ACR ResQFix PLB…smaller, cheaper, better!
When I visited ACR last October, I got to write up the R&D department’s nifty GPS simulator but not the nifty new GPS-assisted PLB that was being tested in its “oven”. Well, now it’s official; the ResQFix got FCC approval today and will ship in February. ACR managed to make it 35% smaller and 25% lighter than its already compact and successful AquaFix GPS I/O model, plus goose up the 12 channel GPS to -136 dBm sensitivity for fast starts in bad places, and they’re bringing it to market for $750, less than the old I/O. You gotta like all that, not to mention its “full functional self-test of internal circuitry, battery voltage and power, 406 MHz transmission and GPS acquisition.” Here’s more detail at Landfall Navigation, and here’s a full picture with included float bag.
It seems to me that the perfectly accessorized person overboard would have a proactive alarm system in one pocket, and a PLB like this in the other. Then a thoroughly equipped yacht could try to home in on his/her 121.5 MHz signal while the GPS and 406 MHz transmitter prepare SARSAT to send in the pros.