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· 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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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."
In late 1964, at Ft. Benning, Georgia, I went through jump school including learning to "pack" my own chute. I did so under the supervision of a Master Parachute Rigger that, then, had over 30 years of experience including packing chutes and jumping with the 101st at Normandy. More than once he pointed out my errors in sorting out and folding the risers. The first time I thought he was a PITA. Later, dropping out of the belly of a C-130 on a static line at 3,000 feet, I was VERY grateful for his supervision. Some times, with some equipment, a "minor error" can have very major, life changing, consequences.

If you don't share that opinion, do as you will--again, "Different Ships, Different Long Splices". Why engage in (poorly concealed) ridicule of others, perhaps more experienced, with differing opinions that, after all, have no adverse impact on you at all? In real life, two hundred bucks, or for that matter, two thousand bucks, is "chump change" when you're standing rectum deep in water in your cockpit, punching the "Here We Are, Come Get Us PLEASE" button, and you wife/child/friends are relying on you and your "Shoot Yeah, I "packed" it ma'self" may not get you all that far.

Sometimes, there's merit to relying on knowledgeable professionals when one's life may depend upon it. As to what you all do one your own ships? Frankly, Charlotte, I don't give a damn.
 

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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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Well, let's see. Six batteries at $8 (less wholesale). That's $48.00 in parts.
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)
 

· 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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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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