Originally Posted By: comms
Anyway, I have never seen a dedicated PLB act as a I'm Okay function using the test sequence. Interesting but honestly I think its trying to make something into something it is not. I mean, we do that all the time but somehow to me it feels weird using a test function as a communication function.

Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
There's lots to consider but I agree, I don't want to use it in a way it's not intended for because it leaves more margin for error.

Of course there are pros and cons to each method chosen, and everyone should use what they are most comfortable with after reviewing the facts, but that being said I think I may have done a poor job presenting the information. Allow me to attempt again.

As I understand it there are different ways of self-testing a PLB. The most basic way is you push the self-test button, the PLB lights up, and you're confident that it still works. A more advanced kind is a through-satelite self test, where a signal is actually transmitted. According to the website:

Normal Cospas-Sarsat Ground Stations ignore Self Test messages, but the SafeLife Systems ground receiving stations have been specially adapted to receive these Self Test messages so that we can provide you with this ultimate level of confidence in the operation of your beacon in an emergency.

So the signal goes from PLB to satelite to Safelife receiving station, which, if you have signed up for the service, with then send you an email informing you that the signal was received. This is all part of ACR's PLB "self test" function.

If your PLB is already sending a benign signal, and you're getting an email or text message informing you when the signal is received, why not extend that service just a little farther to have it sent to the email(s) of your choice, with the pre-programmed message of your choice?

I guess what I'm saying is that through-satelite self-testing, as opposed to a basic self-test, is already a communication function--you're simply communicating with empty air. 406 link is merely a way to connect that communication to a recipient.

But hey, I'm not an expert or anything. smile No affiliation.