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Old 01-02-2016, 14:12   #1
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McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

Does anyone have personal experience with the Mcmurdo Smartfind S20 Srs AIS Mob Beacon vs. the Ocean Signal Rescueme Personal AIS Beacon? They both will send out an AIS signal so that any nearby boat (presumably your own) will be able to find you in the water and they both have a built-in strobe light. From the Ocean Signal's advertising, "MOB1, unlike any other personal AIS Beacon, also provides a second way to assure your rescue, using DSC-equipped VHF radios of any vessels within line-of-sight range. You can manually send an All Ships DSC distress call by pushing a button on the device, in case your own vessel is unable to hear your transmission or respond." That seems to make it superior to the McMurdo. Does anyone know of a reason not to prefer the Ocean Signal device?
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Old 01-02-2016, 14:53   #2
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

Nope. Is it also possible to auto activate with an inflatable lifejacket, or is it automatically activated in water? Does it communicate the alert and position you your plotter as well as others, with an alarm?
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Old 01-02-2016, 14:59   #3
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

As I understand both of these MOB beacons, they do not activate by immersion but by the inflating action of the PFD. I found a YouTube video that shows how to install the Ocean Signal model on a Spinlock PFD. I think it would work the same on any PFD, or at least most of them. These both can be manually activated, so if you installed one on a standard PFD (big orange kapok type) you could activate it manually. Check out this video:

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Old 01-02-2016, 15:34   #4
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

At present, MOB beacons combining AIS with DSC are not yet legal everywhere: it's wise to check before buying.

Here (France), the DSC function of RescueMe beacons is deactivated pending authorisation.

Alain
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Old 01-02-2016, 15:45   #5
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by Hydra View Post
At present, MOB beacons combining AIS with DSC are not yet legal everywhere: it's wise to check before buying.

Here (France), the DSC function of RescueMe beacons is deactivated pending authorisation.

Alain
Thanks, Alain. I wouldn't have thought of that. I suppose if I learned that the USA didn't authorize it, the rebel in me would say, "If I fall off my boat somewhere out in the ocean, I want my crew to come back and rescue me immediately. Then I can talk to the authorities about my violation when it is more convenient."
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Old 01-02-2016, 15:57   #6
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

The problem is, I have the choice between buying here a beacon with DSC deactivated, ordering one with DSC through a vendor in another country and risking confiscation by Customs (yes, they Xray scan mail order parcels) or going abroad and bringing one back.

I will wait a bit more and hope that the price comes down...

Alain
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:02   #7
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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The problem is, I have the choice between buying here a beacon with DSC deactivated, ordering one with DSC through a vendor in another country and risking confiscation by Customs (yes, they Xray scan mail order parcels) or going abroad and bringing one back.

I will wait a bit more and hope that the price comes down...

Alain
Yes, I can understand your quandary. I need to check on that issue. The cheapest Ocean Signal MOB AIS that I have found from discounters in the USA is around $235. That's a good bit less than the manufacturer's suggested retail price.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:11   #8
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
Does anyone have personal experience with the Mcmurdo Smartfind S20 Srs AIS Mob Beacon vs. the Ocean Signal Rescueme Personal AIS Beacon? They both will send out an AIS signal so that any nearby boat (presumably your own) will be able to find you in the water and they both have a built-in strobe light. From the Ocean Signal's advertising, "MOB1, unlike any other personal AIS Beacon, also provides a second way to assure your rescue, using DSC-equipped VHF radios of any vessels within line-of-sight range. You can manually send an All Ships DSC distress call by pushing a button on the device, in case your own vessel is unable to hear your transmission or respond." That seems to make it superior to the McMurdo. Does anyone know of a reason not to prefer the Ocean Signal device?
Dr. Sea,

I can report first hand experience with the original version [SafeLink R10 - Kannad Marine] of what is now the Smartfind S20 [Identical according to the manufacturer.]

We have them attached to auto-activate upon inflation of our Spinlock DeckVests. We test annually by manually inflating the vests with a small bicycle pump [to keep moisture from our breath from accumulating inside the bladders...] They work every time and are not in the way- even when we don the vest's built-in spray hood.

Now that the Ocean Signal MOB1 device with DSC is available in the US, that is our current intended upgrade path, but I have no direct experience with those yet...

The British publication Yachting Monthly just published an excellent review of all such devices currently available including the two you are inquiring about.

To complete the thought, we also carry a PLB, a DSC VHF, Skyblazer aerial flares, and a Greatland Laser Flare on our vests to cover all rescue scenarios. These items are so small and relatively cheap these days I'm not sure we could afford not to have them attached to our person, but we frequent some pretty remote areas on land as well as on the water.

In hopes this is useful to some.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:15   #9
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

I have two of the smartfind 20's, I have used neither, but they both test OK.
I believe there was an article in Practical Sailor? about them, they tested one and was impressed with the results.

