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Old 08-03-2008, 16:10   #31
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Charlie:

OK, you're on :-)

RE: eternal life, yeah, it was one of my ancestors. Eos (of the dawn) -- a very promiscuous lady -- asked Zeus for eternal life for her lover, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. You can imagine the result!

At least in those days when you stepped aboard for a trip round the isles you didn't have to worry about shoddy electronics :-)

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Old 08-03-2008, 17:16   #32
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
At least in those days when you stepped aboard for a trip round the isles you didn't have to worry about shoddy electronics :-)

Bill
OK since we are now offically off topic with new modertors permission , I seem to remenber that you also didn't need passports but still needed a weapon and anchors. Eos's aging lover probably discussed such things at length being as that was all he could do. I assume it was a "he" - my recall of the classics (or anything really) is not as good as it should be.
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Old 08-03-2008, 19:04   #33
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RE: eternal life, yeah, it was one of my ancestors. Eos (of the dawn) -- a very promiscuous lady -- asked Zeus for eternal life for her lover, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. You can imagine the result!
Bill

And that was before depends. And viagra ! ! !!!

Really has been an interesting thread. Alot more info than I thought about when I first asked the question about EPIRB batteries.

My Conclusion is as follows:

1) ACR won't service the older units.

2) I have one old unit and another that I have is still on its original battery so the older one is redundant.

3) The batteries are cheap if you don't buy them from ACR. (ACR has too great a mark up on the battery packs.)

4) The USCG will check an EPIRB to see if it works.

5) I will test both EPIRBs with the USCG.

6) If the older one works I will change out the batteries myself.

7) When the new battery expires I will again test it with the USCG and then get batteries on my own.

Thanks for all the info.

5)
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Old 22-03-2008, 09:02   #34
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Good post, Charlie.

For more details on EPIRB battery choices, see:
SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - ACR Electronics "Useful Life" Policy

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Old 22-03-2008, 09:33   #35
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Thanks Bill:

You have shared some great info with that link.
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Old 22-03-2008, 10:21   #36
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EPIRB Batteries ~ by Chuck Husick
Recently, the battery in my 2001 ACR RapidFix 406 EPIRB was due for replacement. Wanting to know as much as possible about the battery replacement process, I arranged to take the EPIRB to the ACR factory in Fort Lauderdale where I accompanied it during the two-plus hours it took to perform the incoming inspection, perform the same series of tests used for new production units and install the new battery
Goto: Chuck Husick on BoatUScom
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Old 22-03-2008, 10:28   #37
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Charlie, did you replace the batteries and keep it as a spare? Can you tell us all what the outcome was?
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Old 22-03-2008, 10:35   #38
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Hellosailor,

Send Charlie a PM with your telephone number and check your own PMs. He's got something for you.

Bill
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Old 22-04-2008, 14:33   #39
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Hmm, interesting thread for sure.

I have never owned an EPIRB before and have not paid too much attention to the battery prices and such.
All that changed yesterday when a friend donated an ACR RapidFix 406, or Model 2777.
The thing self-tests fine, but the sticker said the batteries expired 2006.
Hmm, run it for a few years and hope the margin is so great it will work as long as the self test uh, tests.?

Or bite the expensive bullet and shell out big bucks for battery replacement at an "approved" overhaul facility?

Found one place on e-bay (!) that does it for $295.00.
My neigborhood dealer wants $325.00 plus tax, = $345.00 bucaroes..

No thanks, did a 180 and walked out of there.
Found another guy for 295.00 and with cash in hand, no sales tax are needed. Down $50.00 from the high bidder, but still expensive.
When this unit is aging out in about 5 to 6 years I will look for the new generation with easy to replace batteries.

Did not quite have the balls to fiddle with the thing myself and replace the batteries with some made-in-China cells found on the internet, then bolt it back together using the old o-rings and seals.
(Yes, it probably could have worked, as this is not brain surgery, but if the thing had not worked offshore as we stepped up to the dink, with the boat sinking behind us on a dark and stormy night, I might as well have used the scuba knife to perform Hara-Kiri as my wife would have killed my
arse dead anyway for trying to save $50.00 per year on lifesaving gear... )

So, long story short, it will be done tomorrow, then will install it with a GPS feed....Question: How many external sources can ya run 0183 GPS info to from a GPS?
(Already have my Garmin 75 hooked up to the Navtex and the DSC VHF...Can it take one more such as the EPIRB...?)

