1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hey Guest, We're having our annual Winter Moot and we'd love you to come. PLEASE LOOK HERE to secure your place and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE
    Dismiss Notice

Personal Location Beacons for UK use?

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by Wayne, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
    Mod

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Messages:
    3,436
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    West Sussex
    I have been considering getting a Personal Location Beacon for emergency use in the U.K. and Northern Europe.

    Anyone have any current experience of them and recommendations of models?

    Ideally I want something that doesn't require an expensive subscription.
     
  2. Kepis

    Kepis Bushcrafter through and through

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,219
    Likes Received:
    1,058
    Location:
    Sussex
  3. Quixoticgeek

    Quixoticgeek Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Europe
    I have a Delorme InReach Explorer (now owned by Garmin). I wrote a review which is in the reviews section of the site. It needs a subscription, but they start quite low (not checked prices recently). But you can pay as much as you like.

    J
     
  4. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    12,035
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Location:
    Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
    Buy the Breitling Emergency.
    Why would you need an emergency beacon for?
     
  5. wicca

    wicca Native

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,065
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    South Coast
    I have used an ( emergency position indicating radio beacon) EPIRB, Wayne.
    This reply to your question may or may not be of use to you as like all technology the EPIRBS and similar kit have shrunk in size and weight and probably gained much in effectiveness since I used mine in 2007.

    I was making single handed ocean voyages at the time and the McMurdo beacon I had operated on both the 406 and 121.5 MHz frequencies. At that time 406 was the International standard for Epirbs while 121.5 was more a land based and localized system, although commercial aircraft would pick up the signal mid Atlantic when passing overhead, and 121.5 was received by many stations and satellites orbiting the developed regions of the World, the 406 MHZ signal operated reliably basically everywhere.
    In view of the above...if...the systems are still basically the same, then for your purposes a beacon operating on 121.5 will be sufficient. If you are going High Arctic, personally I would go for a dual frequency..such as ...https://www.mailspeedmarine.com/mcmurdo-fastfind-220-plb.html

    I got caught single handed voyaging to Florida in early May 2007. I had crossed from the Canary Islands and spent a few months wandering the Leeward Islands and then sailed for Miami before the Hurricane season set in...I thought!! Sub Tropical Storm Andrea had other ideas and appeared a few weeks early....

    One thing you may consider doing if you purchase a Beacon is to contact the monitoring authority and give them an approximate itinerary of your travels. I contacted Falmouth Coastguard, who are responsible for co-ordinating world wide rescues on 406MHZ, and told them I was sailing from the Canaries late December for the Caribbean, roughly where I was going, Antigua, St Kitts, Dominica etc: and that I would be on passage for Florida in early May.

    This forward planning worked a treat because when I stuffed my boat on a reef in seas the size of Buckingham Palace, having triggered the Epirb, Falmouth Coastguard got the signal, pressed a key on a computer and there was Wicca's message, so they knew it was not one of thousands of false alarms ( Many Doughnuts actually press the red button " to see if it works...:biggrin: ) It drives the poor Coastguard potty...

    Falmouth Coastguard telephoned the US Coastguard in San Juan, Puerto Rico and asked them to fish me off the reef with one of their big helicopters.
    I was in the water and scrabbling around on the reef for about 45 minutes from pressing the red button, so the rescue pilot told me, so the itinerary really was a life saver as I don't think I could have swallowed any more sea water and sand and I was running out of skin to leave on the reef anyway...:p

    If you are going far places, an Epirb is certainly worth considering...I imagine the devices have become much more sophisticated since 2007, much lighter and cheaper at least.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  6. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,173
    Likes Received:
    304
    Location:
    Aylesbury
    Having just looked up the cost, I'm assuming this isn't a serious suggestion.....
     
  7. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,173
    Likes Received:
    304
    Location:
    Aylesbury
  8. bearbait

    bearbait Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Mid-Wales, UK and British Columbia, Canada
    I've been looking at the Garmin Delorme InReach Explorer recently to replace the monthly charge on my (very lightly used) satphone, which I'll cancel. The Explorer monthly charge is much cheaper although you don't get voice comms. but you do get a GPS unit which my satphone doesn't have.

    The good thing about the Explorer is that you can buy just a month's subscription at a time on some plans so you are not committed to a regular monthly charge even when you're not out expeditioning. You can also use it to send predefined text messages as well as send and receive regular text messages. You can get a weather forecast from it at the price of text message or two. It also seems to be able to sync to a smart phone or tablet with the supplied app, I guess to take advantage of the larger screen/keyboard.

    I'm still researching one for myself.

    Let us know what you decide. Ta.
     
  9. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    12,035
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Location:
    Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
    Yes it is.
    Wayne did not state any cost level.
    Does it have to be cheap for a recommendation?

    Can it get much better than yhis watch? Time keeping, an emergency direction finder ( in case you lose your compass) and a beacon.
    In a very small package.
     
  10. PDA1

    PDA1 Settler

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Framingham, MA USA
    No personal experience,but here is apretty wide review
    https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c amping-and-hiking/best-personal-locator-beacon

    No phoneapp thatI have been avle to find, but there are "breadcrumbtrail" apps for while in cell tower range.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    12,035
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Location:
    Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
    Before you buy ANY system/locator, check if it works in Scandinavia and Finland.

    Satelite systems will work everywhere, but not mobile phone based systems!
     
  12. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    7,930
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    McBride, BC
    Here, the avalanche beacons (Pieps) are very weak, very short range, for directional sensing in small areas.
    After a few hours, the urgency is to find your body before the wolves dig you up.

    Pretty hard to get lost. Did you go uphill or down hill from the only road that goes into that valley?
    I've been "turned around" a couple of times where a compass works and GPS does not.
     
  13. daveO

    daveO Native

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,326
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    South Wales
    :surrender:



    Sorry I just wanted an excuse to use that smilie...
     
    Robson Valley likes this.
  14. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    7,930
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    McBride, BC
    Don't apologize! I wanted to pound the LIKE button on your post 10X.
     
  15. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    15,980
    Likes Received:
    696
    Location:
    Florida
    Until about 5 years ago 121.5 was the standard (and mandatory) frequency for aviation. Since the switch to 406 I don't think anybody even monitors it anymore.
     
    Janne likes this.
  16. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    281
    Location:
    Llanelli
    A quick trawl of the net found the RescueME PLB1 for as little as £189
    and the peace of mind it provides makes for a very tempting investment.

    However:
    My only concern and this is not a gripe against the product but the many retailers...
    It would be nice if they included the expiry date for the battery or a guarantee of a new one being fitted upon purchase
    because a seven year battery life means little if the box has been on a shelf in storage for six.

    FYI: The battery is not covered by the warranty and replacement is an in-house job
    (not found any prices for this yet but deep down you know it's going to sting)



     
  17. bearbait

    bearbait Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    Mid-Wales, UK and British Columbia, Canada
    Have you settled on a particular model yet? Be interested to know which one if so. Ta.
     

Share This Page