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ACR Enterprises Personal Locator Beacon - the MicroFix

The ACR MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon weighs just 10 ounces.

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by Ken Knight | 2007-01-27 21:35:00-07

ACR Enterprises is breaking new ground with the introduction of the microFix Personal Locator Beacon. The MicroFix is 35% lighter and comparably less bulky than the model it is supplanting, weighing in at 10 ounces (283 grams) in a compact 1.4 x 5.85 x 2.21 inch (35.6 x 149 x 56 mm) body. The MicroFix is GPS enabled so if a GPS fix can be obtained when the unit transmits to the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system which will aid search and rescue teams in finding you by providing location data accurate to within 110 yards.

The MicroFix is powered by 2 class 2 lithium battery packs that can provide a minimum of 24 hours of transmit time at -20°C. Though it is recommended that batteries be replaced after 5 years, the storage life is 11 years. ACR claims typical operational life of 36 hours at -20°C and 20 hours at -40°C.

While the MicroFix is not positively bouyant it is waterproof to depths of 5 meters (16 feet) for up to one hour.


Citation

"ACR Enterprises Personal Locator Beacon - the MicroFix," by Ken Knight. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/02733.html, 2007-01-27 21:35:00-07.

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ACR Enterprises MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon
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Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
ACR Enterprises MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon on 01/27/2007 23:42:50 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

ACR Enterprises Personal Lcator Beacon - the MicroFix

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: ACR Enterprises MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon on 01/28/2007 08:16:24 MST Print View

This looks like a great item, but the cost of $750 will probably be a stopper for all but the very well healed or those on an expedition type of trek. I know my initial reaction was that it's just a bit more expensive than my GPSr (before software), but for an item that's for dire emergency use only, it's difficult to fork over that much cash.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: ACR Enterprises MicroFix Personal Locator Beacon on 01/28/2007 11:04:17 MST Print View

Hi John,

As with sat phones, I'd expect the rental market to step in and fill the void for folks not wanting one for months at a stretch. That's a lot of money sitting on a shelf between trips!

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
EPIRB: Would you rent one of these? on 01/28/2007 11:43:32 MST Print View

What would you be willing to pay to rent one of these?

Is there a rental market here?

MikeB

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: EPIRB: Would you rent one of these? on 01/28/2007 12:53:48 MST Print View

Hi Mike,

A brief search turned up PLB rental rates of $50-60/week. Please note that PLBs are different than EPIRBs, which are the automatically triggered units carried in boats and aircraft.

Edited by halfturbo on 01/28/2007 12:55:38 MST.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Re: EPIRB: Would you rent one of these? on 01/28/2007 15:42:47 MST Print View

It appears that there is a pattern in the gear that is being reported on. It responds to a need, or at least some people's need, but either the price or the real UL functionality is limited. It seems, IMO, the big companies are gearing up to sell to both front country and car camping people and UL or SUL people with the same products. That would mean the products will appeal to the "well healed" front country and car camping people as being lighter than previous products, but only appeal to beginners at the UL and SUL backcountry people. I oughta know, I guess I am in what would be called the "well healed" baby boomer older group.

Give me a big show of Henry Shires, Ron Moak, Glen Van Peski, Andrew Skurka, HH Dr.J, pj, Bill F., B.T., R.J. and all the rest of you any day. I don't mind paying a lot, but I don't wanna buy either junk or a newvoo riche upgrade or varient of an already good product -- jacket, pants, etc.

I immediately went online after reading that GoLite was changing its clothing to see if I should buy some Reed pants, which I do not have "yet." Before they are relegated to history and replaced by Zoom pants with a new light weight zipper, cargo pockets, and an epirb like built in rescue communication device at more money and much higher weight.

So, for the personal safety device part of this commentary -- at $750 it is a great item for a lot of my friends to use everywhere, but not me in my favorite haunts out "there". But, you never know if enough of those are sold to baby boomers in fear or doubt, then a lighter model will come out and at a lower price ... someday. bd

M. Lee Van Horn
(laetulos) - F - M
you might find sponsors for this one.... on 02/03/2007 17:30:12 MST Print View

I have had a McMurdo for about 4 years now, at around 12 ounces it is almost the heaviest piece of gear that I carry, but for me it meant that my (now ex) wife didn't flip out too much when I was out solo. What I found is that this is the once piece of gear that my loved ones were willing to subsidize, my wife paid half of it. I suspect you might get a positive result if you suggest to all your family, when they worry about you taking solo trips to snuggle with the big bad grizzlies, that a contribution to your PLB fund would help to assure your safe return.

Lee

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
PROGRESS... on 02/03/2007 21:53:11 MST Print View

Time for some other company to step in with a 1/4 priced model that does it even better.

C'mon, electronics are getting cheaper by the day.
That price is way out of line.

Kevin Stoltz
(kstoltz) - F
PLB Rentals on 02/06/2007 09:10:42 MST Print View

As soon as it's available (sometime in February) PLB Rentals (www.PLBRentals.com) will be renting the new ACR MicroFix for $59/week (or $49/week with a discount code available from REI or just for asking). Gift certificates are also available allowing family members to get a PLB in your hands...just in case.