its 10 years, replaceable battery, GPS 406/121 everything you want plus additional transmit time of 3 days instead of 2.

Hi Mark, picked up on your post re KTI epribs. I spoke to them earlier this year and was told that all their epirbs are for the AUZ market because the emergency signal they transmits starts with a code that identifies you as an AUZ registered boat. Also they couldn't air freight the battery. Did I get this wrong? I was very disappointed as every other manufacturer was charging 5 times more for an inferior product.
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:06   #24
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

OK, time to chime in with a few facts.

Most of what has been posted so far is correct or at least partially correct.

To support other posters positions, let me state:

Facts:

EPIRB & PLB have the same power output
EPIRB & PLB antennas although physically different, radiate the same amount of power (but see note below).
Transmit time varies between make and models but ALL have the following minimum's: EPIRB - 48 hours; PLB - 24 hours.
Battery (storage) life varies greatly between makes and models - from 5 years to 10 years; generally new generation units have significantly longer life.



Now some generalisations:
Antenna note - an EPIRB has an antenna that is designed to work best when the unit is floating and is at least some feet away from the vessel or life raft etc. PLB antennas are designed to sit on the ground in a clear area away from buildings and prolific vegetation (and people)! All units require a clear view of the sky (ie the satellites) . So a PLB antenna is not at an optimum performance when sitting in a pouch half submerged on a lifejacket. If you are in the water with a PLB, it is best to hold it by hand at arms length from the body near the water surface. Try that is a heavy sea.
However, having stated what is best practice, be aware that the all nits actually perform quite well under poor conditions. Witness the number of units that are detected in dumpsters, landfill and hangars (aviation ELTs). Don't stress too much about antenna performance, just try for the best under whatever circumstances you find yourself in when the time comes to activate the unit.

GPS engines: both EPIRBs and PLBs can have embedded GPS chips. Clearly the location is vastly improved by having an embedded GPS chip. Typical figures are 5 Km without GPS and 100 metres with GPS. Embedded GPS does add to the cost somewhat.
Be aware that there are considerable differences in the way the GPS location is transmitted between different makes and models. Presumably this is because GPS concepts are not mandated and some manufacturers use the cheapest way and other use best practice. Finding out what is what is considerable difficult - at least it has been for me - and I have a strong background in this technology. Sales & marketing people don't know (or care) and backroom designers are hard to contact and if their product is inferior, then they are less than helpful. Usually it boils down to extracting battery life
from the available power source. GPS engines add drain to the battery so some units shut down the GPS function after twenty minutes or so while others only transmit GPS info at say every 30 minutes. So far, the best I have heard of is every 5 minutes but there may be some that transmit GPS location on every bust of 406 data. That is, every minute.


To sum up, IMO work out your budget and then choose the best you can afford remembering the worst is many many times better than no unit at all

Again, IMO, the best to worst is.

EPRIB (with GPS)
PLB (with GPS)
EPRIB
PLB

I like Noelex's concept of two PLBs in lieu of a single EPRIB. I myself, have a single EPIRB and two PLBs (with GPS). The EPRIB is due for replacemen next year and will be replaced with a GPS embedded EPRIB.

Note, a PLB does not usually qualify as an approved beacon in areas that mandate carriage of an EPRIB (like most of Australia).

Finally, IMO, a Cat 1 EPRIB has no place on the average cruising sailboat but does have a lot of merit in larger vessels. This post is already way to long to elaborate further
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:11   #25
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

On aircraft 406 ELT's which are nothing more than EPIRBS, just activated and mounted differently I can install them in an aircraft pre-sale and as long as the aircraft stays in the US, no problem the owner just does the beacon registration, but if it's an aircraft that is going out of country the ELT must be programmed by the manufacturer and at least the ones we use, they won't re-program one either.
I have no idea why it matters, do we prioritize rescues based on Nationality? I certainly hope not
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:17   #26
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Why do you say a Cat 1 has no place on a cruising boat? EPIRB is the same, difference is the box it's in. On mine you just turn a knob to open the box and take the EPIRB with you, just if something happens that is so sudden you don't have time or are unable to get to it, it will automatically deploy.
I don't remember did Cheeki Raffiki have an EPIRB, and if so was it deployed?
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:25   #27
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
On aircraft 406 ELT's which are nothing more than EPIRBS, just activated and mounted differently I can install them in an aircraft pre-sale and as long as the aircraft stays in the US, no problem the owner just does the beacon registration, but if it's an aircraft that is going out of country the ELT must be programmed by the manufacturer and at least the ones we use, they won't re-program one either.
I have no idea why it matters, do we prioritize rescues based on Nationality? I certainly hope not
No, not yet .
It matters because each nation holds it's own database of registered owners, This was set up way before the global internet world we now live in.

So if say an Aussie RCC, picks up your beacon while you are cruising our wonderful waters, it will know which country to go to to get the registered details and so on and so forth.
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Old 24-07-2014, 18:39   #28
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Why do you say a Cat 1 has no place on a cruising boat? EPIRB is the same, difference is the box it's in. On mine you just turn a knob to open the box and take the EPIRB with you, just if something happens that is so sudden you don't have time or are unable to get to it, it will automatically deploy.
I don't remember did Cheeki Raffiki have an EPIRB, and if so was it deployed?
I knew it wouldn't take long before someone would ask and so I post on when I should be doing other stuff

Cat 1 beacons require external mounting and to be in a float free position (not under say a dodger etc). They are released by water pressure. I forget how much pressure but I think about a metre or so.

My opinions are:
Cruising sailboats don't have many suitable locations for mounting of unit. They will open be caught by various lines and sheets etc.
They are subject to the elements, especially UV and may require replacement due to mechancial damage long before the battery storage life expires.
A sinking sailboat has many obstacles around the cockpit / decks that can trap a float free unit and take it to the bottom.
A capsizing sail boat would almost certainly activate a cat 1 unit even though the vessel is still seaworthy and able to make landfall unassisted but now the beacon is lost and activated.

These are some of my concerns but YMMV.

Such beacons are of course, appropriate to larger vessels (especially motor vessels) - again just an opinion .
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Old 24-07-2014, 19:11   #29
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Re: EPIRB thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by woff View Post
EPIRB KTI SA1G-INTERNATIONAL GPS 406 MHz MMSI BEACON - SkippersMate

Hi Mark, picked up on your post re KTI epribs. I spoke to them earlier this year and was told that all their epirbs are for the AUZ market because the emergency signal they transmits starts with a code that identifies you as an AUZ registered boat. Also they couldn't air freight the battery. Did I get this wrong? I was very disappointed as every other manufacturer was charging 5 times more for an inferior product.
Yes that link is for the international one. Have a look at the link and it shows you the place to put in the country and MMSI. Thats why its $317 instead of $289.. they charge you forigners more
EPIRB KTI SA1G-INTERNATIONAL GPS 406 MHz MMSI BEACON


EPIRB KTI SA1G-INTERNATIONAL GPS 406 MHz MMSI BEACON - SkippersMate

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Old 24-07-2014, 19:12   #30
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

The box protects from UV, it activates I believe at 4' plus or minus. I think the activation part requires replacement pretty frequently, mine I think is two years, but it's not very expensive. I keep mine just under the stairs in the companionway as I've not found a good place to mount it for the same concerns you mention, so I'm not using it's Cat 1 capability.
On GG's motoryacht though with as many kids as there are aboard etc., I still think a Cat 1 is warrantied as she will have her hands full dealing with the kids etc. and it's one less thing to worry about. Just like in a big motoryacht I'd want an deck mounted liferaft too.
I've far more experience with powerboats than sailing boats
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