ACR SARLink 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

ACR's newest and lightest PLB includes a high performance GPS receiver, 5 Watt 406 MHz distress signal transmission, 121.5 MHz homing capability, and a high intensity LED strobe.

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by Alan Dixon | 2009-07-23 00:00:00-06

Editor's Note: This article was opened to the public on July 22, 2010. To subscribe and see Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 articles as they are published, click here.

Summary of Improvements over the 10 oz ACR Microfix PL:

  • Weighs 8.9 oz with lanyard.
  • Weight and size reduced by going from 6 to 4 batteries.
  • Operation time still increased by more efficient circuitry (typically 35 hours @ -20 degrees C).
  • New high performance 66 channel GPS receiver with its own GPS antenna.
  • 5 watt transmission for 406 MHz signal with a dedicated transmission antenna: flat, stainless steel, it wraps compactly around the unit for easy stowage and is ready for rapid deployment.
  • In addition to full functional self testing of internal circuitry, battery voltage and power, the SARLink allows for an increased number of long GPS acquisition tests, up to twelve times per life of battery.
  • Clear cover and built-in, super bright LED strobe light increases visibility to Search and Rescue (some of the most difficult locating can occur in the last few thousand feet, and a strobe can help to ease this).

MSRP: $650 (a less expensive model without GPS capabilities, the TrekLink, is $500)

Availability: Unknown. ACR expects qualification tests for the SARLink to be successfully completed in the next few weeks. Until then, "This device has not been authorized as required by the Rules of the FCC. This device is not and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."


Citation

"ACR SARLink 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)," by Alan Dixon. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/orsm09_sarlink.html, 2009-07-23 00:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009 » ACR SARLink 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
ACR SARLink 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009) on 07/23/2009 12:49:29 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

ACR SARLink 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2009)

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
changes? on 07/23/2009 21:38:53 MDT Print View

This is unchanged from the current model (unless you just mean that this same antenna design previously also doubled as the GPS antenna):
“5 watt transmission for 406 MHz signal with a dedicated transmission antenna: flat, stainless steel, it wraps compactly around the unit for easy stowage and is ready for rapid deployment.”

This would appear to be a decrease of five hours from the current model:
“Operation time still increased by more efficient circuitry (typically 35 hours @ -20 degrees C).”

Alan Dixon
(alandixon) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: changes? on 07/27/2009 13:59:13 MDT Print View

You are right. The antenna is unchanged from the current model. This bullet point was intended to illustrate that the ACR units use separate antennas for GPS reception and distress signal transmission (vs. the SPOT which uses one patch antenna for both purposes).

Good catch! The claim of increased operational time was made by the ACR staff at OR. The operational time spec was pulled from literature on and ACR supplied CD. As with many unreleased products, there may be more than a few pre-release discrepancies on specs and capabilities. True operational time will not be known until the unit goes thru formal approval testing and is actually on the market.