Mcmurdo Fast Find PLB, Ritter tested


If the remarkably small and inexpensive GPS-equipped Fast Find PLB also works very well, what does that mean?  My guess is that it makes McMurdo king of the PLB hill, at least for a while, and that it will give pause to folks who are considering the Spot messenger at least in part as a safety device.  And who’s the guy we might trust most to judge Fast Find performance?  That would be Doug Ritter, majordomo of, who has a long record of thoroughly testing safety devices.  In fact, it was Ritter, and a large team he assembled, who painstakingly quantified GPS problems with an earlier McMurdo PLB in a test program that ultimately forced the company to recall and update the units…

Of course the world of small non-profit organizations isn’t what it used to be, and if you read’s latest Fast Find testing report in full, you’ll detect a somewhat apologetic tone regarding certain budget-level aspects.  But a bucket wrapped with a space blanket really can simulate a limited GPS sky view, and I’m impressed with how thoroughly Ritter pushed the Fast Find to its limits.  And, wow, is he impressed with Fast Find.  Is it time, as he suggests, for you to upgrade your PLB, or finally add this technology to your personal land, air, and/or sea safety system?


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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