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Guest prairiewinters

In the middle of nowhere

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Guest prairiewinters

Do GPS units have any type of 911 feature which would send out a distress signal and your location?

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Guest Iron Chef

quote:
Originally posted by prairiewinters:

Do GPS units have any type of 911 feature which would send out a distress signal and your location?


 

Some units do, but they are very high end units that cost way too much to be feasible. Basically nothing made by Garmin or Magellan will do this feature. It requires 2-way communication which is something that conventional GPS units do not do. Also some Satelite Mobile Phones do have this feature, but once again they are bloody expensive. Your best bet is to carry a radio (what type, im not sure) and use that and just read out the location, much cheaper.

 

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-Iron Chef

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agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

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Guest Iron Chef

Also, regular mobile phone service providers will have an smart 911 feature type thing inplemented soon. It allows them to find your position based upon the phone's contact with service access points. But this is not necessarily the kind of thing that you can just press a button and have happen yet. The United States' FCC is requiring mobile phone service companies to provide this service in the near future. But then again this would not work in the back country or anywhere where a signal couldn't be found.

 

------------------

-Iron Chef

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by prairiewinters:

Do GPS units have any type of 911 feature which would send out a distress signal and your location?


 

Instead of a GPS enabled cell phone you could buy a seperate Emergency Locator Beacon (ELB). They are meant for use when you are lost or maybe you have broken your leg in the bush. They work by sending out a signal on two constantly monitored frequences, this signal is picked up by a satellite network and your location is triangulated. They only cost about 100 bucks, but you should only use them as a last resort, because you may be charged by the cost of SAR finding you.

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest echo2000

Hey there,

 

Where can one purchase one f these ELBs?

 

E2

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by echo2000:

Where can one purchase one of these ELBs?


 

Well, I have seen them in one of my local electronics stores (but they don't seem to supply them now). They are intended mainly for aviation and marine use and transmit on 121.5 and 243 MHz, I have heard roumours that support for one of those frequences may be dropped in favour of a new one (406 MHz), so the unit you get may be slightly different. I think your best bet is to check out your local marine radio store, they should have one. BTW, they are also known as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons EPIRBs (also ELT/PLT). icon_smile.gif

 

Check out this site for a comparison of the various types: http://www.epirb.de/

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by echo2000:

Where can one purchase one of these ELBs?


 

Well, I have seen them in one of my local electronics stores (but they don't seem to supply them now). They are intended mainly for aviation and marine use and transmit on 121.5 and 243 MHz, I have heard roumours that support for one of those frequences may be dropped in favour of a new one (406 MHz), so the unit you get may be slightly different. I think your best bet is to check out your local marine radio store, they should have one. BTW, they are also known as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons EPIRBs (also ELT/PLT). icon_smile.gif

 

Check out this site for a comparison of the various types: http://www.epirb.de/

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

-hand lost an arm in a winch/shark's mouth) eek.gif AND after you have tried using all radio comunication options. They are a life or death last resort. Pricey little buggers too, a manually activated unit is about $250, one that links with GPS runs about $800. Replacement batteries run $75 - $250, but last 5-6 years (because you NEVER use them)

 

I've never heard about anything similar for, say, mountaineering or taking a walk in the desert, but nearest desert is 1000 miles away, and I have an ocean in my backyard. Perhaps someone could add inland use.

 

I'd go for a high-tech phone.

 

(OK, so it wasn't all that short a note)

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Guest Kerry

Technically there are 3 different "types" of locator beacons.

 

EPIRB's are a generic name given to marine type beacons where both 121.5/243's and 406 mHz are currently used. Satellite detection of the outdated 121.5's is to be terminated as by the largest majority of false alarms are generated by these beacons.

 

ELT's are generically the aircraft version and are in a similar boat (pardon the pun) to the marine EPIRB's.

 

PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons) are exactly that and operate only on 406mHz. If these have not already gone into national wide usage then there needs to be lots of questions asked as this program started back in 1994, firstly in Alaska then trialed apparently in Oregon.

 

Regardless of usage (EPIRB, ELT or PLB) ALL 406 beacons require registration so as to reduce false alarms and aid/coordinate efficient search and rescue.

 

I'd have a 406 first any day over any other form of communication.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by Cape Cod Cache:

406 MHz can only be sold to registered boat owners...


 

Yeah, you won't be able to use the 406 MHz EPIRB on land (they are too expensive anyway), however, you may use the 121.5/243.0 MHz civilian/military version (the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)). These frequences are monitored by Search And Rescue (SAR), this will help them to locate you, but it can take several hours before they come looking. Also the satellite position fix is highly inaccurate, so they need to send up radio detection aircraft to narrow down the search area.

 

I am currently using a more upmarket version of this kind of beacon as part of the emergency equipment aboard the light aircraft I fly.

