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Thread: Personal Locator Beacon

  1. #1
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Personal Locator Beacon

    Greetings,

    Due to the recent discussions about the events surrounding the death of James Kim and his family's ordeal in the wilderness there has been some discussion on Personal Locator Beacons.

    I mentioned on the Long Distance Riders List that I was going to look into a group buy on a good beacon. Here is the status of this project and what I am trying to do.

    First the best device (in my opinion) is the ACR Terra Fix (www.acrterrafix.com). I am very familiar with ACR products, we have them on our tankers and I have carried them on all the recreational yachts I have been responsible for since 1978. I am happy to say that I have been rescued thanks to an ACR EPRIB and on a separate occasion an ACR firefly strobe.

    The Terra Fix is a 406 device which means the signal is transmitted to satellites and bounced to NOAA who then coordinates the rescue. Because this is a 406, at the time of purchase you register the unit with NOAA including your personal information, any medical information and a contact number. In the event of activation of the beacon NOAA will call the alternate number. This can be an additional life saver as the rescue teams can be given information about what your were doing (riding a motorcycle perhaps) and other features such as the rider wears a HI-Viz Darien (yet another reason to wear the HI Viz).

    At this time the retail price of the TerraFix is $599 w/o GPS and $699 with GPS. My thought is that the GPS is nice but perhaps not completely necessary. The scenario where the GPS would be useful is if you want off a road into a gully and were obscured from above. This is what happened to Jim Young, a rider who perished in Colorado a few years ago. It is up to the individual to decide which is better for your needs. Without the GPS the signal is triangulated by the satellites which gives a good fix, however there is some wait time involved. The GPS unit transmits a position faster.

    Currently ACR is offering a $75 rebate for units purchased from a retailer before December 31. I am working with supplier of safety equipment that I have known for years on offering a little discount which combined with the rebate could make this a very good buy. Any arrangement I can set up will be direct between the purchaser and LRS (my vendor), I will get no fee, or kickback from this deal other than the chance of a more discounted unit.

    What I need to do is get a feel for exactly how much interest there is in this program. It would be a one shot deal with the purchase having to be made by the end of this month unless the vendor wants to do it again. Even so this is an opportunity to combine a dealer discount with the rebate which will likely not happen again.

    If you are interested please send a note to my hotmail address which is beemerrspilot@hotmail.com. Please put PLB only in the subject line. In the body of your message please indicate you level of interest using the following scale.

    1 Yes, make me a deal for better than the rebate and I am in.
    2 It is something I would like to have and if the deal is good enough I am in.
    3 I am interested but not sure if I will buy, please keep me informed.

    If we put the deal together and the quantities are limited I will send the announcement e-mail to everyone who put 1 in the body of their message before the lists so they get first crack.

    This information will be posted on the following lists / forums.

    ADVRIDER.COM (Adventure Riders)
    BMW MOA
    LD Riders
    IBDONE
    IBMWR

    Feel free to distribute to other lists.


    Best,

    Rob Nye
    Secretary, BMW MOA
    Iron Butt Association #250

  2. #2
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Thumbs up

    Awesome idea!! Just make sure that the unit you get is registered. Remember Mike Plant? He was a solo ocean sailor who got lost in the N Atlantic a few years back. His EPIRB went of, but since he failed to register his, the signal went unanswered by a rescue crew.
    I think having a personal locator beacon is a good idea for those who venture way of the beaten path. Just my 0.02 cts

  3. 12-12-2006, 08:49 PM


  4. #3
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    How large?

    Is it larger than a key fob? A box of matches? A tobacco can?

  5. #4
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    A few things.

    Devices like this need a clear view to the sky so if you are in a building collapse it won't help.

    For size it is not listed on their website. I was handling one yesterday and it is approximately 6x3x2. If anything I am probably oversized on my estimate. It will easily fit in the chest pocket of my Darien and yes I am prepared to break a few ribs to have it on me should I go down and get seperated from the bike.

    It is definately too big for a key chain.

    Best,

    Rob Nye

  6. #5
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderR1150GSAdv
    Awesome idea!! Just make sure that the unit you get is registered. Remember Mike Plant? He was a solo ocean sailor who got lost in the N Atlantic a few years back. His EPIRB went of, but since he failed to register his, the signal went unanswered by a rescue crew.
    I think having a personal locator beacon is a good idea for those who venture way of the beaten path. Just my 0.02 cts
    Yup.

    I remember Mike. I worked for Concordia yachts at the time. Concordia built the boat.

  7. #6
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderR1150GSAdv
    Awesome idea!! Just make sure that the unit you get is registered. Remember Mike Plant? He was a solo ocean sailor who got lost in the N Atlantic a few years back. His EPIRB went of, but since he failed to register his, the signal went unanswered by a rescue crew.
    I think having a personal locator beacon is a good idea for those who venture way of the beaten path. Just my 0.02 cts
    Yup.

    I remember Mike. I worked for Concordia yachts at the time. Concordia built the boat.

  8. #7
    Stuff2c
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  9. #8
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by robnye
    Yup.

