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Old 12-13-2007, 07:42 AM
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Default Personal Locator Beacon

Thought I would pass this on, pretty cool (if pricey, but you wealthy 80 types should be able to swing it by passing on a couple country club lunches) .

From Off the Beaten Path:
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PURCHASE YOUR PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACON TODAY!!
!With a personal locator beacon you and your loved one have peace of mind knowing help is within reach anytime your in the backcountry. Your personal locator beacon will notify the Emergency Response Center, which notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your location and personal information – which may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, our country’s embassy or consulate, or other emergency response or search and rescue teams – as well as notifying your emergency contact person(s) about the receipt of a distress signal.

Personal Locator Beacons - How to Choose

Personal Locator Beacons are devices that transmit a distress signal that allows emergency and rescue personnel a means of locating a victim in need of aid. For groups or individuals that travel beyond the limits of cell phone coverage, PLBs provide a critical safety margin. Those back home are more comfortable knowing their love ones have some means of communicating distress in an emergency.With the introduction of the new SPOT Messenger, choosing a PLB has become a little more complicated. This short article is intended to highlight the differences between SPOT and a 406 MHz PLB such as ACR's MicrOfix or Terrafix devices.
ACR Personal Locator Beacons - MicrOfix and TerraFix
ACR PLBs transmit a 406 MHz signal to orbiting satellites when activated. The signal carries a code that identifies the device through a database where emergency contact information is registered. Through doppler shift, the location of the device is determined by satellites to within 2.3 miles. GPS equipped 406 MHz PLBs provide further location information that can narrow the search radius to approximately 0.06 miles (110 yards). Once in the area, and with or without the GPS location information, search and rescue personnel can pinpoint the rescue location by homing in on a secondary signal broadcast on 121.5 MHz. Coverage area is global.
ACR PLBs are similar in size to a cordless phone set and weigh less than 12 ounces each. No subscription is required and the device cost for a GPS equipped units varies between $550 and $650.
SPOT Messenger
In contrast to the 406 MHz PLBs, SPOT uses the GlobalStar satellite network to receive its transmission of the device identity and location information provided by the device's onboard GPS receiver. SPOT, unlike the 406 MHz PLBs, require a subscription and can be activated to transmit 4 different message types:
  • It's 9-1-1 message type is intended to alert and scramble search and rescue personnel in the event of serious distress. Like the other PLBs, the users identity and emergency contact information available from a registration database.
  • The HELP message type is sent to as many as 5 email or text message recipients. Email messages include a link that opens a browser window with the location shown on Google Maps. Text messages include the latitude and longitude of device at the time the transmission was made. HELP is useful for summoning assistance in situations that may not be life threatening.
  • The OK/Check-In message type does just that - notifying up to five recipients through email or text messages with location information.
  • TRACK messages are a feed of transmissions that occur every 10 minutes that can be viewed on Google Maps and show locations at the time of each transmission. TRACK requires an optional subscription.
SPOT's coverage area can be seen here.
SPOT is somewhat smaller in size than the ACR 406 MHz PLBs and weighs less than 8 ounces. Cost is approximately $150 for the device and $100 per year for the basic required subscription. The optional subscription to enable TRACK messages is an additional $50 per year.
Our Take on How to Choose
Over a 5 year period of time, the 406 MHz GPS equipped PLBs will cost the user between $550 and $650. Over the same time frame SPOT will cost either $650 or $900 if the optional TRACK subscription is selected. In our view, price should not be the driving consideration.
Well, if that's the case, then it may look like a no-brainer to you - SPOT's the clear winner. It's not that simple...
Our testing of SPOT has produced results that indicate it may be somewhat less reliable than 406 MHz PLBs - even within the stated coverage area. Remember, SPOT requires that a GPS location be determined by the device in order to provide any location information for search and rescue to use. 406 MHz PLBs can be homed-in on without this GPS derived location information. In addition, the satellite network and low frequency transmissions of 406 MHz PLBs are highly praised for reliability. Our detailed field testing of SPOT indicates that heavy tree cover and steep canyons challenge the success rate of its transmissions. We have experienced hiking and off-road situations where our transmissions simply did not make it through. Yet when a clear view of the sky was available, we've found SPOT's reliability quite good. Our concern is therfore quite simple - can you count on SPOT if you are injured or incapacitated while traveling solo in an area of heavy tree cover or surrounded by steep terrain. In our view, 406 MHz PLBs provide a clear edge in those situations.
So in summary, the choice between 406 MHz PLBs and SPOT is largely one of reliability versus flexibility. We feel pretty strongly that if you have an accident that prevents you from obtaining a clear view of the sky, the 406 MHz PLB can provide a life-saving edge. However, those traveling in groups, where someone else is available to move quickly to an open area, or where an individuals travel is generally in more open areas will greatly appreciate the additional flexibility that SPOT provides.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Thought I would pass this on, pretty cool (if pricey, but you wealthy 80 types should be able to swing it by passing on a couple country club lunches) .

.

80 guys aren't worried about getting stranded!
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I need an FJ40....
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Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2007, 10:41 AM
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Especially those with slight exhaust leaks...













(think about it)




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Old 12-13-2007, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Especially those with slight exhaust leaks...

(think about it)




Sorry....lost me on that one...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I need an FJ40....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2007, 11:25 AM
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Once the CO levels reach a high enough blood level, very little concerns you!

(Geez, do I have to explain everything?)
OH WAIT... that must mean your CO levels are high!


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Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2007, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Once the CO levels reach a high enough blood level, very little concerns you!

(Geez, do I have to explain everything?)
OH WAIT... that must mean your CO levels are high!


I get the high CO issue but who are you babbling about with an exhaust leak? I'm thinking there is some residual lacquer thinner fumes in the Chili!
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Stay on the Trail!
I'm the God-fearing, gun-toting, American flag-waving, conservative you were warned about!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I need an FJ40....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2007, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Ben View Post
I get the high CO issue but who are you babbling about with an exhaust leak? I'm thinking there is some residual lacquer thinner fumes in the Chili!
Maybe he's trying to suggest you have gas.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Bait View Post
Maybe he's trying to suggest you have gas.
Ahhhhh....now that makes sense!
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Kevin
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Northside!

Colorado Trail Patrol
Stay on the Trail!
I'm the God-fearing, gun-toting, American flag-waving, conservative you were warned about!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I need an FJ40....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Cruisers are superior
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2007, 09:54 AM
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Beano... it's not just for minitruck drivers anymore...
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2007, 10:28 AM
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See I think the HAM radio is a much better option. Chris and I could Radio for help next time Red Chile rolls
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