Replacing my PLB

For all high tech electronic equipment including GPS, PLB, chargers, phones, computers, software. Discussion of simple electrical devices such as torches, belongs in the main 'Equipment' forum.

Replacing my PLB

Postby Tortoise » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 1:59 pm

The time has come to replace my PLB, as the battery's reliable life is over. I've been looking forward to getting a lighter one than the AccuSat I have. As my brain is only functioning on one cylinder at the moment, I thought I'd see if anybody has done the research themselves recently, or have experience with particular sellers. Best options (though there may be glaring errors) seem to be:

1. Ocean Signal RescueMe (for land or sea)
Lightest @ 116 gm
$297 delivered
Middle battery life @ 7 years
Unknown eBay store (safetysamtheman in Dandenong, VIC)
(Or $319 from unknown online Johnny Appleseed online store but with 3 apparent shop fronts)

2. KTI Safety Alert
Cheapest @ $269
Heaviest @ 140 gm
Longest battery life at 10 years
In stock at Snowys, a known shop (online for me)

3. ACR ResQlink
$300 delivered from Snowys
In between weight at 130 gm (yes, I am a gram counter these days)
Shortest battery life at 5 years
Specifies accurate to within 100m. Can't find any specifics on the others. 100 m is a long distance some places in Tassie. Not sure if any are better than this or not.

Thinking of going with number 1 from random (Australian) internet site, as weight is a priority (as long as it does the job), and I figure that in 7 years' time they'll have better, lighter options. Any comments? Ta muchly for any thoughts.
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 3817
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Strider » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 2:46 pm

Mine will expire next year and I will be replacing it with the KTI SA2G (#2). The saving of the 10 year battery life is worth far more to me than a few grams.
User avatar
Strider
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 6030
Joined: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Point Cook
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby keithy » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 3:12 pm

I think the Ocean Signal PLB1 doesn't float if that is important to you - you need to put it in a flotation pouch. If you use the floatation pouch, it will weigh about 165g. The Resqlink+ and the KTI SA2G float by themselves. This might not be an issue for you if you only intend to use it on land though.

I have the ACR Resqlink+ PLB that floats without pouch but weighs a bit more at about 155g, but is is quite a bit bulkier than the KTI. One thing I don't like about it is that the design of the antenna means that when stowed, the flimsy antenna holding catch can accidentally pop up which I've found annoying. That combined with the high cost of battery replacements with the ACR Resqlink, means I might pick up the KTI SA2G next when mine is up for replacement.

The other advantage of the KTI is their warranty period of 10 years - compared to 5 for ACR and 7 for Ocean Signal.

I've bought a few GPS's and kit from Johnny Appleseed at their St Kilda store in Melbourne - Reputable mob. Never dealt with safetysamtheman before You could also try marine/boat places if there are any near you. I picked up my Resqlink+ from a boat place near the CBD.
User avatar
keithy
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 672
Joined: Tue 28 Oct, 2014 5:31 pm
Region: Other Country
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Nuts » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 3:28 pm

We use the PLB1. No, they don't float :) Good service by them when needed.

I know they are a step up in price but, all these are interim technology.. have you considered inreach mini tortoise? (100g's)
2 way comms could be invaluable in a real emergency. Or for emergency services discerning a response/ triage to less than real 'emergencies'.
'a quick game's a good game ... ... ....'
Nuts
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8183
Joined: Sat 05 Apr, 2008 12:22 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 3:40 pm

I also have the KTI model and am happy with it. I particularly like the small durable hard case it comes in.

Having said that if I was to buy today I would also be considering the ocean signal rescue me beacon. Nice size and weight saving and it's tested as water proof.

the KTI is likely highly water resistant, as they advise it is bouyant but they dont claim waterproofing.

Interestingly the rescue me isn't bouyant but it's pouch is.(dont know how impact resistant or heavy/light the pouch is though.

