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Old 10-10-2015, 20:45   #16
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I have an old ACR EPIRB too. I self-replaced the batteries and use as a backup (fancy new EPIRB also planned for this year as primary). Resoldering litium batteries into the factory pack is a pain and hard to get the fit exactly right again, but the pack outputs 9Vs....sooo, I wired 9V batteries in parallel enclosed in the original outter shell of the pack. Now, I have a user serviceable back up EPIRB. Still test xmits just fine.

Be aware however that if you ever return such a user modified unit to an official service center they will destroy it.

And, I agree with the opinion you got, the cost of having an old unit serviced is not worthwhile. For about $200 more you can just buy new unit with not only fresh batteries, but new antenna (mines showing its age), all new seals, and new technology.

I also have one of those Obsolete ACR's. It was its first battery service date and declared OBS by ACR. I replaced it, grudgingly with another name brand and refuse to deal further with ACR. I don't see why we are not permitted to replace batteries in an EPIRB or pack our own life rafts. We are otherwise managing enormously complex vessels, navigating, provisioning etc. but assumed incompetent to stuff a rubber boat in a box or replace batteries in a radio.

Political Correctness and lawyers will be our end.
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Old 10-10-2015, 21:19   #17
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

" I don't see why we are not permitted to replace batteries in an EPIRB or pack our own life rafts."
If you are a civilian, a recreational sailor, you ARE permitted to do these things. If a manufacturer wants to extort other behavior and purchases from you, you give them an old Roman hand sign and move on.
Not so long ago, in the 50's and 60's, GM and the other US automakers would void your warranty if you did not have an authorized DEALER change your oil. Eventually they got their comeuppance from the federal court system, which not only struck down the oil nonsense, but has expanded that to say that they can't deny you warranty coverage for ANY reason, unless they can prove YOUR WORK CAUSED the damage. Not just that it might have--but that it actually and definitely did.
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Old 10-10-2015, 21:52   #18
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
" I don't see why we are not permitted to replace batteries in an EPIRB or pack our own life rafts."
If you are a civilian, a recreational sailor, you ARE permitted to do these things. If a manufacturer wants to extort other behavior and purchases from you, you give them an old Roman hand sign and move on.
Not so long ago, in the 50's and 60's, GM and the other US automakers would void your warranty if you did not have an authorized DEALER change your oil. Eventually they got their comeuppance from the federal court system, which not only struck down the oil nonsense, but has expanded that to say that they can't deny you warranty coverage for ANY reason, unless they can prove YOUR WORK CAUSED the damage. Not just that it might have--but that it actually and definitely did.
I am totally with you HellowSailor. Great logical sense. The problem is that nobody, including the welding gas suppliers I deal with will re-fill my gas bottle. They were happy to inspect and re-cert the tank but no fill citing legal concerns. I am left only with refilling myself on a scale in the shop. I had to make up all of the hoses and fittings myself. Same issues with the EPIRB - no battery, no seals. I refuse to buy PLB's until they allow me to change the batteries. One might ask why EPIRBs are not on a constant recharge base like my hand held VHS with an auto-check system built in? People who need these devices most are those most remote to "authorized service".
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Old 11-10-2015, 00:59   #19
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

Can a Delorme replace an epirb or are they required...I like the Delorme thing...
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:31   #20
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

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Can a Delorme replace an epirb or are they required...I like the Delorme thing...
Very little is legally required on a recreational vessel, including an EPIRB.

There has been much debate of the new satellite based devices like Delorme vs an EPIRB. Comes down to a personal decision I think, but Delorme etc are not directly linked to SAR resources as is an EPIRB. Given that Delorme uses the Iridium it is truly world wide direct satellite comm (SPOT by contrast is neither). As such, I dont think it would be an unreasonable substitute (certainly better than nothing), but you do have to rely upon a private corporate intermediary and/or contacts ashore to forward your distress signal to SAR resources. I would not rely upon it, or an EPIRB for that matter, as my only emergency comm option.

Personally, I like redundancy, so plan to acquire a Delorme Explorer and a new EPIRB for next season. The Explorer, with its builtin GPS, also replaces my ancient hand held GPS units which finally died last year and I will keep my still functioning old EPIRB as a backup to the new one. Tablet and cell phone also have built in GPS. Also have SSB aboard, so we have lots of options should the **** hit the fan and some options fail.

We've spent the last few seasons just putting back and forth to the San Blas so haven't really needed any of the above, but have some longer runs planned for next season...so time to stop procrastinating those expenditures and a few more (like new rigging).
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:40   #21
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

Nicholson-
I don't think your welding gas suppliers are quite in the same class. They aren't "civilians" they are workers in a highly regulated industry, subject to the rules (in the US) of the DOT, formerly Bureau of Mines, and others including their insurance carriers. I've known some folks in the business who would be "glad to help but" they are subject to heavy fines and loss of business license if they don't follow a big set of rules as to what they are and aren't allowed to do.


Not the same as an EPIRB supplier, who is not prohibited from selling you a battery pack. Not prohibited from selling you an o-ring gasket, or telling you the dimesions of one so you could get it on your own. And not required to tell you FUD and lies about how the world will end if YOU try to do something yourself.


My car dealer is allowed to sell me an oil filter and spark plugs. If I screw them up--that's my problem, not his.


The idea of self-recharging gizmos is not so bad...although I wish electric toothbrushes from the same maker would be able to interchange charging stands.(G) But the chemical differences and performance differences in battery types, between Lithium primaries and any type of rechargeable, would still make me prefer the primary calls, I think. Like my cell phone: Sometimes, the charger cord gets knocked out and no one notices, and then it is dead in the morning. Wouldn't want that on my EPIRB. Wouldn't want to have to route Another Damned Cord to it, either.(G)
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Old 11-10-2015, 19:46   #22
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

There is a timely article in the press about an EPIRB disposed in the rubbish tip, and it activated causing a search.

Disposal guidelines for EPIRB emergency beacons urged after costly false alarm in Deloraine - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Disposal fees may discourage owners from proper disposal methods, so authorities are thinking of ways to resolve this.
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Old 11-10-2015, 20:22   #23
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

By co-incidence, today I posted a classified for sale advertising an ACR Pro EPIRB for anyone that wants to acquire one. Battery expires in 2018. I am asking $275 plus shipping from Canada. It's programmed for US residents. Westmarine wants $420. Test circuit suggests it will do what it's supposed to do.
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Old 29-10-2015, 18:17   #24
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

You can make effective new seals very cheaply from tubes of High Modular silicone mastic (stiffer, more springy than Low Mod, so if a softer more flexible seal is needed, use Low Mod).

Personally I'll be going with a DeLorme inReach Explorer, because I'll be using it every day while afloat, and have a daily test that it is actually working, and I like the flexibility of being able to connect to emergency services (free) should I come across someone else in trouble (Emergency Services messages are elevated to instant response apparently, and you can then communicate directly with them, with as many messages as it takes).

eta: Though also considering an EPIRB by KTI (Australian manufacturer) that seem to have a pretty good life (10 year guarantee) as well as battery life (10 years with reasonable price replacement batteries).
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Old 29-10-2015, 20:36   #25
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Re: Old EPIRB - What to do with it?

Here's what NOAA has to say, "..if you sell your 406 MHz beacon, notify NOAA that you have done so, inform the buyer that they must register the beacon for themselves. Otherwise, you may be contacted by rescue authorities if it is activated! Please provide the new owner our phone number or this web page so they can register the beacon."

Source: NOAA - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking - Register Your Beacon
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