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· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My EPIRB is soon due for a 5 year battery replacement, although the test sequence shows it fully operational. Has anyone done their own battery replacement? The batteries in these (Mcmurdo) are 6 standard lithiums, worth about 8-10 bucks each.
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yup replaced mine in an Acer. 1 hours work 1/20th of the cost and I was never without the unit.

OK I can not do the transmit in a faraday cage full test but it was OK on the self test.

The money I saved will more than pay for a PLB.
I've seen the innards of these things and there's nothing at all complicated. It seems like a good idea to have spare batteries in any case to keep in the ditch bag right along with the unit. Too bad Mcmurdo won't just sell the battery packs. I'd be willing to pay a reasonable price for a spare in any case. As a safety issue, all EPIRBS probably ought to have easily replaceable batts.

JS, I don't do any racing in my old tub:)
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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?
Don't you know NJ gas is very dangerous, much more so than NY gas. You need to have special certification and training in NJ (in addition to a green card). Not just anyone can do these dangerous tasks...geez. You never know, some people would likely decide to change their EPIRB batteries while pumping gas at the same time:)
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gee--who knew? And to think that the measure was proposed, and adopted, in NJ as a means of keeping minimum wage workers employed when it was really a "safety measure" all along. (Green card not required.)
Didn't realize it was originally part of a NJ Big Bro. social engineering project.
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
FWIW we recently had the battery replaced, for the second time, in our ACR Global-Fix EPIRB at a cost of $285.00 including tax and shipping. The battery was replaced, and the unit tested, resealed and certified through 2017. Considering the importance of the device, I don't think that was too much of a burden, do you? Really?
Well, let's see. Six batteries at $8 (less wholesale). That's $48.00 in parts. Let's do the math. I prefer to avoid being the proverbial "ass for every seat" which I would certainly feel like shelling out 200+ bucks for someone to swap out batteries.
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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."
A live test is for sure worth a few bucks IF the technician is actually capable. I've had any number of supposedly capable, "trained" mechanics screw up much simpler tasks and have learned to be very cynical and wary about letting anyone touch pieces of equipment I depend upon. That "24 point checkup" you mentioned above is usually nothing more than permission to invent something else to overcharge for. Honest garages are few and far between. Most of them are, quite simply, thieves.

The galling thing is that your gasket and battery packs are very consciously and unethically kept off the market by companies trying to force you to pay exorbitant prices.
 
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· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
Where did you source your batteries? I have an ACR Model RLB-35 and I plan on replacing the batteries in the next couple weeks.

(Yes I have read all of the other posts and no, my life is not worth the extra $200. hahaha)
Am still researching this myself and will probably not know exactly which batteries are used in a Mcmurdo until I actually cut open the shrink wrapped battery pack and dissect it. The batteries mostly have a 10 year shelf life and 3%/yr discharge, much longer than the recommended 5 year replacement interval and my EPIRB still self-tests out at fully operational so I am not doing it yet. Apparently there are companies like Batteries Plus that will make up shrink wrap packs. This pre-assembled pack looks like it might be the equivalent: www.saftbatteries.com/force_download/3_M20.pdf

This website has a selection of batteries:Military Application Batteries (Saft Lithium Battery)

This looks like exactly the same unit in my G5 :http://www.medcomms.com.mt/en/products/webshop/1629/epirb-battery-pack-82-970a-kit-e5--g5.htm

Hope that helps. Let us know what you find out and how your replacement goes. When I do the replacement, will try to post some sequential pix.
 
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