PLBs are portable units that operate much the same as EPIRBs or ELTs. These beacons are designed to be carried by an individual person instead of on a boat or aircraft. Unlike ELTs and some EPIRBs, they can only be activated manually and operate exclusively on 406 MHz. Like EPIRBs and ELTs, all PLBs also have a built-in, low-power homing beacon that transmits on 121.5 MHz. This allows rescue forces to home in on the distress beacon once the 406 MHz satellite system has provided the necessary position information. Some PLBs also allow GPS units to be integrated into the distress signal. This GPS-encoded position dramatically improves the location accuracy down to the 100-meter level…that’s roughly the size of a football field!
If you need to register a 406 MHz PLB, you can now register online or you may download a beacon registration form from the registration website and then fax the form to us at: (301) 817-4565. For any other registration questions, please call us at: 1-888-212-SAVE (7283).