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Garmin In-reach mini as PLB?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by azstinger11, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. RogueClimber

    RogueClimber ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Honolulu
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    It can be called a beacon as it does broadcast a signal requesting rescue, but as I understand it, the In Reach is more than just a PLB (Which only broadcasts an emergency signal continuously until the battery dies)

    A PLB uses one set of satellites ( the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme, the international satellite system for search and rescue) and is more of a continuous broadcast in the blind (you don't know if your message was received) beacon

    Where the Garmin InReach is a two was communications device which uses a different set of satellites (Iridium satellite network, same a satellite phones) to provide two way communication via text messaging. This later service requires a paid for contract similar to any mobile phone.

    Both types of beacon will help get you rescued. The Garmin just requires an ongoing payment to provide service.
     
  2. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    Is there an international (and not corporately) definition of a PLB vs emergency beacon, just out of curiosity? If you break down the PLB acronym I can't find a term that doesn't apply, its a personal device (P) that used radio waves to locate a person(L) and provide beacon for a navigational fix to them (B).
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
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    These 2 short videos would clear up some of the questions & confusions about PLB vs other radio devices that could be used as emergency beacon.


     
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
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    3,205
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  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    It's about as specific as GPS, which has a very definite meaning but if you look at the individual words making up GPS you can't tell that.
     
  6. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    I was hoping for a more concrete source vs Wikipedia and corporate/personal websites. Ideally looking for an international organization that would be the regulatory function or even an official government website.

    more like this for GPS GPS.gov: GPS Overview

    GPS is pretty well defined I guess? Owned/maintained/launched by the US Air Force system that provides 3D global location. There is the Russian GLOSNASS system but everything I’ve ever used that can talk to it rather explicitly says so, so really not much confusion.

    So to be a PLB it’s not really what it does so much as that it connects to that SAR network?

    but then again that definition defies the first link “PLB sends out a signal on either a 406MHz frequency or Local Area System using 121.5MHz, VHF DSC and/or AIS. “

    so unlike GPS there appears to be a lose and informal definition?
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,671
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    How about this: NOAA - Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking - Emergency Beacons
     
    azstinger11 likes this.
  8. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
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  9. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,671
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    113
    SAR satellites are operated & maintained by US government (& other countries?). We are paying them through our federal tax money every year. So why don't we take advantage of it?

    Yes, each country has its own SAR governing agency. For example, NOAA for USA, Basarnas for Indonesia, CAAS for Singapore, etc. I don't know if an international governing agency for SAR exist. If I am lost at sea in Indonesia, NOAA would coordinate my rescue with Basarnas.

    I don't know how good the Iridium satellite coverage around Indonesia received by the low power, 1.6 GHz signal of Garmin InReach. I heard it is pretty spotty.

    PLB1 5 watt 406 MHz signal had been shown to be pretty effective in Indonesia. Read post # 162 by @Luxe miles diver on page 17 of this thread:
    Canadian diver and buddy rescued near Apo Island, Philippines
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,671
    3,205
    113
     

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