EPIRB & Personal Beacon Guide
Q: What do PLBs do?
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are distress radio beacons which transmit
location information about individuals directly to Search and Rescue forces
letting them know that the owner is in grave and imminent danger.
Q: When do you use a Beacon?
Most Search-and-Rescue (SAR) organizations instruct that beacons are satellite
signaling devices of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue
have been exhausted, where the situation is grave with imminent danger and the
loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance.
Q: Whats the difference between the AquaLink models and the SARLink Models?
The quick answer is flotation.
The AquaLink and AquaLink View Personal Locator Beacons are buoyant so you can
retrieve them should you ever accidentally drop them in the ocean, lake or in a
The SARLink and SARLink View Personal Locator Beacons have a slimmed down back
case to make them slightly smaller but these models will not float.
Q: How do I register my beacon?
406 MHz Beacons must be registered with the National Authority of the country
you live in.
Step 1. Visit our Registration
database to find the appropriate
Step 2. Register with your countries National Authority via Mail, Fax or for
the fastest service register online.
Registration in the
The national authority that accepts beacon registrations in the United States is
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Here are three easy
ways to register:
1.) The fastest and easiest way to register is online at www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov .
Recommended method. Verify
and validate information before submitting.
2.) Mail the registration form with the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope to:
SARSAT BEACON REGISTRATION
1315 East West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Please print legibly.
3.) Faxing a registration is also acceptable. Fax the registration form to the
Fax number on the bottom of the registration form. To reduce the possibility of
erroneous entry please verify legibility of information and validate information
on form to UIN on beacon before faxing. Please
print legibly and in BLACK ink.
All registration forms will be entered in the 406 MHz beacon registration
database within 48 hours of receipt. The information you provide on the
registration form is used for rescue purposes only.
A confirmation letter, a copy of the actual registration and a
proof-of-registration decal will be mailed to you within two weeks. When you
receive these documents, please check the information carefully to ensure that
the information provided on the label agrees with the information on the beacon
and then affix the decal to your beacon in the area marked "BEACON DECAL HERE."
If you do not receive confirmation from NOAA in the expected timeframe, or if
the information on the label is incorrect call toll free 1-888-212-7283 for
of the United States
In countries other than the United States, 406 MHz beacons are registered with
that country's national authority at the time of purchase. The sales agent
should have assisted you in filling out the forms and sending them to the
country's national authority. Alternatively, visit our Registration
database or many countries allow
online registration in the International 406MHz Beacon Registration Database (IBRD)
To verify that the unit is properly programmed for your country, view the UIN
label on the back of the unit. In the event that the beacon is not programmed
for your country, the sales agent (if properly equipped) can reprogram the unit
for the correct country.
Q: What are my obligations with regard to registering and re-registering my
A beacon should be registered at
the time of purchase or installation. The registration of
a beacon is valid for 2 (two) years. The owner should re-register the beacon
every two years. If change of ownership occurs, the original owner must notify
the authorities and de-register the beacon before the new owner can register.
Q: Why is it so important for me to register my beacon?
EPIRB, ELT or Personal Locator Beacon is required by law in the United States
and in most countries. Registering is
very important because should your beacon ever be activated, it is how Search
and Rescue Teams will know who you are, and contacts provided may be able to
supply information about your specific travel plans. In the absence of this
information, it may take longer for a search-and-rescue operation to begin.
Q: I tried to register my beacon but the authorities tell me that it needs a
different ID number programmed in. Do I need to send this back to you?
This can be done by any Certified
Please have your registration form and beacon available when contacting a
Certified Battery Replacement Center for assistance. -
Q: How do I know when the battery is due for replacement?
There is a battery expiration date label on every beacon
Q: Can I buy a battery from you and replace it myself?
No. The battery cannot be purchased. This is a life saving device and you need
to have the tools, hardware and software to perform a battery replacement. Full
functional testing is done on the unit, after the battery is replaced, to make
sure that the unit will last another 5 years in the field. The battery of any
EPIRB, ELT or Personal Locator Beacon needs to be replaced by an ACR/Artex
Certified Battery Replacement
where trained technicians will perform this service. -
Q: What will happen if I do not replace the battery every five years?
The chances of surviving a life threatening situation is greatly diminished if
proper care and maintenance is not given to a beacon.
Q: How does the GPS Self Test feature work?
A lot of beacons on the market have the capability to do a GPS test, in which
the beacon turns the GPS engine on, acquires GPS data and flashes a light to
signify the test is completed.
New Personal Locator beacon models
from ACR have the ability to transmit this GPS location in a self test burst and
pin point your exact location on a map using 406Link.com to
ensure you that (1) your beacon is working perfectly and can reach the satellite
system and (2) that your GPS is working perfectly.
Q: Can 406 MHz beacons be used anywhere in the world? -
Yes, 406 MHz beacons can be used anywhere in the world, including the Poles. -
Q: Is there a subscription fee for beacon registration or rescue service?
Beacon registration is
free, should you ever have to activate your beacon, rescue is free in most parts
of the world.