Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

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MalC
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Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by MalC » Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:48 pm

I've carried a Fast find 220 for the past 3 yrs and got round to testing it again recently only to find it completely dead. The sell by for the batteries is 2019. So I took it apart to find that the seal had failed. There was significant corrosion on the circuitry.
Naturally I'm disappointed given how much these cost so I'm interested to hear if any one has tried any other makes.

Malcolm.

Owen
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Owen » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:20 am

I've just bought a DeLorme inReach SE - mainly for a trekking trip to Lapland - it's waterproof to IP 7, 1m for 30 minutes similar to the VHF radios. It has the advantage of being able to send and receive text messages. I've not used it kayaking yet but I do know that a man called Chris Duff is using one on his trip he's rowing from Iceland to Greenland at the moment.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:05 pm

Hello Malcolm

I have a 2 year + old RescueMe PLB1 it is waterproof to 15m. It worked when I tested at 2 years.

I also have a 12 year old ACR Aquafix PLB it is waterproof for 10mins at 10m this was fully functional and waterproof when Sartech changed its battery at 5 years. It was still fully functional when I tested it at 12 years though the battery was not changed when due at 10 years.

Definitely worth getting in touch with McMurdo. You say it was carried for three years, was it new when you got it? Has it ever had the battery changed or been opened before? Before I bought my first PLB the local coastguard advised buying one that you need to send away to get the battery changed as they were more likely to remain waterproof. SARTech charged £125 plus P&P + VAT to change the battery and seals and pressure and function test the ACR.

If you change the battery on an McMurdo PLB yourself put it in water at 40C to check no bubbles come out. Note you cannot do this with an EPIRB as immersion will activate it.

Douglas

Chris Bolton
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:30 am

Thanks for the warning, Malcolm. I've just retested my FastFind 210 and it's working well, 3 flashes. I bought it new and it's now in its last season before scheduled battery replacement in early 2017. It's been carried in a BA pocket for somewhere around 60 days, but not submerged often.

MalC
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by MalC » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:20 pm

Thanks for the comments. I bought mine new. I was in the water for about 5 mins back in March and I suspect that was when it leaked, especially as that's the only time I've been for a swim while carrying it. I'm not sure what warranty they offer but I'll have to go and search for the receipt. Having just moved house that might not be easy.
M

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GrahamC
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by GrahamC » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:39 pm

I use a Delorme Inreach all the time when paddling - well I pay a subscription so I may as well use it! (its also not a true PLB but a satellite texter with an SOS function). I treat waterproof electronics with a bit of suspicion after having failures from phones and radios in the past. I also smear the tiniest amount of silicone on the charging port rubberto help that seal better. I guess the good thing with the Inreach is that it is continually being tested, as I use if for tracking and sending on/off water messages and it has a screen so that I could see if it mists up. I rarely deliberately get it wet, so if I am doing lots of rolling/surfing it goes in the day hatch. I also rinse it off with fresh water when I get home. So far no problems.

Graham
___________

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:59 pm

McMurdo FastFind 210 and five years since buying it. Rolling for fun, training etc, amounting to hundreds of immersions in salt water, no rinsing afterwards, and no leakage.
Nick.

MalC
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by MalC » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:32 pm

Hi Owen,

I've just been reading up on the Delorme Inreach. Looks to be an interesting option. Have you had a chance to use it yet? It would be good to hear your opinion.

Malcolm

Owen
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Owen » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:04 pm

Only played with it so far, took it out walking and plotted my path https://share.delorme.com/OwenMerrick I sent a text to my sister and she replied. I'll report back after I've been to Lapland next month.

flat earth sails
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by flat earth sails » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:06 am

My understanding is that the in reach is similar to a spot, not a real PLB, thay both work on a diferant platform, the eperb and plb are on ther own dedicateb frequency and definatly run by emergancy services world wide

Skua
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Skua » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:05 pm

Breitling Emergency II watch......they are only about £12,500 now.

MalC
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by MalC » Wed May 03, 2017 11:30 pm

I thought it only fair to the manufacturer that I post a follow up to my first post which started this thread.

I finally got round to sending it back a month ago. I got a very quick response from them, and we had a good discussion over the phone. Their analysis was that the screws had been over torqued when it was manufactured causing the seal to distort.

Yesterday I received a brand new free replacement Mcmurdo Fastfind 220 - excellent customer service.

Malcolm

Sprucey
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Sprucey » Mon May 08, 2017 4:15 pm

Ocean Signal Rescue Me PLB1 for me.

