Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by Robin, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

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  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

  3. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  4. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

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  5. JimH

    JimH Ultralighter

    That's interesting, care to answer a few queries?

    How is it different to a Spot or Delorme, is there still a subscription?
    It looks like a marine device, would the emergency services still get called when it's triggered on land?
    Is it UK only? The website suggests it might not work abroad (without reprogramming).
  6. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    It’s a simple beacon so it just sends a distress signal for around 24hrs to S&R. S&R can identify it so they can locate you from the beacon signal. Unlike SPOT or Delorme there’s no tracking or messaging, it’s simply a distress beacon. It can be used on land or sea. Obviously the biggest market is for water based activities such as sailing or kayaking hence they are mainly sold through yacht chandlers. You should register the device with the UK Beacon Authority. As I understand it, the beacon will work abroad, but the registration is held by the UK. TBH, if I was going abroad I think I’d have a Delorme In Reach as I could communicate with home. The advantage of a PLB is there’s no subscription. For me, SPOT or Delorme are too sophisticated for my requirements in the UK and need a subscription, hence a PLB. That’s my understanding, but I’m happy to be corrected. I’ve read that MRTs are increasingly recommending them as they make rescues easier to locate and quicker to achieve.
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  7. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    After much prevarication (age & preference for solo backpacking off trail) I finally decided to get a PLB, ended up going for the
    Ocean Signal - PL1 for Xmas, 113g, 7yr battery life. £179.45 from Marine Store

    This is just an emergency transmitter NOT a communication device; no subscription.
    On activation the GPS location is communicated to rescue services, in this case with it being registered in the UK that will be in the UK. If the device is transmitting a GPS location outwith the UK they'll then have to alert the relevant agencies be it inland or water.
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  8. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    That’s what I’ve ordered.

    @JimH here’s a useful summary of PLBs for hill walkers
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  9. JimH

    JimH Ultralighter

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  10. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I've had mine for a couple of years: thankfully I've never had to notice it in my pack...

    The registration documents took months to arrive.

    I use a De Lorme too, for the reasons Robin suggests.
    Robin likes this.
  11. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Anyone know much about these app type locators?

    I've got Echo 112 on my phone but haven't looked at it....for fear of hearing an approaching Sea King....

    or my phone exploding...
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  12. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Given the huge rise in subscription on my Spot last time round, I'm looking to try an alternative.
    Very timely thread and info. Thanks :thumbsup:
  13. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    These are clearly a Good Idea, and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to justify not getting one.
  14. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Get a crazy Zebralight Cathy. The ISS comes round every 45 mins and they will see your SOS flash from space. :biggrin:

    I'm groaning at the subs this year, price has nearly doubled for my plan.
    gixer, cathyjc and edh like this.
  15. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I do have a Zebralight (Trek-lite led me astray, yet again :oops:) but being a weight weenie the batteries are 1 x CR123 and lumens are thereby somewhat restrained :angelic:
    Teepee likes this.
  16. Jamess

    Jamess Ultralighter

    I've been using a plb for solo wilderness backpacking for a number of years.

    I got it principally for other half's piece of mind. Conversely It's made me worry about my own safety more than I ever used to!
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  17. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member


    Just arrived. 113g. Very neat. Thanks @edh
    Munro277, Teepee, JimH and 3 others like this.
  18. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

  19. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

  20. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

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  21. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    If you are more than 15m down you're probably f*cked anyway :D
    Munro277, Tricky, gixer and 2 others like this.
  22. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    having it float was what I wanted. I can just see it falling off a bag or if I'm in a kayak etc. Floatation is worth a few extra grams to me :)

    I wonder how deep the casing can go without imploding? Be a useful addition to the scuba kit if it can make it to 40m comfortably
  23. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Sensible for Kayaking. I’ve seen some comments that the PLB1 is a bit small for some water based activities and people prefer a bigger unit. Doesn’t apply to me though.
  24. Robin

    Robin Moderator Staff Member

    Just registered my PLB online. Very easy process.
  25. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Is there a test procedure to confirm these PLBs are operational and functioning correctly?
    If I'd bought one, I'd like to know if it definitely works.

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