Both the kti and rescue have 66 channel GPS which should allow tracking to 3m (depending on line of sight to satellites and probably several more conditions)
wildwanderer
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 3:55 pm

have you considered two way satellite comms devices?
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:07 pm

Also. You can sometimes get the beacons on sale. Just google the model and see if you get a sale hit

I paid $220 drlivered for my KTI.
wildwanderer
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Tortoise » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:29 pm

Thanks, guys, for all your input already. To answer a couple of questions:

    No, I don't need it to float.

    Yes, I've considered a 2 way communication option, which sounds fantastic. But for reasons that won't make sense to most people, I'll need to stick to the one thing I know is most likely to get the signal out in a real emergency (though other options may have improved in this regard), and that requires no more input from me than updating the registration occasionally when reminded to do so.
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 3817
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:40 pm

Haven't looked into the market for a while now and I'm surprised the PLB1 is still the lightest/smallest. I thought there was a model that beat it.
Just move it!
User avatar
GPSGuided
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 6827
Joined: Mon 13 May, 2013 2:37 pm
Location: Sydney
Region: New South Wales

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Lamont » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:43 pm

I really do see your point about the perceived reliability or lack thereof around something like an Inreach. I wish a heap of users (all of us) were able to post our results, so it could be settled once and for all and everyone knew that they were or weren't trustworthy. FWIW mine (Inreach SE-not the mini) has never failed to send in any circumstance I would expect my PLB to work. I have deliberately tried it in all manner of circumstances except underground, to see if I might trust it. Worked every time. Good hunting.
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
User avatar
Lamont
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 1:27 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Societe' de Lamont Cranston
Region: Victoria

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 4:51 pm

SPOT devices using the less comprehensive globalstar satellite network have had the reliability issues.
inreach using the Iridium satellite network have a better reputation
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Lamont » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 5:07 pm

Exactly wayno-I agree on the Spot! There is a thread on here somewhere and on BPL on the failings of the spot, but I have not heard anything on the Inreach.
Anyway, good hunting Tortoise.
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
User avatar
Lamont
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 1:27 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Societe' de Lamont Cranston
Region: Victoria

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Tortoise » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 5:27 pm

Oh dear, looks like I won't have the brain power to get what might be better... One question, on the off chance... Is there a reliable way to make sure your battery has enough power for a signal in a real emergency, 8 days in? Or does one need to take a power bank as well?
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 3817
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 5:37 pm

for a two way device?
inreach has a hundred hour battery life when in tracking mode, if you arent using tracking much or at all and turn it off when you don't need it, it will last fine.
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 6:54 pm

Just started running a Garmin Inreach explorer at my work. So far its head and sholders above a SPOT. First off, no more batteries. USB charging is better for us, less waste, you never need to wonder if the last set is half flat and won't make the trip. Ping mode from home base if its not being tracked, again a great feature, and the two way comms. We still run the PLB as the main rescue beacon because rescue aircraft can DF it and we do enough on-water that it is worth while. But instead of PLB, Satphone, SPOT, GPS, and phone, its Inreach, PLB, Phone. Because the Inreach doesn't need to do a constant broadcast, as long as it sends a good GPS signal with the SOS, help should be on the way. Yes we will be running with a powerbank as well, and I know its not the most efficient way to do those sorts of things, but its overall still better than keeping track of all the other batteries. Plus solar is only getting better, so longer trips can utilize that, and for us in a lot of cases we can access mains power at least once during most of our trips.

