Buying an EPIRB

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:10
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Hi,

I'm a regular traveler in the outback and I've finally been convinced by the family to get myself an EPIRB.

Can someone please recommend a make and model that would suit me.
Thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:19

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:19
Following is a good go-to site for an explanation on the various types along with current models.

We use a Resqlink PLB which is small and compact and can fit in your pocket. You will want a PLB rather than an EPIRB, although understand the term EPIRB get used in the context of a “rescue beacon”.

AMSA Website - PLB

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: GarryR - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:25

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:25
hi Bushrat, I purchased a GME PLB for about the $300- mark. Seven (7) years on the battery that can be replaced but you need to send it back to the manufacturer. Just remember that a PLB is used on land and a Epirb is a water floation device. Both do exactly the same thing but the physical size is like chaulk and cheese. Google both devices so you can visual see what I mean. Best money you will ever spend in regards extra safety, and a must if you travel solo and remote. Garry R
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 20:32

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 20:32
I have similar GME unit with the GPS NMEA chain and despite knowing the WA reps they will not replace batteries on the land based units - not economically viable for them to keep batteries on the shelf or something like that, nor is a pleb like me allowed to change batteries over themselves as it becomes non compliant -go figure

So when mine is dead (soon I think) be replaced by another unit from another manufacturer who has already confirmed to em they will replace batteries and seals etc
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:40

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 23:40
Reps don't change the batteries.

All GME units are returned to GME and are serviced, tested, battery replaced and resealed with a new sticker.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mc - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 12:02

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 12:02
GME are pretty upfront about it - battery replacement & refurbishment is $199 for Australians:
https://www.gme.net.au/beacon-information.aspx

It's not something a rep would do. I suspect that all the brands are the same - the risk of it not being sealed properly and thus not working in adverse weather are too great.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 12:35

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 12:35
The only problem with the GME refurb program is that they only warrant them for 12 months not for the life of the new battery - there is obviously a reason for this but not sure what it is.

So while it will properly work for the 7 year period it is only guaranteed to work for 12 months. I would rather pay an extra $100 to have one that is guaranteed for 7 years for peace of mind.

Garry
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Reply By: garrycol - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:29

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:29
Just a point on terminologies - an Epirb is fitted to boats and aircraft, can be quite large and is often auto activated in an incident. They float upright and work in the water

I assume what you are looking for is a PLB - personal locator beacon and is portable, small and easily carried on the person - say a belt. They need to be manually activated and if in the water need to be held up by hand,

However when activated they work the same same so you could fit a Epirb to your vehicle but the better option would be a PLB as it is easily carried in the car or on your person.

I have a GME Accusat MT 410G- works fine apparently - is about $300 and has a 7 year battery life - the battery can be replaced by GME but is just as cost effective to replace the whole unit when the battery is out of date.

I really dont think there is a lot of difference with PLBs that are on sale - main differences will be battery shelf life and the process for replacement. They all work the same so cost and battery life would be the main considerations.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mc - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:02

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:02
Battery replacement/refurbishment by GME is $199 for Australians:
https://www.gme.net.au/beacon-information.aspx
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:42

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:42
EPIRB & PLB do exactly the same thing, quite often on boats that carry an EPIRB, each crew member will carry a PLB in case of a MOB situation.
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:35

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:35
I also have a GME 410 that I've had for seven or eight years, and just had it back from the manufacturer after a refurb/battery replacement.
Excellent service, and a source of great comfort when travelling outback or bushwalking.
Just make sure you keep the registration details up to date, do the simple test regularly, and also keep it secure in a pouch (supplied) to guard against accidental activation.
The latter is a major problem and expense for search and rescue authorities.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 21:02

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 21:02
Hi Guys

Not sure if things have changed recently, but the cost outlay is not worth it for two reasons.

1. The cost between a replacement battery and a new unit is very close.

2. The replacement battery used to only carry a 12 months guarantee compared to a full 7 year warranty on a new unit.

I now have 2 MT 410G units in my safety kit.

