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best reccomendation : beacon // locator for rescue ?

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posted on May, 18 2020 @ 06:10 AM
not all survival senarious - involve hiding in the woods with 126 firearms and 17 tons of ammunition

sometimes surviving can depend on being found promptly

so - my budget now stretches to a rescue beacon .

question is which ?? i am more interested in type // funcionality recomendations - than specific brands // model

a few caveats - its got to be self contained // hand held - my prime activity = UK inshore // coastal waters

i already have a DSC enabled VHF radio handset , flare packs , strobe , mirror and dye marker

my short list is :

A - a " std " marine // mountain PLB - that just has a beacon [ mcmirdo fastfind - or rival brand ]

B - an AIS type beacon - that just uses VHF

C - a sattelite beacon [ like garmin in-reach ] -

all obviously have strengths and drawbacks

the AIS type - only made the list - because i am rarely more that 10km off-shore - and in well trafficed areas - often just " any assistance " from a larger vessel - is likley to be enough - but i do go " off the beaten track " too - and given the limited range of a hand held unit - and the fact i have done 3 day trips without seaing any other boats . will it always get a response ?

the problem with the garmin // spot 3 type option = the subscription - it feels expensive when you dont use it for 6 weeks - but it does have the SMS capability for additional usefulness

the mcmurdo PLB type - is on the list - cos i can use it on mountasin trips / expeditions - where phone signal is often zero - and radio can be " patchy "

so - any sensible extra reccomendations

or success // horror stories of any of my short list ??

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 07:07 AM
My dad had/has a Breitling watch that has an emergency beacon on it.
Not sure how affective it is as he obviously hasn't needed to use it.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 08:21 AM
Hmmm I would go with option C. I live in the states and do a lot of hiking and, like you, bushwhack off the beaten path. I'm actually going to be looking into this more now that the weather here is getting nice.
How much does the subscription cost for the Garmin you are thinking about?
Option A isn't bad either, I just think C is a little better because you can Express what sort of emergency you have along with pertinent details of your surroundings even though they can track right where you are, and you have an idea of when help could arrive.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 10:39 AM
a reply to: ignorant_ape

Looked into this a while back.

First, it looks like you've got things pretty well sorted out. Basically the decision comes down to a couple factors:

1. Will you ever need to communicate something OTHER than "HELP!" (i.e. send all the king's horses and all the king's men and rescue me, regardless of cost to me or method)? If so, you WILL need to figure on signing up for a subscription service of some kind. These start as low as about $14 / month and go up to several hundred / month depending on what features you want. The low end of the spectrum offers only very restricted capability. If not, then a PLB is for you, because this is all a PLB does.

On an interesting side note, PLB's (like EPIRBS, which are not hand held) are by far the best in terms of success. Basically your signal is received by the military of whatever country you are located in and services are dispatched from there down to the local authorities. PLB's have one function, and one only...RESCUE ME! There is no discussion.

2. What kind of coverage to you need? Not all satellite communications are equal. Everything BUT a PLB will use commercial satellites as opposed to military (PLB's use military / government satellites exclusively). Most of the satellite communications devices are proprietary, meaning they communicate only with certain satellites from one company. Iridium is the best with (66) LEO satellites. Others may only be able to use as few as 3-4 satellites. So, if a satellite isn't overhead, then your signal won't get heard. I think Globalstar is the next biggest provider with (40) satellites. Inmarsat has (3-4).

FWIW, Garmin uses Iridium, as do many others. As you might expect, Iridium is also the most expensive. Remember, we're talking about service providers here, not device manufacturers.

And again, because PLB's use military satellites their services are truly global. There are no monthly fees for a PLB, but again, they only send one signal...RESCUE ME! If you do decide on a PLB, just make sure you get one with GPS. Not all of them have GPS. Because PLB communicate with not only LEO satellites (where GPS is not an issue), but also GEO GPS on your device is important. LEO's can triangulate your location because they're moving. GEO's canNOT triangulate your location because they are stationary with respect to the Earth's rotation, hence the need to be able to send your GPS location to GEO satellites.

As far as subscription plans are concerned, they basically scale up as you might expect. Basic and very limited text messaging is the cheapest. If you want voice services, plan on spending a lot more than the basic plans per month. Two-way voice AND data is the most of all (usually over $100/mo. or more)

Lastly, a word about AIS; the primary function of AIS is for location of commercial shipping traffic. Basically like a transponder on a commercial airliner. There isn't really any message other than "I'm here", but I guess some of them do have distress frequencies. You hit the nail on the head though, AIS works on terrestrial VHF frequencies (not satellite), and these transceivers are located to cover locations where the heaviest shipping traffic is, not everywhere. So, while VHF is a very long range communications band it doesn't cover everywhere. For what you are looking for, I'd probably look for something satellite based, as opposed to terrestrial.

