Geocaching and Epirbs

For all your general chit chat, caching or not.

Do you have an Epirb?

Yes
9
10%
No
54
63%
Plan to get one
23
27%
 
Total votes: 86

User avatar
GIN51E
600 or more caches found
600 or more caches found
Posts: 774
Joined: 19 June 05 11:07 am
Location: Waitara Magellan Explorist 600

Geocaching and Epirbs

Post by GIN51E » 20 July 05 9:00 pm

<pre>
Now Geocaching takes us into some very remote and dangerouse area's
exspecially to those who geocache alone, i was looking at purchasing an
Epirb, not sure now as i'm just found as of Febuary 2009 the current
Epirbs on the 121mhz will no longer be used and only 415mhz? i think, so
it seems pointless buying one now when i may as well just wait a little
while and see if any small cheap 415 epirbs will come out on the market
soon,

just wondering if any other guys out there carry one around with them.

User avatar
embi
400 or more spectacular views seen
400 or more spectacular views seen
Posts: 1698
Joined: 02 April 03 2:09 pm
Location: Wyndham Vale
Contact:

Post by embi » 20 July 05 9:46 pm

We carried one way back when we did "Australia's Highest". It was the middle of winter and we wanted to be prepared considering the location. Have't taken one since though

sc00t
200 or more found
200 or more found
Posts: 213
Joined: 04 August 04 12:33 pm
Location: Wollongong
Contact:

Post by sc00t » 20 July 05 9:51 pm

I'm pretty much an Urban Cacher so no need for one.

xf king
650 or more caches found
650 or more caches found
Posts: 243
Joined: 01 October 04 9:06 pm
Location: Springvale Melbourne Australia

Post by xf king » 20 July 05 9:55 pm

A good thing to have, when out bushwlaking in dangerous places or when rok climbing, I have never needed to have an EPIRB yet, and I dont think I would ever go out caching somewhere that dangerous without having someone with me.

User avatar
Team Pathfinder
6000 or more caches found
6000 or more caches found
Posts: 1194
Joined: 10 April 03 4:51 pm
Location: Geraldton Western Australia
Contact:

Post by Team Pathfinder » 21 July 05 10:05 am

We live in the Pilbara region of WA, carry an EPIRB and have done for years as we consistently travel into remote areas where we are unlikely to come across anyone.

One point to remember regarding EPIRBS - although they will attract attention and hopefully someone will come searching it can take many hours or even days to reach you if you are in a truely remote area so DONT think ok someone will be here soon. ALWAYS carry enough food and especially water (and 1st aid equipment) to see you through and if you do get stuck try to set yourself up for the wait dont leave your position unless you absolutely have to.

I guess most of us know all this but just had to take this opportunity to mention safety as we cannot believe the people we have come across that travel up here totally unprepared for the extreme conditions.

swampgecko
It's all in how you get there....
It's all in how you get there....
Posts: 2181
Joined: 28 March 03 6:00 pm

Post by swampgecko » 21 July 05 1:28 pm

A bit of first hand knowledge here,

If you are relying on an EPIRB that transmits on 243Mhz(UHF) or 121.5(AM), there are currently only TWO reliable satellites that can pick up those transmissions. They are American weather satellites, with the SAR capability added on as an after thought. There were 3, but one satellite is classified as unreliable. Also due totasking requirements for the US Weather agency, there can be periods of up to and in excess of 9hrs where there is NO coverage of Australia, this is due to the groundtrack and the coverage footprint of the satellite. I had this senario very recently at work. I wont go into the finer points, but we had a beacon going off, but we didn't hear about it until much later on. After a discussion with AUSsar in Canberra, we worked out why this was so, there just wasn't any coverage of the east coast of Australia during that time period. So satellite coverage can be an issue.

Secondly, the satellite relays for those two freqs, (243 and 121.5) are going to be turned off in 2009(by the Yanks). So then there will be no satellite coverage at all for those freqs.

Thirdly, there is a "new" frequency,(been aroundfor some time) that is also being used, 406Mhz, for EPIRBS and such. This has satellite coverage. But not many aircraft have been fitted with the right equipment to pick that one up, where as most aircraft are capable of picking up 243 or 121.5.

So, if you have an EPIRB and you set if off, you will want to be hoping that there is an aircraft nearby listening in on "Guard" and it has good DF equipment fitted, don't be relying totally on the Satellites in picking up your transmissions.

User avatar
Derringer
2500 or more caches found
2500 or more caches found
Posts: 273
Joined: 02 April 03 9:48 pm
Location: Seymour Vic

Post by Derringer » 21 July 05 1:43 pm

Team Derringer has an EPIRB and takes it on all his solo walks.
I will also carry it on long distance walks in extremely remote areas.
ie SW Tasmania.

Kevin

swampgecko
It's all in how you get there....
It's all in how you get there....
Posts: 2181
Joined: 28 March 03 6:00 pm

Post by swampgecko » 21 July 05 2:06 pm

Something else I forgot to mention, If you wish to test your EPIRB, CPI, or ELT out, you are suppose to ring up AUSSAR on a 1800 number, give them details, of who you are, your location, the type of beacon you are about to set off, it's Frequency, the duration of the transmission and a contact phone number. You are only suppose to carry out transmission tests between the hour and five minutes past the hour, normally for a duration of less than 10 seconds. Now these are the rules covering aircraft EPIRBS, so I guess that it's the same for the Personal type units as well.