    I remember Mike. I worked for Concordia yachts at the time. Concordia built the boat.
    That was a awesome boat! Did the keel fall off, or did he hit debris in the water???I don't remember. I have worked in the offshore oilfields and one time I was on a supply vessel which hit a cargo container..... The boat was built like a brick sh^thouse and we sustained no damage. ( I was the diver doing that inspection job)
    The Capt was nervous but since we weren't taking on water I told the guy we were fine. A case of beer later we were on our way.......

  10. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holly
    Alex, your best bet in Iceland would be to rent a local cell phone. Everyone there uses them ALL the time.

    Holly
    Yes, but I'd assume they only work along the ring road. What about in the center of Iceland? Somehow I doubt they're cover 250+ kms of nothing.

    I'd just get the SIM card I would assume, as I have in Europe, and just insert it into my phone and activate it.

  11. #10
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    Cool What about trying "no-net"?

    Just my view..I do a lot of solo activities that could be considered "at-risk" and find that the experience is much more intense and vivid if I don't "trust" to someone coming to my rescue..rather relying on my own judgment and skills to keep me safe...undoubtedly unexpected negative events can injure or kill you...but, just for me, having an electronic link of any kind to the "outside world" so they can come in to save my bacon grossly distorts and diminishes the quality of the adventure...kind of like being in the woods or underwater knowing that apex predators {grizzly bears/white sharks} share your space...it enhances everything...so on my motorcycle adventures I survive or don't on my own abilities and not on the good graces of those enjoined into intervening on my behalf...try it; solo and no electronic "Safety Net"...pure and un-distilled adventure, not fool-hardy stuff, but true adventurebut in todays linked society, being alone is mostly an anathema and very frightening to most it is ultimately about personal assumption of risk; a rare trait indeedsee if you can do it..

    My opinions only and to each their ownPhil::

  12. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallowa
    ...so on my motorcycle adventures I survive or don't on my own abilities and not on the good graces of those enjoined into intervening on my behalf...try it; solo and no electronic "Safety Net"...pure and un-distilled adventure, not fool-hardy stuff, but true adventurebut in todays linked society, being alone is mostly an anathema and very frightening to most it is ultimately about personal assumption of risk; a rare trait indeedsee if you can do it..
    I do or haven't you read my opinions on "organized tours"? In fact I long for the day I can sit in Mongolia next to my tent a la LWR but without any support or riding partner to back me up.

    But you're missing one scenario. The serious breakdown and no matter how well prepared you think you are, it'll happen sooner or later...unless of course you can predict it, in which case there are a lot of F1 teams that would pay you handsomely. Have one of those in the middle of the Sahara...good luck after the water runs out!

  13. #12
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Interior of Iceland

    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider
    Yes, but I'd assume they only work along the ring road. What about in the center of Iceland? Somehow I doubt they're cover 250+ kms of nothing.

    I'd just get the SIM card I would assume, as I have in Europe, and just insert it into my phone and activate it.
    Alex, I would guess that they have some sort of cell connection from the interior to save money finding people, but I??ll find out once I get home from Spain. Some years the interior is closed as impassible, but that hasn??t happened for quite a long time.

    Since the Icelandic word for phone is simi, my guess is that the SIM card would work. Again, I can get any details you need once I??m home.

    HOlly
    Volunteer for the 2014 Rally in St. Paul. rallyvolunteer@bmwmoa.org

  14. #13
    dlearl476
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallowa
    Just my view..I do a lot of solo activities that could be considered "at-risk" and find that the experience is much more intense and vivid if I don't "trust" to someone coming to my rescue..rather relying on my own judgment and skills to keep me safe...undoubtedly unexpected negative events can injure or kill you...but, just for me, having an electronic link of any kind to the "outside world" so they can come in to save my bacon grossly distorts and diminishes the quality of the adventure. Phil::
    Great, then you won't mind us honoring your intentions and abandoning you to die when you get injured or lost?

    Great idea Rob. I've been considering one for a long time and recent events have underscored the urgnency. I don't get out in the desert alone much anymore, too busy. But it only takes once, right?

    Email sent.

  15. #14
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    Cool Now You Are getting It..

    Alex and David #476,

    Exactly...I don't expect to be "rescued"..if I get in on my own then it is up to me to get out on my own...this is my choice...and I am not suggesting it for anyone else..

    Alex sitting alone in the middle of BFE [Mongolia to use your example] without a support group or that "bail-out" support available at the flick of an electronic switch is an entirely unique and intense experience, ALL your senses are alive...not unlike I assume any early explorer who "went it alone"...it depends on your risk tolerance and self-confidence level, but you must understand that you are betting the farm on your ability to complete a "self-rescue" if things go sour or to accept the consequences of your decisions if you can't..cost-vs-benefit...or as we said in diving, you learn to go up to the edge and curl your toes over it, but not fall over the edge...perhaps this approach is lost on modern man [women] in our obsession for 'security'..I love riding my bikes alone and is extremely remote areas...try it, leave the blanket at home and go explore...or not, your choice...

    Phil:::

  16. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallowa
    I love riding my bikes alone and is extremely remote areas...try it, leave the blanket at home and go explore...or not, your choice...
    Then we think alike. Mind you, finding anything "extremely remote" on this continent is getting to be a challenge.

    Have you been up the James Bay Road to Radisson and then the road that heads off it to Chisasibi on James Bay or the Trans Taiga Road that runs off the James Bay Road.

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