EPIRBs ?

Submitted: Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:06
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Hi all, tried navigating around the EO Shop and it seems Im no better at that than navigating Dunns Track.....hahaha.

Her Highness has instructed me that the 4by is not to leave the shed without an Epirb.

If you were in Perth, where would you purchase one please.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:16

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:16
Hullo Lionel, glad you got back OK, sense of humour intact.

Have a look at GME Electrophone's website. Check out their Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). One model comes with a built in GPS so your location is much more precise when it goes off.

There are other manufacturers too.

Then go to a Boat Dealer or 4WD outlet and get them to order one. ALL 406MHz PLBs and EPIRBS are in short supply at the moment because of the changeover from 121.5 to 406 MHz.

Maybe ring GME in Canniing Vale and ask who might have some stock at the Caravan Show next weekend. These PLBs can be registered over the internet and then your details are attached to the particular beacon.

If you find that 406 beacons are hard to get, see if you can lay your hands on a 121.5 beacon (Battery World are a collection point for old ones, they might sling you one) because aircraft still monitor for 121.5 (only the satellites have stopped monitoring that freq) and you most certainly would have had that signal picked up by interstate air traffic where you were last week.

cheers
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:16

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:16
Lionel

Hope you are going to post lots of pics of your little 'mishap' last weekend :-)


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:40

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:40
Two problems with that one Willem.

The camera is still some where in the half un-packed 4by.

I have to bribe the nine yr old down the street to get the photos from the camera to the forum.

Oh! problem three, the embaressment of it all.....lol.

Working on it mate.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:23

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:23
If you have a BCF store in your area try them, BCF is where I got mine. No one else had any.
Fred B
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:31

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 19:31
Hi Lionel,

After searching the ExploreOz Shop without success myself, I feel free in directing you to the site I purchased mine from.
It's not the cheapest, having a built-in GPS to improve accuracy, but it is both compact and an Australian made product.

Whitworth Marine

Good to see all turned out well.


Bill




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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 06:33

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 06:33
Lionel,

This is where I got mine as well.
Good price and they do mail order.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 20:42

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 20:42
Before buying one be aware that they are for use in life threatening situations only.
If you set one off and as you were last week it may not be considered life threatening and may cost you big dollars to pay the costs of the search.

If wifey wants to have contact in similar situations perhaps you should consider an Iridium satellite fone and a Telstra internationally roamed sim card.
Then you can contact a friend who can organise some help at minimal cost.
Remember Choppers cost about $1000 an hour to come and look for you.

All the best


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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:15

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:15
You have a valid point there, Graham

I have never had the need for an Epirb. Have had HF and now have Satphone. Have had to use HF once in anger and it worked well that time. I think the Epirbs were designed more for sailors than for someone driving around in the outback.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:33

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:33
Hi Graham, I was always of the same opinion, no threat to life - dont touch the Epirb.

When speaking to the police officer co-ordinating our rescue, he told me that the Epirb should be used as soon as you realise your in a situation you cannot get out of.

He explained it by using this senario:

If you were, for example, on a remote track and you sustained damage to a tyre which made the vehicle inoperable, did not have a spare, the Epirb should be activated.

If you had a spare which you were too lazy to fit, activated the Epirb so someone would come and fit it, they would roast you alive.

He reckoned it has happened in the past.

Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:48

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:48
Fair enuf I suppose but in saying that anyone who goes bush or remote without a spare should be roasted alive SLOWLY so they can think about their stupidity.
They should also have to pay for the assistance.
In your situation I suppose it would apply to activate it but I would try the Satfone first. Not much more expensive and has more uses as well.

The two who died in the Kimberley a few months ago show how stupid people can be. Apparently no water, no phone or no coverage and no one knew where they were.

Oh well will stick to my satfone and HF .
Cheers


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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:02

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:02
Yep, your dead right there, however, the SES guys told me their job is to rescue and not judge ones level of stupidity.

That made me feel a little better, not much, but a little....lol.


Over the weekend gonna put together a post about the trip and the rescue, hope it will be an interesting, and to the uninitiated, educational read.


Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:15

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:15
Graham,

OK I'll bite mate.
Not everybody is in the finantial situation to justify both a satphone and a HF transceiver.

Willem,

Don't agree with your comment matey.
An EPIRB is a safety device that is just as applicable in the remote area of the bush, as it is on water and is therefore not just for sailors.

The fact is that with the new digital EPIRBs which are registered to the owner, there is far less chance of a false alarm as the authorities have an initial point of contact with a nominated person to confirm if the owner was on a planned trip somewhere.

I would have to agree with Lionel's comments and those of the police that when faced with a difficult situation that needs outside assistance and other avenues of contact are not applicable, activation of the EPIRB may well not only save the person activating it, but also save many hours of resources searching for a "missing person".