 

Note that the ELTs will be phased out by 2006, but that won't matter if you can get one cheap enough. You can always switch to a 406 MHz version then (they should have become a whole lot cheaper by then and they may have changed the regulations to allow their land use).

 

The only hand held ones I have seen are made by GME Electrophone (an Australian company), model MT310 and MT300 and cost in the order of $130 US.

 

If you don't have any luck in finding anything that suits, then rather than buying one of those expensive GPS cell phones, why not buy a cheap GPS and cell phone seperatly? If you already have both of these items then you are set to go. If you break your leg in the middle of nowhere you could call in your GPS coordinates almost as easily as turning on an ELT. That is provided you are in range of a cell phone tower (it's easy to get out of range in the bush in New Zealand (no matter what the telecom. companies would like to have us belive)). icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers,

Donovan. icon_smile.gif

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by Cape Cod Cache:

406 MHz can only be sold to registered boat owners...


 

Yeah, you won't be able to use the 406 MHz EPIRB on land (they are too expensive anyway), however, you may use the 121.5/243.0 MHz civilian/military version (the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)). These frequences are monitored by Search And Rescue (SAR), this will help them to locate you, but it can take several hours before they come looking. Also the satellite position fix is highly inaccurate, so they need to send up radio detection aircraft to narrow down the search area.

 

I am currently using a more upmarket version of this kind of beacon as part of the emergency equipment aboard the light aircraft I fly.

 

Note that the ELTs will be phased out by 2006, but that won't matter if you can get one cheap enough. You can always switch to a 406 MHz version then (they should have become a whole lot cheaper by then and they may have changed the regulations to allow their land use).

 

The only hand held ones I have seen are made by GME Electrophone (an Australian company), model MT310 and MT300 and cost in the order of $130 US.

 

If you don't have any luck in finding anything that suits, then rather than buying one of those expensive GPS cell phones, why not buy a cheap GPS and cell phone seperatly? If you already have both of these items then you are set to go. If you break your leg in the middle of nowhere you could call in your GPS coordinates almost as easily as turning on an ELT. That is provided you are in range of a cell phone tower (it's easy to get out of range in the bush in New Zealand (no matter what the telecom. companies would like to have us belive)). icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers,

Donovan. icon_smile.gif

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by Kerry:

I'd have a 406 first any day over any other form of communication.


 

Oops, Kerry, you snuck in while I was writing.

 

I agree, I would go for the 406 MHz version if you can afford it. They should be avalable for land use, but I don't know where you would buy one for that purpose. Registration is a good thing anyway, because then they know who is missing (if they have you phone number then maybe they could ring your family to see where you are?). The 406 MHz version has a response time of minutes and not hours like the older system.

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest Kerry

quote:
Originally posted by Nemesis:

Yeah, you won't be able to use the 406 MHz EPIRB on land (they are too expensive anyway).


 

Depends on whose LAND it is and what price one puts on one's own life I suppose.

 

Canada - yes no problem

France - yes no problem

Australia - yes no problem (normally would include NZ in this but not entirely sure)

 

United States - no currently no certified but awaiting impending FCC approval (had not been finally approved @ July/01)

 

There are several companies that make PLB's including ACR in the U.S.

 

Don't agree with relying on mobile phones at all for emergency positioning with or without GPS but agree it's too easy (almost guaranteed) to be out of range when one really needs communication.

 

Cheers, Kerry.

 

[This message has been edited by Kerry (edited 24 September 2001).]

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Guest Iron Chef

~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by Kerry:

United States...currently not certified but awaiting impending FCC approval.


 

Hopefully they get their act together soon.

 

I agree, a cell phone would probably not work when you needed it most. icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest Nemesis

quote:
Originally posted by Kerry:

United States...currently not certified but awaiting impending FCC approval.


 

Hopefully they get their act together soon.

 

I agree, a cell phone would probably not work when you needed it most. icon_wink.gif

 

Cheers,

Donovan.

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Guest bridaw

For more information on EMERGENCY POSITION INDICATING RADIO BEACONS(EPIRBs)

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/

 

PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACONS (PLBs)

Currently, only residents of Alaska, and soon Oregon, can use PLBs as part of an experimental program. The Alaska PLB experiment was set up to test the capabilities of PLBs and their potential impact on SAR resources during public usage. Since March of 1995, the experiment has proven very successful and has helped save over 100 lives while generating only three false alarms. In order to test the PLB's effectiveness in the Continental U.S., an experimental program is now being set up in Oregon. The continued success of the Alaska PLB program and the anticipated success of PLB programs in the "lower 48" should pave the way for nationwide usage of these devices.

 

Recent rescues:

http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/saves.html

 

[This message has been edited by bridaw (edited 25 September 2001).]

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Guest prv8eye

quote:
Originally posted by Nemesis:

Instead of a GPS enabled cell phone you could buy a seperate Emergency Locator Beacon (ELB).


 

Or you could use the old Indian trick, a very smokey camp fire .

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