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What's the point of a PLB?

Old 10-08-2015, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Esuomm1 View Post
They can all be used in the water. They fall in the "They are better than nothing, but not as good as an EPIRB" category.

Yes, you need a hand to hold a PLB and orient it toward the sky and can't just let it float freely which is a big detractor for me but they are easier to keep attached to yourself when out n about on your boat.

Do it right, get an EPIRB for the boat/ditch bag and PLB to keep on you and loved ones.

I wouldn't have just a PLB, ever.
Maybe, but consider that an EPRIB activates automatically in 2-4 meters of water. If your vessel is disabled, think electrical failure and/or collision but not sinking and you and passengers have been thrown or voluntarily evacuated the boat, how is the EPRIB going to be activated? If you ONLY have a PLB you have the option of activating it from the water or wherever you are.
You're from the NE, think about So. FL where hypothermia isn't an issue anytime. If you're staying close to the coast, 15 miles or less, for example, a PLB is just fine. Rethink your blanket comment about "I wouldn't have just a PLB, ever." Maybe where you are but that doesn't relate to a huge number of US boaters.
Old 10-08-2015, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamCatcher14 View Post
The res q link plus is waterproof and it floats. Best of all it fits in the front pouch of my inflatable PFD or easily in a pocket. Not too many epirbs you can have on your person without even knowing it.

If I am out trolling by myself and fall overboard I have that on me. Pending for some reason my auto tether does not work or I cannot catch the boat.

Safety technology items are so cheap today it is stupid not to have it.
x2.

How much is your life worth?
Old 10-08-2015, 08:28 PM
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If you're staying close to the coast, 15 miles or less, for example, a PLB is just fine.

Why would 'close to the coast' matter? If it's fine at 15 miles, why not 30, or 40 ... ;?
Old 10-09-2015, 04:16 AM
  #24  
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I have:

ICOM M506 Fixed mount DSC VHF in the boat
ICOM M92D handheld DSC VHF
Delorme Inreach SE satellite communicator
ACR Global Fix Pro Epirb model 2842 automatic deployment and activation.

I wear the handheld VHF and Delorme on long trips to the Bahamas. In case I get tossed from the boat or there is some reason I can't get to the VHF or Epirb I have something on me to call for help.

I think the Delorme InReach is better than all the other PLBs because you can send and receive txt messages and email with it. Also it has a nice webpage with your track if you turn on that feature.

All these things are money well spent if you ever need them and cheaper than most of the fishing tackle we buy piles of. All these devices cost a lot less than one of my Wet Sounds amps.
Old 10-09-2015, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Denver Dave View Post
My cheap PLB (a Delorme InReach SE) has .....
Lets just stop there, a Delorme InReach SE is NOT a "PLB" to begin with ;? so lets not confuse this.
Old 10-09-2015, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by isitstuffed View Post
.... whether you go for a dedicated marine EPIRB which transmits a marine rescue is needed or a PLB is a choice entirely yours....
?? Is there some confusion here? Epirb and PLB transmit exactly the same signal to exactly the same ground stations ... or ... is there a thinking sneaking in that stuff like Spot, Delorne etc are classed as PLB's? Which of course they are definately not.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:18 AM
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I can see the value of both an EPIRB and PLB used together. I don't think a PLB on its own is an acceptable use of the technology since the deployment restrictions are so tight. I guess I would like to see one, or at least figure how to make that nice ResQ Link+ do what its supposed to do under a wider variety of emergencies. Someone posted above about a kid falling overboard; would a kid know how to deploy a PLB, then know that he's got to hold it out of the water while treading water, while being careful not to cover the GPS sensor with his/her hand? In that case a PLB could lead to a false sense of security that precludes other smarter decisions.

What prompted this thread is that I'm going to replace my 10-year old EPIRB and ACR has some great rebates, including a free ResQ Link+ with the purchase of a Globalfix iPro EPIRB. I'm comparing that to the $75 rebate offered on the cheaper Globalfix Pro.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
?? Is there some confusion here? Epirb and PLB transmit exactly the same signal to exactly the same ground stations ... or ... is there a thinking sneaking in that stuff like Spot, Delorne etc are classed as PLB's? Which of course they are definately not.
No they don't transmit the same signal. Nor to a ground station.
An EPIRB is programmed with either Radio Call Sign, Maritime MMSI number OR Serialised number issued by the flag state authority. Also whether auto or manually deployed. Whether the EPIRB was the first on board, GPS coordinates and other info...PLBs are not specifically intended for marine use and not programmed as such. Like I said the choice is yours as to whether or not you use the proper equipment, and supplement it with a PLB.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by semperfifishing View Post


A PLB like the ACR 2884 with strobe can be very handy.
On ones person or in a ditch bag etc.
Built in full self test of the internal circuits and battery.

