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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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