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Discussion Starter #1
I realize a P-EPIRB Personal-Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon is not for everyone but I wanted to provide this 'tip' just in case. Maybe knowing they exist might save someone's life. I do a lot of riding by myself and this normally means in very remote areas where cell phone service is totally unavailable. To help in this situation I have purchased a P-EPRIB. If something happens and I'm still conscious and can push a button, Emergency Rescue personal the will know my exact location, within 3 minutes and within 30 meters anywhere on the North American continent. The units are small enough to carry on your person, not uncomfortable, and simple to operate and the batteries last 10 years, I carried one on the entire THCR.
Ride Smart and Safe, Always!
 

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Robert,

Are these portable versions of an Aircraft Emergency Locator Transmitter that broadcasts on 121.5 Mhz? I used Google and found a couple. Are there any issues with the FAA and the non-aircraft use of these? Do you have to license or register these before using them?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are two 'types'. With or without GPS. That is the biggest cost difference. Otherwise, I believe each unit has two transmitters, one to satellite and one homing, I forget the frequency's. I bought the FastFind Plus by McMurdo, Plus means with GPS. With the GPS you can be 'located' within 3 minutes, without the GPS it takes longer, but not much longer. I paid in the $500 range with GPS and free batteries for life. An umbilical chord some units have is you have to send them back to the dealer to change the battery but not the FastFind. I did not like that requirement so I went with the FastFind unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No FAA issues and yes you need to register them. The Coast Guard will first call your contact(s) and see if it is a false signal and if not then they're coming. You can have many contacts, I had 6, so they'll definitely find someone.
You can use them before registering but they won't know who to call to see if it is a legitimate emergency, but I'll bet they'll come regardless.
Also, you have to re-register every so many years, like maybe every 3-5 years, I forget.
I do a lot of solo distance traveling and cell phones are only good in urban areas or along the Interstates which I try to avoid both. When you're in the mountains or desert, IMHO you need this peace of mind. The only requirement is that the EPIRB 'see' the sky! ie no very dense tree cover, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, once you purchase the unit there is only the cost of batteries! The monitoring is part of the Coast Guard rescue mission. I looked into satellite phones, etc. but found the monthly fees are outrageous, so I settled on a one time cost, especially with the lifetime free batteries deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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My latest marine radio has a special button ( with a little red cover on it) when pushed activates the radio to send a "distress signal" on a special frequency that is monitored. It gives out the lat/long position which comes from the boat gps. Before anything else is done, we are supposed to get a call back as it is a 2 way radio .Failing 2 way communication,the code sent out has a special number that the coast guard can look up, our cell #'s, home #'s and other contacts to check the validity of the signal. It is a one tiime free registartion with a web-site to update the contact info.
I am sure that this is for marine use only. This feature has appeared only in the past few years on new radios.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Marine use

I am sure that this is for marine use only. This feature has appeared only in the past few years on new radios.[/QUOTE]

My unit is a FastFind Plus and was initially made for marine use. However, it works anywhere in North America. The other brand I looked at, the AquaFIX , I believe is making a TerraFIX, regardless the system works water or no water. It has the added benefit of being waterproof!
 

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When I travel alone in remote areas I wear a Breitling "emergency mission" watch. It has the 121.5 mhz emergency beacon built in. You pull out the antenna and it will emit the signal for 48 + hours. Its also a really nice watch.







 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is this just a homing signal? It doesn't alert anyone, correct?
 

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2xm3 said:
When I travel alone in remote areas I wear a Breitling "emergency mission" watch. It has the 121.5 mhz emergency beacon built in. You pull out the antenna and it will emit the signal for 48 + hours. Its also a really nice watch.
I'm afraid to ask. How much?
 

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It broadcasts the same signal as a emergency beacon from a downed pilot, not just a homeing beacon. My friends kid (7) activated his watch while playing with it and damn coast-guard helicopter shows up (not funny at the time)! You have to register the watch a fill out a bunch of paperwork after purchase. Also only Breitling itself can "service" the watch and change the batteries etc. First service is free, then 350.00 every 3 years.
They are not inexpensive, If I remember >4500.00 a few years ago. They also make it in solid titanium and 18K.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
After doing some research, I consider this watch to be a great safety item and if I can get one I will. The only problem is in Feb 2009, the satellite system will stop monitoring the 121.5MHz frequency. http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/regulatory/elt.html. It does not say that airplanes will stop, only that the signal will have ground based support. If GA & CA airplanes stop monitoring 121.5MHz then it will not be such a good safety device.
 
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