And cost effective....mid $200 range on the street after rebates.

So at minimum....a PLB ....its a fractional cost of any boat but it is 100 % worth it when things go bad while on the water.
I carry this (along with an HX851 VHF radio) inside a pressure resistant canister with me when I scuba dive. The canister simply clips to my BCD and off I go. When I registered it with NOAA I added in the comment "survivor has VHF radio and is monitoring CH 16". I also take my PLB when I take a cruise.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:34 AM
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From epirb.com: http://www.epirb.com/difference_between_EPIRBs_PLBs.php (emphasis added by me)

Personal Location Beacons work in exactly the same way as EPIRBs by sending a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency which is relayed via the Cospas-Sarsat global satellite system.

However, there are a number of differences between them. PLBs are designed to be carried on the person so they are much smaller, some such as the Fast find are not much larger than the size of a mobile phone. PLBs are designed to be used anywhere in the world, on the sea and also on land. Some don't float but may come with an additional floatational sleeve which they should be carried in.

PLBs, once activated, will transmit for a minimum of 24 hours; while the battery life on an EPIRB is at least double (a minimum of 48 hours). An EPIRB is registered to a vessel, whereas a PLB is registered to a person. This means that if you are crewing a yacht and you switch to a new yacht the plb is still correctly registered; however, if you have an EPIRB and buy a new yacht you will need to re-register it when installing in your new boat. EPIRB PLB.


Both will do the job. The EPIRB battery will last longer.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:41 AM
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<from another post on THT. Please note post is from 2006, so some things have changed since then, but you'll get the point>

Using the THT search feature for EPIRB yields alot of threads. In the following one ACRGuy (ACR employee) discusses the differences:

http://www.thehulltruth.com/marine-e...mode=1#M886419

"Kamper,

I work for ACR and would add this info. The AquaFix 406 PLB has a protective holster on the beacon. It allows for a strap or velcro webbing to be passed though it. Although the beacon can be carried and stowed in a pouch, it would be advisable to remove the beacon when activated. This would allow the GPS antenna to have a clear view of the sky for data acquisition.

Here are some other points about EPIRB vs PLB:

EPIRBs float in an upright position to transmit (perform best when floating)
PLBs float so they won’t get lost (need to be held out of the water for best transmission)

EPIRBs transmit for 48 hrs at temps down to -40C
PLBs transmit for 24 hrs at temps down to -20C

EPIRBs can be manually activated in or out of their bracket or automatically activated when out of the bracket and in the water
PLBs are manually activated

EPIRBs have a strobe light
PLBs have no strobe (keep a strobe on you life vest anyway)

EPIRBs are designed to be mounted in a bracket or carried in a ditch bag
PLBs are designed to be worn or carried on your persons

EPIRBs have two different types of brackets. Cat 1 will automatically deploy the beacon should the bracket be submerged between 4 and 13 ft. Cat 2 is a manual deployment. Cat 1 can be manually deployed also.

EPIRBs are registered to the vessel
PLBs are registered to the person and are legal to be used on land as well

Both transmit on 406MHz and 121.5MHz (406 for satellite communication and 121.5 for local homing)

Both are required to be registered with NOAA. It’s quick, easy and free and can be done online at http://www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov/

I hope this is helpful. Stay safe

Chris"
Old 10-09-2015, 09:19 AM
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I just purchased a EPRIB for my offshore boat. I chose that over a PLB because I don't have any plans to boat alone. If I ever do get into going out alone, then a PLB would be a good thing to keep handy.
Old 10-09-2015, 10:02 AM
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Anther thing.....ACR has great promotions going on..so one can have both.


http://productimageserver.com/rebates/36999.pdf

For example:
Right now if one gets a EPIRB ACR 2884 or 2846......ACR gives you a ResQlink PLB for free.
Old 10-09-2015, 10:58 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
Lets just stop there, a Delorme InReach SE is NOT a "PLB" to begin with ;? so lets not confuse this.
well why don't you provide us with your definition then Mr know it all??

