School Project - Offroad Survival Kit W/ Built-In EPIRB

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 14:32
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Hi guys,

I'm currently a year 12 student undertaking my HSC Major Project for design and technology.

I am looking to design an offroad survival kit with a built in EPIRB suited specifically for Australian Environmental Conditions.

I have come up with 5 possible designs and a 5 question survey in the hopes of improving my designs.

Survey link: hhttps://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScwzoIPa_hQCxLKPEz_1ahvmtaqnua2ZVJw_SWeKTog6_GbYA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Any feedback or help would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Adam
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Reply By: Jon W (Toow - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:17

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:17
Adam, happy to provide feedback but your specs are very difficult to read even with 400% magnification.
Jon W
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Follow Up By: Jon W (Toow - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:41

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:41
Adam, one immediate thought is "reachability" of the PLB. Our PLB is stored so that it is reachable by either driver or front seat passenger in the event of entrapment. Just some food for thought. JW
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:49

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:49
Thanks Jon,

I uploaded some hopefully clearer sketches.

That's a good thought, I have considered that, I'm planning on making the design thin enough to fit underneath a seat, however, in the event of an accident that may present a challenge.

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:25

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:25
I agree to hard to read
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:50

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:50
I have uploaded some hopefully easier to read sketches.

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:39

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 15:39
Plb’s/ Epirus have an aerial which needs to be flipped up and usually when you need one things aren’t going your way. Models like my CTI come with a neoprene arm sleeve to hold it once activated.
If I was designing this kit it would definitely be as a wearable backpack so you can flip the aerial and switch, then have both hands free to busy yourself minimising whatever calamity it is that you are dealing with. Putting down bags and walking away from them is easy to do when shocked.
Excellent project. Well done.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:46

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:46
Hi Gbc

Not all unit have an aerial that needs to be flipped to alert authorities of a like threatening situation

Owners of a SPOT only have to press the SOS button that will send on alert to the authorities and unlike a PLB, once activated, you can simply press the SOS button again to cancel the alert, where as once a PLB has been activated, they are no longer serviceable.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 06:19

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 06:19
I’m sure you’re aware of the differences between a spot and a plb/Epirb? There have been various discussions on here over the years. The OP didn’t mention anything but epirb, and I think it is important that people don’t get the idea that a spot unit is similar to, or interchangeable with a proper epirb/plb because they aren’t. All proper Epirbs have flip up aerials. There is not a snowflakes chance in hell I’d choose a spot over the real thing in a proper life and death situation.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 09:35

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 09:35
Gbc

I have both, and I suggest that you go and do some more homework to get your facts correct.

As for a SPOT not being the real thing, again it shows your lack of understanding of them.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 11:32

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 11:32
I worked for AMSA. I am across it. Spot units are great, both my wife and I also use spots in our remote vehicles to track field workers in our respective industries, but when it goes to custard and you want immediate lifesaving assistance there is only one choice - otherwise our local SAR agencies would allow spot/Garmin in reach/delorme to be used and maybe even be routed directly through aussar in this part of the world - but they don’t. Probably the same reason you carry a plb as well as spot. They cross over in some ways, but not in others.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 13:09

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 13:09
Hi again Gbc

As you are also a SPOT user, you know of their great features, and for that alone, you would not have purchased one, but here is a situation where a SPOT will win hands down.

I take our safety very serious, as when in remote areas, help can be a very long way off.

For that, we use and carry a HF Radio, Sat Phone, a SPOT 3 and yes, 2 PLB’s.
My SPOT is connected to both my SPOT account as well as Spotwalla.

With the two above accounts, I have links to family and friends that track our progress on a very regular basis, which can be very reassuring in a time of trouble.

Now for my scenario.....my vehicle rolls, my HF aerial is broken and both Fiona and I are in a serious way unconscious, my PLB will be no help as we are not able to trigger then.

Now as you know, the SPOT will show everyone that is following me that I have not moved and why?

They can not get hold of me via my HF Radio or sat phone, so hopefully they will alert authorities as knowing my very location transmitted by the SPOT. You must agree that in a situation like this, our SPOTS do well and truely cut the custard and hopefully will save our lives.

