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Old 25-01-2006, 09:22   #1
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USED EPIRB

I just bought a used EPIRB. It is 2 years old and is made by ACR. My question is do I need to register it and if so how do I do this?

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 25-01-2006, 10:06   #2
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yes, go to www beaconregistration.noaa.gov its simple....jt
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Old 25-01-2006, 10:28   #3
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THANKS!
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Old 26-01-2006, 19:42   #4
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Beware of the 121.5/243 MHz epirbs flooding the second hand market lately , as of Feb 1 2009 these will no longer be monitored . The 406MHz signal allows a satellite local user terminal to accurately locate the EPIRB (much more accurately -- 2 to 5 km vice 25 km -- than 121.5/243 MHz devices), and identify the vessel (the signal is encoded with the vessel's identity) anywhere in the world (there is no range limitation).

Don't waste money on the 121.5/243 MHz (IMO)
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Old 04-02-2006, 13:44   #5
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I have acquired a used 406 EPIRB. It has a black wire jacked into the top of the unit. Is this for recharging ? I have not see this option before.

Larry
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Old 04-02-2006, 19:47   #6
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i would read the manual or go online to find out....jt
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:02   #7
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Used Epirbs & Registration

Hi,
Just like posted about the 121.5/243 MHz, these are being phased out and the 406's are the best option.

Here's an article on the types of epirbs and their operating class. There's also a link to register your epirb here.

http://www.epirb-warehouse.com/types-of-EPIRBs

http://www.epirb-warehouse.com/epirb-registration

Keep it safe!
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Old 23-08-2008, 13:49   #8
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capt lar...

What brand? What model?

Bill
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Old 23-08-2008, 17:30   #9
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I have acquired a used 406 EPIRB. It has a black wire jacked into the top of the unit. Is this for recharging ? I have not see this option before.
It is most likely the interface to an external GPS.

Some 406 EPIRB's are designed to download position from an external GPS rather than having an integrated GPS. Have a look at the ACR Electronics RapidFix EPIRB on the ACR Electronics internet site to get an idea of what I mean, but it should be explained in your EPIRB's manual.

These EPIRB's provide a position quicker than those with integral GPS's as they have the GPS data continually available to them from the external GPS. They "wake up" every short while and download the position in order to keep themselves updated with that. Whereas those with integral GPS's have to, after being turned on in a distress situation, first aquire the satellites and calculate a position while they are sending the distress alert before they can start including position in the alert message.
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Old 23-08-2008, 19:47   #10
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If you have bought a used EPRIB and have not read the manual--get it and read it!

Many EPIRBs that appear to only be manually activated, are also WATER ACTIVATED if salt water manages to get across two of the casing screws. This is an intentional feature that may be totally invisible to the owner. A little water gets to the EPIRB, or it gets stored and splashed on deck, and voila, another false alarm overloading the SAR system.

I've seen ACR EPIRBs with this design flaw, and I call it a flaw because it should be molded or labelled on the case, so it can't be missed.
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Old 23-08-2008, 22:46   #11
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Until recently ALL EPIRB's were required to be water activated and were understood to be so (and many falsely still think they are so ), so it is a extremely long stretch of the imagination to refer to it as a "design flaw".

My understanding of the revised specification (which now allows EPIRBs to not be water activated in order to allow production of cheaper EPIRBs) is that EPIRBs that do activate in water are required to be disabled from doing so by the magnetic switch associated with the mandatory mounting bracket for all EPIRBs. Also, all the ones I have seen behave that way.

A more serious concern is that I find many users do not realise that the specification has been relaxed insofar as not requiring the auto activation requirement in water is concerned (or that there is even the option). They are buying cheap EPIRBs thinking that they will activate in water.

My personal preference is for the auto activate in water ones as it means I can (actually "could", as it has never happened yet ) tie the lanyard to myself or the raft and the thing would start automatically in the water without having to worry about my breaking protective tabs, etc to get the thing going. But each to their own, as long as they understand what they are getting or not getting for their money.
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Old 25-08-2008, 03:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidLandOne View Post
.....
Some 406 EPIRB's are designed to download position from an external GPS rather than having an integrated GPS. Have a look at the ACR Electronics RapidFix EPIRB on the ACR Electronics internet site to get an idea of what I mean, but it should be explained in your EPIRB's manual.

These EPIRB's provide a position quicker than those with integral GPS's as they have the GPS data continually available to them from the external GPS. They "wake up" every short while and download the position in order to keep themselves updated with that. Whereas those with integral GPS's have to, after being turned on in a distress situation, first aquire the satellites and calculate a position while they are sending the distress alert before they can start including position in the alert message.
Just to add some details for those who are interested in this stuff:

If the GPS data is external, the beacon has to be able to format and transmit that data within 1 minute of activation. The postion data from the external GPS has to less than 20 minutes old when the beacon is activated (unless its an aviation ELT, then the "age" of the data must be less than 1 minute). If the data is "older" than 20 minutes (or 1 for ELT), it won't be transmitted. The update rate is also a minimum of 20 minutes.

If the GPS engine is internal, the beacon has to be able to transmit postion data with in 10 minutes of activation. I.E. the internal GPS must be able to self locate within 10 minutes from a cold start. Additionally, the GPS engine must be forced into a cold start at every beacon activation.
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Old 26-08-2008, 06:58   #13
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I have had several EPIRBs, and none of them were water activated. Water activation sounds like a recipe for false alarms, which are the the most common problem with EPIRBs.
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Old 26-08-2008, 10:19   #14
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Midland, in the US, I thought water activation requirements varied with class or type. Even if it was required (here, there, or both) I still call it a design flaw if that function is not prominently marked on the gear. Consider that the crew out number the owner on most boats. Shouldn't they get fair warning, so they don't let it get wet--if that owner has gone overboard is is injured? Or, shouldn't the next buyer (now that the rules have changed, as rules are wont to do) get warning?

Cost of adding the molding into the original modes: Maybe $200 bucks, spread across the entire production run. Cost of one false activation and SAR deployment as a result of not molding in the warning? $40,000? $100,000? Pick a number, add the risk of loss of life for a SAR in extreme wx.

I still call it a design flaw when they omit something so basic and simple. But, sadly, there have been other larger design flaws in EPIRBs. That let water into them, that allow the test light to "verify" a test, when the unit actually is not operational...little things like that.
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Old 26-08-2008, 17:52   #15
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Midland, in the US, I thought water activation requirements varied with class or type. Even if it was required (here, there, or both) I still call it a design flaw if that function is not prominently marked on the gear.
I couldn't comment on whether USA accepts EPIRB's that can only be manually activated (it is not mentioned in the CFR but the CFR refers to other documents eg FCC one, that I do not have) - I do know that of the EPIRB's approved in USA as at the late 2007 list I have there is no model that has to be manually activated ie all have the be able to be manually and water activated. If they don't accept non water activated EPIRBs that is a good thing in my view.

Without checking further, some of the countries I know off hand that do accept non water activated ones are NZ, UK and Australia. I have been told, not authoratively, that the change in the specification came about by request of NZ and Australia following their decision not to provide official DSC VHF coverage of their Sea Areas A (means roughly coastal) due to the extent of their uninhabited coastlines and the desire to get cheaper EPIRBs to encourage take up of them (by pleasure users that is, most commercial have to be CAT 1 EPIRBs which are obviously they are water activated ) - I am not sure how NZ came to this decision though because they actually do have non DSC VHF coverage of the whole coastline (whereas Australia has no official federal coverage of ANY of its coastline - is MF/HF DSC only).

The classes you refer to may be the Class A, B, C etc that the USA uses for classifying EPIRBs but as far as I know (I don't have a copy of the FCC document) it only refers (generally) to the frequency of operation eg Class A & B beacons are 121MHz beacons and the sale of those has been prohibited in the US for some years now.

The base specification for EPIRBs is the Cospas/Sarsat one and this cannot be compromised by nations as Cospas/Sarsat are the organisation responsible for the security of the whole system - all EPIRBs have to be tested by a Cospas/Sarsat approved laboratory as meeting this specification. Nations have some options for the coding of beacons as fields are included in the transmitted string for national use, and may, of course only allow the use/sale of ones with complete or otherwise of the Cospas/Satsat functionality.

With respect to unintentional water activation I think you are dramatising the case somewhat. The Cospas/Sarsat specification requires that EPIRBs be designed to prevent inadvertent activation and a further protection is required in that the specification also requires that the distress alert must not be transmitted by the beacon until at least one transmit repeat cycle has elapsed (a cycle is 50 secs so after activation the second burst is at approx 100seconds). There is also a bit in the message which indicates if the beacon is able to be water activated or if of manual activated type only - HOWEVER this is in a user field so a nation may use these bits for something else as far as I understand.

Furthermore, as far as I know ALL water activated EPIRBs have for some years come with a holder which magnetically prevents water activation while in it.

So, a casual "wetting" as you describe it should not initiate an alert - ordinarily an alert should not be sent unless the EPIRB is placed in water and it is in the water contunually for at least 50 secs. So, if a "wetting" has set of an EPIRB it likely does not comply with the specification.

Maybe you can give some examples of where casual "wetting" of an EPIRB has initiated a distress alert? I do know of alerts originating from EPIRBs accidently getting into water eg boats sinking at their berth in the marina, I am asking about accidental casual "wetting" which I interpret your concern as meaning being splashed, for example.

John
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