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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Coast Guard rescues 2 in Chesapeake Bay
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Thread: Coast Guard rescues 2 in Chesapeake Bay Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-20-2008 09:41 AM
retclt That sounds like it was advertised. I'm sold.
05-20-2008 12:20 AM
okawbow I just finished a solo 1100 mile trip in my Bristol 24. I had the SPOT along and sent an OK with my position and a link to a map, every time I anchored, and every 4 hours on off-shore passages. The email went to 5 people on my list, and was priceless for the peace of mind and interaction it provided to the people on my list. On a 175 mile overnight off shore passage; my wife was able to follow my progress even though I was out of cell phone range most of the time. My Spot worked every time on the boat. It even worked from inside the cabin. I always left it on for 5 minutes or so, for each signal.

The people metioned earlier would have been able to send a 911 that included the GPS position and even a map to their location. Their families would also get the message.
05-19-2008 06:26 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapperwhite View Post
EPIRBs have a self test function which doesn't actually transmit a signal, and you can have them tested in a shielded box so that the signal can't escape.

USCG Nav Center EPIRB info
I understand that, but to my computer-minded approach this is almost a meaningless test. The only meaningful test is end to end, to see if activating the EPIRB will cause someone in a remote location to get the signal such that they could respond were it a real emergency. Self test is definitely useless in this regard. Testing in a box is a possibility though it sounds slightly complex - and still only tests one end of the service - transmitter. What if the signal is too weak, not properly formed or your epirb is not registered right?

With SPOT I tested my device registration, found that it was not yet available, spoke to emergency response company and they remedied the issue. I would have never known otherwise. Not to say that SPOT is be-all solution, but the approach of being able to actually test the system is a very important feature and EPIRB would be wise to incorporate that. All they would need is a different type of signal, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Well, one advantage, at least for the manufacturer, is if the EPIRB fails to work on initial activation in an emergency, no one may ever find out that it failed...
Exactly.
05-19-2008 03:26 PM
sailingdog Well, one advantage, at least for the manufacturer, is if the EPIRB fails to work on initial activation in an emergency, no one may ever find out that it failed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
Lack of these options is what always worried me about EPIRB. There is no way to test them now, as there is no "test window" or anything, so when the time comes, you push a button for the first time really and hope that it works. As a "computer guy" I don't trust systems whose first use is when it can't fail.
05-19-2008 03:14 PM
Sapperwhite
Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
Lack of these options is what always worried me about EPIRB. There is no way to test them now, as there is no "test window" or anything, so when the time comes, you push a button for the first time really and hope that it works. As a "computer guy" I don't trust systems whose first use is when it can't fail.
EPIRBs have a self test function which doesn't actually transmit a signal, and you can have them tested in a shielded box so that the signal can't escape.

USCG Nav Center EPIRB info
05-19-2008 02:38 PM
retclt Our dog is chipped. I love Technology!
05-19-2008 02:10 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by retclt View Post
Good point.

My GPS didn't do a darn bit of good in the cities of Rome, Munich, Naples. That's where I needed it the most. I was constantly lost.

I'll make them go out in the middle of the yard and ping it.
Remember, it may take a few minutes (up to 10) for the message to be sent. I guess that is good too - they might get some fresh air, while walking the SPOT
05-19-2008 02:05 PM
retclt Good point.

My GPS didn't do a darn bit of good in the cities of Rome, Munich, Naples. That's where I needed it the most. I was constantly lost.

I'll make them go out in the middle of the yard and ping it.
05-19-2008 01:55 PM
brak
Quote:
Originally Posted by retclt View Post
I discovered the Spot a few weeks ago. I'm getting one for the kids to keep in the car. Finally an affordable sat safety device. If they lie to me about where they are I can make them ping the sattelite. heh heh heh
I tested it in the car, in the city and in a few other places (parks, stores etc). The bottom line is - it needs just as much clear sky as GPS and more. So, if it is in the car - it has a high chance of not working or taking a very long time to send a message. In my car it worked reasonably well as long as it was on the dashboard right under the windshield, looking up. If it is moved even a bit under the metal roof of the car - it won't be able to send any messages. It also does not work very well under trees - no messages got through at all when I was in a park with medium density tree cover.

So, personally, I would use it on a boat (and I plan to keep it on board and operational at all times) but on land it's usefullness is limited, in my opinion.
05-19-2008 01:42 PM
chucklesR Or just leave put a GPS in the car and have it save the track.
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