EPIRB

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 12:49
ThreadID: 67181 Views:4921 Replies:9 FollowUps:21
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I am in the market for a personal EPIRB, we are looking at buying a GME MT410
What is the word on the forum re this model?
Cheers Tooley
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:13

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:13
Hi Tooley
They are a great unit, but if you pay the extra and go for the 410G, it has GPS function that will transmit its location every minute. Just a small feature, but gives a far great accuracy in the event that serious help is urgently needed.
They have a service life of 7 years provided that the unit has not been activated, you then send it off to Standard Communication or the authorised dealer that you purchased it from and they replace the unit with a new one, at this stage about the $150 - $200 mark. The final price structure has not been worked out yet, as they have only been on the market for a short time. The reason why they will give you another new unit, as explained by our state manager of Standard Communications is that the casing is sonicly welded, which means the unit is completely sealed and there is no way for them to open the casing without breaking the unit open.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 18:17

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 18:17
Stephen,

I'm another one who has upgraded their old model to the GPS model.
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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 21:28

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 21:28
They have a service life of 12 years and a battery life of seven years according to the doco with them.

The battery can be replaced. There are instructions on the AMSA site for disabling the unit by disconnecting the battery for disposal.

I don't see how that part of the case at least can be welded.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 23:08

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 23:08
Hi Lex
I am only stating what I have been personally told by our State Manager at Standard Communications here in Adelaide. They are the company that make them, so surely they would know??

The proof will be in under 7 years when people start to have batteries replaced. I was told that the replacement cost is built into the original sale price of the unit, that is why they do not have a firm price on the battery change over at this stage, but will be in the $150 - $200 range.

I have had this similar debate about this here on the forum, so I suggest that someone else contact Standard Communications, and not take my word on it.

Like I have said before, I am only reporting back directly from what I have been told by the manufacturer, not a seller or salesperson of the product and if you are able to find anything different to this, I will gladly pass this information on to have it confirmed by the people that make the products.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 23:25

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 23:25
I should have added, this is what it states on page 4 of the users manual, and I am not able to find where it claims a 12 year service life

Batteries & Maintenance

The MT410 and MT410G PLBs are fitted with the very latest in high capacity battery technology. These batteries are able to operate within a temperature range of -20°C to +55°C.

The full operational capability of your beacon may not be available if the batteries fitted have exceeded their replacement date, as shown on the body of the unit.
Prior to reaching this date, make arrangements to have your MT410/MT410G returned for service.

Note: PLB maintenance operations, including battery replacement, require that the beacon be returned to a manufacturer approved service facility. A list of authorised Service Centres can be found on: www.gme.net.au.
The replacement of batteries due to expiry or usage is not covered by the product‘s Warranty.

MT410/MT410G batteries are not user replaceable.
Although the MT410/410G are otherwise maintenance free, routinely following these few simple steps will help ensure that your beacon will be operationally ready if
called upon:


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Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 00:07

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 00:07
From the GME web site.

Emergency Beacon Useful Life Policy
Safety electronics may be called upon to make an important contribution in an emergency. Appropriate handling and care, complimented with the recommended regular inspection and self-test play an important part in maximising the product's life. However like all electrical products reliability reduces with age.

GME Emergency Beacons employ some of the latest materials and technologies making a 12 year useful life* achievable in the case of a correctly maintained beacon.

In fulfilling a duty of care to its customers, products that are over 12 years old will not be serviced by GME or any of it's agents.

GME emergency beacons are required to be serviced at intervals not exceeding 6 years for EPIRBs and 7 years for PLBs, products that are not serviced within this period may not perform to specification when needed.

Effective immediately, this policy applies to all new products sold and those already purchased.


*From date of manufacture.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:46

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 13:46
+1 to going for the G model.

Seen them in webland for around $600 now, but there may be a wait as with the demise of the old freq. lots of folk are buying them.

That said the non-GPS model might work better than we think, as SAR can direct overflying planes to scan for a 121.4 MHz signal which the unit also emits.
AnswerID: 356098

Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:03

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:03
Is someone's life worth $130. Buy the GPS one.
Those few hours could make all the difference.
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Follow Up By: Rossc0 - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:08

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:08
121.5 actually.

Depends on your priorities really, is it worth the $200 extra when the non-GPS unit is accutate to within about 5km anyway.

When your miles from anywhere the difference in time to get to you is marginal.

Cheers
Ross
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:19

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:19
'accurate' actually.
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Follow Up By: Rossc0 - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:25

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 14:25
Yeah, it's a bugger being all thumbs on the keyboard.

Cheers
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:00

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:00
Hi
Just another point re the accuracy, like above the 410 has a typical accuracy of less than 5 kilometres, while the 410G with GPS transmission, that has an accuracy of less than 45 metres, which like I have stated above, gives the authorities your exact location. For this very feature alone, that is why I went for the 410G

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:06

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:06
Another plus with the GPS is that position data can be checked against your trip intentions as registered on the AMSA website or as notified to your primary and secondary emergency contact details. When they concur SAR can be more confident sending out the cavalry.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 16:14

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 16:14
Have you been on a ground search for someone within a 5km radius ?
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Follow Up By: Rossc0 - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:03

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:03
Yes Mike numerous times it multiple terrains and it's a pain.

Given that most situations we are talking about the first response is likely to be an aircraft the 5kms is more than adequate.

Cheers
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:11

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:11
. . . assuming it's daytime, assuming the weather conditions allow aerial searching, assuming the aircraft can see you . . . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:26

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:26
Hi Mike,
The point here with the less than 5 kilometre accuracy is quite simple. With the older type EPIRB, that would give the authorities a starting point of a 200 square kilometres area to start the search in, while with the less than 5 kilometres, there is a huge difference in the starting point for a recovery and would lead to being found a lot quicker. The whole point of the new PLB is that they are far superior in accuracy, and being picked up by satellite, rather than an air craft passing overhead.

For me, they are a very cheap piece of survival equipment that no one wants to activate, but would give you piece of mind if you had to.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:29

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:29
I'm paying $100 extra for the GPS version, so the search area will be one-tenth of a sq kilometre and they'll know where I am 2 hours earlier.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:45

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:45
Hi Mike,
You will be very happy with your purchase, and it is a great sense of security and that is why we went for the 410G. We do a lot of bush walking as well as paddling in the kayak on the back waters of the Murray. All my mod cons back in the vehicle are no good if anything goes wrong 10 kilometres from our vehicle.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 20:11

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 20:11
Same here ... do backcountry skiing, and bushwalking. I take a mobile, handheld UHF and will add the PLB to the kit this season. If you're cactus in the snow the odds are already stacked against you.
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:19

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 15:19
I went with the Accusat MT410 which is 406/121.5 Mhz PLB made by GME available from BCF. Came with its own bag, carry strap and fits in your pocket if you need to leave your vehicle.

Fred B
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 16:12

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 16:12
A non-GPS EPIRB cannot have its postion determined until at least two low-orbit satellites have passed within range - this could be several hours.

A GPS EPIRB will pass on its exact position, as soon as the GPS has obtained a fix, to a geostationary satellite.

Sure, it mightn't seem a big difference between the medics arriving after 4 hours or 6 hours - unless a loved one dies after 5 hours.
AnswerID: 356118

Reply By: Rossc0 - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:20

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 17:20
Probably worth your while having a read of:

Beacon Brochure

as well.

Cheers
Ross
AnswerID: 356129

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:22

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 19:22
Tooley,

I bought my GME MT410 G from Whitworths Marine.

Haven't seen a more competitive price.

Bill

Bill


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AnswerID: 356150

Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 21:48

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009 at 21:48
And for anyone with a GPS enabled PLB the signal is picked up immediately by a geostationary satellite. Have a look at
Satellite location map.

A clear view to the North west is desirable if you activate your PLB.
AnswerID: 356204

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:58

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 06:58
. . . and with no obstructions 20 degrees above the horizon to the North West.

Unless you're in extreme Eastern Australia, where there's a Sat to the East North East
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Reply By: hotfishez - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:10

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 09:10
The simple fact everyone overlooks is the reason deth rate is higher in remote areas. I live in the pilbara the last four years ant the kimberly the previous 12 years. I know how long it takes to get places, you cant just get rfds in anywhere, most times you can be hundreds of k's away from the nearest useable airstrip let alone town. The quicker you are found the higher rate of your survival.

Just a note for those of you who intend on using yours for the boat and offshore use. There is a difference between PLB's and EPIRBS. Dont ask me what it is but PLB's are not considered suitable for boats. You can carry them as a pertsonal unit on a boat but the Boat itself must have an EPIRB. i bought the
GME 410G and discovered this myself, I have since had to buy another suitable unit. Many retailers are selling them as one and the same.
For more info go to http://www.asma.gov.au/beacons. You will find all info there under beacon types.
AnswerID: 356267

Follow Up By: aroundwego - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:55

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:55
Thats pretty disappointing that the dealer didnt tell you about the difference n PLB and EPIRBs. I know that not everyone knows about it as I have worked a few boat shows as part of the 406 promotion program (not selling them though).

The main differences are that that when the state regs require you to carry an epirb are:

- Epirb battery life must be minimum of 24 hours (PLB is normally 24)

- Epiirb is supposed to float upright, and have a lanyard available to be tied off to vessel. Most PLBs may float but not upright. In the water its recommended to activate beacon, put in water, and tie off to raft, body or the boat in distress

Something else that is sometimes not too well explained is the "water activated epirbs". Normally they wont just activate simply because they get wet or are attached to sinking boat. You physically have to remove them from the mounting and then when they get wet they will activate
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Follow Up By: aroundwego - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:58

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:58
just to add, If you look at the maritime beacons (EPIRBS), you will note they are a bit larger. Normally thats just because they have some ballast in the bottom (so they float upright) and a larger battery (longer actiavted use)

Apart form that it wont matter if you actually activate an Epirb on land, or PLB at sea - the response will the same

Pete
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Reply By: TOOLEY - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 10:39

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 10:39
Thank you all, some great advice & information.
I have ordered a MT 410G.
I recently moved to Carnarvon & will sped a lot of time inland around the Kennedy Range NP & Mt Augustus NP
Cheers Tooley
AnswerID: 356549

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