We all know that it’s a very good idea to have a working EPIRB or a PLB on a cruising boat, but how do we know that they’ll work in an emergency when we actually need them? Now, ACR Electronics, the safety and survival device company in Fort Lauderdale, has an answer for that – a new 406Link that lets you test your device in advance.
The 406Link is meant to give you peace of mind, and to reassure you that search and rescue services can find you when you need them most. It gives 406 MHz beacon owners, people who own EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), or PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons), the ability to test the devices in advance, using the same satellite system that’s used for real emergencies, and to receive a confirmation message back saying that all is well.
The way it works is that the 406Link sends an encoded test signal to the Cospas-Sarsat network of search and rescue satellites that are 22,000 miles up in the sky. The signal then is received by ACR ground stations in North America. In less than a minute, ACR’s patented software processes the self-test data and sends a confirmation message to the beacon owner and up to five contacts via email and SMS test message.
For a GPS self-test, your GPS coordinates are plotted on a chart, with the 406Link or SMS text message showing your location within 110 yards.
The company says that ACR’s new 406Link is the first and only advanced online satellite testing system that can be used to self-test. That ability enhances the beacon’s functionality, as well as providing reassurance to the owner, particularly owners who are cruising offshore.
ACR’s 406Link service is available for a subscription of $49.99 a year. No subscriptions are required to notify search and rescue services around the world when the beacon is activated. But if you want to test the devices yourself and receive the confirmation alerts, the 406Link adds more functions. Read more: