Epirb

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 10:40
ThreadID: 136472 Views:2648 Replies:13 FollowUps:36
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Hi all I want to get an epirb for our trip to Simpson Desert plus other trips. Went to BCF and was told that I can’t use a normal gps epirb because if I activate it the coastguard will be notified and they will send a boat to find me. Any idea if this is case do I need a personal one.
Darryl
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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:05

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:05
Well you certainly should not buy one from there, if that’s the best they can do! In fact, you should write to BCF telling them to train their staff better.

For a start, there is no “coastguard” in Australia, but AMSA, the Australian Marine Safely Authority, which is in Canberra (ie nowhere near the ocean) will know where you are and will contact your next of kin and direct the necessary rescue agencies to your location.

A very simple internet seach will give you all the necessary information. Indeed, on this very website, there is an excellent article on epirbs and personal locator beacons here

Now, go and buy one from someone who deserves your custom!
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Jon W (Toow - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:33

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:33
Also, on the AMSA website there is the facility which allows you to upload your detailed itinerary as a document.
JW
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:21

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:21
Indeed, even photos of vehicles !!
It's a very good registration service and easy to manage.
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Follow Up By: duck - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 17:33

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 17:33
when you fill in the registration you can use the same unit as a dual use for land & sea
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Follow Up By: Happy Frank - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:46

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:46
https://coastguard.com.au/
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:07

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:07
Never heard that one before. We have a KTI PLB only because of the size.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:23

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:23
That's (what I feel is) the best value PLB on the market, still around $249, and 10 - 11 years service.

I have 2 of them, one in my bushwalking gear, one in the glovebox of the 4WD, and take both on big trips.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:12

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:12
It is normal to use a PLB on land based trips, not an EPIRB (which is larger and designed primarily for boating).
Not withstanding, both must be registered and the registration allows for indicating where and how it will be used, so I see no problem whatever with using an EPIRB in the Simpson, or any where else (including overseas), on land or at sea.

As far as the coastguard responding to an EPIRB signal from the Simpson, I don't think you need to worry about that :) That must be a joke? All signals go via an earth station in the ACT (I think) and they determine who responds.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:35

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 11:35
And they wonder why people buy on-line and don't bother going to bricks and mortar stores.

The whole point of a PLB/EPIRB is it send a signal so they can know where to start looking.
I know government departments can have their inefficiencies and operational issues, but I'm sure some questions would be asked about sending a volunteer coast guard boat or even a frigate to begin a search in the middle of a desert.... there is a bit of flood water out there at the moment, but not quite that much.

EPIRB and PLB's work on the same system, EPIRB are far bulkier as they have to meet a higher standard for operational battery life, water resistance and flotation; all things that not quite as necessary and make them bulky and inconvenient as a personal locator beacon for use on land.

The sales person at BCF as a serious lack of product knowledge.
AnswerID: 617810

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 06:13

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 06:13
I think many people, myself included, find buying lots of things from a bricks and mortar outlet almost impossible. Ringing around, the runaround you get, they don't ring you back, you drive across town in bumper to bumper traffic to find it's not what was promised.... I recently had to buy a new Chlorine cell for our pool, rang six pool outlets, all different mobs, found one that could get me one in a week, $611. 'Looked on EBay, same brand and type $335 and a special EBay 10 % discount.So for $300 and 3 days later was delivered to my door. So you can't blame people for not supporting local shops, no matter how well heeled you are, you are not going to pay double. I do my research and buy on price in most cases but I also consider the warranty side of it and how hard it will be to get it fixed or replace in the event of failure. Michael
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:24

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:24
You buy stuff from bricks and mortar stores and there's an inbuilt cost of about 30% of the items purchase cost, to cover the enormous rents these business people have to pay.

If you knew the rents these businesses are paying, you would be stunned. Spoke to a furniture retailer bloke who was closing down last year, and he said his rent bill was over $110,000 a year!!

You gotta sell shiploads of furniture to cover that kind of business input cost!

I have no intention of making greedy commercial property landlords any wealthier than they already are.
In my neck of the woods, these greedy people are still demanding 20% to 35% ROI for property rents!
Someone needs to remind them we only get 2.5% - 3.5% when we put our hard-earned dollars on interest-bearing deposits!

What is amazing is that there are industrial suburbs that are a wasteland of empty factory units - but the landlords won't reduce their asking rents, though!!
They just put the empty units up for sale when they can't rent them - at exorbitant prices, too!

