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EPIRBS what kind? the best? smallest, where to buy


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You will see a few of the older 121/403 Mhz models available cheap now because that frequency is coming to an end. Don't be tempted unless you are happy to chuck it away in 2 years.


As EPIRBs last well (I reckon you can expect a 10 year service life) I think we all need to go to 406 Mhz units from here on.


I have bought one of those shown below .... but they are now 3 months late in releasing them due to some technical issues. Latest GME told me is they are now due to be shipped this month.


The units that don't transmit your GPS position are cheaper.


There are also several other brands available but most that I looked at are dearer, larger & heavier.


Have a look on AMSA's website at http://www.amsa.gov.au/Search_and_Rescue/#5gen where they give a good rundown on the state of play with EPIRBs, and where they say ........




Pilots of light aircraft should have a 121.5 MHz or 406 MHz distress beacon installed and/or carry an approved personal distress beacon (PLB) on their person. In most cases carriage of a beacon is a legal requirement.


An enhanced type of 406 MHz beacon (generally referred to as 'GPIRB') incorporates Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and thereby combines accurate location determination and near instantaneous distress alerting though geostationary satellites. Once activated, the internal GPS finds its own position and the GPIRB broadcasts its identity and position to within an accuracy of about 100 metres. This capability shortens the time required to get an accurate fix on the beacon position, thus enhancing the speed and effectiveness of search and rescue operations.


Please note: Alerts from 121.5 MHz distress beacons will no longer be detected by the satellite system from 1 February 2009. Only alerts from 406 MHz beacons will be detected by the satellite system from 1 February 2009.





GME MT410 Accusat PLB


Description: GME MT410 Accusat PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) 406 EPIRB utilizes the same ground breaking Australian technology that brought the worlds first sub A$1000 406 EPIRB. The GME MT410 Accusat PLB is available in two versions - with or without GPS. They replace the MT310 PLB as the 121/243MHz system is being phased out by Febuary 2009. Features:


  • New technology enables this amazing price breakthru.

  • High location accuracy - MT410 within 5km, MT410G (with GPS) <45m.

  • Instantaneous 406MHz transmission - unique to GME. Less than 1 minute acquisition time (GPS version only).

  • Unique digitally coded message enables Rescue authorities to confirm owners identity within minutes, reducing rescue time and false alarms.

  • LED strobe light.

  • 7 year battery replacement period. Duration: in excess of 24 hours at -20C, longer at higher ambient temperatures.

  • Floats in water.

  • Supplied with Wrist/Neck strap, Carry Pouch with belt loops.

  • Meets UN requirements for transport as Non-hazardous cargo on board passenger aircraft.





135mmH X 71mmW x 38mmD Weight: MT410 235g, MT410G 250g



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Guest pelorus32

Hi Ultralights,


the simple answer is that you probably don't want an EPIRB but rather a PLB. The PLB is a Personal Locator Beacon - same technology but they tend to be smaller in order to be "personal".


Next thing is that it should be 406MHz not the old 121.5/243 beacons. There are two main differences the first is that the 406 are digital and the second is that all satellite coverage of the 121.5 stuff will be turned off soon.


See here:




406MHz PLBs allow you to code in owner details and to inform AMSA of those. They are also available with and without GPS. The GPS equipped ones allow quicker homing but are of course more expensive. There has been a recent change in the ANZ standard for 406 EPIRBS and this has resulted in some cheaper versions coming on the market.


Have a look at the PLBs on this site:




And also here




Unfortunately GME the good Australian guys don't seem to do a 406 PLB. I have one of their 121.5 PLBs that's done thousands of sea miles with me and also one of their 406 EPIRBS which has also done lots of miles.







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