ACR Electronics has introduced what it describes as the newest generation of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) in the shape of the AquaLink PLB. Although less than six inches long and thus truly pocket-size, the newly approved AquaLink features an integral 66-channel GPS. Once the unit is triggered, the lat and lon provided by its GPS should guide rescuers to within 110 yards of its location, at which point its new strobe-light function will allow them to pinpoint its precise position.
A power-efficient design provides 24 hours of transmission time from a smaller battery than usual, helping to keep overall weight down to a little under nine ounces (light enough to float) and allowing the unit to be carried as hand baggage on most passenger aircraft. The suggested list price for the AquaLink is $499.
Big brother to the AquaLink, the GlobalFix PRO also includes an integral GPS and high-intensity strobe but also features a considerably bigger battery, giving it an operating life of at least 48 hours at -4ºF, which allows it to qualify as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). It’s available in Category I and Category II ratings with either manual launch or float-free. The MSRP is $1,360 for the float-free version and $1,160 for the manual launch.
ACR (954) 981-3333. www.acrelectronics.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.