Dec 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm #1282899
A new entrant in the PLB wars is claiming to be the world’s smallest and lightest Personal Locator Beacon, eclipsing the current record holder in this regard, the ACR ResQLink which was just introduced earlier this year. Slated to be available in Spring of 2012, the new SATRO PLB-110 from Astronics DME Corporation certainly seems to have a good basis for that claim at just 4.09 x 2.39 x 0.92 inches (104 x 61 x 23 mm) and only 4.3 oz. (122 g).Dec 11, 2011 at 1:57 am #1810860
Mark FowlerBPL Member
My Spot 2 weighs 119g with batteries but without the cover and strap thing they sell with it. I don't want to get into the Spot v PLB debate but they do have a very similar rescue function.Dec 11, 2011 at 7:20 am #1810892
Currently, I wouldn't use a SPOT if you gave me one. PLB's are monitored by the Coast Guard and SPOT is monitored by a commercial company.Dec 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm #1811107
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
It is not so much the monitoring as the reliability of function. Some excellent reviews and threads were posted here that made the FastFind the clear choice if like me, all you want to be able to do is send out an SOS.
But I don't expect to buy another PLB just to save 1.2 ounces; certainly not until this new one has been tested against the FastFind.Dec 12, 2011 at 1:07 am #1811120
+1 about the fastfindDec 12, 2011 at 5:17 am #1811133
Steven McAllisterBPL Member
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
I think we all agree PLB's are the best choice for remote wilderness, but Spot's do have their place with the average backpacker as a multi-use item.Dec 12, 2011 at 6:33 am #1811146
Steven, I agree : ). It does appear this new PLB isn't saving much weight at all over the McMurdo or ACR. The flatter form factor of this new one may make it easier to carry, but the ACR seemed sorta flat.Dec 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm #1811329
Marc KokoskyBPL Member
@mak52580Locale: Washington, DC Area
Do you have the link to the review/study? I hadn't seen it and had been looking to use my REI dividend on a Fast Find or ACR. I had settled on the ACR, but now you have me second guessing.Dec 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm #1937516
Forgot to mention awhile back, but ACR sued them, and this PLB was put on hold.Feb 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm #1957233
Ken T.BPL Member
From the website. "DME had previously announced that it intended to offer for sale a personal locator beacon known as its “SATRO PLB-110.” This product has been withdrawn and will not be offered for sale or lease."Feb 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm #1957268
IF you open the cover of the ACR ResQLink you will find that most of the weight comes from the batteries. It probably has a very powerful transmitter to insure the signal is detected. The batteries also determine the basic size of the device. I just measured my ACR ResQLink at 4X2X1 inches at 5oz. In terms of size they are about the same. The ACR plastic case is also rather thick and very strong as well as water proof. ACR could have made a weaker case. However a weaker case may not be a good idea.
Until there is big advancement in batteries I would not expect PBLs to get significantly smaller or lighter than the ACR or Satro.
As mentioned earlier ACR sued Satro. Furthermore it appears Satro lost the case. So as of now The ACRQlink is still the smallest and lightest. the court found that two employees of ACR sold design documents to DME (the make of Satro) and that within months of leaving ACR they were in contact with DME. The court also found numerous design similarities in electronics, firmware, antenna and batteries. The Satro also went from concept to an anounced product in only 1 year.
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