Personal Locations Beacons

  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 11 months ago by Nick Heath.
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  • #22335
    Nick Heath
    Participant

    I did not correctly answer a question  about the PLB which was posed at the last club on-line meeting. I was asked “How can I test that the device works?” My reply was that you can’t really test it – just trust the manufacturer and replace the battery each 7 years.

    Reading my instruction manual (!) it seems that I should test it once annually. The test button will send a short burst of signal (like an aircraft’s distress signal) that should be done only in the first five minutes of any hour – apparently this is by international agreement.

    Each test depletes the battery by 10%, which is why more frequent testing is not recommended, if you expect the battery to last 7 years.

    I’ve owned mine since 2000, so I guess I’m overdue for a test!

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  • #22360
    Nick Heath

    Well spotted, Richard. My error again, due to my clumsy, fat fingers. I bought the PLB in Spring 2020, not in 2000!

    #22356
    Roland Stefani

    Richard, you say “test PRN and replace earlier than they say”.

    Given that Nick’s reading of the instructions are that one should test the battery at least once annually, I would expect the annual testing is anticipated in the 5 year battery life.  There fore, replacement earlier that they say is probably not necessary.

    #22352
    Roland Stefani

    Please report on the test.  If it succeeds, that would indicate the battery life is seriously underestimated.

     

    #22336
    Richard Merchant

    I don’t have a PLB but…   I wondered about the battery life.   In general for something like this one should not push battery life to it’s max; so the question is “how replaceable is the battery”?

    Quick google I see a product “ACR PLB_400”; spec sheet says “Battery Replacement 5 years” – this is good because it means that the battery can be replaced; and that the battery is “Non-hazmat Lithium Batteries (LiMnO2)”.

    This is a “Lithium – Manganese Dioxide Battery (Li-MnO2) Batteries” – not a usual battery, I think, but it looks like every manufacturer makes them so they shouldn’t be hard to find.

    So my assessment would be – test PRN and replace earlier than they say.

    I think Nick is overdue for replacing his battery.    23 years is too optimistic for my taste.

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