I know on a few accessions when we have been stopped for lunch breaks and taking photos, my dad asked was I in trouble or changing a flat tyre, purely for fact that the SPOT had not moved and given our real time position within 5 minutes in real time travel.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:53

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 22:53
Thanks for the insight guys, I will definitely consider this when designing and manufacturing my kit.

Cheers all
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Reply By: Uncle Arthur - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 16:08

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 16:08
Would like to participate but as posted can not read detail. Needs to be using black ink and larger writing. Try again and only too happy to offer feedback.
AnswerID: 624141

Reply By: RMD - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 16:46

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 16:46
Adam
I like the approach you have used to gain information, the way you have done this should be included and highlighted in Notes of your research, because it is valid as you are surveing the people quite likely to use it.
Depite being from the motor industry and heavy vehicle repair background I also travel away similar to what your research use proposes. .
In addition to that, for a period of my life I taught exactly the subject you are part of in Yr 12.
My thoughts.
Note, these comments are for assessment reasons and not only for the proposed concept use.
Anything with drawers and lids and of hard construction is unikely to be practical in vehicle or trekking etc. Although boxes look nice the practicality isn't there, so consideration and dismissal of those may be appropriate.
Like some have mentioned, a backpack is a great idea as it can be used by children and/or adults as the situation deems appropriate.
Obviously there is an EPRIB type device which should be in a compartment with misuse warning labels and proper use deployment labels. Screen printed on Velcro flap compartment lids may be good. Easy to see and luminous print if possible. The inclusion of a LED torch with a long life battery/"replacable" may provide additional safety and ability of use the gear if needed at night.
The First Aid section also should be easily included and used.
If in a box, any severe event may open the case and spread it's contents within the vehicle or thrown outside broken windows, ie, vehicle accident, so the bag of gear should have an external series of easily removed velcro bands so it doesn't disappear and can be opened with relative ease.
Regarding cost, the beacon system will largely dictate the initial cost and anything else is an add on to the overall amount. Sorry about not scoring or selecting. Realistically there are few more concepts to explore.
Special note, From my experience marking yr 12 VCE Tech Design and Development papers from state of Vic.
Many people marking VCE/Yr 12 Tech design reponses do not have a deep background understanding the subject. Some pretty good, some poor. Your efforts have to be, sort of, fool proof and unambiguous as to what message and concepts you are delivering and your selection grading of the various possible/applicable concepts. If your final paper is marked by someone who has little tech understanding and marketability nouse, then it has to be spelled out for them so you achieve a score you deserve.
Hope this adds a different perspective to the work you are doing, it is a great unique idea.
PS, Pink may be a nice colour to some, but it is a colour which is the hardest to see in the dark.
Cheers
RMD
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:00

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:00
Hi RMD,

Thank you for your comprehensive advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to write in such detail in response to my project and will consider everything you have said and be sure to use it in the development of my project.

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Member - 2208mate - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 17:53

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 17:53
Yeah, pics are low res and physically small, makes the whole process near impossible to give a good opinion................ IMHO
AnswerID: 624144

Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:01

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:01
I have re-uploaded the sketches directly to this thread, hopefully they are a bit more readable now.

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 19:32

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 19:32
Adam, I trust your final product doesn't have the same illegible writing as your notes!!

Large, clear text, with unambiguous, concise instructions, is the very basic starting point for any product that is designed to be used by a very wide range of end-users - covering many people from substantially different cultural backgrounds, widely differing physical condition, and widely differing education, reading and comprehension skills.

Keep in mind that a large proportion of the people who need assistance in remote areas after getting into trouble, come from countries and cultural backgrounds, that are vastly different to the quintessential "Australian Outback" type, who is generally very experienced with remote Australian conditions.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 624146

Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:02

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:02
Hi Ron,

These are only initial design sketches and are fairly rough.

When it comes to designing the instructions that go along with the kit itself I will be make sure that they are easy to read, flow well and are simple. Thank you for taking the time to share your advice :)

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 20:58

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 20:58
UmAdam,

If you haven’t already done so, check out a product called “Rescue Swag”. It may give you some further ideas for your final design. As others have said, your sketches are very hard to read.Epirbs & PLBs are will ultimately determine the final cost. A Satelite phone could be something else to consider, but they need a SIM card & a plan of some description.