Also I've read that Iridium is getting to do another launch run via spaceX so they will be back to full reliability within the next couple years, so its as bad as it is going to get right now. Seems to still work well for text. Our Iridium phones really struggle with voice, and have no real text capability.
Gadgetgeek
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1118
Joined: Sun 23 Sep, 2012 4:10 pm
Region: Queensland
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Lamont » Thu 26 Jul, 2018 8:58 pm

Hi Tortoise the battery life is stellar on the Garmin Inreach SE if you are using it as a preset message at say 8am,12 am and 8pm. Turned on to send a message and off at all other times and you would get much more than 8 days. I would hazard about 25 days, perhaps more. When it is turned off there is no real battery drop. Leave it on (say all daylight hours) and you would probably send those 3-4 preset messages per day for 6-8 days. Someone else will be able to comment on that.
My use is as above -presets (both email and text, in the one message) to my daughters and my email on the el cheapo Safety plan. If you check this thread viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27083 it might offer you some more info. Full charge from dead 2 hours-confirmed.
For this sort of device a "good" size screen and a good chunky size to get a grip on should the faecal matter strike the fan. The mini I feel is just for communicating I would be very concerned trying to use that if something was wrong and I was agitated.
FWIW I would not get the Mini, as I am using mine as an emergency item and I believe the toggling thru' the small screen is a nightmare-there is an excellent review of the Mini on BPL which confirms this. Sending a message on the Inreach (Garmin) can be managed should you have to and are capable-it is the old school texting a la early mobile phones.
I basically use this a a PLB that I can communicate with and so far have only sent preset messages of which you can compose three.But you can text away if you want.
Anyway good searching-downunderpilot/aviation shop or something had them for the best price I could find at the time.
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
User avatar
Lamont
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 1:27 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Societe' de Lamont Cranston
Region: Victoria

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 9:16 am

the mini pairs with a cell phone you can manage messaging from an app on the phone, as well as from menus on the mini. so a big screen becomes redundant. so you don't need the inreach on once you have synched messages from it, you can shut it down and read the messages stored on the phone ... you cant do the preset messages from the phone though. only custom ones,
plus the inreach can broadcast your position to a webpage you can give to whoever you want so they can see where you are and if you have it on you can allow them to request your location and it will show up when they ask if you have it switched on.
you can advise a contact when to expect to hear from you and if they don't hear from you when expected they can use your last known location to advise authorities if they think its necessary, also if you're going to be be late you can let your contacts know to avoid an unecessary search... people will also be able to see how you're tracking if you have told them what your timetable is and if you are on course or not. it can offer more peace of mind.... locator beacons are very black and white, hearing nothing doesnt tell people anything, you can't hit the emergency button if you're unconscious or may not be able to with serious injuries, but someone can see from the tracker if you havent moved for a long time, people have triggered search and rescues based on tracker information when the person with the tracker hasnt been able to trigger an alert for a rescue
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby neilmny » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 9:19 am

I currently have a GME MT-410G and the battery will expire in the not too distant future.
I plan to get the KTI SA2G for length of warranty and battery life plus size and weight compared to the MT-410G (250g).
https://australianhiker.com.au/gear/kti ... -plb-sa2g/ rated 9.5/10
User avatar
neilmny
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2421
Joined: Fri 03 Aug, 2012 11:19 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby johnrs » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 10:46 am

Another vote for the KTI, and I think it is manufactured in Australia!
johnrs
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 400
Joined: Mon 09 Aug, 2010 6:09 pm
Region: New South Wales

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby peregrinator » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 4:14 pm

johnrs wrote:Another vote for the KTI, and I think it is manufactured in Australia!


It certainly is. Another reason why I did exactly what neilmny plans to do. Sure, the KTI weighs a tad more than the other two units Tortoise referred to, but it has a number of positives outweighing (sorry) that.
peregrinator
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri 15 Apr, 2011 2:50 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Lamont » Fri 27 Jul, 2018 4:29 pm

