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Old 22-03-2010, 20:04   #1
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Cheapest EPIRB

I am considering possibly getting an EPIRB now, there are two options I have considered:

REVERE SUPPLY CO. 91-001-210A Revere Ultra Compact FastFind PLB EPIRBS BOATING MARINE

I am not sure there is any difference from this one:

ACR ELECTRONICS 2883 ACR SARLink 406 GPS PLB EPIRBS BOATING MARINE

Does the extra cost gain me anything here? If not I wonder why it costs more.
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Old 22-03-2010, 20:54   #2
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For what it's worth both of those are PLBs, not EPIRBs...
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Old 23-03-2010, 03:51   #3
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As far as I can tell for the links, these two units have essentially the same specifications. They are both 406 / 121.5 PLBs with GPS and strobes. The ACR unit claims to have added a GPS functionality aspect to its self test feature.

I have not seem this feature on any other PLB / EPIRB (but of course they may exist ).

In practice, when you use the self test function on a 406 beacon (with GPS), the COPAS/SARSAT transmitter aspects are tested only and the GPS receiver is not tested.

It would seem the ACR unit allows for the self test of the GPS receiver as well.

Is this worth the extra dollars - I am not sure; but each one of us will have a different risk assessment of their safety gear and will spend accordingly.
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Old 23-03-2010, 03:59   #4
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These PLBs have pretty much the same functionality as (manual) EPIRBS, except they don't float. The second difference is that EPIRBs usually have 48 hour battery life, and PLBs usually 24 hours (that also applies to the two models you're linking to there).

In consideration of the fact that there's not much point having the unit afloat when I'm not afloat any longer, and the vastly reduced cost compared to EPIRBs I have been considering purchasing one of these exact two units as well. I suppose the GPS module would make up for the limited battery life.
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Old 23-03-2010, 14:56   #5
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I could make one float by tying it to a 1liter bottle. In any case, if there are no other significant differences between the two, I will probably get the cheaper.

I have heard of the ACR brand before but this other kind I dont know if it is maybe more or less prone to failure .
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Old 23-03-2010, 15:12   #6
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I've seen a buoyancy cover for the ACR before.. I should think they're all up to scratch in terms of functionality. The battery life may be an issue when you really need it.
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Old 23-03-2010, 16:51   #7
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I have an ACR Aqualink that is designed for use on the water; it floats. The SARlink is designed for hikers, etc.

ACR SARLink Personal Locator Beacon - GPS Central Canada
ACR AquaLink Personal Locator Beacon - GPS Central Canada
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Old 23-03-2010, 17:06   #8
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I hate to be a butisky in this conversation, but when I purchased my EPIRB battery life was very important. I spent a little more (430) and got one with a Lithium and guaranteed 6 year life of the unit. These may not be so cheap if you have to replace them every few years, or as one person suggested, they are made for dry land and therefore will sink/short in the ocean.
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Old 23-03-2010, 17:16   #9
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BTW the Revere is probably a rebranded McMurdo Fast Find.

McMurdo
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Old 23-03-2010, 18:07   #10
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I agree with Jackdale re the McMurdo aspect and IMO, they are are quality manufacturer.

The EPIRB will float and radiate without any human help (if manual - after it is turned on); If you want to make your PLB float (and some do already), make sure it will float UPRIGHT. The antenna on a PLB is deigned to radiate when they in a pocket (upright) or sitting upright on a firm surface.
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Old 23-03-2010, 18:21   #11
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These are both good units. Both waterproof. Both with 5 year batteries (although they will likely last much longer). The onboard GPS means that a very accurate fix is established very quickly. 24 hours is plenty unless you plan to sail the Southern Ocean. The test feature is intereting but not sure it's worth the money.

They're small enough to be clipped to you - to my mind a better place than floating off somewhere.

Just please remember to register it and keep that registration up to date (e.g. current phone numbers for people who know your plans). You can do it on the web. I now update the comments in the registration before a trip with my cruising plans, number of people on board, and description of the boat. The Coast Guard is wasting far too much time dealing with accidental activations from mystery EPIRBS.

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Old 23-03-2010, 20:14   #12
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This is interesting, it never occurred to me that a PLB could be a bona-fide replacement for an EPIRB. But after reading this thread, I'm mulling it through (as the battery in my 406Mhz EPIRB is expired, the company out of business, and nobody will replace it).

Can they be registered to the boat via the USCG just like an EPIRB? I.e. via Emergency Beacon Registration Redirection Welcome Page ? It seems that would be an important feature, to me.

At this price it almost makes sense to buy two - Pack one into the liferaft, and keep the other aboard the boat. Price will still be significantly less than a dedicated EPIRB.
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Old 23-03-2010, 20:14   #13
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It is even cheaper not to have one.

If I need one, I buy the best I can afford.

If I do not need one, I do not buy things intended for different use.

b.
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Old 23-03-2010, 20:18   #14
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PLBs are registered to a person - which seems to make them more portable.
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Old 23-03-2010, 20:33   #15
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Thanks jackdale, I didn't realize that - more portable, but with limitations as well.

And Barnakiel - Good for you...
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