Online is the only way to go. You have the choice of thousands of online sellers and they all deliver right to your door, 98% of the time!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:46

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:46
You should see the big retail places like Westfield and Centro, they get to see all the books, and adjust rents upwards if you're making a good profit !!

I support bricks and mortar where I can, but it's so easy now to compare online, and if it's blatantly out of line I will shop internet source.
If you ask a retailer to match online pricing, it's surprising how many will, even if it is close to their cost.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 18:32

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2018 at 18:32
Ron N I don’t know what neck of the woods you are from but I was just reading a registered valuation for some commercial property in Sydney and the expected rate of return is 4.5 to 6% return for the area
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Reply By: Darian - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:42

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:42
Just as a comment on the general issue of remote area communications....whatever device and/ service you decide on, as opposed to just hitting a 'help' button, being able to advise
authorities as to what is actually going on with your situation is beneficial all round (potentially to your pocket too, $ wise). There is a world of difference in (for example) the status of a life threatening health emergency, compared to the breakdown of a well provisioned vehicle that prevents your progress for awhile.
HF radio and Satphones have their place (some users hire them), but maybe consider Spot Messenger as well (highly effective, preset, one way communication, as I understand it). My choice is HF and satphone, because if the chips are down with my small team, it'll probably be health and I'll want to talk 2-way with someone, in real time.
As for retail chain staff and their product knowledge.....if you have done all of your homework prior, all you want from them is the price :-)......specialist retailers are of course in another realm....expert advice is the norm.
Good luck with the project.....and have a great time out in that red sand.
AnswerID: 617813

Follow Up By: dazza141 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:12

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:12
I completely agree I do have sat phone organised but want the eperb if were upside down and in deep dodo.
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Follow Up By: Darian - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 14:30

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 14:30
Yep - good point - another scenario for the subject.
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Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:51

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 12:51
I wonder if that BCFing advice applies to all BCFing stores?
Perhaps the sales staff have been watching American videos too much and think Coastguard automatically.
Most of your younger people are simply cloned from Americans, not Ozzie anymore.
AnswerID: 617814

Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018 at 00:10

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018 at 00:10
Australian Coastguard
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Reply By: dazza141 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:18

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:18
I didn’t buy it there the young guy really put me of I’ve got a pretty good idea on how epirb works but just wanted to check if some government department changed the rules. I will be getting one of the bigger ones with gps and mounting it beside the drivers seat
AnswerID: 617815

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:56

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 13:56
I suggest that if you are not using it in a boat, then a PLB is more appropriate than an EPIRB and that you carry it on your belt when you go walking rather than leave it in the vehicle. They are all available with GPS.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:26

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:26
Agree, cigarette pkt size, can be taken if you are leaving the vehicle for a bushwalk etc.
Most PLBs have 7 year battery, some 10 - 11 years.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 06:23

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 06:23
I agree, get the KIT, it's the new market favourite $250 or less Register it and it's done. 10 year battery life and GPS to find you, even if you are still moving after activation. It's tiny and you get a cute little zipp hard bag and an armband for bush walking. By the way, you need a PLB for land use, Epirbs are for Marine use and each
Epirb is registered and dedicated to a particular Vessel. Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 10:49

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 10:49
Michael

I am not looking for an argument but, I I think it is essential to provide accurate information for topics that may have potentially life threatening consequences.

Unfortunately the information you have provided is incorrect...

"By the way, you need a PLB for land use, Epirbs are for Marine use and each
Epirb is registered and dedicated to a particular Vessel."

The following information is taken from the AMSA webpage. You will note that you may use an EPIRB for land based activities.



For those who wish to visit the site - Click Here

Cheers

Anthony

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 16:35

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 16:35
All good Anthony, I'm not the argumentative type but it seems what I wrote is the general consensus, right or wrong! I do know you can use a PLB as a portable unit on a boat. Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:18

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 20:18
Hi Guys, you can also use an EPIRB on land. They do not have to be registered to a vessel.

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Reply By: Member - cruza25 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 14:17

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 14:17
A plb is what you need
An epirb is for marine use

Gme and kti are the most common
Kti are about $248 plus post at satphone sales who is a business member on here
Gme are a bit dearer

Make sure you get fresh stock with a full 10 year battery life
Also an arm band so you can take with you out of the vehicle
AnswerID: 617816

Follow Up By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 15:51

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 15:51
Again...An EPIRB can be used on land and when registering it, you are able to designate your vehicle in addition to your vessel.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 17:00

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 17:00
Absolutely, if you have a boat and go more than 2nm offshore, you must carry and EPIRB, so you could easily use it for land too, quite acceptable.

