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John S.
(jshann) - F
Satro PLB-110 on 12/10/2011 18:19:04 MST Print View

A new entrant in the PLB wars is claiming to be the world’s smallest and lightest Personal Locator Beacon, eclipsing the current record holder in this regard, the ACR ResQLink which was just introduced earlier this year. Slated to be available in Spring of 2012, the new SATRO PLB-110 from Astronics DME Corporation certainly seems to have a good basis for that claim at just 4.09 x 2.39 x 0.92 inches (104 x 61 x 23 mm) and only 4.3 oz. (122 g).

http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=376

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Lightest? on 12/11/2011 02:57:29 MST Print View

My Spot 2 weighs 119g with batteries but without the cover and strap thing they sell with it. I don't want to get into the Spot v PLB debate but they do have a very similar rescue function.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Lightest? on 12/11/2011 08:20:32 MST Print View

Currently, I wouldn't use a SPOT if you gave me one. PLB's are monitored by the Coast Guard and SPOT is monitored by a commercial company.

Edited by jshann on 12/11/2011 08:21:56 MST.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
PLBs on 12/11/2011 23:56:19 MST Print View

It is not so much the monitoring as the reliability of function. Some excellent reviews and threads were posted here that made the FastFind the clear choice if like me, all you want to be able to do is send out an SOS.

But I don't expect to buy another PLB just to save 1.2 ounces; certainly not until this new one has been tested against the FastFind.

wander lust
(sol)
+1 on 12/12/2011 02:07:18 MST Print View

+1 about the fastfind

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Not Another PLB vs. Spot debate:-( on 12/12/2011 06:17:40 MST Print View

I think we all agree PLB's are the best choice for remote wilderness, but Spot's do have their place with the average backpacker as a multi-use item.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Not Another PLB vs. Spot debate:-( on 12/12/2011 07:33:56 MST Print View

Steven, I agree : ). It does appear this new PLB isn't saving much weight at all over the McMurdo or ACR. The flatter form factor of this new one may make it easier to carry, but the ACR seemed sorta flat.

Marc Kokosky
(mak52580) - F

Locale: Washington, DC Area
Re: PLBs on 12/12/2011 15:35:09 MST Print View

Do you have the link to the review/study? I hadn't seen it and had been looking to use my REI dividend on a Fast Find or ACR. I had settled on the ACR, but now you have me second guessing.

Edited by mak52580 on 12/12/2011 15:35:43 MST.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: PLBs on 12/22/2012 19:49:33 MST Print View

Forgot to mention awhile back, but ACR sued them, and this PLB was put on hold.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Satro PLB-110 on 02/21/2013 21:21:55 MST Print View

From the website. "DME had previously announced that it intended to offer for sale a personal locator beacon known as its “SATRO PLB-110.” This product has been withdrawn and will not be offered for sale or lease."

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Satro PLB-110 on 02/21/2013 22:28:49 MST Print View

IF you open the cover of the ACR ResQLink you will find that most of the weight comes from the batteries. It probably has a very powerful transmitter to insure the signal is detected. The batteries also determine the basic size of the device. I just measured my ACR ResQLink at 4X2X1 inches at 5oz. In terms of size they are about the same. The ACR plastic case is also rather thick and very strong as well as water proof. ACR could have made a weaker case. However a weaker case may not be a good idea.

Until there is big advancement in batteries I would not expect PBLs to get significantly smaller or lighter than the ACR or Satro.

As mentioned earlier ACR sued Satro. Furthermore it appears Satro lost the case. So as of now The ACRQlink is still the smallest and lightest. the court found that two employees of ACR sold design documents to DME (the make of Satro) and that within months of leaving ACR they were in contact with DME. The court also found numerous design similarities in electronics, firmware, antenna and batteries. The Satro also went from concept to an anounced product in only 1 year.

Final judgment:
http://www.equipped.org/1-15-13_183-StipulatedJudgmentandPermanentInjunction.pdf