Justine Heeley, Managing Director at McMurdo UK, looks at new developments in search and rescue technology.
McMurdo FastFind 220 PLB
- Brand: McMurdo
- Convenient small size
- Built-in GPS
- 6 Year Battery Life
- Economical Battery Replacement
- Auckland Service Centre – Available 7 days a week
- Manufactured in the UK by the largest and most trusted name in Emergency response – McMurdo
- Recommended and used by Professional Search & Rescue Services Worldwide
The Fast Find 220 is a 406 MHz Personal Location Beacon (PLB) that should be carried by individuals who are embarking on trips into areas around the world where there is little or no other form of communication or where other forms of communication are unlikely to work. The Fast Find acts as your personal Emergency Location Beacon, it is your last resort communication to the national and international search and rescue bodies and it should not be mis-used. The Fast Find is designed as a direct communication, to the 406 MHz Search and Rescue satellite system, its signal indicates that you are in need of urgent response and assistance.
Its small size belies its rugged construction and powerful output. There is no compromise. Once activated, the distress beacon will obtain a GPS position, send out a signal for help, and continue to transmit for at least 24 hours, at a powerful 5 watt output, ensuring that your call for help gets through whatever the conditions. The pocket sized beacon transmits at the press of a button, to alert search and rescue services to your plight. A built in strobe can be activated to automatically flash SOS to any response activity.
The Fast Find weighs just 5.3 oz (150g) and measures D 34mm x W 47mm x L 106mm. It is extremely sturdy and designed to cope with temperatures as low as -20°. The Fast Find's battery is designed to run for a minimum of 24 hours at the end of 6 years after which it can be easily replaced at our service centre.
For an intensive independent review please go to: http://www.equipped.com/McMurdoNewFastFind.htm
Any 220 PLB imported from USA or Europe would be unable to get registration with the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre as it is a slightly different product and does not conform to the required specifications for PLBs registered in New Zealand and Australia
* The FF220 PLB has a GPS reciever and transmits on 2 frequencies as well as having a LED light that emits an SOS signal.
* The 50 Channel GPS reciever requires clear line of sight with the GPS Satellites.
* When a GPS position has been aquired that fix is transmitted to the GEO stationary satellite over the South Pacific which relays it to the Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
* The 406 MHz transmitter has a powerful 5W output which will transmit through the canopy to the low polar orbiting COSPAS and SARSAT satellites. This may take longer to establish.
* Once the alarm is raised the PLB also sends a 121.5MHz homing signal which assists the Search and Rescue (SAR) teams to locate you.
* The combination of these transmitters and the LED SOS light reduces the time it takes to be rescued.
* When you acquire a GPS fix the PLB will flash to let you know; which can be very reassuring. With GPS the search area is reduced to around 30m² and notification to SAR is within minutes.
* The PLB is guaranteed to emit a distress signal for a minimum of 24 hours at the end of the 6 year battery change period.
* The SOS LED function emits an SOS pattern 4 times with every push and can be used up to a maximum of 30 times.
* Can be self tested but this should only be done once a month at a maximum, as it reduces battery power.
* Waterproof down to 10m for 5 minutes and will float in its neoprene pouch to enable retrieval but is not designed to float like an EPIRB (it has neutral bouancy in fresh water).
* Ideal for adventure seekers due to its small size, weight and the features outlined above and has been built to military specifications.
Transmit time for at least 24 hours
Transmit Power: 5 watts
Built in strobe can be activated to automatically flash SOS to any response activity
Dimensions: 34mm (d) x 47mm (w) x 106mm (l)
Temperature rating: -20°
Battery designed to run for a minimum of 24 hours at the end of 6 years after which it can be easily replaced at our service centre.
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