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  Smallest PLB--And It Floats!

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Author Topic:   Smallest PLB--And It Floats!
K Albus posted 12-14-2011 04:49 PM ET (US)   Profile for K Albus   Send Email to K Albus  
Astronics Corporation has announced its new SATRO PLB-110, which it claims will be the smallest and lightest available PLB when it comes out next spring: http://www.astronics.com/products/aircraft-safety/emergency-beacons.asp Data sheet: http://www.astronics.com/_images/aircraft-safety/ SATROPLB-110DataSheet120811.pdf

One major improvement over other small PLBs which are currently available, is that the SATRO PLB-110 is supposed to be inherently buoyant, and will float without the necessity of purchasing a floating accessory case. The price for the SATRO PLB-110 is rumored to be competitive with the McMurdo FastFind 210 and the ACR ResQLink.

Buckda posted 12-14-2011 08:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
My Brother-in-law just went through the second hunting trip with an ACR PLB that did not operate as it should have. The first trip ended with the authorities searching for him and his hunting companion in the adirondack mountains. This year, the family took it a little more in stride, but I'm sure the search for a more reliable device will be a priority.

David Pendleton posted 12-14-2011 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
"Did not operate as it should have."

What exactly, does that mean?

I'm assuming since the authorities were looking for him, it self-activated?

Hoosier posted 12-15-2011 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
This is off their Data Sheet

Buoyant
■ Floats in fresh or saltwater
■ No accessory required
■ Not operational in water

The "not operational in water" part could be a problem if one is overboard in a PFD.

K Albus posted 12-15-2011 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My guess is that what they meant to say was that the unit will not work while submerged. I believe that is true for any PLB.
Buckda posted 12-16-2011 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Dave -
No, it didn't work at all. It failed to transmit the "we're OK" signal. After three periods of failed "check in's", my sister notified the authorities, and let them know the last location that it had transmitted.

The problem was that my b-i-l received a confirmation that the signal/message was transmitted from the device, when in fact, no transmission had been sent. He thought everything was operating normally. After the first time, he thought it might perhaps *slight chance* be operator error. But after this second failure, we're pretty sure that it is the unit.

While he didn't test the "send help now" emergency button, we're also suspicious that that feature would not have worked properly either (i.e. - we're sure it probably works sometimes, just like the other function...but probably not all the time...just like the other function. That's not exactly confidence inspiring in an emergency situation.)

David Pendleton posted 12-16-2011 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I hope he sent it back or at least contacted ACR...

Hoosier posted 03-13-2012 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
After reading the Channel Islands and the Cynthia Z threads, it might be time to restart this one to see what's new for this season. It looks like we're skipping Spring this year in the Mid-West and going straight into Summer, it's going to be in the mid-70s for the next 10 days. A lot of us may be getting on the water earlier than usual, the air may be warm but the water won't be.
Hoosier posted 03-13-2012 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Just to update the availability of this unit, I just got this in an email from Astronics:

"We just received the COSPAS-SARSAT approval, and the FCC certification should follow soon. Once we obtain both approvals the SATRO PLB-110 will be available in selected retail stores (Outdoor / Marine / etc.) and through authorized distributors.

Hopefully the PLB will be available for retail sale in April. The retail price will be $299. A technical data sheet is attached for your reference. If you would like, we can contact you by email as soon as the SATRO PLB-110 is available for sale."

jimh posted 03-13-2012 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the information about the SATRO PLB-110. Previously I had not given much thought to owning a personal locator beacon. The SATRO PLB-110 looks like a good choice. The parent company seems to have a lot of experience in electronics and has been around for a while.
jimh posted 03-26-2012 09:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
More information about the SATRO PLB-110 personal locator beacon device can be found at

http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=376

jimh posted 03-30-2012 08:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It has been longer than three months since the Astronics Corporation announced its new SATRO PLB-110, but I see it is still awaiting approval for sale in the USA. Has there been any recent news about the approval for sale in the USA of the SATRO PLB-110?
jimh posted 07-22-2012 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have looked for this device for sale in the USA, but apparently it is still awaiting approval from the FCC.
tmann45 posted 07-22-2012 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
I'm also interested in this PLB and sent an email requesting information on FCC approval. Here is the reply I got back on May 1st.

Hi Tom,

I greatly appreciate your interest in the SATRO PLB-110. Please let me know how you heard about our PLB product, it is always good to know the source.

We recently received the COSPAS-SARSAT approval and are now filing for the FCC certification. I cannot give you an exact date that the PLB will be available for sale, but we would be happy to stay in touch with you. We hope to have it completed by early June. A technical data sheet is attached for your reference.

Once we obtain the approvals the SATRO PLB-110 will be available in selected retail stores (Outdoor / Marine / etc.) and through authorized distributors. If you would like, we can contact you as soon as we are able to release the product.

Best regards,

Carl Hooper
Sales and Marketing Manager
Aircraft Emergency and Survival Products

tmann45 posted 07-30-2012 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
Just got a reply from Astronics on the SATRO PLB-110. Good news is it has FCC approval, but:

quote:
Hi Tom,

Sorry for the delayed response. The good news is that we did get the FCC certification since our last communication. But we are still completing steps to make the PLB available for retail sale.

So unfortunately until I get corporate clearance for sale I still can’t tell you exactly when or where you can get one. I do appreciate your follow up, and I assure you we will be in touch with you as soon as the SATRO is available in stores. Thank you for your patience.

Best regards,
Carl



kwik_wurk posted 07-31-2012 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
Can anyone explain the "Not operational in water" statement on this products respective spec sheet. --- It makes sense, that it won't work submerged, but any sort of water. I mean I would expect it to float and transmit.
tmann45 posted 07-31-2012 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for tmann45  Send Email to tmann45     
quote:
Can anyone explain the "Not operational in water" statement on this products respective spec sheet. --- It makes sense, that it won't work submerged, but any sort of water. I mean I would expect it to float and transmit.

My guess would be that it means that it will not operate while floating, but the best source would be from Astronics.
I got good response from them on the question of FCC approval.
K Albus posted 10-16-2012 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
It appears that the delay in this product's release may be due to litigation over the issue of whether or not some of the technology used was stolen from a competitor. See: http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=523
jimh posted 10-16-2012 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Kevin--That is a fabulous article you linked to (above). Thanks for finding this information.

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