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#287208 - 11/27/17 10:17 PM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: Ratch]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1697
I don't have a PLB (yet), i have stuck on who to set as my emergency contact. Parents are immigrants who don't speak the lauguage, brother is often abroad and does nothing outdoors. Using some of my trip mates can be a issue, if you are on a trip...
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#287215 - 11/28/17 10:32 PM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: Tjin]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1970
Loc: NE Illinois
Originally Posted By: Tjin
I don't have a PLB (yet), i have stuck on who to set as my emergency contact. Parents are immigrants who don't speak the lauguage, brother is often abroad and does nothing outdoors. Using some of my trip mates can be a issue, if you are on a trip...


When I registered my PLB many many years ago I fully expected to find the ability for me to enter my upcoming trip plans, so, if I was forced to activate the PLB, the officials could look at their registration site and read what their plans where. This would help with Tjin's problem. I know some (many?) users would never touch the registration site after the first use, but I honestly believe that those who have their head on their shoulders would indeed post their pre-trip information and keep it up-to-date.

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#287217 - 11/28/17 11:34 PM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: KenK]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1054
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: KenK
Originally Posted By: Tjin
I don't have a PLB (yet), i have stuck on who to set as my emergency contact. Parents are immigrants who don't speak the lauguage, brother is often abroad and does nothing outdoors. Using some of my trip mates can be a issue, if you are on a trip...

When I registered my PLB many many years ago I fully expected to find the ability for me to enter my upcoming trip plans, so, if I was forced to activate the PLB, the officials could look at their registration site and read what their plans where. This would help with Tjin's problem. I know some (many?) users would never touch the registration site after the first use, but I honestly believe that those who have their head on their shoulders would indeed post their pre-trip information and keep it up-to-date.
My recollection from the last time I updated my ResQLink was that the NOAA registration form doesn't have a huge amount of space for trip details. Also, for those of us who get out frequently, often for short trips, going through the update procedure before every trip would get somewhat cumbersome. Better, I think, is to keep the registration up to date with general info (boat/kayak/vehicle description, etc) and leave the trip plan with the contact person. Of course, this doesn't help in Tjin's case.

Sometime back I had a conversation with someone who works in the Rescue Coordination Center. My understanding was that while they will always call the contact person, not reaching that contact doesn't mean they won't launch a rescue. However, in obviously questionable cases they might first do some investigation, such a GPS location that shows up at your house, or from a boat parked at a marina. He also said there is a lower rate of false alarms from PLBs than from EPIRBs and ELTs. The reason being that PLBs require several deliberate conscious steps to activate. Whereas many ELT/EPIRB are designed to activate automatically in some cases (when a plane crashes or a boat sinks). For example, a hard landing might trigger an automatic aircraft ELT, or a big wave over the deck might trigger an EPIRB.

One good story I heard from SE Alaska was that they spent some time trying to resolve an EPIRB signal that seemed to be cruising down the coast, right behind a tugboat. It turned out it was in a pile of garbage on a barge. Someone was dismantling an old vessel, and inadvertently tossed the EPIRB into the trash. It somehow became activated and was merrily pinging away as it was hauled to the dump!
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
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#287220 - 11/29/17 01:22 AM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: Ratch]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1944
1. Correct, if they don't get to the contact person, they will launch. The vast majority of alerts are cleared when it is discovered by calling that it was an inadvertent alert and not an emergency.

2. One common strategy these days is to provide a link in the registration remarks/additional info section to a URL/web page where you post your trip plan/float plan, etc. Lots of ways to make that concept work that is easy to do versus logging into the NOAA site and changing what's there.

3. Make sure you also include your cell number in the listing (there's a place for it) as that is one of the most common solutions to whether it's a real alert or not. Commonly first number called when alert is from someplace where it's questionable that it is real.
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#287225 - 11/29/17 05:44 AM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: KenK]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1697
Originally Posted By: KenK
Originally Posted By: Tjin
I don't have a PLB (yet), i have stuck on who to set as my emergency contact. Parents are immigrants who don't speak the lauguage, brother is often abroad and does nothing outdoors. Using some of my trip mates can be a issue, if you are on a trip...


When I registered my PLB many many years ago I fully expected to find the ability for me to enter my upcoming trip plans, so, if I was forced to activate the PLB, the officials could look at their registration site and read what their plans where. This would help with Tjin's problem. I know some (many?) users would never touch the registration site after the first use, but I honestly believe that those who have their head on their shoulders would indeed post their pre-trip information and keep it up-to-date.


The main issue is that PLB registration is still paper based in mine country and no extra lines you can fill in about your trip. Also, it takes some processing time, which can be short or long. So get to send in changes to the contact way ahead.
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#287226 - 11/29/17 03:43 PM Re: Personal locator bacon [Re: Ratch]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 844
Loc: Colorado
I don't rely on the registration site for per-trip info.

I fill out a trip plan and send it to my contact so that when the authorities call her phone number when I activate my PLB she will give them the trip plan and info describing my capabilities. She also as instructions as to the time I suggest she contact the local authorities as well as who they are as part of my plan.

I think this is much more likely to be effective - and it gives my wife's aunt something important to do. (She's a very competent lady)

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#287235 - 11/29/17 10:38 PM Re: Personal locator beacon [Re: AKSAR]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1054
Loc: Alaska
Important note regarding false SOS from InReach

I just ran across this note from Roman Dial (a very well known hard core Alaskan adventurer) regarding triggering false SOS messages from InReach devices.

InReach Fail?
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"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#287237 - 11/30/17 12:20 AM Re: Personal locator beacon [Re: AKSAR]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4591
Loc: SOCAL
I recall another thread where the false SOS issue was discussed. As I recall, the Delorme inReach SE with the issue is the model that predates the Garmin take-over of Delorme. The Garmin inReach SE & Explorer have been redesigned with different buttons/keys. I think... the Delorme and Garmin models look very different. Rather than having a “lock switch” the newer model has a protective cap over the SOS key. Garmin Inreach SE+ owners manual

All that said, if I decide to go this route rather than buying a new ACR ResQLink (in lieu of replacing the battery by a 3rd party at not much less $), I’ll have a Garmin inReach Explorer in hand to get a feel for that SOS key first-hand. Garmin inReach Explorer at REI. It’s always better to touch stuff than to take internet advice from someone you don’t know. ...or I’ll go with a SPOT Satellite Messenger. Having options is nice.

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