The one that is now 8 years old, out of date, but still tests ok and my new MT 410G.

I figure that in an extreme emergent, I can set off both units, fully knowing the old unit will not last the 24 hour recommended time for the new units.

As you all know, a PLB is the cheapest peace of life insurance you can carry, and I believe they should be compulsory for any bush and remote trips.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:20

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 22:20
Not sure about the pricing others are quoting here, but when I had my battery replacement a couple of months ago it was $199 compared to $379 at a national retail outlet for a new unit, so it was a pretty straight forward decision.
Battery life is 7 years out of the factory, and you don't have to go through the process of registering a new unit with AMSA.
And I agree about the Satphone - for remote travel we are in company with friends; I have the PLB and they have the phone.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:40

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:40
The GME410G is a good unit and is what I have.
It contains a GPS to give greater locator accuracy.

Don't consider sending it back for a replacement battery when it has reached the expiry date. The cost of replacement is close to the cost of a new unit, which you can buy for $289-$299.
You can register the unit with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority via their online facility at AMSA Registration

Bill


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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:41

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 15:41
As Stated, buying a PLB is all about the battery life because they cost almost as much to repack as a new one is worth.
Mine is a KTI - good brand, 10 year battery life.
Look for one which is GPS enabled.
An epirb, apart from what has been said, has a larger battery and a longer guaranteed operating time than a PLB, and it floats in water the right way up with the aerial pointing the right way. With a PLB you have to control all those things yourself to get them to work well. The KTI comes with an upper arm holder so you can activate it and wander/swim around hands free, tending to whatever your emergency is while awaiting help.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:00

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:00
If your a regular bush rat and travel remote wouldnt youhave a satphone?
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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:18

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:18
I carry both as they can be used in different situations. PLB allows rescue aircraft to find you while the sat phone enables talk to emergency personel.

Plus you may just need to contact someone regarding breakdowns etc without any need for rescue and for this the sat phone is fine.

Alan
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Reply By: phantom - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:38

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 16:38
I bought a KTI for myself and my son from
http://www.epirbhire.com.au/Buy_a_PLB.html
10 year battery life. These were issued to census collectors and was brand new in unopened package.
Best price I could find.
AnswerID: 608771

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 18:24

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 18:24
Great value, they have been carried for an expedition and still have 8 - 9 years battery life for less cost than the GME 7 year units.
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Reply By: Member - TheBushRat - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 17:36

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 17:36
Hi,
Many thanks to all the folks who answered my question.
I've pretty well decided on the GME;
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GME-MT410G-PERSONAL-EPIRB-WITH-GPS-TRACKING-406-MHZ-PLB-/301681808681?hash=item463da31529:g:DJoAAOSwA3dYfZme
AnswerID: 608773

Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:00

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:00
I would be checking in at your local BCF or similar store. These things can sit on the shop floor for a while and from build to end of life they only have a 7 year life, it does not start from when you buy it.

So go in and check the expiry date of the unit you buy - those on ebay may have sat around for a while. Also the prices seem no better than you can get at your local retailer.

Cheers

Garry
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Follow Up By: Member - TheBushRat - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:31

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 19:31
Thanks Garry,

I'll bear that in mind. Mind you, I reckon my use by date will come before the PLB battery lol.
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Follow Up By: GarryR - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 06:52

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 06:52
Don't forget to register your beacon, as a lot of info for search and rescue is at their hand including emergency phone numbers. For peace of mind, when you plan a trip, register the trip with the athourties of a rough idea the area you are travelling and dates, as it makes it easier for them as to a genuine emergency. I register my trip because my son in law also uses my PLB when I'm not, and he has a different coloured vechile, and different vechile that they my be looking for in case the beacon is set off.
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:13

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017 at 18:13
Don't forget to take it with you when you go over seas.
They work all over the world, not just in Australia.
Just keep the registration up to date with as much information as possible.
A fantastically good service.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 07:53

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 07:53
I use a gme plb and have just replaced it a few months go as the 7 years were up on the battery.

