[ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new battery

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[ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new battery

Postby NathanaelB » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 11:35 am

Hi,

I have an Australian-purchased FastFind 211 in excellent condition (as I always carry it well-protected deep in my backpack so it'd survive any falls), the battery expired in Feb 2017 and can be replaced and serviced by Survitec for AU$203.50 incl return postage.

Selling as I've upgraded to an inReach SE+ instead of getting the battery replaced.

Never used, thankfully, except for the occasional GPS and battery test.

Willing to post it for free anywhere in Australia. The PLB is also free. So this is free, except for the $203.50 to replace the battery.

Can't ask for $$ because the McMurdo 220 is only a $100 more brand new.

tbh I expect I'll be chucking this in a drawer until the end of days.

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Strider » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 11:48 am

.
Last edited by Strider on Tue 09 Jan, 2018 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby sambar358 » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 1:11 pm

I'll be the devils advocate here : "Is this free PLB with an expired battery worth staking your life on ?" While the battery test may still indicate the unit is OK......is it ?

There's a reason PLB batteries have a finite life span and I reckon hanging onto one after the battery expiry date "hoping" it's still OK is a pretty risky thing to do especially in a real emergency situation. Too late to regret it when you're in strife somewhere and after activating the beacon in fizzes-out soon-after when there's not enough juice in the battery for the unit to do what it's supposed to.

My GME PLB recently went past the 7 year battery life and I inquired about getting GME to replace the battery.....same deal as this unit really at $220 plus postage each way to Sydney for another $30. Not worth it as a new GME PLB was only just over $310 delivered and it had a full 7 year guarantee with it where-as the re-batteried one was only guaranteed by GME for 12 months. No-brainer really......the old one went in the bin after I dismantled it and removed the lithium battery pack and I bought a newie ! Cheers

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Strider » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 1:27 pm

It's actually a good point you raise Sambar. A quick Google revealed this...

https://www.fishingtackleshop.com.au/pr ... gKELPD_BwE
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby sambar358 » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 3:46 pm

Yep Strider......those KTI PLB's look to be the go. While I just replaced my expired GME MT410G with one the same had I known about the KTI's then I would have grabbed one of them instead. Smaller, a lot lighter and more compact than the GME's and a 10 year battery life compared to 7. Cheap insurance I reckon......especially when spread-out over 7-10 years. Cheers

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby NathanaelB » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 4:10 pm

Well I would sincerely hope that whoever takes me up on this pays to get the device serviced and the battery replaced!

Taking a PLB with an expired battery out in the bush would be like just packing a rock.
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Strider » Tue 09 Jan, 2018 4:13 pm

I think Sambar's point was for an extra $45 one can get a brand new PLB and have full confidence in it's operation. It's a generous offer on face value but in reality makes little sense given the gravity of the outcome if something were to go wrong.

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby sambar358 » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 6:46 am

My comments were't meant to be critical of the OP......it's certainly far better to re-use something if possible than just bin it.

But it seems to me with PLB's with expired batteries that the cost of doing a re-battery is set to discourage this from being done by most as it's almost the cost of a new unit. Two factors put me off getting my own GME PLB fitted with a new battery apart from the cost : 1. You don't get "your" unit back.....they all end-up in a big box prior to being refurbished and you get what you get.....lucky or unlucky dip. 2. With GME the guarantee of a re-furbished unit was only 12 months and not the full 7 years of a new one. For me that alone was enough to go with purchasing a new unit. Cheers

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 7:01 am

Yet I can remember when EPIRB batteries were completely user replaceable using 3.6V Panasonic Lithium "C" cells, replacing batteries and battery packs isn't rocket science or even all that difficult technically
From a quick google the battery pack itself looks like a stock standard long life battery pack worth about $45-
Not that I'm going to take it and replace the batteries myself as I made a decision decades ago to never take one
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Lord Backcountry » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 12:22 pm

For another perspective I also regularly scuba dive (shallow reefs, deep wrecks and caves using air and a range of mixed gases).

I have 3 dive computers which I rely on fairly heavily you might say.

2 have user replaceable batteries. One takes a 'AA' battery and the other a 'CR2032'. Both cost less than $3 and takes 3 minutes (less if I put my beer down).

My third dive computer has to be sent away to Sydney. Some weeks and $130 later it comes back.

So to say I am a bit cynical about non-user-replaceable PLBs would be an understatement!

[I have the Ocean Signal PLB1 which I highly recommend by the way].

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 12:31 pm

And does it have easily user replaceable batteries?
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Lord Backcountry » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 12:53 pm

No! Grrrr....

But when its time has come, I'll disassemble it and take it to Battery World and see what they can do.

My estimate is $18.

I'll let you know in 5 years time...

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby Warin » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 2:09 pm

Moondog55 wrote:And does it have easily user replaceable batteries?


Don't think any of the small EPIRB/PLBs are 'user serviceable' in anyway. There were large suitcase sized EPIRBs back in the old days ..had clockwork inside! ... they were serviceable, but you'd want someone with experience to do it. Making them 'user serviceable' reduces reliability - even if the user doesn't fiddle with it, adding places where dirt/water can get in more easily.

If you want to open one up and replace the battery .. your going to need a battery of the right size, voltage and at least the same capacity. Then your going to need a glue .. And then will the new battery last as long - not self discharge over 10 years? Humm I wonder what my old non 406 one has inside it .. and if it is worth any money?

I Note:

a) GME recon a 12 year life for the electronics, so one battery replacement then through the unit away. https://www.gme.net.au/emergency-beacons.aspx

b) Don't throw the thing in the bin! Some of them activate .. and send search teams looking through rubbish. Apparently 'Battery World' will dispose of them and recycle things appropriately.
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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby sambar358 » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 2:59 pm

Warin wrote:
b) Don't throw the thing in the bin! Some of them activate .. and send search teams looking through rubbish. Apparently 'Battery World' will dispose of them and recycle things appropriately.


Correct...it is important to notify AMSA that you have either disposed of/deactivated your PLB or on-sold it to another individual who then has to re-register it with their ownership and emergency contact details etc. With my GME PLB it was easy-enough to get to the lithium battery pack and unplug it.....the battery was then dropped-off at the local computer shop for correct disposal the rest went in the bin as it was essentially just a mass of plastic and a few small electronic components. Cheers

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Re: [ACT Post Aus] McMurdo FastFind 211 PLB needs new batter

Postby NathanaelB » Wed 10 Jan, 2018 5:02 pm

Thanks it'll go in a bag with a bunch of other electronics like old iPads, phones, laptops, hard drives etc that I have to figure out how to dispose of one day ...
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