PLB's The Correct Information

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:31
ThreadID: 67222 Views:2704 Replies:1 FollowUps:6
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Hi to all. Over the last year posts on PLB's, there has been information given that has been misleading and incorrect.
I have been in contact again with the State manager here in South Australia, of Standard Communication re correct or misleading information re the new MT410 and MT410G emergency personal locator beacons.

Below are the facts, that should make it very clear for everybody concerned.

The battery like is 7 years, and the unit should be taken to an authorised GME agent for service between 6 and 7 years of age. As the units are sonicly welded, they are not able to be opened without damaging the units, so a new unit will be exchanged by Standard Communications.

As for a reply yesterday, stating that they had a 12 year service life
, this has been taken out of context. What the state manager explained, is that there will be many people that will not bother to take their units in after 7 years. In this case, proving that the unit is returned wishing 12 years of the date stamped on the unit, then same unit will be able to be replaced. After this time, the unit is of no use (some part inside the units will be able to be reused) and the owner of the unit will have to purchase a complete new unit

If anyone does not like this supplied information, you are please requested to phone Standard Communications head office in Sydney on (02) 9844 6666

I hope that will end the wrong information that some people have given out here on the forum.


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Reply By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:54

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 13:54
If what they're saying is correct and I have no reason to doubt that, then they should correct the misleading information on the web site which I previously qouted and repeat here.

"From the GNE 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. "

This implies (to me anyway) that the beacon has a twelve year life provided it is serviced at 6 years ("correctly maintained") as required for the battery.
As this is the sole content of that web page I don't see how it can be out of context. And a unit that had not been returned for twelve years doesn't seem to me to be "correctly maintained".

Just goes to show you can't believe anything you read on the web, even from a reputable manufacture.

AnswerID: 356328

Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:28

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 15:28
OK. I contacted GME Brisbane who contacted head office and rang me back with the following information.

You take it in at 6 years for a battery replacement. They dismantle the unit and rebuild it with the original electronics and a new battery, case, whatever for a price yet to be determined but "about one quarter the new price".

After another 6 years, or when the unit is 12 years old, the electronics have reached the end of their useful (reliable) life so the unit is unserviceable and you buy a new one.

6 years applies to epirbs. For a PLB battery life is 7 years.

So the battery life of a MT410(g) is seven years, the service life is 14 years.

Anyone else like to try for a different answer.

FollowupID: 624346

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 19:31

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 19:31
Hi Lex
At least this is a good debate, but would like to clear a couple of issues up.

What is stated on the web is correct, as what they are saying is that there are certain parts inside the unit that are able to be reused. That is why they specify the 12 year life from new. I find it very odd that the Brisbane office did not know the correct facts that they have given you. I was able to read your reply during work hours, but unable to reply until now.

After reading you reply's, I personally rang the head office in Sydney (I think option 3 for technical enquiries) and was told the exact information that I was told by Adelaide. What the technician has told me is as follows

Basicly when you take your MT410/MT410G in for a battery replacement, a new/refurbished unit will be supplied to you, as like a have said before, once the case in broken, there is no way that the unit can be reassemble without first being sent to the factory. Some of the parts will be used again, while the rest will be new components.

I do not get where you are informed that the unit only has a 14 year life. Every 7 years, if you send the unit in, you will be given a replacement unit, so if you engrave your original unit, the new unit that you receive will be minus your engravings. It is not just a simple task of ripping the back off, new batteries in and your old unit back.

As a consumer, providing that you do the right thing, have the unit serviced in the recommended time, you have a new unit every 7 years.

It does not get any clearer that this.

Like I said above, give Sydney a call, they will confirm have I have stated.



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FollowupID: 624428

Follow Up By: Lex M (Brisbane) - Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:12

Thursday, Mar 26, 2009 at 20:12
No point in pursuing this further, we'll find out in 7 or 14 years as the case may be. :-)

I only know that the Brisbane person said he'd spoken to head office when he rang me back , and I believe I accurately reported what he told me.

It's interesting that the web site calls out a service life though.

It might be all academic anyway. In seven years time everything may have changed. We could all have satellite tracked implants and an emergency button on our forehead.

FollowupID: 624445

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 00:04

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 00:04
"and an emergency button on our forehead. "

- and when we do a "doh", we'll have to phone AMSA and cancel the activation ????
FollowupID: 624524

Follow Up By: Krakka - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 06:20

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 06:20
Good one Mike hahahahahaha

FollowupID: 624543

Follow Up By: Flywest - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 16:53

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 16:53
I have my doubts about the 6 or 7 year battery replacement deal also.

Too me it all sounds like Waaay too much trouble for the seller/manufacturer.

How are they going to keep track of individual PLB's & epirbs etc? in order to get them back to you?.

If I were them this is what I would do....(based on experience watching many others do this).

I would register another company similar to the first maybe the wives of the existing directors for example with a similar but not the same company name.

At 5 years and 9 months - I'd run the parent company down into the ground and declare it bankrupt - start selling the new EPIRBS & PLB's etc thru the NEW company - and leave everyone with the flat batteries to bin their epirbs and buy a new one off my new company!

Service like sending epirbs back to the factory (yeah - where? - in india or china?) for a battery replacement are pie in the sky dreams!

If the govt don't change the frequency again before hand making the new 406 mhtz epirbs outta date before then - well expect the companys to all be folding and reappearing in new guise just before the frst battery replacements are required.

The new company won't have any such replacement arrangements - they will become a one use throwaway unit by then anyway.

If you believe that they will replace batteries at 6 years or 7 - then you probably believe the other 3 greatest lies on earth.

1. trust me - I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you

2. The cheques in the mail

3. I promise I won't (you know the rest - if not use your imagination) ;o)

It's true, that a fool is born every minute - this from a guy with a whole 20 litre bucket full of dead epiirbs & flares etc that I can't give away!

FollowupID: 624650

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