I had an analogue EPIRB for some years and now have the digital version. I sincerely hope I never have to use it, but for the peace of mind of myself and my family, I'm happy I've got one.


Bill



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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:11

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:11
To Sandman
yes it cost $3600 to buy the NGT and a 9505A but will sell them when trip is finished.
As I dont intend to do much offroad as Im towing a 2800kg van I think an EPIRB as well would be overkill
They serve their purpose and the new ones are excellent as to knowing who owns it.

Just dont lend it to a mate for the weekend.

Not much good looking for a white Toyota when its in a red Nissan.

Apparently they are supposed to be used ONLY in the registered vehicle.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: aroundwego - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 07:44

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 07:44
"Regarding the white and red car - registered vehicle comment"

That's not really a problem, as when your beacon is detected the fist call is to the registered owner. So if you answer and say I lent it to a guy in a red car and he is going to "suchandsuch" a place that fine.

If you don't answer, the calls go to your other nominated contacts, and if they don't know where you are or that you lent it the search still happens and it wont really be affected because a different car has it. The aircraft will be homing the beacon. All of the other info, car , people, plans is still important as it helps build up a picture of the incident and assist in the response.

The important thing is if you lend it - make sure you and your nominated contacts are aware it has been lent and who has it. If it is going to be for a lengthy period - get the other person listed on the registration details. You can get notes and additional info added to the database. That's not a problem and it preferred.

That said red car info is always pretty handy when hunting active beacons in towns and similar built up areas. Spent a night chasing a beacon registered to a popular backpacker van company, it was going off in Cairns - Do you know how many white backpacker vans there are in most camping areas.....lol

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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:02

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:02
Hi Graham,

"Apparently they are supposed to be used ONLY in the registered vehicle".

Not true. They are for emergency use by any person, anywhere, any time.

When an owner registers a beacon they may add information that could assist searchers such as; Used on land in a 4wd.

It could take several hours to calculate a position of a beacon if it does not have an on board gps. It takes two passes of a low orbit satellite to get enough information to triangulate a beacons position. On the first pass a satellite only has enough information to calculate two possible positions, one either side of the satellite path. These two possible positions could be thousands of kilometres apart and may well show one position at sea and the other on land. If your beacon is registered as land based then the false position can quickly be discounted.

.
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Follow Up By: aroundwego - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 16:11

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 16:11
Kiwi Kia

Although what you say is partly true, niether position will be discounted untill there is further evidence. As its quite easy for someone to say they will only use it inland but then decide to take it fishing or flying.

Without the GPS position or when waiting for further sateliite passes, the information from the contacts is the information needed, or hearing reports from aircraft, as a request will be put out for aircraft to monitor 121.5 in both areas.

Only when it is cofirmed, through evidence, which of the two positions is the real one, will the second one be discounted.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 16:51

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 16:51
Aroundwego, you are of course correct but the wheels of the machine are already starting to roll, calls being made etc.

As soon there is confirmation that the EPIRB is land based then the probability for the 'false' position at sea can be down graded to almost zero. In a worst case scenario this could save up to 10 hours off the waiting time for a confirmation of the EPIRB position.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:17

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 12:17
another misconsption is the old Epirbs signals are no longer monitered which is not true.
Only a few weeks ago a guy fell off a ladder doing some work near the now abondaned Bulong. he dragged himself into the shed grabbed the epirb and managed to drag it as far as the door for the signal to get out.

The signal was located and he was rescued
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 14:13

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 14:13
Hi get outmore,

Yes, that is true but that guy was very lucky. You have to have an aircraft actually pass through an inverted cone zone above you for it to be heard. If you are in a narrow valley or not underneath a standard airways route then kiss your help wish goodbye ! The 406 EPIRB will be heard (immediately if it can see a reasonable amount of sky) although your exact location will then take a bit longer to work out if the EPIRB does not have a gps built in. I definitely would not risk a 121 MHz beacon to alert people if I was in trouble.

.
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Reply By: get outmore - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:15

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:15
i reckon the midland gunmart/fishing/camping place would have them
I ll havea look wednesday for you
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:43

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:43
Thanks mate, appreciate it.

Cheers....Lionel.
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Reply By: Member -Chops - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:41

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:41
Gday Lionel. Prestige Comms have a range.Prestige
Cheers
Col
AnswerID: 353885

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:49

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:49
Bugger.....of course.....thanks Col.

Was there 2 weeks ago picking up a uhf for a mate that was supposed to be the 2nd car on the fateful trip and pulled out a day before.


Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member -Chops - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:51

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:51
No worries mate. Glad to hear you are back safe.
Col
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:08

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:08
Guys,

I have done business with Prestige Comms as well. Good Conpany.

However in this case the 410G EPIRB is $100 dearer than Whitworth's price. That is why I posted their Website.

