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Old 07-31-2012   #1
Placerville, California
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 40
ACR Aqualink PLB?

Does anyone have experience with using an ACR Aqualink PLB? I'm debating whether to purchase one... I've heard a ton about SPOTs and recently came across PLBs and am trying to decide if it's worth the money...

In general, I'm looking for a reliable device that could send an emergency signal if things went really wrong. Being able to send "I'm okay" messages and track my location and all that to send to family and friends isn't at all necessary.

So... what do you guys think?

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Old 08-01-2012   #2
eideho's Avatar
North Fork, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 46
I went through this exercise a few months ago. I live at the edge of the Frank Church RONR wilderness and being 64 with no cell service, I bought an ACR (not the aquaversion) over the SPOT II for personal safety reasons. It is more expensive, but it is US made and what the USCG uses. The SPOT II is Chinese with "spotty" issues in workmanship, repair, and reliability. The messaging service is less expensive with the ACR and it works without any subscription for the emergency locator beacon. I chose the SARLink PLB since it is still good for limited dunking (good to 16 feet), but serves me for those hikes alone as well as the rafting.

The ACR has both GPS as well as the 406 MHz satellite location fix and the 121.5 radio beacon for local ID to air and ground search crews.

Do the web searches and see for yourself. My research indicated that the SPOT II was on average a 3 star versus the ACR 5 star. Buy it through REI and you get approximately a $50 rebate at the end of the year for members.

Good luck on this - some earlier threads in Gear Talk also.

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Old 08-01-2012   #3
SummitSurfer's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 435
Yes do it....just bought one this summer and love it. If you sign up for 406 link service you can sent like 400 MSG saying I'm ok! I changed my MSG a little to personalize it! It's Definetly professional grade an non trinkety like some face book devices.... Ive used mine in the wilderness and my wife loves knowing I'm ok. Plus the company is awesome customer service! Register it with NOAA
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