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Old 10-12-2010, 10:57   #1
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New Battery in ACR EPIRB: $360 ?!?

I just got a quote from an ACR dealer in St. Maarten for the renewal of the battery in my ACR GlobalFix RLB-35 eprib: 360 US dollars.

Because they also say in the quote it will be ready the next day, it can't be the costs of fedex or ups for transport to the US.

I know, this job has to be done carefully and the casing has to be watertight but this amount is beyond my comprehension.

I have never had an epirb battery replaced before. Is this amount normal?
If so, how do you go about when your battery needs replacement?

Anybody know more about the type of battery, price of the battery, reasons against DIY?

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Len.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:36   #2
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I had mine replaced by a company I found on Ebay. Search for Epirb batteries and they should turn up. Had to ship the Epirb to them but the turn around was quick and they even put on a new antenna for no charge. I might still have the information if you can't get it on the net. Cost was around $250, IIRC. Batteries for those little buggers are Tres Cher!!
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:47   #3
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I am not sure I would have anyone on Ebay service a piece of safety equipment I might have my life depend on. Especially to save $100.00 or less. Chuck
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:55   #4
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We just did the battery replacement on our ACR unit. i looked on the ACR web site and found an authorized battery replacement center in Ft Lauderdale and made the mistake of just dropping it off with instructions to replace with a new battery. when I picked it up it was $300. Same deal. I don't mind paying a resonable amount of money for something like a battery, but to charge me that much is just robbery.
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Old 10-12-2010, 14:34   #5
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I have been informed that three of these batteries are used in the ARC unit. Saft LO 26 SX Lithium Batteries The minimum order is six batteries. I have not tried replacing these batteries so can't offer any advise as to whether this is a DIY project or not.

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Old 10-12-2010, 14:52   #6
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Here is the link to the ACR Support page.

$300 - 360 for having the battery replaced, the unit fully tested AND warranted for 5 years sounds like a deal to me.
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Old 10-12-2010, 15:01   #7
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I had an EPIRB that I wanted to replace the batteries on. I found the costs to be not worth it. The batteries were available for under $100. I opened it up and figured out what batteries were needed. I ended up giving it to a member of the board and he found the batteries, soldered a few wires and then submerged it in water and finally took it to the USCG where they have a box that can run checks to see if the EPIRB's are working w/o setting off a signal to the rest of the world. When mine goes out I think I will do the same. Check the switches, the antenna, change the batteries, run a test. EPIRB Battery
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Old 10-12-2010, 15:09   #8
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You might try this guy:

Lithium Cells for an ACR GlobalFix EPIRB
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Old 17-12-2010, 09:47   #9
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We are talking about safety and saving lives here. ACR take their business very seriously.

After market batteries is the biggest no no...they are not fused or tested.
Once you open or tamper with an EPIRB PLB or ELT ,no BRC can service this unit.

Here is a quick in sight to Battery replacement.
It's an expensive exercise being a battery replacement center for ACR.

Training at ACR in Ft Lauderdale every two years. $1000 p/person
Equipment $3000- $4000
Extra liability insurance ($1.5mil)
Plus inventory


Epirb Battery Replacement Service Includes:

New battery good for 5 years (maximum allowed by law)
New O-rings and washers
Full pressure test
Full water activation test
Leak test
Weight test
Full transmission service test on ACR test equipment
Proof of passing certificate certifying programming and functionality
New Labels
New pull string, tab and cord. (if applicable)
Warranty replacement of cracked antenna (on some models)
New NOAA registration forms (if necessary)

$300- $360 is not much considering that there is no subscription and the support and service you get from CORPAS - SARSAT.
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Old 17-12-2010, 10:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiboyd View Post
We are talking about safety and saving lives here. ACR take their business very seriously.

After market batteries is the biggest no no...they are not fused or tested.
Once you open or tamper with an EPIRB PLB or ELT ,no BRC can service this unit.

Here is a quick in sight to Battery replacement.
It's an expensive exercise being a battery replacement center for ACR.

Training at ACR in Ft Lauderdale every two years. $1000 p/person
Equipment $3000- $4000
Extra liability insurance ($1.5mil)
Plus inventory


Epirb Battery Replacement Service Includes:

New battery good for 5 years (maximum allowed by law)
New O-rings and washers
Full pressure test
Full water activation test
Leak test
Weight test
Full transmission service test on ACR test equipment
Proof of passing certificate certifying programming and functionality
New Labels
New pull string, tab and cord. (if applicable)
Warranty replacement of cracked antenna (on some models)
New NOAA registration forms (if necessary)

$300- $360 is not much considering that there is no subscription and the support and service you get from CORPAS - SARSAT.
So you subscribe to SPOT for $100/year and can often find rebates that cover the cost of the unit, can send out "I'm OK" messages, can call for a tow, can use on land..... Yeah, the future of recreational EPIRBs
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Old 17-12-2010, 11:09   #11
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SPOT is not a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). We’ve seen some websites calling it one, but make no mistake, it is not a PLB. Personal Locator Beacons, like EPIRBs, must be submitted to an independent test lab that verifies the frequency, operating life, testing in extreme temperatures, environmental testing, etc. From there, the product must go to Cospas-Sarsat, USCG and finally the FCC (or other comparable agencies in each country) for approval to certify that the EPIRB/PLB meets the standards for Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) and that it exceeds required operating and mechanical conditions that will appear in the marine environment. PLBs and EPIRBs are rigorously tested by governing agencies to confirm they will work properly in the environment. This is a big difference from SPOT which only has to self-test and self certify that it meets Part 15 FCC. If you are not familiar with Part 15, check out your garage door opener, it is approved with the same self certified rule.

One other thing to be aware of is that SPOT requires an annual subscription fee of $99 or $149.99 if you want tracking. The device cannot be used until the subscription fee is paid. The 5 year ownership of a SPOT unit is much more expensive than a PLB or EPIRB: $149 unit cost, $499 in subscription fees, $250 for tracking fees, plus GEOs insurance (total 5 year cost can range between a minimum of $648 to as high as $1,649). If the Globalstar company were to close, your SPOT tracker would not work anymore. EPIRBs/PLBs do not require a subscription fee since they use the Cospas-Sarsat satellites (a humanitarian SAR system fully funded by member states of the U.N.).
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Old 17-12-2010, 11:10   #12
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An ACR BRC can convert PLB's in to EPIRB's or ELT, or vice versa.
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Old 17-12-2010, 11:25   #13
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So an EPIRB is cheaper? That math doesn't work even using the high end numbers you posted!

I'll grant you the SPOT isn't Gov't approved, and is dependent on one company to work, but I'll take my chances... seems to work so far, and besides.... when has the Gov't ever done ANYTHING better than the private sector?
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Old 17-12-2010, 11:29   #14
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taken from here FAQs: SPOT vs EPIRBs / PLBS
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Old 17-12-2010, 11:29   #15
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I needed the battery replaced and reprogramming of my mcmurdo epirb so I contacted the local distributor. They told me they will exchange my unit instead and it will cost me $700. The new units from the stores are $1,000.
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