The one-way standard for emergency personal locator beacons, it communicates with high-orbit satellites, transmitting the distress signal. General rescue locale is determined mathematically by the satellites and reported directly to rescue operators. Once they’re in the vicinity, the PLB is tracked by its locator beacon.
SELF-TEST: Receive an email and/or SMS text message confirming receipt of your beacon self-test using the optional subscription service at 406link.com.
RESCUE NETWORKS: Cospas-Sarsat, FCC, Canada, R&TTE, Australia, New Zealand
COOL BECAUSE: The selftest function lets you know the PLB is hooked up and running. A rescue strobe aids night location during rescue. Also, it connects directly to international Cospas-Sarsat rescue authorities.
PROS: It gave the fastest
“OK” transmit time in our test and offers free replacement if it saves your bacon. The communications subscription at 406link.com also gives low-battery notifications.
CONS: It’s able to send only one preprogrammed message. BESTS: Communicates with the oldest, most prestigious emergency rescue response teams from around the entire world
GPS: 66 channels
BUOYANT: Yes WATERPROOF: 16.4 feet/ floats
WEIGHT: 5.4 ounces
BATTERY TYPE: Nonhazmat lithium
BATTERY LIFE: 30 hours
WARRANTY: Five years RESCUE
ACTIVATION PROCESS: Register at beaconregistration.noaa.gov/rgdb. Subscribe to communications services at 406link.com.
ACTIVATION COST/ YEAR: Cospas-Sarsat, free; 406link.com, from $40 annually for confirmation emails, SMS and low-battery notice
TIME FOR SATELLITE CONNECTION: One minute PRICE: $250; acrartex.com
The ACR ResQLink+ floats.