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  #1  
Old 17th September 2014, 09:05 PM
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Default Spot Tracker

My nephew told me about this when I was up in Sydney. They all use it on their bike trips etc.
I like the look of the PLB. Nice and small and for boat or land. Might be the way to go for me.
http://www.findmespot.net.au/rescueme-plb
Budget wise it works out better for me also.
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Old 17th September 2014, 09:39 PM
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Gidday Silver

For the price of the PLB, you can buy a Spot Messenger 3, plus a year's tracking plan.

It has far greater functionality than just the PLB, although there are no on-going annual charges with the PLB. The annual fee for the Messenger 3 is about US$170. It makes up for this in that it can use almost any kind of battery or power source (USB, car, Lithium, Lithium rechargeables). I use LiIon rechargeables, and plug it in to the car when travelling. I carry the supplied set of LiIon non-rechargeables with me as an emergency backup power source ...
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Old 18th September 2014, 03:59 AM
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I'm not sure I need any 'features' but I can see that the tag is portable which would come in handy if ...for example ...you fell down a cliff face or something, whereas the PLB would more than likely be kept in the car.
My budget still comes into it....$350 for the PLB with a 7 year battery life or $170 py for the spot thingy = $1190.
BUT...I think the spot fee also includes any rescue costs that you may incur.
I'm not saying I won't use it and will check out my nephews one when I am back in Sydney picking up the car.
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Old 18th September 2014, 05:58 AM
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G'day again Silver

The Spot Messenger allows you to send (via the satellite link) pre-set messages (pre-setup by you) for things other than a life-threatening emergency.

That is, for:

1) "I'm OK"

2) "I'm OK, but car is dead", and

3) "I'm not OK, but not immediately life-threatening; car is OK"

These are sent to everyone on your pre-set list (which can include yourself).

Those people on your list can also track your movements in near real time (10 minute updates on position) from any web browser. That is to say, they can watch over you from afar, and whistle up the cavalry on your behalf if they think that things have gone badly wrong. This is quite different from you being able to push that EPIRB button ...
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Old 18th April 2015, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver View Post
BUT...I think the spot fee also includes any rescue costs that you may incur.
Rescue is free in Oz. Paid for by Fed Govt. I have activated a GME410G PLB and was winched into an Air Ambulance chopper when a mate injured himself in Victoria.
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Old 18th April 2015, 07:10 PM
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They really are designed for different purposes, and you should consider which suits your needs better.

PLB:
- Personal (cig packet size) are readily available these days (I have one myself), water-proof can be had for about $350 (ACR resqlink).
- no update pings or transmission other than 'come and help me'
- only for life-treatening distress. I cannot stress this enough. It is not to get you out of a spot of bother. The national rescue coordination services will swing into action and send out a chopper or similar. see http://beacons.amsa.gov.au/about/how-they-work.asp
- world wide. Will work anywhere. Land or water, and the local rescue services will turn up.
- originally a global government-coordinated marine rescue system (hence the AMSA link)

Spot:
- a private organisation. US based
- can send periodic pings to tell people where you are. Website lets your friends track you.
- can be pre-programmed with messages (see Ratbag's post)
- because of the above, is much more flexible. You can pre-program a 'need help, but not in danger' message, which your home base (receiving message via SMS) can either deal with directly, or communicate to the authorities. eg: if you're just stranded off the beaten track somewhere, they could send out a friend to help instead of burdening the rescue services.
- uses something called the 'GEOS alliance' to triage your distress signal and work out what to do. This looks like a commercial organisation, and I'd be worried about how they interact with the local Australian rescue services. Maybe they just pass on the message. On the flip side, they can coordinate private rescues.
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Old 18th April 2015, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilko1 View Post
Rescue is free in Oz. Paid for by the taxpayer.
FIFY.

And not entirely true - they'll try to hit you for the cost if you activate a PLB unnecessarily.
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Old 18th April 2015, 07:57 PM
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^ A$3000 I think for any false activation of a PLB.
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Old 18th April 2015, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
^ A$3000 I think for any false activation of a PLB.
The RAAF would go broke at that rate Kevin, I was forever tracking ELB's in Townsville and 90% of the time it would be a Blackhawk, the other 10% would be General Aviation when the aircraft were in for mtce.

One time I even tracked one down to a Marine shop in the City where somebody had activated one and put it back on the shelf.

QANTAS aircraft always monitor the emergency frequency, a lot of people owe them a big Thank You for their rescue.
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Old 18th April 2015, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subyroo View Post
QANTAS aircraft always monitor the emergency frequency, a lot of people owe them a big Thank You for their rescue.
Not so much these days.. that was the older 121.5MHz. Simple analog distress beacon.

Newer (406MHz) beacons have in built GPS, and send coordinates plus Hex ID via satellite - they also transmit the 121.5MHz signal as a backup.
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