Whitworth's have two outlets in WA, at Mosman Park and West Leederville.

Bill


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Reply By: timglobal - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:51

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:51
The Spot device (available in the EO store) gives you more scope for checking in than an EPIRB which is all or nothing.

I have one and can recommend it. It allows you to send OK, Help and 911 messages which can be emailed to anyone you choose.

Coverage is great and data, so unrelated to their voice transmission issues.

Have a look here Spot site for info and then buy on EO.

Cheers,

Tim
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:06

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:06
Thanks Tim, that looks like an interesting concept.

Cheers....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dick (Int) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:38

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:38
Lionel

Firstly it is good to see you here posting again. For a couple of days we were worried about you.

I carry a HF which is vehicle mounted, a Satphone, an EPIRB and two SPOT's purchased from the EO Shop. You might say this is an overkill but let me explain. I travel in remote area's and mostly alone, and I am now 75 years old. I also leave the vehicle and walk to look at various geographic features. One Spot stays in the vehicle and pinpoints its position. The other Spot I carry on me which identify's where I am. My son monitors where I am over the internet.

In the back pack I carry when walking are the SatPhone plus 3 charged batterys, a GPS and the EPIRB. The EPIRB would only be activated in an extreme emergency as a last resort. Also carry a good first aid kit, emergency rations, and water. These items would also be essential in the case of a vehicle fire which would destroy the HF along with the vehicle.



Cheers
Dick







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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:35

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:35
Hi Dick, I dont think its over-kill considering the type of travel you do.

Your comment about a fire in the vehicle was interesting and got me wondering, as well as an epirb, Im looking at HF in the near future, the satphone, hf and epirb all rely on batteries.

If for any reason, however unlikely, by way of fire, accident or equipment failure, including a flat battery, the epirb has a battery life of up to 7 years.

After recent events, I'd be using the hf and will always keep the epirb as back up.

Thanks for your thoughts,


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: mowing - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:52

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:52
Hi Lionel, You are right about the EPIRB. The copper that does the media thing on 6PR said that you did everything right ie plenty of food, water, told people where you were going and stayed with the Patrol. The only extra thing that he said you could/should have had was an EPIRB. It makes sense when you think about it as if you have no locating device then the search area is much greater than if you have one. EPIRB saves time, money etc. However a satphone/hf gives you the ability to advise what the situation is ie take your time as there is no emergency. EPIRB people presume the worse.
Good to have you back.

Regards

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:05

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:05
Thanks Mark, geez....6PR as well. Didnt know about that one.

Anyone want my autograph.....$2.00 a shot.....hahaha.


Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:52

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:52
"Anyone want my autograph.....$2.00 a shot."

Smart idea there Lionel,

At $2 a pop you could pretty soon buy an EPIRB, Sat Phone and a HF.

With the change you could sign up for a Spot Messenger too!

Oh, good to see you back safe and sound.

An excellent endorsement for adequate planning and trip preparation in your story no doubt.

Geoff

Geoff,
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 11:53

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 11:53
Just be aware with SPOT that GPS signal strength can be a problem under tree cover or in gullies.

See the review here:

http://www.gpsmagazine.com/2008/01/spot_satellite_messenger_perso.php

If they beefed up the antenna and increased the number of channels it would be a great device.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:54

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:54
Hi Lionel

All good news when we heard you and your lady were found safe and well. I hope you will post a report on what went wrong, and what you did right, to help other who may get into similar strife in the future. No hiding from your mis-adventure now, after making the evening news.

We opted for a Sat phone for remote travel during our trip last year. In case of a medical emergency, I could get advice over the phone, whereas with am EPIRB it may be too late by the time help came. Also our family could contact us in case of an emergency at home, which was a feeling of security for them. It was expensive, and we never needed it - which is good, because that means as an insurance, it worked! Knowing it was there prevented panic when we had a potential breakdown in a remote area. As it turned out, we were lucky and got back on the road again, but it came close to us needing to call for help, confident that we could, because we had the sat phone.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:58

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:58
Hey Mummachook......"lady" eh!!!

Down to her knickers in the bog, shovel in hand saying things that would make a one legged lebanese prostitute blush.

THAT WAS NO LADY.........lol.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 15:57

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 15:57
hey lionel
- all you needed was more help
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 17:01

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 17:01
Yumma---Humma-----nice looking----------------------------car.
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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 14:06

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 14:06
You can buy a SPOT for $298 at Softrock solutions in Perth 9418 1411 - Bibra Lake - I have one and they work well. They can send a help message to 10 emails or 10 sms texts to mobile phones with your GPS coordinates when in a non life threatening situation or a 911 emergency call to our national rescue organisation in Canberra when in dire need of rescue
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Follow Up By: Member -Chops - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 13:58

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 13:58
Thought we used 000 over here?
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