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PLBs Can Save Your Life

Discussion in 'Training, Practices and Equipment' started by letterboy, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Orlando, FL
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    Avalanche beacons are used differently, though. I highly recommend at least a Level I avalanche class, but the extremely short version is that they need to be on and transmitting before you set foot (or ski or board) on the snow.
     
  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
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    The 121.5 MHz signal in a PLB does not go to a satellite, it is used line-of-sight on land/sea. The avalanche beacon uses 457 kHz, meant specifically for use through snow, and also line-of-sight, not to a satellite.
     
    DavidFL likes this.
  3. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    You think that German's don't have a way to rescue hikers? or snowboarders or divers adrift at sea? Germany does not accept PLBS as radio devices. They do register EPIRBs and the contact address on how to do that is here. https://www.406registration.com/countriessupported.aspx?CultureCode=en-US
    And they have search and rescue - unlike some third world countries where they may deploy the Navy if they are in the mood to look for you.

    There is contact information for how to register devices in Japan but...
    For a US military member stationed in Japan I would register your PLB with NOAA in the US. They are not going to make an international incident over use of it unless the activation is fraudulent or erroneous - and this happens more than you realize so be careful.
     
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
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    Obviously I am confused about this. I thought all PLB is not radio device. It transmits 406 MHz, not in VHF marine radio frequency.

    So, for German hikers & skiers, what would they use to send out emergency alert to German SAR?
     
  5. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    Pretty much anything emitting a radio signal is regulated (worldwide) as a radiofrequency emitter or it is in various exempt classes of radio emitting devices - your alarm clock, microwave, TV, smart luggage, TV remote, stuff like that are usually exempt devices. 406 Mhz emissions are regulated by national laws and international treaty. If they weren't we'd have a gigantic mess of conflicting signals cancelling, overlapping, and false alarming with each other.
    ITU-R: Managing the radio-frequency spectrum for the world

    When a manufacturer of any device intentionally (or inadvertently) has radio emissions outside of their assigned spectrum or uses excess power that is: 1) radio pollution that impacts other users - often very badly and 2) a big deal.

    German hikers would probably use a cell phone or HAM radio to call for help.
     
  6. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
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    So in other words, basically the same thing, just a different frequency. AKA a homing signal. :)
     
  7. seeker242

    seeker242 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pompano Beach, FL
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    Everything that transmits any kind of signal is a "radio device". For example, a ship's radar is actually a "radio device". The reason why Germany does not allow land PLBs is because their internal database is only setup to accept MMSI number registrations. If you were to reprogram the PLB with an MMSI number then it would be ok. But, it would have to be for a vessel because MMSI numbers are only issued to vessels. People that are hiking in areas where there can be no PLB, cell service, etc, who have the money, generally bring a handheld satellite phone. They are a bit more expensive than a PLB though. You can spend $1,500 on a sat phone no problem!
     
    DandyDon and Dan like this.
  8. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
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    3,084
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    Thanks for the info.

    I check on radio frequency, they range from 20 kHz to 300 GHz, with 406 MHz is about in the middle of the spectrum, so ya, that would cover just about all radio devices.

    Radio frequency - Wikipedia
     
  9. Joshua Young

    Joshua Young Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Japan
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    I hope you guys didn’t mind the slight detour, but I’m definitely learning a lot from all of this information.
     
    chillyinCanada and DandyDon like this.
  10. pauldw

    pauldw Solo Diver

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    Avalanche beacons are two things: a transmitter (that doesn't transmit very far) and a receiver with a display that specifically directs the skier who isn't buried to go in a specific direction to find the buried skier (they also have distance indication, etc.).
     

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