Originally Posted by Dr. Sea
Thanks for the link, Bill. It's a very good article. I am a little surprised that they didn't include the Ocean Signal RescueME EDF1 (Electronic Distress
Flare). It is small and claims a range of up to 7 miles, 360 degrees and overhead, and 6 hours battery
life. The six hours is little disappointing, not enough to last through a night, but it can be turned off to save batteries if no rescue
vehicle is in the vicinity.
I agree the EDF1 is an intriguing light, and I suspect Practical Sailor didn't include it because it is considered a substitute for flairs vs. POB light, but I'm just guessing.
Because of our discussions, I have been looking for more information about the light, and more importantly, its replacement batteries. [To me, further analysis and research
is warranted because, not having an unlimited budget
and desiring 4 or more of these or similar units, the cost/benefit analysis is worthwhile for me... or perhaps my time is just worth less (or worthless?) in retirement
I also have an inquiry into Ocean Signal and will report back once I hear from them.
Preliminarily, I find nothing online about the replacement batteries [e.g., pricing, availability, shelf life, shipping
restrictions, etc.] when searching for:
- Ocean Signal EDF1 replacement battery
- lb10f replacement battery 751s-01771 [Model numbers from OS website...]
None of the online retailers of the EDF1 I checked had anything listed either.
Therefore, following are my musings based on what I have learned thus far: [which isn't much...]
All I know about the battery is it is a field replaceable proprietary lithium cell with an undetermined shelf life. [Model# LB10F; Part# 751s-01771]
My assumptions about the battery include:
- It has a 5- 10 year shelf life [based on standard lithium batteries]
- It will be costlier than standard batteries [e.g., AA, C, D, 123A, etc. cells]
[I'll guess 30-50% of the cost of the light- until I receive pricing info...]
- It will likely require HazMat shipping [Which would exclude normal postal mailing which may possibly rule out the viability for boaters cruising away from 'the mainland'... Including me on an island in Alaska where UPS won't deliver...]
Although the HazMat shipping restriction is no worse than for PLB, EPIRB
, etc. units and their batteries...
My usability requirements:
I would want to get more than 6 hours total use from the light [or several uses totaling 6 hours... i.e., I would want extra batteries...]
Unless I kept several spare batteries on hand [6+ hours of run time/battery...] then I would effectively have a US$120+ disposable 6 hour electric
But then, pyrotechnic flairs cannot be recharged either, and 6 hours worth of those would certainly cost more than one EDF1 unit [and take up a lot more space, and have a shorter shelf-life...]
Acquiring one or more EDF1 flairs is a no-brainer if one thinks of it as a disposable flair that costs less than 6 hours worth of burn time using pyrotechnics- and this option won't melt a hole in your inflatable PFD
or life raft [or start a fire through normal operation...]
The EDF1 costs ~US$25/hour to use- with the per hour cost decreasing slightly once you amortize in additional (user replaceable) batteries.
If deployed by a floating POB in the water
[or from a life raft] it would need to be held high to avoid blinding the POB... Perhaps attached to a SCUBA
diver signal sausage to elevate it above the floater eliminating the need to hold their arm straight up, or even occupy use of a hand...
If Ocean Signal offered an optional battery holder that used standard sized batteries [e.g., AA, 123A, C, whatever] like some handheld VHF radio
manufacturers do, I think this could be a real winner. [I haven't seen any electrical
specs (e.g., battery voltage and mAh) for the EDF1 so I can only guess this might work...]
I will provide updates regarding the EDF1 replacement battery and validate/invalidate my assumptions once I receive more infomation.
In case anyone else cares...