The fine for the inadvertant transmission and/or falsely using an EPRIB was $5000, though I have heard of a person being sued for the cost of the total operation that was mounted to search for them.

Posspet Boys
3000 or more caches found
3000 or more caches found
Posts: 182
Joined: 11 July 04 8:26 pm
Location: Crafers, South Australia

Post by Posspet Boys » 21 July 05 2:11 pm

Posspet Boys have an EPIRB permanently in my backpack. Now I doubt that I will ever need it on the way to and from work but it is just there.
Sometimes I go solo caching and even though not too far from civilization at least if I was to be subject to an injury that was to imobilise me then it would be avaliable.
I do not rely on this as my only source of salvation. EPIRBs do not release you from any obligation to have the correct equipment and to always let someone know where you are going.

User avatar
team_diesel
300 or more found
300 or more found
Posts: 105
Joined: 11 August 04 12:50 am
Location: Melbourne's South Eastern suburbs

Post by team_diesel » 21 July 05 2:58 pm


Damo.
Posts: 2183
Joined: 04 April 04 5:01 pm
Location: Jannali

Digital 406MHz EPIRB

Post by Damo. » 20 June 09 4:55 pm

A friend of mine recently got a small Yacht and reading up on the marine licencing requirements, it is compulsory to carry an EPIRB if going more than 2 NM from land.

Now I am aware that there has been a change in the last year to a Digital 406MHz signal and the new EPIRBS need to be registered and transmit their serial number allowing the organisation recieving the distress signal to have your information on hand, mostly useful to try and call you on your mobile to see if the EPIRB has been accidently activated but also to know what sort of vehicle/boat they are searching for.

When I last looked at prices a few years ago you could get a basic EPIRB for a couple of hundred dollars. Now they seem to be more in the $700+ range!

I was wondering if the few people who said they had EPIRBS in this poll had upgraded or simply discarded their old ones and if anyone can suggest the cheapest place to buy one?

User avatar
tronador
4500 or more caches found
4500 or more caches found
Posts: 1542
Joined: 04 November 05 10:18 pm
Location: Lidcombe,Sydney, NSW

Re: Digital 406MHz EPIRB

Post by tronador » 20 June 09 6:03 pm

Damo. wrote:A friend of mine recently got a small Yacht and reading up on the marine licencing requirements, it is compulsory to carry an EPIRB if going more than 2 NM from land.

Now I am aware that there has been a change in the last year to a Digital 406MHz signal and the new EPIRBS need to be registered and transmit their serial number allowing the organisation recieving the distress signal to have your information on hand, mostly useful to try and call you on your mobile to see if the EPIRB has been accidently activated but also to know what sort of vehicle/boat they are searching for.

When I last looked at prices a few years ago you could get a basic EPIRB for a couple of hundred dollars. Now they seem to be more in the $700+ range!

I was wondering if the few people who said they had EPIRBS in this poll had upgraded or simply discarded their old ones and if anyone can suggest the cheapest place to buy one?
Hey Damo
Yes you are correct. the old epirbs are no longer useful since the signal was changed in Feb 09. All those who bought epirbs that used the 121.5Mhz signal are useless as they are no longer detected by satellite. In fact after 1 Feb 2010 it will be illegal to use them. You will need to buy a personal locator beacon (PBL) that uses the the 406MHz signal and then register it with the AMSA.
On my recent trip hiking the Larapinta trail in the NT we hired a PBL from this place:
GPSOZ www.gpsoz.com.au They are in Mona Vale. They also sell them.
Hope this helps.
More info about the new frequency PBL can be found here.
http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/

User avatar
Papa Bear_Left
800 or more hollow logs searched
800 or more hollow logs searched
Posts: 2573
Joined: 03 April 03 12:28 am
Location: Kalamunda, WA
Contact:

Re: Digital 406MHz EPIRB

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 20 June 09 6:18 pm

tronador wrote:You will need to buy a personal locator beacon (PBL) that uses the the 406MHz signal and then register it with the AMSA.
What?! I'm not for sale, thankyouverymuch!
tronador wrote:On my recent trip hiking the Larapinta trail in the NT we hired a PBL from this place:
Oh, I am for rent (for the right price and renter!)


The local national parks people have repeater stations along the Darling Scarp on one particular CB channel, so a hand-held radio has a reasonable chance of being in range of one of them. Your local authorities may well have similar things in the areas you're going to, so that's worth checking out beforehand. It's not a replacement for an EPIRB, but it might make a better first option or backup if you get into trouble.

Damo.
Posts: 2183
Joined: 04 April 04 5:01 pm
Location: Jannali

Post by Damo. » 20 June 09 6:25 pm

Thanks tronador. Actually it was that site I got 'sticker shock' from at the prices!
MT400 for $469 from Whitworths is the cheapest I have seen so far in my limited browsing...
http://www.whitworths.com.au/main_itemd ... lutePage=1

User avatar
Derringer
2500 or more caches found
2500 or more caches found
Posts: 273
Joined: 02 April 03 9:48 pm
Location: Seymour Vic

Post by Derringer » 20 June 09 6:35 pm

Haven't upgraded yet - waiting for a few months to see if the price falls after the initial clamour to upgrade.

I believe that although the 121Mhz beacons are not recognised by satellite, but passing aircraft will still be able to pick up a signal.

Useful if in an area like the Vic Alps which is on a few major air routes.
Useless if away from major air routes.

Will still carry it, until I upgrade - likely to be next summer, my main solo walking season.

Kevin

Post Reply