Have another fixed mount GPS hooed up the secondary DSC and Auto pilot, so uh I am too wired..One of these GPS machines have to feed a third source, my newly aqquired RapidFix 406...
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Old 22-04-2008, 16:35   #40
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Buying new v's replacing battery...

I would have thought that the preferred option would be buy a new EPIRB and to keep the old (unserviced) one. They are small and easy to store. We are talking about a tenth of a boat buck a year here.

My experience of having modern devices fixed has not been a happy one.

The old one would probably have enough juice to trip a satellite, even after quite a few years, and then the new one could be turned on if no one turned up. Or vice versa.

If I brought a new EPIRB every five years (or before every major voyage) then I would end up with a collection of which some would work.
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Old 22-04-2008, 19:39   #41
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They are small and easy to store. We are talking about a tenth of a boat buck a year here.
Okay good advice.

But is your boat buck per year $1,000.00? $83.30 per month? A tenth would then be $8.33 per month.
Holly good deal, what is the number or the web-page?
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Old 22-04-2008, 20:08   #42
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CSY-
Good choice to replace the batteries, at the expiration date they still will work BUT for such a short time, you don't want to bet your life on it.
Chinese ANYTHING in "life support" equipment? Hell no, I don't trust the Chinese to build anything critical beyond rice. Mao's little children had several thousand years to learn they were the Middle Kingdom and the rest of us were near-animals, so selling us dangerous and defective goods is perfectly acceptable to them. After all, there's no "five second rule" for food that drops on the floor if you're feeding it to the dog, right?

There's no hard and fast rule about splitting up NMEA 0183 signals as long as there is only one active "talker" on the bus. As long as that "talker" puts out the minimum voltage required, and your wiring and other devices don't absorb too much of that voltage, you can just keep adding on "listeners". How much is too much? You'd have to know the output level of the GPS, and voltage drops in the wiring and from each device...it's possible but more practical to simply hook 'em up and see if they are all happy. If not, run heavier shorter wire. If still not...OK, you'll need another GPS.<G>

With the price of dedicated GPSes $35-50 retail, even including Bluetooth, there's every reason to expect EPIRBs with internal GPS to be priced only $50 more than those without GPS "soon". OK, maybe $100, since those folks prefer round numbers, anyway.
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Old 22-04-2008, 21:01   #43
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CSY,
I gotta agree and disagree with Hellosailors info.

I think he is spot on with the bus signals (and I would be very surprised if it didn't handle the 3 loads).

But I disagree about the expected battery life. The build specifications require that the EPIRB operates to its design parameters throughout its service life. So until the expiration date of the battery, the unit SHOULD be able to transmit for 24 / 48 hours (24 for the 406 Tx and 48 for the 121.5 Tx). I ASSUME ACR design their EPIRB's to meet the specification.

After that date one could expect a steady decline in transmit times however as the 406 transmits in bursts, I am GUESSING one would get a fair bit of the maximum 24 hours that the 406 transmits for but I wouldn't bet my life on it.
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Old 23-04-2008, 00:16   #44
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ACR Satellite2 406-5 year replacement life (11 year useful life) lithium battery

Defender lists an ACR Satellite2 406 for $529.99.

They claim 5 year battery life with an 11 year useful life.

On a non actuarial calculation $529.99/5 = $106, or just over one tenth of a boat buck per year.

So in non critical usage (Harbour sailing) one could expect the device to "function" for 11 years and for other use one could accumulate them up to (say) 15 years.

On this basis one could be signaling with a fully functional, a partially functional and an almost useless EPIRB.

I think of them as being like flares. Just because they are out of date does not mean they won't work. Just because they are in date does not mean they will work.
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Old 23-04-2008, 01:19   #45
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... Just because they are in date does not mean they will work.
Only too true...sadly.
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