AIS Personal Locator Beacon and ACR EPIRB
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An AIS Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is a device that can help you find your way back to shore. These devices are GPS enabled and have LED strobe lights. They can also notify you when the location of a ship is approaching. The notification time may be less than an hour.
AIS Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
The AIS Personal Locator Beacon is an important device for mariners. It can send a distress signal to other vessels and increase their chances of survival. It uses a variety of technologies, including the AIS system and VHF radios. These technologies can be used to help locate missing mariners, even in a large body of water.
While PLBs and AIS beacons work on different principles, a wise offshore sailor will have both of them attached to their lifejacket. One such device is the Seaangel SA16+, a device that functions as both an AIS beacon and a PLB.
An AIS Personal Locator Beacon can be activated manually or automatically. Manual activation requires the user to activate it, and is typically used when a vessel is traveling to remote areas. It can be attached to a waist belt or placed in a pouch. Both methods of activation require the user to be present and aware of their position.
Another option is a handheld beacon, which is attached to a life jacket. They are small enough to fit in a lifejacket and are waterproof up to 33 feet. ACR’s AISLink has a seven-year battery and an automatic activation system.
Personal Locator Beacons are similar to EPIRBs, but smaller and can be clipped to a lifejacket. They transmit a radio signal with a GPS location to a satellite system orbiting the earth. The information is then relayed to the appropriate search and rescue organization.
The rescueME PLB3 is being marketed in Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. The ACR ResQLink AIS PLB is another option that’s marketed to the commercial sector. AIS PLBs can be synchronized with AIS receivers to improve their operational capability.
The ACR GlobalFix V4 GPS enabled EPIRB has multiple built-in redundancies for a more reliable and robust system. This device uses an internal GPS to pinpoint your position and transmits a 406 MHz distress signal to search and rescue services. Additionally, it features a 121.5 MHz homing signal that helps search and rescue personnel locate you in low light conditions.
The GPS enabled iPRO is the first EPIRB with Dual GPS Technology. This technology interfaces with onboard GPS to store LAT/LON and transmit coordinates in the first data burst. Its internal GPS is designed to be highly accurate even when the unit is cold. This technology was refined and tested in ACR’s GPS Simulation Center.
The GPS enabled EPIRB is more expensive than the 406 MHz model, but it increases your chances of a successful rescue and reduces the time spent in the water. Its use is recommended for boats with a maximum of four people. Depending on the model, GPS enabled EPIRBs can cost up to 50% more. They are also able to be rented out by the week.
The GPS enabled EPIRB has met the standards for COSPAS-SARSAT certification, but it doesn’t perform as promised in real situations. This is a concern because COSPAS-SARSAT certification is designed for ideal conditions and does not take into account the complexity of the marine environment. In addition, the GPS signal is affected by movement, which compounds the difficulty.
LED Strobe light
The ACR Epirb LED Strobe light is designed to give off enough light to help in emergency situations. Its powerful 45 lumen LED is waterproof and runs continuously for 120 hours in strobe mode. The strobe light can be activated manually or automatically by a simple twist of the on/off switch.
No monthly or annual subscription
An ACR EPIRB is a GPS enabled device that can send an emergency message to search and rescue authorities, saving both time and money. These devices are not dependent on commercial call centers and do not require monthly or annual subscriptions. They also have a strobe light to increase visibility.
The battery life of an Acr EPIRB is limited by the type of battery it is powered by and its age. The ACR Model 350C advertises a maximum of 420 basic self-test messages and 60 GNSS self-test messages before it needs to be replaced. This limit is based on internal sensors which are designed to monitor the battery’s status and reduce messaging capacity with age. Although the basic self-test will last much longer, it is recommended that you replace your Acr EPIRB battery every ten years.
Rick is the head writer at MaydayMarine.com Rick creates product review and ranking content in the maritime industry. His focus is mainly on safety offshore at MayDayMarine.com