Macca.
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:04

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:04
Hi Macca,

I checked out "Rescue Swag" following your comment and have gained more insight into what could actually be implemented for my survival kit. Thank you for that advice. In regards to the sketches, I have re uploaded them directly to this thread in the hopes they will be more readable. I believe the EPIRBS will cost the bulk of this project and I will be sure to consider a satellite phone.

Cheers,
Adam
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 15:56

Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 15:56
UmAdam,

Some very good advice coming across from a lot of very "outback" experienced people. What we carry is a Rescue Swag, and a Maritime Safety Grab bag. The grab bag has flares, whistle, and a piece of reflective material, aluminium I think on a lanyard (a glass mirror could easily get broken), and a waterproof/durable LED torch. We also carry a registered EPIRB, a Sat Phone, and hand held UHF radio. I am never without a good quality Multi Tool which has knife, saw, pliers, screw driver both flat & phillips.

Any food that you might include should be dehydrated, to take up less room, but one thing to remember, people can survive several days without food, but only a few hours without water in extreme heat. Water should be of a higher priority than food.

Macca.

PS,
Your larger sketches are much easier to read. The "soft Pack" or a backpack design IMHO would be the way to go, as it is easier to handle and throw around.
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Reply By: UmAdam - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:54

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:54
Hi All,

Thank you all very much for your extremely valuable feedback, i'm surprised how much I have received and how detailed it is :)

I see the issue with the sketches, these are only initial ideas and are fairly rough.

I don't think they've uploaded as well as I hoped so I'm going to re upload them directly on to this thread in the hope that they might be slightly more legible.

Cheers!









AnswerID: 624153

Reply By: smwhiskey - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:58

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 21:58
Without wanting to dampen Adams enthusiasm, I question whether there is a genuine need for such a product. People who have any sort of a clue would already have the makings of such a kit anyway (Recovery, first aid, communications, tools, spares, and carry enough food, water to survive a few days) and the rest (e.g. backpackers) probably wouldn't even think to buy one because that will mean the beer budget will take a hit.

(reminds me of the time a bunch of backpackers drowned their car in a creek on Fraser Island and the only thing that stayed dry was the case of beer sitting on the passenger seat)

Regardless, I've suggested he might think about adding the following into his kit that he may not have thought about:
Flint and Steel fire starter (cheap, easy, lasts virtually forever and works even if everything gets wet)
Water purification tables and/or water filter
Plastic Tarp and large Plastic bags
Light Rope.
Good quality bush knife
Small torch
Small mirror for signalling
Roll of Gaffer/Cloth tape

I'm definitely no expert in remote travel so if I've missed anything obvious add it to the list.

Good Luck Adam. Let us know how it goes

Simon



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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:08

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:08
Hi Simon,

Thank you for your critical feedback, that insight is crucial into continuing this project. I agree that most people make such a kit providing they have the insight but this is more designed for your less knowledgeable "adventurous city dweller" or your typical tourist. Haha, luckily the beer was dry. Thank you for taking the time to assemble that list, I will be sure to include most, if not all of the items you have listed. Will do!

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 23:25

Saturday, Mar 02, 2019 at 23:25
G’day Adam
As you can see some people ( we do) already have developed their own “kit”
But I believe there would be a market for various levels of kit, so as to have a different price range.
Like everything, you expect to pay for what you get.

Great project! Good luck.
AnswerID: 624155

Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:09

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:09
Hi Shane,

Yes I have come to realise that. That's some very good advice, I actually hadn't come to consider that yet. I will be sure to incorporate that in my project.

Cheers,
Adam
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 12:17

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 12:17
We carry 2 such kits in the OKA. Both are back packs. Both are easily accessible from the front of the vehicle. They are styled on the yachties "grab bags" that would be used in a "we are sinking" emergency.

#1 kit is a small back pack which we would routinely uses on walks of under 1 hour to most of the day. It has enough space to also accommodate other stuff, like extra water and lunch. Contains basic first aid kit, hand held UHF, PLB, 4L of water, fire lighting stuff etc. Probably weighs 6 or 7 kg.

#2 kit is more extensive and includes stuff like flares, space blankets, extra first aid stuff, prescription drugs, extra water torch, spare batteries, an emergency food supply, thermal under wear and probably weighs about 12-15kg. Its purpose is for the "crash and burn" event and the intention is that it can be thrown from the window if necessary.

Priorities are 1, survival and 2, communication.
We keep a list of the contents of each bag and check and update the contents on a regular basis.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 21:45

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 21:45
Yep, the grab and go bag concept is the way to go imo, preferably waterproof for water-based activity and soft, lightweight, easily identifiable - with the very basics only included. Could be incorporated into a bigger modular kit which gives people the option of upgrading or adding as they go although the smaller the better for personal portability imo.
As far as technology goes I wonder if a phone app could be developed to talk to/activate epirbs remotely in the future - from a short distance obviously. Even better if you could do away with the epirb altogether and have the phone do the job eventually. Maybe, haven't really thought it through (obviously).
Cost - if the product is well thought out and contains quality easily accessible items then I don't imagine people would buck at a few hundred, more if it includes a comprehensive first aid kit. Epirb is already ~$250 so that leaves little room for extras. Even though people will spend $1000+ all up on individual items over time "price shock" would stop many from forking that amount up front.
Adam - if you haven't done so already you might want to have a look at Bear Grylls for ideas on survival basics also. Vbol with the project.
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:13

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:13
Hi Peter,

Thank you for the insight, it is very valuable in the designing and manufacturing of my project. I will have to extensively consider both the overall weight of my design and how easy it would be to lug around in an emergency situation. I will be sure to keep a list of contents in the kit to ensure nothing crucial is left out incase the worst happens.

Cheers,
Adam
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:26

Sunday, Mar 03, 2019 at 23:26
Adam, weight (and cost) are the crucial elements that determine what to include and what to leave out.
Without those 2 constraints, there is no limit to what the kit can include.
It is also critical that the "kit" is easily accessible and readily deployed in an emergency. There is no point in having the best kit in the world if it is burnt because it could not be extracted from the vehicle in time, so when and how it would be available is important to the whole concept and what is ideal for our vehicle and travel habits may be totally unsuitable for others.
"One size does not fit all."

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: UmAdam - Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 13:40

Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 13:40
Hi Peter,

I agree with what you have said. I will make sure the kit is easy to grab and move in the little time available during emergency's. I will try to make the kit as versatile as possible so it can suit a wide range of users, however, like you stated "One size does not fit all.".

Thanks again,
Adam
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Reply By: Uncle Arthur - Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 09:35

Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 09:35
Hi Adam, Have looked at your designs and the only one I think suitable is the soft pack. Can be fitted in a multitude of locations dependant on the individual's storage. Apart from the normal first aid items consider snake bite compression bandage which has the tension indicators incorporated into the weave of the bandage, thermal space blanket which can double as a tarp and a reflector to attract attention. The pack also has to be light and soft enough so whilst easily accessible but does not become a missile in the event of a vehicle roll over, the forces involved in such a situation are immense. When considering colours go with the standard industrial HiVis colours, probably the fluro yellow as the orange colour would tend to blend in with the desert background. Good luck with the project.
AnswerID: 624175

Follow Up By: UmAdam - Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 13:49

Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 13:49
Hi Arthur,

Thank you for your feedback. At this point, I think the soft pack is the most preferred design and am planning on developing it. I am planning on adding both the snake bite bandage and a thermal space blanket already, so that just confirms that I am hopefully including the necessary equipment and materials. I haven't considered the pack effectively turning into a missile in the event of a roll over, so that will have to be considered, a possible strap could attach it to the bottom of a seat but still be easily pulled out of a vehicle in the event of a crash. Thank you for your helpful input and advice. I appreciate it a lot.

Cheers,
Adam

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Reply By: Member - 2208mate - Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 17:51

Monday, Mar 04, 2019 at 17:51
Now that I read the diagrams, I can see that #5 most closely follows my version of a go bag.
My go bag needs to have everything I need to egress the vehicle in haste with the possibility of not receiving help for a period of 5 days(remote camping and enabling help via sat phone in my case) and worst case the vehicle is on fire denying me any of its assets after things have calmed down..
So communication first, followed by sustaining life until help arrives.
Basically the go bag for me needs to be accessible from the driving position which probably rules out most of your 'containers'
However since there are so many possible combination of needs and expectations nothing you propose will suit everyone, but trying may help some hehe.......
AnswerID: 624196

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