I have a DSC handheld on the vests as well as I think maybe person overboard being able to contact the boat is of value.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:20   #10
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Nope. Is it also possible to auto activate with an inflatable lifejacket, or is it automatically activated in water? Does it communicate the alert and position you your plotter as well as others, with an alarm?
Monte,

The models Dr. Sea is inquiring about all activate manually [not water activated.]

They can be activated by inflation of a PFD if properly installed. [Basically it is a lanyard pulling off an end-cap... so manual is also easy...]

RE: Alert: They have built-in GPS and broadcast a 'MOB' AIS signal with coordinates. [I have read older AIS receivers may not display 'MOB' but will still display the location, just not labeled 'MOB'.

Likewise for the units with VHF DSC: not all DSC receivers will work with them. [All from reading the manufacturers websites and the article linked in my more detailed post earlier in this thread...]

Cheers!

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Old 02-02-2016, 13:32   #11
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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The British publication Yachting Monthly just published an excellent review of all such devices currently available including the two you are inquiring about.
It seems I accidentally linked to page 2 of 2 of the above article.

Here is the link to the beginning of the article for reference.

I apologize for any confusion...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:46   #12
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

Thanks Bill. We do have the safe links and find they perform as advertised. I was more wondering and letting the op know that checking if the other model will work with his plotter is pretty important. Ours work well with our Raymarine e9 plotter (alarm and mob position etc) and also activate in the spinlock jackets. I have seen one that also looked good, I think German, that has water activation. Hopefully they will add plb functionality to these as well for all round security.
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:49   #13
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

[QUOTE=Dr. Sea;2033249]Does anyone have personal experience with the Mcmurdo Smartfind S20 Srs AIS Mob Beacon vs. the Ocean Signal QUOTE]

Not directly with those products but I have had to deal with customer service with both. I have an Ocean Signal EPIRB with GPS. I bought it because the battery is an owner serviced one. When I received it, the battery was 2 years into it's 5 year life. The online seller went silent on me and I had to contact Ocean Signal, who honored a 40% off next battery purchase
McMurdo (a post from another thread I started...I received the McMurdo Smartfind AIS M-15S from Landfall Navigation. Good price and good customer service. Unfortunately, the Software CD had a crack 1/2 way across the disc. Had to have happened at the factory since the box is came in was unscathed.
I found the whole CD thing to be rather antiquated. My SSD laptop does not have a CD/DVD drive and I'll go out on a limb here and state, most new smaller laptops and tablets also do not. It has been my experience in the past that you merely download the driver from the company's website. I contacted them via email looking for that. The response was ...
"The software & drivers can be installed via a memory stick. At the moment we do not supply these. We are trying to make the software & drivers available on line but this is proving difficult at the moment."
I will ask for the software & drivers to be put in a drop box so it can be downloaded. I’ll let you know when I have the link."



I have to say, this kind of pisses me off. To release a new product and not have decent download options is inexcusable. In a second email, they gave me a link to "Drop Box" and there were 6 different downloads. All with computer geek jargon. I asked if I was suppose to download all the listed downloads and now there tech support in England have gone silent.
Landfall Fedex'd me another CD. Now I have ordered an external USB CD/DVD reader, I hope will install the software.
Now in the past here is how I have bought items requiring software in...you plug a unit in and it automatically installs software...usually off a companies website. I mean "proving difficult at the moment"? Give me a break! Everyone else seems to be able to do it. It makes me think twice about the capabilities of this company as a whole. I will attempt to install it in a week or so and let you know what I find.

Landfall gave me the US representative (was not available online) who encouraged me to send him an email with all my recent concerns, and he would forward it to the right personal. That was a week ago...nothing.

So now you choose.
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Old 02-02-2016, 13:58   #14
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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So now you choose.
CelestialSailor, you just made that choice a lot easier. Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2016, 14:06   #15
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Re: McMurdo vs Ocean Signal MOB AIS comparison?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Dr. Sea,

I can report first hand experience with the original version [SafeLink R10 - Kannad Marine] of what is now the Smartfind S20 [Identical according to the manufacturer.]

We have them attached to auto-activate upon inflation of our Spinlock DeckVests. We test annually by manually inflating the vests with a small bicycle pump [to keep moisture from our breath from accumulating inside the bladders...] They work every time and are not in the way- even when we don the vest's built-in spray hood.

Now that the Ocean Signal MOB1 device with DSC is available in the US, that is our current intended upgrade path, but I have no direct experience with those yet...

The British publication Yachting Monthly just published an excellent review of all such devices currently available including the two you are inquiring about.

To complete the thought, we also carry a PLB, a DSC VHF, Skyblazer aerial flares, and a Greatland Laser Flare on our vests to cover all rescue scenarios. These items are so small and relatively cheap these days I'm not sure we could afford not to have them attached to our person, but we frequent some pretty remote areas on land as well as on the water.

In hopes this is useful to some.

Cheers!

Bill
Bill, thanks for your link to the Yachting Monthly review, and your follow-up in a later post. And I like your procedure for annually testing the MOB beacon. Question: how do you carry all those devices on your PFDs? Each one is small, but when you put them all together they are a lot of gear. Doesn't that become rather cumbersome for ordinary life on the boat?
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