Daker
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by Daker » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:58 am

Resurrecting this thread with a question please -

To those of you who own the Ocean Signal Rescue Me PLB1, can you advise how the antennae is sealed from potential water ingress please ?
I have only seen the pics and vids online but, from my understanding, you just pull out the antennae for use and can rewind it afterwards so how does it reseal if doing so ?

Conversely the McMardo Fastfind 220 has a cap that needs to be removed to deploy the antennae so (Im guessing) may be better sealed until that cap is removed ?

Clearly the Fastfind cannot be used again once the antennae has been deployed but Im more thinking that these devices will spend most (hopefully all !) their life sat in a PFD packet and not being used so have a slight concern whether the RescueMe antennae is as well sealed.

You could argue that all these units are waterproof to 10/15m so it really shouldn't matter but if salt water did get in to the antennae it could easily have disintegrated in the 5 years one would expect the battery to last.

Thanks in advance.

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PhilAyr
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by PhilAyr » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:53 pm

Hi Daker,

I have had the Rescue Me PLB1 for a couple of months now attached to my BA. I have not given it a dooking at sea yet but on rinsing it at home with freshwater I have noticed that some water does get inside the antenna wind housing. To dry it off all I do is extend and wind in the antenna a couple of times giving it a wipe with a cloth each time.

I see no reason to worry about it as I assume the manufacturer has sealed the antenna wind mechanism from the electronic innards.

All in all it is a neat bit of kit. I just hope I never need to use it !

Phil

kayakbiker
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by kayakbiker » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:46 am

I use a fast find. As I always keep it on me and as I roll regularly in the sea I'm now keeping it in a small dry bag in my pfd pocket. It may well be waterproof but a bit more protection just in case.

StanGuz
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by StanGuz » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:50 pm

Nautilus Lifeline, properly waterproof (dive with it) and it's a vhf too. I don't know how the McMurdo units work, so they could well be better if they use satellites?
What could possibly go wrong......?

PlymouthDamo
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by PlymouthDamo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:33 pm

StanGuz wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:50 pm
Nautilus Lifeline, properly waterproof (dive with it) and it's a vhf too. I don't know how the McMurdo units work, so they could well be better if they use satellites?
I think the Nautilus is an excellent idea for diving, as it's compact and doesn't need a housing. I still haven't bought one as I've read conflicting views on functionality - e.g. the latest upgrades reportedly can't be used for talking - only for sending out DSC distress signals. So for diving, I'm still using a PLB in a pressure canister. For paddling, there's no need for kit to be pressure-rated, so people might as well just use any old waterproof VHF as they're a bit cheaper than the Nautilus, and are probably better for talking. And yes, PLBs such as the McMurdo FastFind range, use satellites to communicate with the rescue services. They're a bit all-or-nothing though, as you can't talk to anyone to explain your predicament; just wait for the helicopter...

thekracken
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Ocean Signal Rescueme

Post by thekracken » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:09 pm

I use the Ocean Signal RescueME

https://www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk/en/gb ... -5113.aspx

and have had this for 2 years now, sea paddling 2-3 times a week in Scotland and thrown into the fresh water each time on return, then dried, and the test still works.

CharlieS
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by CharlieS » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:27 pm

I can confirm that the RescueMe antenna is not sealed and I've ended up with a small amount of rust on mine.
It cleaned off fine, but you'd want check after too much salt immersion.

Charlie

number10ox
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by number10ox » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:31 am

Daker wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:58 am
Resurrecting this thread with a question please -

Conversely the McMardo Fastfind 220 has a cap that needs to be removed to deploy the antennae so (Im guessing) may be better sealed until that cap is removed ?

Clearly the Fastfind cannot be used again once the antennae has been deployed but Im more thinking that these devices will spend most (hopefully all !) their life sat in a PFD packet and not being used so have a slight concern whether the RescueMe antennae is as well sealed.
Hi Decker,

The Fast Fine 220 comes with a spare/replacement cap and instructions for replacement, including torque settings for screw. I assume McMurdo will sell/supply further replacement caps should anyone have the misfortune to use more than twice.

sleepyfolk
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Re: Which PLB do you use? Is it waterproof?

Post by sleepyfolk » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:33 pm

I have an ACR Resqlink attached to my BA, if you get rescued using it they give you a new one free of charge!

https://www.acrartex.com/products/catal ... xAK9s.dpbs

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