Written by Linc Bedrosian
The rescueME PLB1, which communications and safety-at-sea specialist Ocean Signal says is the world's smallest personal locator beacon, has received FCC approval and is now available for sale in North America.
Ocean Signal's rescueME PLB is distributed exclusively by Datrex in North America.
Ocean Signal says the rescueME PLB1 is almost 30 percent smaller than other PLBs, is designed to fit onto any lifejacket and be easily activated by one hand in even the most challenging conditions.
To activate the rescueME PLB1, users pull its retractable antenna out by its end tab, flip open the spring loaded cover over the activation button, and hold down the button for one second until the lights blink. Visual instructions are clearly printed on the case.
When activated, the rescueME PLB1, which boasts a seven-year battery life, will transmit accurate position data from its 66 channel GPS for a minimum of 24 hours, Ocean Signal says, while an integrated strobe light provides maximum visibility. Giving a 1 candela light emission, this high intensity strobe light features a molded lens to enhance visibility of its efficient LED.
Even after more than 24 hours of continuous operation, and when battery power is insufficient to transmit the satellite signal, the PLB1's homing beacon and strobe light will continue to operate, Ocean Signal says.
Self-tests of the PLB can be carried out with a simple press of a button; a green flashing light indicates the start of the test and results. The antenna extends easily like a normal tape measure and can be retracted using the winding mechanism on the top of the unit. This unique feature greatly facilitates user training and familiarization, Ocean Signal says, as it is not a one-time deployable antenna similar to existing PLBs.
A snap-in mounting bracket and universal rubber mounting strap are supplied, and can be fitted permanently or with each use. The PLB also comes with a detachable flotation lanyard to accommodate all scenarios.
The rescueME PLB1 exceeds statutory requirements and is covered by a seven-year warranty.
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