I hazard a guess what cruza25 was addressing is if you didn't own a boat and wanted a locator beacon for land trip (and kayaking etc too), why would you buy a much larger, heavier, more expensive EPIRB over a PLB ?
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Reply By: uncle arthur - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:55

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 15:55
You can purchase ex hire KTI plb on ebay for $235 delivered. I have purchased one and it is in "as new" condition. The battery life is minimum 10 years and they provide full details on how to register it with AMSA. If going anywhere you need a plb for your own safety.
AnswerID: 617818

Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 18:19

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 18:19
Unless the rules have changed up till approx 2 yrs ago I previously had my EPIRB for my boat registered to the boat and my 4WD for 10 yrs in that time I had changed 4WD's once so just logged into the site and changed the vehicles details. I would suggest contacting the EPIRB register site so you get the exact info your after because their not stupid enough to send a boat to a land rescue it would be based on the location of the beacon when activated.

If it works out you can still use the same type for land and sea I would go back to BCF and inform them their employees need to be given the correct information about products they are selling so they are not misleading their customers visa versa if he was correct.
AnswerID: 617821

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 18:25

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 18:25
"Can distress beacons be registered for more than one use?
AMSA can register a beacon for up to four uses e.g. vessel, vehicle, aircraft. However, please note that in some cases PLBs cannot be carried as a substitute to an EPIRB. Check your State and Territory legal carriage requirements."
http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/registration/

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 19:13

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 19:13
Like maritime use, I think aircraft have various rules for these.
Some situations require ELTs (Emergency Locator Transmitter), other times a PLB or EPIRB is permitted.

With boating, an EPIRB is mandatory for boating more than 2nm offshore, pretty sure because an EPIRB will float, upwards with the antenna correctly pointing up to the sky, and possibly (read once somewhere) because an EPIRB may operate automatically in some circumstances (immersed perhaps).

EPIRBs are required to operate min 48hrs, while PLBs and ELTs are only 24hrs . . . once they have your position from it (minutes if not seconds) well that's it, all they need.
In some cases all these have 2nd frequency that S&R craft can home in on when close.
Otherwise, in a land situation, if at all possible don't move too far once you have activated it.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 19:28

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 19:28
There is nothing prohibiting the use of a PLB in boats and aircraft (in addition to any mandatory requirement for something better), so it is always a useful thing to have as an individual.
I understand that all of these devises also transmit on VHF 122.5Mhz which is the aviation emergency frequency and is used for homing.
CORRECTION, that frequency is VHF.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: RussellFJ - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:24

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:24
Thats not correct re the transmit freq, PLB do not use the 121.5MHz , They use 406MHz.

There used to be two operating frequencies - 406MHz and 121.5MHz – but as of 1 February 2009 the 121.5MHz analogue frequency was no longer received by the satellites.

Every 406MHz distress beacon must be registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority: it’s free and easily done on-line at the AMSA .
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:29

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:29
I understand that they do transmit on 121.5 (not 122.5 as I posted).(...as well as 406). This is not for the satellite, it is for homing aircraft.
I will see if I can check.....
No mention of 121.5, so looks like you are correct - my apologies...
Yes, easy to register and a stunning public service.
They work world wide BTW. We take ours overseas when we go....

Cheers,
Peter OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:47

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 20:47
Peter

It would appear that you were correct. Info below taken from GME Website for the MT410G PLB.

Product Details

Fitted with NON-HAZMAT long life batteries
Featherweight, compact and robust construction
50 search channel GPS receiver for better than 100 metre accuracy
Digital 406 MHz, 5 Watt transmission plus 121.5 MHz homing signal
7 year battery life
COSPAS-SARSAT worldwide operation
7 year warranty
National and International approvals
Typical accuracy (with GPS) <100m
Sealed waterproof design (exceeds IP67)
High visibility flashing light
Retention strap and fully buoyant design reduces risk of loss
Unique patented technology - no warm up period
Complete with protective carry pouch

For those who want to see the GME page - click here

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 12:49

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 12:49
Yes Peter n Margaret I was able to register my EPIRB to maximium of 4 vessels, vehicles of aircraft. An EPIRB can still be used on land as pointed out in the above reply it's still the same when I had mine. They are bulky to carry for hiking so the smaller PLB would be much better but I don't go on long hiking trips so originally when I found out my EPIRB could be used on land I just carried it in the vehicle just in case. So if you already have an EPIRB you don't need to spend extra for a PLB if you really don't need one.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 15:16

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 15:16
Inshore boating you don't need any beacon.
More than 2nm (offshore) and EPIRB is required to be carried, for the reasons I pointed out above.
A PLB won't cut it as far as legal requirement goes, even if it floats (as most do), they must go for min 48hrs and float with antenna pointed up.