I can initiate a distress call with my Delorme, I can send out my position with it, anyone with the link to my tracking page with internet access can see the last point transmitted. Seems like it does a pretty good job of providing the location of my person, and it is waterproof and designed for use in the water.
Old 10-09-2015, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by LidoKey View Post
Maybe, but consider that an EPRIB activates automatically in 2-4 meters of water. If your vessel is disabled, think electrical failure and/or collision but not sinking and you and passengers have been thrown or voluntarily evacuated the boat, how is the EPRIB going to be activated? If you ONLY have a PLB you have the option of activating it from the water or wherever you are.
You're from the NE, think about So. FL where hypothermia isn't an issue anytime. If you're staying close to the coast, 15 miles or less, for example, a PLB is just fine. Rethink your blanket comment about "I wouldn't have just a PLB, ever." Maybe where you are but that doesn't relate to a huge number of US boaters.
Gotcha.

All EPIRBS can be activated manually. You're thinking of the hydro release that lets the EPIRB go and then switches it on. That same Cat I EPIRB can be activated manually like a Cat II can.

Think about a PLB that you have to hold out of the water and make sure it maintains proper orientation to work when you have a broken arm and must attend to your loved one's wellbeing (or many people) or you’re alone and are falling in and out of a state of consciousness.

The EPIRB will be tethered to you and operate hands free.
Old 10-09-2015, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
well why don't you provide us with your definition then Mr know it all??

I can initiate a distress call with my Delorme, I can send out my position with it, anyone with the link to my tracking page with internet access can see the last point transmitted. Seems like it does a pretty good job of providing the location of my person, and it is waterproof and designed for use in the water.
I think I found what I want my wife to buy me for Christmas.

Thanks for posting that, seems more capable than the SPOT.
Old 10-09-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pas View Post
well why don't you provide us with your definition then Mr know it all??

I can initiate a distress call with my Delorme, I can send out my position with it, anyone with the link to my tracking page with internet access can see the last point transmitted. Seems like it does a pretty good job of providing the location of my person, and it is waterproof and designed for use in the water.
This is just a guess. But the Delorme signal goes to some place in Houston. I think the PLB sends a 406 Mhz signal directly to CG.

I really don't know the answer but you have to register a PLB with NOAA. That's not required with Delorme. So there's a difference but I don't know the answer.
Old 10-09-2015, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
This is just a guess. But the Delorme signal goes to some place in Houston. I think the PLB sends a 406 Mhz signal directly to CG.

I really don't know the answer but you have to register a PLB with NOAA. That's not required with Delorme. So there's a difference but I don't know the answer.
it looks like it uses GPS and the iridium satellite network. I just glanced over the brochure, I will read about it more tonight.
Old 10-09-2015, 04:33 PM
  #39  
pas
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
This is just a guess. But the Delorme signal goes to some place in Houston. I think the PLB sends a 406 Mhz signal directly to CG.

I really don't know the answer but you have to register a PLB with NOAA. That's not required with Delorme. So there's a difference but I don't know the answer.
The bottom line is that either one will get help sent your way which is what really matters in the end. But you can communicate with the Delorme which can certainly help your nerves when you are lost at sea by yourself.
Old 10-09-2015, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Esuomm1 View Post
Gotcha.

All EPIRBS can be activated manually. You're thinking of the hydro release that lets the EPIRB go and then switches it on. That same Cat I EPIRB can be activated manually like a Cat II can.

Think about a PLB that you have to hold out of the water and make sure it maintains proper orientation to work when you have a broken arm and must attend to your loved one's wellbeing (or many people) or you’re alone and are falling in and out of a state of consciousness.

The EPIRB will be tethered to you and operate hands free.
Yes the hydro release unit used in Auto Release enclosure, at a certain water pressure, cuts a plastic bolt allowing a spring to blow the EPIRB enclosure in half and launch it underwater. The HRU as it is called is also used to release life rafts. The EPIRB for Class 1 Auto has water contacts to turn it on. (although some use magnetic reed switches like Kannad) No user intervention required. It will transmit this 'release' method to geostationary Inmarsat satellites. If it sends GPS Position there is no need to wait for the polar orbiting satellites to obtain a Doppler position, it just receives it. Inmarsat C via the maritime rescue coordination centre (MRCC) will set alarms off on every GMDSS vessel within the search area advising vessels of the MMSI number or radio call sign and therefore description of vessel held in the database. That info automatically comes up on screens at MRCC centres in whatever country is responsible as encoded in the 15 digit hex uin. For non commercial vessels with no HF comms the MMSI is now freely available to all for DSC AIS etc. The EPIRB supplier can have it programmed for you accordingly. So at the end of the day and ignoring the argument of being "close to shore and doesn't warrant it" the system is freely available, and it will within seconds... know of your distress, know where you are, know what you look like and can deploy assets such as commercial vessels and aircraft already in your vicinity. So all things considered, this subject of PLBs vs EPIRBs is a no brainer. Get both!!

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