The smallest PLB: ACR ResQLink or Satro PLB-110?

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.

5 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I tried a full GPS test outside my house, though the sky view is fairly restricted. It took the ResQLink maybe 30 seconds to acquire a position and the 406 mHz test burst made it through the system to 406Link, which sent me an email confirmation. I have a high level of confidence that this PLB will work if needed!

  2. Paul says:

    If you have several beacons, look at the “block” registration on the NOAA beacon registration website. To make modifications you still need to bring up the form for each beacon, but they are all nicely grouped together and the registration expiration dates are all on the front page. If there are no changes to the registration data it looks like you can update all your beacons at once.

  3. Hendrik says:

    Is it a strange idea to think that an AIS Sart/PLB Beacon wil be the next?

  4. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    How many beacons are enough for someone who has a tremendously diverse use of a 39 foot sailboat as I do (race with competent crew, race shorthanded with crew unable to recover MOB, sometimes cruising offshore (in which case I rent a EPIRB), sometimes alone)
    EPIRB – gold standard for non-MOB emergencies.
    PLB beacon – Limitations, but a solution if I am the MOB. Not so good if I am the captain, and my crew is in the water. Is my MOB in good enough physical condition / is the water not to cold, for them to deploy it? How long do I have to wait to learn their location from the authorities ?
    DSC/GPS (Rescue 21) capable VHF radio – Advantages over PLB if I am the MOB in cold water. Dual use when in the Dinghy and have an emergency.
    DSC Beacon – If small enough to stuff in my PFD, has advantages over PLB if I am the MOB in cold water. Advantage #1, it will more likely be with me if I am MOB then a bulky VHF.
    AIS beacon – great solution if my crew is the MOB. As a confident captain, I have instant access to the current location of my lost crew member, and can get them out of the water faster than anything else. Far better than a radio direction finder, no gear to unpack and setup, just look at the MFD.
    Raymarine Life Tag and similar – as with the AIS beacon, great solution if my crew is MOB, integrated alarm to wake up crew in a double handed situation. If I am the MOB, and my crew is competent to pick me up, I can think of situations where I would prefer the AIS solution (fog). But this is a close 2nd.

  5. Paul says:

    Dan, regarding PLBs, if you have a 121.5 MHz beacon receiver on board (and turned on), you won’t have to wait for notification, you will hear the alarm as soon as the MOB triggers the PLB.
    I agree, an automatic AIS or DSC/GPS beacon system would be better, and the Lifetag (or similar) will raise the alarm even if the MOB is incapacitated.
    I do appreciate that these MOB solutions are getting smaller and better. Each of my crew carries a PLB, and I have the receiver, but it may not be long before a clearly superior alternative is available.

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