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Old 02-15-2010, 06:42 PM
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Default EPIRB battery replacement problem...

My boat came with a hydrostatic release type EPIRB mounted to the hardtop. It's battery should have been replaced many years ago. I have a PLB that I keep in a ditch bag, but I would like to change the battery on the mounted one for a backup. The problem is that the company that made the EPIRB, ALDEN Electronics went out of business in 2000. The model of the EPIRB is the SATFIND-406 EPIRB. Anybody have any ideas on where I could get this battery replaced, or should I just chuck it...
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:29 PM
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i hate to say this but,
bite the bullet and get a new epirb. its ten years old.
batteries have changed since then.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:30 PM
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I have the same EPIRB. When I bought it, a coupon for a free battery replacement in 5 years was included. I had the battery replaced in Edison, NJ 3 years ago. They were honoring the free replacement that cost me $100.00. I'll try to find the info. I may not have saved it though.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:50 PM
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I think there are a number of survival equipment service companies that ... may... still stock the " EP 104" Li-SO2 battery paks for that EPIRB and would do the replacement for large money.

Related previously:
Back in 2007, since I already had a brand new ACR GIPIRB CAT 1 & figured there was little to lose by opening up a discontinued Alden Satfind-406, I carefully unscrewed the case to find there is nothing at all complicated inside. Battery contacts were just simple 9volt-type snap-on male/female connector (though it's a 12V battery). Very simple and straightforward and rugged. I cleaned everything ( mostly o-ring case indentation) with clean cloth & closed back up.

After contacting the presently existing Alden Weather Systems Co. and considerable subsequent tracking, I eventually was able to buy an "EP-104" EPIRB battery replacement kit ( which includes the exact same battery pak the service companies use, and 2 (or 3?)correct case o-rings, plus a vial of dielectric silicone grease.

The kit invoice( $185 + $9 shipping) was from MORCOM INTERNATIONAL, Inc, parent of Alden Weather Systems and it really came from SAFT America who makes or distributes the batteries and were very helpful. Presently, SAFT America no longer seems to list the EP-104 on their website but I wouldn't be too surprised if they can provide it or a better than equivalent setup pretty easily if you were to choose the do it yourself method. But maybe not?

http://www.morcom.com/products.html
http://www.saftbatteries.com/Technol...S/Default.aspx

Once I got the kit, it took me about 6-10 minutes to reopen the Satfind , replace the battery and fasten the connnector with a little grease , remove old case o-rings and grease new ones and carefully install & double check them, then carefully put the case back on taking care that o-rings were safe. I had chosen a very low humidity day inside the house.

No harder than replacing portable radio batteries but I was taking extra care due to it's intended purpose. If timed I could have done it in probably around 3 minutes or less after doing once. Tested fine in the normal fashion as per the label on the EPIRB case. The kit also had the new Expiration Date sticker and clear protective over-sticker.

I easily replaced the commonly available Cat I hydrostatic release separately and of course kept registration info updated and that sticker renewed regularly, so it's back on the boat and good thru Oct 2012. http://www.cmhammar.com/products/h20-for-epirbs

After the replacement & test I found no reason at all to trust that Satfind any less than a new one, but I do also have that GPIRB & a good PLB. I will note I was told a bunch of definite BS by a couple of authorized service companies I checked with 1st before talking to Alden and SAFT America. .

No bashing please, not making any recommendation here.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:09 AM
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Considering the age of some Epirb units and the $$'s now being asked for battery replacements it certainly makes a lot more sense to simply replace the complete Epirb with a current model.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:01 AM
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Be aware that the frequencies the ten year old EPIRBs transmitted on are no longer monitored. Before replacing a battery, make sure the EPIRB is transmitting on the currently monitored frequency. There's little point in having an EPIRB transmit on a frequency that's not being monitored.

I discarded my ten year old EPIRB.

http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bor_epirb010107.htm
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Be aware that the frequencies the ten year old EPIRBs transmitted on are no longer monitored. Before replacing a battery, make sure the EPIRB is transmitting on the currently monitored frequency. There's little point in having an EPIRB transmit on a frequency that's not being monitored.

I discarded my ten year old EPIRB.

http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bor_epirb010107.htm
Good catch with respect to the frequency change. I also did not know that an EPIRB was mandated in Hawaii if more than one mile offshore and there is no VHF radio on board.

However, just like I don't throw out my old flares I probably would not simply throw away an older style 121.5Mz frequency EPIRB. It might come in handy since it is still being monitored to some extent by the aviation community.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:28 PM
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But this is not a 10 year old 121.5Mhz, it is a 10 year old 406Mhz model
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmo View Post
I have the same EPIRB. When I bought it, a coupon for a free battery replacement in 5 years was included. I had the battery replaced in Edison, NJ 3 years ago. They were honoring the free replacement that cost me $100.00. I'll try to find the info. I may not have saved it though.
Sorry I went through all boating related stuff and can't find it. It was a rip off anyway. The battery was free and the labor was $100.00. If you had to buy the battery, it would be a bunch more.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:25 PM
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check with jim at BOE, i bet he can help are lead you in the right direction
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Be aware that the frequencies the ten year old EPIRBs transmitted on are no longer monitored. Before replacing a battery, make sure the EPIRB is transmitting on the currently monitored frequency. There's little point in having an EPIRB transmit on a frequency that's not being monitored.

I discarded my ten year old EPIRB.

http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dbor/bor_epirb010107.htm
Ron

Yours (that you tossed) was a 121 EPIRB; this guy's is a 406 (the current frequency.) They were indeed making 406's well over ten years ago....they were just ferociously expensive. Since he has a backup current PLB, I'd see no reason for him not to get the new battery for the old EPIRB, assuming it's cost effective.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyPineSavage View Post
Ron

Yours (that you tossed) was a 121 EPIRB; this guy's is a 406 (the current frequency.) They were indeed making 406's well over ten years ago....they were just ferociously expensive. Since he has a backup current PLB, I'd see no reason for him not to get the new battery for the old EPIRB, assuming it's cost effective.
If it's current, then yes. There could be other problems though so it should be checked by someone with the proper equipment. A safety device that doesn't work is worse than no device at all because you may be counting on it to work.

BTW: I would have replaced the EPIRB if I thought I needed it. I don't go offshere, just putter up and down the ICW and connecting rivers.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:52 AM
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Does anyone know what type of batteries are in the

EPIRB BATTERIES McMurdo type 82-140 battery pack.

A pack is symply a bunch of common batteries all wrapped togethered and soldered into the connector.

No reason that anyone with electronics training could not rebuild one.

thats what they do when they "Refurbish" the pack

Hate to cut my pack open to find out whats in it as it still works but want to make some spare.

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