Personal Locator Beacon


plb.jpgThe Personal Locator Beacon is one interesting gizmo as it targets those who tend to live life to the extreme, going about their duties with a variety of outdoor activities such as four-wheel driving, boating, camping, off-road motorcycling and even snowmobiling. Unfortunately, such activity is often accompanied by a wider range of risks, including breaking a random body part, getting bitten by an animal such as a snake, or being in a position where it is nigh impossible to get out of without some external help. This is where the Personal Locator Beacon comes in as it is capable of transmitting your current location (in GPS coordinates, of course) on internationally recognized distress frequencies monitored by companies such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System (SARSAT). Should you be unable to be under the umbrella of a GPS signal, there is always the less advanced (but accurate) option relying on the Doppler for your current position.

I guess Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) would definitely be worth every penny – after all, how much value do you place on your own life? Everyone has been created to be wired with a survival instinct, so it doesn’t make much sense to not do your bit whenever engaged in such outdoor activities. PLB will cost anywhere from $499 to $699 each, but the best thing is there isn’t any annual or subscription fees to worry about. The following are some of the specifications for your perusal.

  • Works in concert with the COSPAS-SARSAT System
  • Dedicated global satellite SAR system
  • Serious Life Saving Equipment
  • Designed to work when all else has failed
  • Approved to International Standards for life saving equipment
  • SAR agencies: NOAA, USCG, US Air Force and NASAR (National Association of Search & Rescue)
  • Emergency signals received by two satellite groups: GEOSAR (stationary/provides immediate alert) & LEOSAR (provides location/orbits every 100 minutes)
  • User Fee: NONE (tax payer supported system)
  • Three redundant methods of pinpointing location
  • Alert notification 50 seconds with GPS; one hour without GPS
  • Lithium batteries with 11-year shelf life
  • Antennas: 1 for GPS and 1 for distress message
  • Source: Gizmag

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