PLB or SPOT

Cletis

New member
In another thread Alaska Snow Cat mentioned SPOT. I've just started looking into these devices myself and was kinda leaning toward a ACR 406 Personal Locating Beacon but not sure yet.

Anyone else using either of these or another model have any input on using these?

Cletis
 

mbsieg

awful member
SUPER Site Supporter
Search and rescue experience here your spot is a lot easier to find
 
They have slightly different capabilities but the SPOT does more or less everything the PLB does but has several additional features that I like and am able to use. If you buy an additional service package you can track your movements on the internet and share them with your family and friends. Also you can send out I am ok messages or other customized messages like "meet me at the trailhead", plus activating the emergency signal that will go directly to the SPOT operator who will initiate the search and rescue resources in your state. They will try to call your cell phone to make sure it is indeed a real emergency and call a relative or friend whose number you have provided.

If you have a smart phone and spend a few more dollars there is another SPOT device that interfaces with your cell phone and you are able to text just as if you had cell service. Of course all these devices require satellite coverage so are not 100% guaranteed to work but then neither are ELTs in aircraft or the PLBs.

I am always reluctant to learn new technology but the GPS devices and SPOT defiantly have won me over.
 

mbsieg

awful member
SUPER Site Supporter
Call your local sar team and see which they recommend. Or call the sar team in the area you frequent. I can tell you our sar team prefers Spot in the hand Accurate lat longs not a 121.5 radio freq to track down in a 2 mi area......
 

Snowtrac Nome

member formerly known as dds
GOLD Site Supporter
121.5 is obseleate the plb are now satilite based just like spot up here planes are also changing over and faa no longer moniters 121.5
 

mbsieg

awful member
SUPER Site Supporter
Go to his link above. 121.5 is far from obsolete we have gone on 3 small aircraft searches in the last 6 mo having to use it alone. Yes it should be obsolete but it is still alive and there. Notice I am not saying well...... Yes newer aircraft have sat based But in the event the receiver is covered (in one crash it was totally severed) You still have to use the 121.5 And if you have ever done it it sucks......
 

mbsieg

awful member
SUPER Site Supporter
Every PLB search I have been on or around Gives very general lat longs and you have to either grid search the area. or try to locate the 121.5 via honing in. Vers spot calls we have had, enter the lat long in gps drive to within 50ft of spot. I know what I own.
 

GYPSY

Member
I have the original SPOT device and pay extra for the TRACKING feature. The ability to send a prewritten I'M OKAY message and HELP (more like assistance but not sar) and the ability to allow others to follow my progress with TRACKING or to review the trip later is great. The only problem so far is that dense tree cover can block it from hitting the satellites. Customer service is not the best but they get the job done. Fortunately I have not had the need to use the 911 button. I have no experiance with the new model(s).
 

JimVT

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
I gave my spot away after owning it close to two years . I wasn't happy with the service,support and poor reception.
Your going to see more on the market soon. delorme earth mate is one but I think it is partners with spot.
 

Cletis

New member
PLB use 406 first then 121.5 to home in. a co worker is a pilot with the CAP. the way I understand it is that they currently are using SPOT but are soon to be changing over to the PLB. The PLB can track and send OK also. We've had two plane crashes in the last few weeks, both during storms, both found about a week later. the co worker didn't go on these two missions but watched their tracking on the net. It was interesting.

I'm still researching these but of those I talk to locally sure seems that alot started with SPOT and are now changing to PLB.

Cletis
 

JimVT

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
one also has a subscription and one doesn't . I only have my radio.
jim
 
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