Hope this helps.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 10:59 AM
A good EPIRB will transmit your location, and boat registration to US Space Command in Colorado. They in turn notify the nearest Coast Guard base to your location. It’s not full proof, but it’s saved many lives.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 11:13 AM
Another way to look at all of it is like this:

PLB = Will mobilize the Coast Guard with search planes, ships and helicopters. Once you have been located you will be rescued which may include airlifting you from your vessel. In other words, the focus is pretty much exclusively on human life. Loss of personal property doesn't really matter unless the property itself poses some risk to shipping or the environment. Preservation of personal property in most cases is left up to you to arrange after the fact. It's really just one-way communication (you to them).

Sat. Device = Will do the same thing as a PLB if this is what you want (provided the signal is received), but also provides the option of telling someone you are out of fuel or are in need of a tow...or will just be late for dinner. The level of effort committed to your assist can then be matched to the severity of your situation, throttled if you will. Two-way communication.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 11:26 AM
a reply to: UKWO1Phot

Im sure everyone appreciates your input but I don't think we're talking about your fathers $18k USD watch here

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 11:30 AM
I was looking into this a while ago mostly for ones that send out an alert if zero movement is detected. I think they go based off of some vital signs also. Does anyone know anything about this? I think it also had some sort of impact and/or elevation type of sensor

Basically if I fall off a cliff..

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 11:57 AM
There is another style of beacon, used by skiers in back-country and especially during avalanche season.

They are useful because you can get up to a dozen of them that communicate locally with each other.

They are pretty specialized; but they will point you in the direction of the nearest device on your party's frequency, without calling in the cavalry.

About the 500 $ level, they strap to your chest (for skiers). You can monitor every other unit on your team. It shows you each unit's being attached to a human, and what their heart rate is.

From your unit, you can send out a distress signal, and it activates every unit on the team, until each owner opens their own lid and shuts it off. It's for digging people out of an avalanche, and they can signal to you that they are free, even if they cannot wait to type out a message. This lets people who weren't buried take themselves off the "missing" list, and help... look for bodies.

If you have seen the footage of the avalanche that swept over I-70 west of Denver Colorado, and pushed people in their cars off the mountain, the police and the Alpine Rescue team was wearing these when they set out to look for bodies. (amazingly, with over 50 people buried, there were no deaths.

More and more urban rescue teams are using them because of the danger of sifting through rubble after a building collapse. They even make units for rescue dogs...

Mammut is the brand I am most familiar with, but there's a slew of them out there, for $120-$1000.

The cheaper units don't call the authorities, but would be handy on day hikes, line crews working in a snowstorm, fog, etc.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 12:04 PM
Edit to add,

The thing that kills avalanche victims is that avalanched snow is so fluffy and full of air that it acts a a liquid, and conforms to any space.

This means that it surrounds the victim, who can actually still breathe because of the high oxygen content of the snow.

But the snow settles and condenses. Your inhaling an exhaling slowly packs the snow around your ribs, and makes it into ice. Because water expands when it (re)freezes, it slowly squeezes your torso, crushing you to death.

You have about 30 minutes after the snow stops sliding to get a person's torso free.

It is amazing how well these devices that I mentioned work. In 2019, there was a stretch of Jan-Feb that Colorado's Alpine Rescue team averaged a rescue every 24 hours for two weeks. They rescued like 50 people without a single casualty. But then, at least one person in every avalanche was wearing a beacon.

Ski resorts in Colorado rent them out to back country skiers. Like $25/day.

posted on May, 18 2020 @ 04:29 PM

posted on May, 19 2020 @ 12:38 AM
a reply to: Graysen

thats some cool kit - thats way outside my wants needs

i must confess - i has only ever skied once [ a 1hour try ski thing - @ the indoor venue in manchester [ uk ] - " chill factor " ]

i was crap

many mates ski - its just not for mee - i is happi with the stuffs i does

posted on May, 19 2020 @ 12:42 AM
a reply to: rktspc

there are mobile phone apps - that do the auto message if you dont respond after topping moving

but of course - they need phone signal

not aware of a stand-alone device that does it in the wild [ there are monitoring systems for vulnerable people - that can do it - but they require a base station in the house ]

posted on May, 19 2020 @ 03:31 PM
Heh...well, I guess next time I'll remember not to spend the time to respond.


posted on May, 20 2020 @ 03:26 AM
could at this point - explain several issues - but meh ......................

i have come to a conclusion - i is hasppi

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