ACR Electronics has introduced the world’s Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)—the MicroFix, a one-button activated, emergency signaling device for hunters, pilots, hikers, climbers and outdoorsmen. The MicroFix, which has just received FCC approvals, is 35% smaller and 25% lighter than its predecessor, the ACR TerraFix, a PLB that aided in the rescue of a number of distressed outdoors enthusiasts around the world over the course of the last two years.
“In spite of developing a more technologically advanced Personal Locator Beacon that requires a more efficient use of power, features a more sensitive, built-in GPS receiver and employs components more typically found in the latest generation cell phones, we managed to keep the MicroFix at the same consumer price point as the TerraFix I/O, its predecessor,” said Chris Wahler, director of marketing for ACR.
Weighing in at just 10 oz (285 g), the MicroFix™ is easily carried in a pack or pocket and is small enough to be worn by hunters, skiers, hikers, kayakers, climbers, snowmobilers or any outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable way-out-of-trouble in a life-threatening situation. A lanyard and clip provide functionality and allow for multiple mounting options.
In an emergency, the MicroFix™ transmits on 406 MHz via the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system with the sender’s unique registered, digitally coded distress signal. Emergency officials monitoring the system not only will be able to tell who is sending the signal (thanks to the coding and registration data) but precisely where the signal is coming from as a result of the built-in GPS engine. The beacon’s highly-sensitive, built-in -136 dBm GPS receiver provides for faster acquisition, a bonus in any rescue where every second counts.
Once activated by a single button, the MicroFix’s built-in 12 channel, parallel GPS acquires, then transmits LAT/LON, dramatically saving valuable time for the distress message to reach local rescue centers with exact coordinates to within 110 yards (100 meters). The MicroFix™ also simultaneously transmits a signal on the 121.5 MHz (SAR homing frequency) to assist rescuers home in once in the general area.
Additional unique MicroFix™ features include:
· Full functional self-test of internal circuitry, battery voltage and power, 406 MHz transmission and GPS acquisition—an ACR exclusive.
· The MicroFix™ is the smallest, 1.4 x 5.85 x 2.21 (35.5 x 149 x 56 cm), lightest, 10 oz (285 g), and most function-rich in existence.
· Typical operating life: 40 hrs at -4°F (-20°C) and 8 hrs at -40°F (-40°C).
· Two Class II lithium battery packs. Batteries are non-hazmat making shipping safe, fast and easy. Five-year replacement cycle (11-year storage).
· Waterproof up to 16 ft (5 m) at one hour and 33 ft (10 m) at ten minutes.
· A flat, stainless steel antenna wraps compactly around the unit for easy stowage, and is ready for rapid deployment.
The combination of functional design, high quality raw materials and quality controlled manufacturing produce an emergency beacon that can be relied upon to perform consistently every time. The test facility at ACR can reproduce some of the harshest environmental conditions known to man. This assures that the MicroFix™ can stand up to rigors found in any environment on earth.
A PLB/P-EPIRB/P-ELT is a satellite-signaling device of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted and where the situation is grave and imminent and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance. All beacons must be registered following purchase– a simple and quick process, now with a web-base internet filing option. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages the registration database in the U.S. for all PLBs, EPIRBs and related beacons.
The suggested MSRP for the MicroFix™ is $750 and is available through outdoor dealers and retailers throughout the U.S.