Spot on again Wayno on all the points relating to it's useabilty- but... I wouldn't trust a phone bluetooth hookup if in trouble. My proviso in buying this was I must be able to use it as a stand alone device if things go pear shaped.
Right or wrong at the moment, as a lone walker, it is a surrogate PLB with messaging capability.
I can easily, slowly and steadily text on this no problem, without glasses, in full sun!
Phone is redundant and holding that *&%$#! thin slippery thing in a crisis-not for me.
The Inreach is perfect in the hand. Its bulky shape is it's strength. Communicating with SAR /police whomever I feel confident.
The presets/messages are just icing on the cake.
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
Everybody have fun tonight Everybody Wang Chung tonight
User avatar
Lamont
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Sun 21 Feb, 2016 1:27 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Societe' de Lamont Cranston
Region: Victoria

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Sat 28 Jul, 2018 4:07 am

you can still operate the inreach mini from the device to send preset messages without the phone.
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby ofuros » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 10:40 am

Even though the battery life is 5, 7 or 10 years don't forget the registration only last for 2years.
You should get a SMS, email etc when it's due to be renewed...check & update any details while your in your account.

...mine had a old rego expiry date still showing on the Plb sticker, crossed that out & put in the new expiry date. :oops:
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
https://ofuros.exposure.co/
User avatar
ofuros
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 4:42 pm
Region: Queensland
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Strider » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 12:48 pm

ofuros wrote:Even though the battery life is 5, 7 or 10 years don't forget the registration only last for 2years.
You should get a SMS, email etc when it's due to be renewed...check & update any details while your in your account.

...mine had a old rego expiry date still showing on the Plb sticker, crossed that out & put in the new expiry date. :oops:

Pretty sure periodic registration was phased out a while ago?
User avatar
Strider
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 6030
Joined: Mon 07 Nov, 2011 6:55 pm
Location: Point Cook
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby ofuros » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 1:36 pm

Thanks Strider, I'll double check the website.
http://beacons.amsa.gov.au

Still every 2years as I read it...just the sticker confirmations were phased out a few years ago.
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
https://ofuros.exposure.co/
User avatar
ofuros
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri 05 Feb, 2010 4:42 pm
Region: Queensland
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby climberman » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 4:41 pm

Rather than the overall battery life, is there a difference in how long the various devices can transmit for?
climberman
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Tue 09 Dec, 2008 7:32 pm

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby Warin » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 4:51 pm

climberman wrote:Rather than the overall battery life, is there a difference in how long the various devices can transmit for?


There is a minimum time in the speck.
There may be a correlation between transmit time and weight - the heaver the more transmit time.
However the speck is more than generous for any walking in Australia/NZ etc.
User avatar
Warin
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 833
Joined: Sat 11 Nov, 2017 8:02 am
Region: New South Wales

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 6:23 pm

My understanding is the specification calls for 24 hours continuous transmission at -20C. So all current generation PLBs need to have a battery that exceeds that.
wildwanderer
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1006
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby wayno » Sat 04 Aug, 2018 5:31 am

some will transmit for up to around a day and a half...
in bad weather you need to think about when you set it off, most search and rescue today with beacons is resolved by sending a helicopter... if its bad visibility then the helicopter isnt going to get to you and the beacon will ping away until its dead and it may go dead long before a helicopter gets to you, so you dont want to set it off if you are going to keep moving.
when SAR get close to you they still need to have the beacon going to pinpoint you effectively, they switch to another frequency coming from teh beacon that they can pick up on antennas that are often installed on the helicopters and carried by SAR
from the land of the long white clouds...
User avatar
wayno
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 8511
Joined: Sun 19 Jun, 2011 7:26 am
Location: NZ
Region: New Zealand
Gender: Male

Re: Replacing my PLB

Postby neilmny » Sat 04 Aug, 2018 10:44 am

ofuros wrote:............Still every 2years as I read it...just the sticker confirmations were phased out a few years ago.


That is correct according to my last registration. Just the stickers are no longer issued as was the case last time I registered on 16th November 2016.
According to the registration "receipt" that registration will expire on 16th November this year.
User avatar
neilmny
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2421
Joined: Fri 03 Aug, 2012 11:19 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Next

Return to Techno-Babble

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest