What EPIRB is the go

Submitted: Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:19
ThreadID: 22076 Views:2237 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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I've been reading all the info on EPIRB operation, but I'm sorry but most of it reads like a furniture assembly guide from IKEA.
Is there any 'experts' out there that can give me some info in laymans terms?? I've been getting mixed messages from resellers as to what is suitable for outback touring.
In summary- is the GME MT310 the way to go????
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:33

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 09:33
That's the one I've had for the past 4 years - but I don't know if it works :)

Consider the new breed of UHF EPIRBs coming on to the market, they provide a better fix on your location and have a unique code identifying the owner of that particular EPIRB (should reduce the 97% of false calls). Also I think (not sure) that you can plug a GPS into some of them and thus send out your exact location.

The MT310 and it's ilk (121.5/243MHz) EPIRBs are being phased out and they will not be listened for after 2009 - although I doubt they'll be ignored altogether but certainly by that time it would be good to be on UHF.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 106851

Reply By: Redback - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 10:15

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 10:15
Have a look HERE the new 406 is the go from the old 121.
All you need to know.

AnswerID: 106854

Reply By: Big Woody - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 17:12

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 17:12
Hi Signman,

Mike is right, they are phasing out the 121 mhz system and I would only purchase a 406 mhz EPIRB now as you can expect 10 years out it.
I have several boats and a yacht and I have found the newly released GME MT400 to be the best value for money in the new EPIRB's.

My brother has a communications business so I got mine for wholesale price so I am not sure what retail is worth but Whitworths Marine and Leisure have them for $599.00 which doesn't sound too bad as any other 406 mhz EPIRB is usually upwards of $1000

Here is the link:


I hope this helps mate,

AnswerID: 106915

Follow Up By: Big Woody - Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 17:24

Friday, Apr 15, 2005 at 17:24
Forgot to mention the advantages of 406 mhz are that your position can be pinpointed much more accurately and certainly much quicker. I think it is accurate to a radius of 5 km where the old 121.5 mhz is only accurate to about 20 km.
Also the EPIRB is registered to you and your transmission will also reveal your ID which means if the kids set it off in the driveway, they will probably phone you first to see if it is a false alarm. This could potentially save you heaps if charged for the search to locate the false alarm.
I think another reason for this is that they were getting many people set off EPIRBS and then turn them off after an hour or 2 and not knowing who it was. If they do that with a 406 mhz they will have their identity and can have them charged.

FollowupID: 363883

Reply By: ROTORD - Saturday, Apr 16, 2005 at 17:35

Saturday, Apr 16, 2005 at 17:35
Hello All

406 is better than 121.5/243 beacons and from FEB 2009 will be the only choice. Also, the MT400 is a very good beacon ,especially for $600. However,the MT400 is boat or vehicle sized.If you have 121.5 gear with 3 year battery life remaining then it may be worthwhile to wait for pocket sized cheaper beacons.The 406 beacon also transmits on 121.5 and 243 MHz and search aircraft will home in using their old homing equipment .So even after FEB09 the old equipment will have some use.
AnswerID: 107047

Reply By: ROTORD - Sunday, Apr 17, 2005 at 01:55

Sunday, Apr 17, 2005 at 01:55
Hello Mike Harding

You mentioned that you werent sure if your MT310 still worked.If you take it out of its carry case you will find a press to test button.When it is due battery change send it to GME and they will replace the whole unit for $178.It is likely to fail a test before the stated life of the battery.
AnswerID: 107080

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Apr 17, 2005 at 07:05

Sunday, Apr 17, 2005 at 07:05
Thanks for that Rotord.

Actually I was being a bit light hearted with that comment. What I really meant was that I've never had to activate the EPIRB in an emergency situation :)

As you say there is a test button on the case which can be activated for a few seconds and, even better, if one has radio equipment capable of tuning to 121.5MHz and/or 243MHz it's possible to hear the signal being sent which provides a kind of double check.

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 364060

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