Features October 2012 Issue

A Look at PLB Battery Life

Do self-test and messaging features affect PLBs’ distress-signaling power?

While Practical Sailor editors and readers are excited about messaging features and new “smart” technologies being added to personal locator beacons (PLB) such as the AquaLink View 406-MHz GPS, we were concerned that these extras would come at the expense of the device’s primary purpose. Would the repeated use of a PLB emergency device for non-emergency functions deplete its battery and inhibit its function as an emergency locator? Testers ran the AquaLink through its paces and enlisted the help of an independent lab to determine how non-emergency use affected the PLB’s battery life and other emergency functions.

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