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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-26-2013 12:06 PM
hellosailor
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

"it seems that the life-span of electronic devices is about 8-10 years"
Well, their life span is more like 100 years. The support from their makers may only be ten years.
Solid state electronics are remarkably long-lived, unless the maker has done something embarassing in the procurement and engineering departments.

Shoemakers have something similar to say, about boots where the soles have been glued on instead of stitched, making it impossible to replace worn soles and way more expensive to replace good boots. Like 10x more.

ACR's excuse on one of their EPIRB lines was that after time, the brass insets in the plastic case, which are how the screws held it together, were spalling out of the plastic. And somehow, they didn't mention that was an engineering defect in their product, they just blamed it on "age". They don't make mistakes. (ahem)
03-26-2013 11:23 AM
svHyLyte
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
...
Actually, what I liked about the Aussie gear was, aside from what appeared to be a very affordable initial price, even more so the 10 year battery life span. I've now had to replace batteries on our ACR GPIRB and PLB's twice since we bought them in 2002 and that's not an inexpensive proposition tho' certainly necessary.
As a follow-up/closing comment to this discussion, after contacting ACR regarding battery replacement, I discovered that our PLB 100 is now considered "obsolete" and they will not replace the battery. As an alternative, however, ACR did offer an exchange for a new "TerraFix" unit for less than the cost of a replacement battery for the PLB 100. The TerraFix is also a "discontinued" model but will be serviced for some years to come, certainly as long as the life of a replacement battery for our old unit so I could do worse.

On a positive note, I learned that the cost for the batteries for our GlobalFx has come down by about 25% since our last replacement so I'm ahead there although there is a good likelihood that this unit too will not be "rechargeable" after this cycle.

Considering the foregoing, and my experience with Garmin as to its Chart Plotter/GPS devices of late, it seems that the life-span of electronic devices is about 8-10 years and cost/benefit evaluations should be made with that in mind.

FWIW...
03-07-2013 07:04 PM
kellysails
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
kelly, in this context "lithium" is about as specific as saying "wood" or "metal". There are all kinds of lithium cells.
I was a bit of a SA on that. All they say is that COSPAS/SARSAT has approved their battery for 10 year life, no details. i trust that COSPAS/SARSAT would not overstate a product. It would be interesting to know how KTI did that. Probably trade secret, SWAG.

"The Safety Alert SA1G EPIRB is extremely cost effective and low maintenance due to an engineering world first COSPAS/SARSAT approved 10 Year Battery. The SafetyAlert SA1G is designed to go the distance so you may have complete confidence on land or at sea."
03-07-2013 06:53 PM
hellosailor
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

kelly, in this context "lithium" is about as specific as saying "wood" or "metal". There are all kinds of lithium cells.
03-07-2013 05:45 PM
kellysails
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

BTW, the admiral and I will never part with our spinlock non-USCG certified vests. They worked just fine in the Irish Sea, they're just as good in the Puget Sound. I keep a certified PFD nearby for admin purposes.
03-07-2013 05:39 PM
kellysails
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I'd be curious to know exactly which battery chemistry is giving twice the shelf life, or if that's just a battery which is larger so there's still more life left in it.
Lithium, if it's good enough for the 787 then it's good enough for an EPIRB,, oh wait, ah....
03-07-2013 05:35 PM
hellosailor
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

"What, do you think that when an Aussie or NZ yacht crosses the 12 mile limit from the US, their Oz/Nz electronics suddenly stop functioning?"
Actually, it stops functioning at the 200-mile "Economic Interest Zone".

I'd be curious to know exactly which battery chemistry is giving twice the shelf life, or if that's just a battery which is larger so there's still more life left in it.

My Crewfit PFD wasn't USCG certified but then again, none of the inflateables were when I bought it. Understanding certificates is all well and good, but I figured that if the Secret Service could but an inflateable on the POTUS on Marine One...it probably worked well enough for me, too.
03-07-2013 04:14 PM
svHyLyte
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
...I was thinking that a comparison might be to Spinlock vests. Lots of racers / sailors wear by them but they are not approved in either the US or Canada.
Use those and go over the side in US or Canadian waters and you're certain to go right to the bottom, Non?

Actually, what I liked about the Aussie gear was, aside from what appeared to be a very affordable initial price, even more so the 10 year battery life span. I've now had to replace batteries on our ACR GPIRB and PLB's twice since we bought them in 2002 and that's not an inexpensive proposition tho' certainly necessary.
03-07-2013 03:31 PM
jackdale
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

The battery change would be a big issue I suppose.

I was thinking that a comparison might be to Spinlock vests. Lots of racers / sailors wear by them but they are not approved in either the US or Canada.
03-07-2013 03:22 PM
Irunbird
Re: Affordable GPS-EPIRB w/10 Year Battery Life

I tend to agree. We have ACR dealers and refurbishers all around here.. For me, that peace of mind is worth the extra cost, even for shorter battery life.
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