LOL, you are right. It was you who bought a PLB. I must keep the names straight. Sorry, Mashurst.
What I found more interesting was the other link that you put up that mapped the different rescues. It's very telling.... Less than half (IMO) were legitimate calls made with these devices. I'm not saying these people weren't in trouble and needed help. It just appears their situations were resultant from bad planning and dismal skills. Stories that read: "hiker became lost"(multiple cases), "ran out of water", or the one case I'm actually familiar with "one fell and became injured" and the story ends with "both hikers were treated for minor injuries" These people would be better off taking a "Map and Compass" or "Hike Planning" course rather than spending the money on a PLB first.
Here's a rescue that I'm very familiar with that was initiated by a SPOT. A young lady hiking the PCT, who at around the 200 mile mark comes down with acute Giardiasis. In all reality, it's a case of bad decisionmaking again. She should have pulled herself off the trail at Idyllwild, but ends up calling for help at one of the worst spots on the early miles of the trail...Snow Creek below Fuller Ridge. This is a very windy area (above Banning/Cabazon area), with a large wind farm nearby. A very cool video showing a pilot and crew with mad skillz. Enjoy.
Last edited by xtatik; 08-13-2012 at 06:18 PM.
Not trying to offer excuses but don't you think this is inevitable for a service offered to the public for free? But then again the PLB devices are not free and tend to be expensive. This will act as an impediment to a degree. Of course, folks should be prepared. And they should be careful. But, it's not going to happen universally. Is this a reason to cut off the service? I don't think so. Nor do I think it is a reason for me to ignore the service.
Since you can't do anything about it other than prepare yourself, I believe you just enjoy bitching. Your comments have no other purpose.
Seriously, with sales for these units still somewhat low, but beginning to gain popularity within new outdoor groups...the issues already exist. The satellite beacon devices are nothing new, they are just finding their way into new markets. Also, the PLB devices are just plain cheap when compared to other contemporary electronic devices, and I'm certain they're destined to get cheaper in the end. Something will have to give and I don't think we've seen anywhere near what will be the end-all with these devices. In the end, I think they will all offer limited 2-way communication in order to facilitate a confirmation at each end. Essentially, they'll all become some derivation of a satphone. This 2-way thing is one thing that is provided by other forms of communication devices, but is lacking in the current satellite signaling devices.
My bottom line is this.....where you're completely enamored with them, I just like em', and I never said otherwise. I use mine where it best fits my activities and I happen to do a lot outside and away from my truck. On land and while on foot, where weight and bulk are a concern...I'll carry a lightweight satellite signalling device. This has been my point throughout this thread and the other abominable thread.
I began this thread in order to bring some more expert info in from outside this group. After watching the other thread deteriorate due to a mass of misinformation regarding PLB's and your preconceived and misguided attitudes toward other viable devices and services.
Last edited by xtatik; 06-29-2012 at 05:59 PM.
I think it is likely that some sort of licensing may become necessary as you suggest. However, I can also see why licensing would be opposed by those who do not want to discourage life saving in general. I can see a point to this. I know that even now, certain regions charge for their SAR services, even for legitimate rescues. I believe Moab is one of the areas. Apparently, the rescue volume so high that the funding for for SAR is not covering expenses. It may come to this in all areas. One problem with licensing is it requires a whole new organization along with record keeping, fee collection mechanisms, rules, and enforcement.
The possible outfall of formal limiting of outdoor activity is too grim to contemplate and I would be afraid to support it. I don't think there is any easy answer.
As outdoor activity increases, and there is no reason to think they won't, changes to these systems and services will have to occur. There is no denying that SAR is a needed thing. As is said, be careful for what you wish.
As a follow up to your question concerning my PLB's seft test mode, I dug thru my files and came up with some information for you.
In the manual there is a paragraph for Self Test. It states that the following items are tested:
1. Data Integrity and memory
2. 406 MHz Synthesizer
3. RF Power/Battery
4. GPS Header
These tests can be performed as often as desired since they require little battery power. They are go/no go tests.
There are several other self test modes but all but ones above initiate a satellite contact but not an emergency request (meaning a full power RF signal is sent). A false alarm is avoided due to the fact that the beacon signal is suppressed. These additional modes do require significant battery power due to the radio transmission. You are warned to use these modes seldom so as to not drain the battery. If the battery is detected to have lost an hour or more of operational power, the test is a no go.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by Karma; 06-29-2012 at 08:33 PM.
I don't think there would be any "limiting of outdoor activity" if these devices required licensing. People will still head outdoors just as they did before satellite signaling devices existed. It might play a role in limiting the types of people who venture out. No doubt devices like this could entice both skilled and unskilled to push limits and judgment. My biggest concern is that is gives a false security nudge to those who are completely unfit for backcountry travel.
Wow I'm out for a few days and I miss the whole thing
Tell me I have misunderstood you here Sparky. Now I'm afraid for your safety.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust
Don't argue with me. I just want to save battery life. And yes, I do trust them. There is no choice because the alternatives are worse. I think I'm going to leave this subject. I'm really tired of being beat to death by you and others who really don't know what you are talking about. Do what ever you think is right. I gave you the information you asked for honestly and faithfully. Get off my back.
Sparky, signing off.