A PLB is by far the most versatile beacon for land use, small enough to have in the console of glovebox, and take when going on foot for any sort of activity.
If you already have an EPIRB for the boat, well then nothing to stop you taking it on your land adventures, they are just larger.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 23:06

Sunday, Mar 25, 2018 at 23:06
For those criticising the knowledge t the salesperson, it appears something has been lost in the traslation, and the sales assistant was just trying to point out the an EPIRB is for marine use.

Darryl, you have now had the answer many times over, that for land based safety, carry a PLB.
Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 07:02

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 07:02
Thats the way i read it also, EPIRB is for Marine use. The sales guy was correct but maybe he failed to add that they sell PLBs for land use Michael.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018 at 23:40

Tuesday, Mar 27, 2018 at 23:40
What a load of misinformation has been spouted in this thread, EPIRBs can be used anywhere, any time, as can PLBs, every offshore racing yacht not only carry’s an EPIRB for the vessel, but also every crew member has a PLB in a pocket high on the sleeve of their wet weather gear. This is how they got referred to as PLBs as they were intended to locate single crew members unfortunate enough to go overboard.

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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 07:53

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 07:53
I used to repurpose our boat’s epirb in the car in the days before PLB’s for all our dodgy trips. These days with digital epirbs being ‘registered’ to a vessel, AMSA appreciates a heads up trip log when you are doing it so they don’t have to go looking for a ‘Carter 33 sloop with 5 POB’ on the Coulson Line.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 09:48

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 09:48
Shaker, while PLBs might be ok for individual use, an EPIRB is mandatory when specified for offshore for the craft.

This brochure is fairly comprehensive in its info . . .
AMSA beacon info

"PLBs do not meet the
equipment carriage
requirements when an
EPIRB is specified as
mandatory."

Good discussion, and not too much wrong.
If you are only using a beacon for land use, get a PLB, small light ciggy pkt size, can keep close and take without hassle if leaving for a walk etc.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 19:10

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 19:10
I am fully aware of EPIRB requirements, 20 years as a Yacht Broker made sure of that!
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 08:06

Monday, Mar 26, 2018 at 08:06
Coastguard Tibooburra stands by with a vessel ready to launch into the desert for any rescues. No expense was spared getting it there - apparently?
Seriously, any signals are sent to AusSar in Canberra who plot it, confirm it and then assign the relevant resources. This is why, if you are doing something remote or dodgy, logging your activity with AMSA before you go helps them to confirm it is you and that you are meant to be there and get the right help to you quickly.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 12:28

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 12:28
Hi Guys, For my money, the fact that an EPIRB sends a signal for 48 hrs vs 24 hrs for a PLB, I would choose an EPIRB.

I have both an EPIRB & a Sat Phone with pre paid sim for remote travels.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 13:03

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 13:03
If you are drifting in a life raft of somewhere 1000kb south of Cape Horn, I would agree, in a 4WD or walking somewhere in the desert, they will probably have your position fixed in 5 minutes or less and simply want a longer transmission to be sure it is not an accidental false alarm.
An EPIRB is rather bulky and inconvenient for walking and more expensive, unless you have one already, as you have, in which case, just use it ...

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 15:10

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 15:10
Peter, Horses for courses I guess. Unless your'e buying really cheap on line, quality PLB's & EPIRB's are pretty much the same cost.

Yes PLB's are generally smaller, but I don't think many people will be hiking through the Simpson Desert, which is what the OP was asking about.

No offence meant.

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 18:32

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018 at 18:32
" I don't think many people will be hiking through the Simpson Desert,"
We have done short hikes in the Simpson. Much more wild life away from the roads. More people should try it I reckon?
Also longer walks to Degree Confluences, over nights in the Bungles and Tassi.
These things are good for around 10 years, so the more flexible and convenient = the more used = the more likely you have it if it is ever needed.
If you are 2 or 3 km away from the car and it is in the glove box when you need it you will wonder why you bought one I reckon?
If you never leave the car, then fine.....

Cheers,
Peter
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