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smurph-
I change my own batteries. I even pump my own gasoline. Sometimes into the car, sometimes into jerry cans. And you know what? That's ILLEGAL IN ILLINOIS AND NEW JERSEY. Or at least, it has been illegal recently. That's too dangerous for unlicensed civilians to do, you know.

Like changing batteries.

Hey, wanna do the "Three Legged Race With Scissors" at the county fair with me? (VBG)

js, what's the ISAF requiring now?
 

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I didn't see any reference to EPIRB expiry or dating in the ISAF regs. In the equipment checklist, there is a line that simply says "STATUS" which for all we know could mean "Is it turned on and transmitting right now?" Very sloppy for the ISAF.

But, no requirement as to who or if batteries have been serviced.

As to not having a label...hehheh...What color would you like that? On paper, plastic, Scotchlite? Buy a P-Touch, put the new service date on it. Or take a Sharpie and just mark the body of the EPIRB with it. You want a stack of 20's with that? Or would you prefer 50's?
 

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smurph, but no one is asking you to be a $200 ass. Bear in mind, that $200 service charge also includes a new o-ring or gasket seal (worth maybe fifty cents to a dollar retail?) plus an electrical test (and if it isn't a live test in a casket or a faraday room, that's worthless, but a live test could be worth $50?)...

So you're not just paying for batteries, you're getting a gasket and an hour of questionably skilled labor.

I'll be that makes it feel much better, like paying an auto dealership for a $99 oil change that "includes a 24-point checkup!" huh? (G)

ACR would have rejected my EPIRB because one of the internal mounting posts in the plastic casting was spalling out from the brass threaded insert in it. Why was it spalling out? Uh, because when they made it, they goofed?

A little epoxy made me happy enough. And a lighter hand torqueing the case shut. Oh, yeah, I also greased the gasket with silicone grease, since I have no idea where to get a new one to match.

As I explained to the nice man, "You don't understand. I would rather pack my own parachute, I don't know your man from Adam."
 

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HyLyte-
I'd bet good money that master rigger who supervised you would also be glad to GIVE you the o-ring while showing you how to check the seat, if he was doing EPIRBs.

Parachutes are way more complex than O-rings. I hope you bought the nice man a beer after you came to appreciate his patience and skill. Even if that was against regs.

But I'm not gonna bother him for advice on O-rings. Relying on professionals? Heck, maybe you didn't hear about ACR having a recall on EPIRBs some year ago. Because the self-test light lit up just fine, but someone found out the units themselves were not capable of transmitting. "Ooops".
Built by professionals, huh? That I can rely on?

You think the guy that swaps out batteries is getting paid more than the guy at McD's cash register? And really, is any more professional? He's no master rigger, I guarantee you.
 

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Batteries Plus, Bulldog Battery (Ohio?), The NiCad Lady (Ca), a number of places will rebuild packs factory-new and to your spec. There are different types of lithium primary cells now, some with higher capacity than others. Some legal to ship by air, some not. Allied Electronics, Digikey, Newark, are probably the three biggest electronics component sources but even Amazon carries this stuff these days, with solder tabs for the DIY'er.

IIRC the EPIRB batteries all were rated for a 10 year shelf life, with a similar low discharge rate. 3% per year times ten years doesn't equal 100% loss...but the five year replacement is based on the battery having only 50% real effective power (enough power and voltage to keep the circuitry happy) after five years on the shelf, allowing some margin for the fact those ratings are at 68F and the EPIRB may be in 40F waters, where the power goes down way faster. (You can lose something like 25% of a battery's power with a 10C temperature drop, ballpark.)

Crossing oceans, I'd worry about the five years. Coastal, inside helo range and not expecting to need a 24-hour signal, I'd worry way less.(G)

FWIW.
 
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