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Old 09-01-2017, 21:04   #1
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Pan Pan MOB

So it seems that the Pan Pan MOB is now available for pre-order. I wonder what the thoughts about it are in the community.
I currently use the Ocean Signal MOB 1 and think that it is a good unit.
they are compact and simple to use. We use it only in manual mode so in our case, it requires that an overboard triggers the unit. While we feel this meets our needs, the constant monitoring and automatic alarm of the Pan Pan could certainly be an upgrade. The smaller size of the Pan Pan might also enable the unit to be worn at all times rather than setting and relying upon a use "protocol".
An advantage of the MOB 1 is that it gives an actual GPS position of the target rather than the Point of Loss with the Pan Pan. It seems that the alarm of the Pan Pan may be better in that it seems to alarm on all monitoring tablets and smartphones rather than just at the chartplotter.
My biggest concern is probably that the Pan Pan uses Bluetooth which I have found to be incredibly finicky. This may lead to false alarms that could ultimately result in turning the system off.
I look forward to hearing what others think about this new option to monitor for MOB.

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Old 09-01-2017, 21:53   #2
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

We purchased a Nautilus Lifeline. The latest one replaced the older VHF radio model. The new one has AIS and DSC alarms. You can program your boat's MMSI into it (and can change at any time) and when you push Test it only transmits to your boat. If you hit Help, it transmits to all boats.

We are divers, so I carry it in my BCD pocket when diving (130 m waterproof) and when we go sailing again this year, whoever is on watch at night or rough seas will wear on their lifejacket. We also have PLBs on our lifejackets.

I have tested the Test function, comes up on the VHF and on the chartplotter. I have not tested re AIS as our dive boat does not have it and our yacht is in Queensland at the moment. For us a perfect solution to two problems.

Catlypso - Web Site
Lightwave 38' cat
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Old 09-01-2017, 22:55   #3
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

Seems like the Pan Pan is just a repurpose of the "key finder" devices such as Tile or Trackr, with a slightly more targeted app. It will rely on your mobile device of course having power and good GPS. You aren't passing any data beyond just being connected, so I wouldn't expect false positives. App does all the work, flagging the phone's location on the lost connection, not the Pan Pan's location.

It also lacks AIS, so there wont be direct interface to your plotter or perhaps more importantly, other boats/rescue.

I've thought about putting a Tile on each of my dogs as well as any high value equipment, but I am not sure I would rely on it for someone who is on watch, while crossing a major ocean. As it is really only as good as the mobile device it is connected to.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:35   #4
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Talking Re: Pan Pan MOB

I considered buying it when it was announced, however I won't as I have my doubts about real world reliability.

I found Bluetooth LE devices to be unreliable, and the last thing I want is aMOB alarm every few hours.
Also on long passages our phones are not in use or charged by default. So this is another small thing that requires attention.

Myself and a couple of others have repeatedly asked about reliable range and so far I haven't seen any useful response. Certainly I won't pay 80 USD to become a beta tester of something that does not even give clear technical specs.

Even if they work this system is not exactly cheap at 100usd per tag final price after the prior is over. And that even thought I already own the expensive part of it (the phone!).
Given the price I would rather go for an integrated solution like the raymarine lifetag.

However we already carry a DSC capable handheld VHF during night shifts, and given that we only do the occasional night sail in the Med during summer I don't feel the need for anything else.
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Old 10-01-2017, 10:34   #5
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

I think it would be useful for those in sheltered waters that don't have a formal chart plotter, no AIS or EPRIB, and use a tablet for navigation. From a marketing view that probably covers 90% of boaters. Is this as good as a more expensive PLB or AIS beacon? Suitable for an ocean passage? No, but better than nothing.
A friend just ordered one so maybe this summer I'll have a chance to see how reliable the Bluetooth connection is.
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Old 20-01-2017, 06:21   #6
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

let us know what your friend finds out, especially about range & reliability

I found an identical solution in a german mailorder catalogue: Seatags, each sold for 89 euro

But same story, I was not able to find any real world experience.

EDIT: In the same catalogue the cheapest AIS MOB beacons are listed for 249 Euro.
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Old 20-01-2017, 10:52   #7
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

I saw an award given by a sailing rag magazine today to this product. They said it had a maximum range of 650ft in optimal conditions.

That's about one minute at five knots.
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Old 20-01-2017, 15:06   #8
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

and another one coming to the market
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Old 21-01-2017, 10:17   #9
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Re: Pan Pan MOB

If it's a remodel of a Tile, I'd stay away. I found those to be useless because not consistent. And I wouldn't want to depend on bluetooth for anything. I use a Garmin GPS that connects to a wifi ipad mini and even that seems to drop the connection sometimes.

Jim Eaton
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