Both these dealers are very reputable and I have used both. Th expiry date on the autoelau supplied units is Nov 2023 which is stated on their ebay ad.

You can contact prestige about the used by dates of their units.

See the links below.
Prestige

Autoelecau

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Follow Up By: Member - TheBushRat - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 08:13

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 08:13
I'll be buying from Autoelecau. They have a very good price and 100% satisfaction rate.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 08:16

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 08:16
This is what I'm buying. Excellent price.
10 year parts and labor warranty plus it has a 20 year shelf life on the battery so you are not buying a half expired battery warranty.

https://www.arnoldsboatshop.com.au/safety-alert-personal-locator-beacon-with-gps-and-free-armband-sa2g/dp/35972
AnswerID: 608784

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:04

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:04
I'd buy the KTI.

$250 every 10 years or $25 per year

vs

GME 410G

$280 every 7 years or $40 per year.

It's smaller too.

Also as others have suggested, fresh stock is important.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:18

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:18
Plus the battery has a 20 year shelf life so you are not paying for half expired warranty batteries.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:06

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:06
Boobook, thanks or that, they look the goods with a 10 year warranty.
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Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:24

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017 at 09:24
I have a GME unit and hang it off the gear stick while driving so that if required it can be reached from either passenger or drivers seat.

Then just slide it up and over the stick, and attach to the belt when out and about.

Paul
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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:00

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 05:00
Also have a look at a Spot Messenger.

More expensive but more flexible. Somewhat less reliable.
AnswerID: 608823

Reply By: Member - TheBushRat - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 16:07

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 16:07
Hi again and once again thanks for all the advice.

I've changed my mind and am going with this. Price is right and they seem to be an OK unit;

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/KTI-Safety-Alert-PLB-with-GPS-/142166855602?hash=item2119ce0fb2:g:pNUAAOSwA3dYF~XU
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 18:22

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 18:22
Bush Rat that one is used so will not be 10 years.

Suggest EO supporter Satphone Sales Very good service. Good satphones too.

https://www.satphonesales.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=260:6e208ed5ccab0c428ac85212606d89fd&zenid=rf6ss3ma7vpsmlc5mu2er89m92

Chris
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 19:01

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017 at 19:01
Chris - read the ad - yes you are correct no is not a full 10 years but 9 years 10 months is close enough and realistically about the same when buy from a shop.
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Reply By: Sat Phone Sales - Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 at 10:45

Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 at 10:45
Idler Chris, thanks for the mention.

We do, indeed, have the KTI epirbs and PLB's. Reason we stock the KTI is the huge warranty and long battery life. The ones we are shipping at the moment have a battery date of March 2018 - so it's actually over 11 years!

They also have a nifty neoprene pouch making them wearable. Mention Exploroz when ordering and we'll throw one in free of charge (Usually about 20 bucks) whilst this stock lasts.

Difference between a PLB and EPIRB (other than the obvious size)?

PLB - battery life 24 hours plus. May or may not float (The KTI does :) ) Needs to have antenna oriented up and held out of water when in marine situation.

EPIRB, must float, will float in correct orientation with antenna out of water. Must have a battery capable of 48+ hours.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 at 19:38

Sunday, Feb 26, 2017 at 19:38
Your a smooth talker Kevin, or is it Sue. I have just checked my GME 410G and it is just out of date so I will be ringing you on Monday and taking you up on your offer.

Chris
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Follow Up By: Sat Phone Sales - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 07:45

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 07:45
Hi Chris, Kevin here - it'd be nice to speak with you, but as far as ordering goes the easiest thing to do is order through the online store.

https://www.satphonesales.com.au/KTi-Safety-Alert-Personal-Locator-Beacon

Select the Sports Armband option and use the coupon code ExplorozPLB when checking out to get the armband free. (case sensitive)

We'll ship within 24 hours via Express Post, the units shipping at the moment have a battery expiry date of March 2028.

We recommend using "PoliPay" at checkout.
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