Originally Posted by psneeld
SARSAT site I think..plus 20+ years as a USCG helo pilot/SAR watchstander...you can think whatever you like...me I'm going with practical in the field results...not what "some website" may say.
From another website..
The Cospas-Sarsat System design constellation is four satellites which provide a typical waiting time of less than one hour at mid-latitudes.
I will admit that certain areas of the globe without the LUTs will have longer aquisition times/degraded accuracy...but many of the highly travelled areas are designed to work just fine without GPS.
Thanks for the update, I don't believe or disbelieve anything posted here but I do use the information to form a full(er)picture.
I do push the point that given the current
pricing, a GPS embedded EPRIB really makes sense and I note that you agree
I don't recall
ever suggesting that a non GPS beacon is unsuitable. If you read that into my posts, then that is possibly my poor writing skills or perhaps a american/ english
I also note that I was incorrect with the 20 Km radius claim, this was for the now discussed 121.5 / 243 MHz units - my bad, must be getting old. As for position location time, this from AMSA :
Orbiting satellites will calculate the position if there is no GPS capability. These orbiting satellites take 90 minutes on average to receive the signal but it may take up to 5 hours depending on the conditions.
More information is needed to determine the real location. This usually means at least two satellite passes &/or independent intelligence is required to determine a location and this takes more time. Non GPS has an accuracy locator of 5km
Further reading on Wikipedia gave an interesting point which I have missed in the past:
EPIRB beacons with built-in GPS are usually called GPIRBs, for GPS Position-Indicating Radio Beacon or Global Position-Indicating Radio Beacon.
However, rescue cannot begin until a doppler track is available. The COSPAS-SARSAT specifications say  that a beacon location is not considered "resolved" unless at least two doppler tracks match or a doppler track confirms an encoded (GPS) track. One or more GPS tracks are not sufficient.
This has been referenced against COSPAS-SARSAT document A.001, 2005.
I hadn't come across this aspect before and I must check with some mates at the Australian RCC to get their view.
If it really makes any difference, I am always learning
something new about beacons although I have been installing, testing and repairing them for 20+ years.