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Old 01-20-2022, 12:02 PM   #1
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Replacing Batteries in PLB and EPIRB

I have a ACR ResQlink+ PLB-375 and a ACR GlobalFixiPro EPIRB, model RLB-36 where the batteries have expired. I called an authorized dealer from the ACR website and they require the units to be sent in and charge $150 for the PLB and $300 for the EPIRB. Ouch! Do I need to send these in to an authorized dealer, or is it ok to use independent companies? I came across an outfit named Beacon Battery Replacement where you can buy the batteries ($90 for the EPIRB) and they even have instructions on their website on how to change the batteries yourself. Does anyone have suggestions on where to send these in to get the batteries replaced? Any experience with Beacon Battery Replacement? Should I try and replace the batteries myself or is it better to stick with an authorized dealer? Thanks for your help!!
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:18 PM   #2
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Go online and some places sell certificates for batter replacement.

When I did it it was maybe $50 dollars cheaper 100 vs 150 and made it wort it for a PLB.

The certificate explains mailing details.
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:24 PM   #3
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A few years ago on this subject I wrote on another forum somewhere:

Pressing that button is literally the very last act of desperation and possibly the the very last thing one does alive, when one briefly comes to the realization they may never see their loved ones again. I'd hate to be in that situation wishing I hadn't been so cheap trying to save $100 by going to Radio Shack and Home Depot. Personally, the cost/benefit doesn't work for me.

I’ve had my ResQLink PLBs serviced at an authorized place in Annapolis for $100-125 as I recall. I believe they also replace the gasket and test it. I think the service centers were on ACR’s site.
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Old 01-20-2022, 12:47 PM   #4
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Pressing that button is literally the very last act of desperation and possibly the the very last thing one does alive, when one briefly comes to the realization they may never see their loved ones again. I'd hate to be in that situation wishing I hadn't been lazy and sent it off for somebody else to attempt the battery replacement.
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porgy View Post
A few years ago on this subject I wrote on another forum somewhere:

Pressing that button is literally the very last act of desperation and possibly the the very last thing one does alive, when one briefly comes to the realization they may never see their loved ones again. I'd hate to be in that situation wishing I hadn't been so cheap trying to save $100 by going to Radio Shack and Home Depot. Personally, the cost/benefit doesn't work for me.

Iíve had my ResQLink PLBs serviced at an authorized place in Annapolis for $100-125 as I recall. I believe they also replace the gasket and test it. I think the service centers were on ACRís site.
I hope you aren't speaking of my advice. The certificates are usually for a factory authorized service operation.

Heck I used to be an certified battery replacer and replacing the batteries on most ain't rocket science.

We aren't talking troubleshooting and soldering boards here, we are talking replacing a simple battery and usually a replacement gasket.

So if a certificate saves you $$$ and the repair is still done by a trained tech....who could be 2X better and more conscientious than the OEM.... I think that worth passing along.

I don't think I read Radio Shack or Home Depot till written later and I have never seen either selling EPIRB/PLB Battery replacement certificates.
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:56 PM   #6
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I hope you aren't speaking of my advice.
Not at all.

Iíve read of a number of people who want to save a few dollars and do it themselves by buying cells and soldering connections, good as new. Then they ask which soldering iron they should use and which solder. I mean geez, there are so many kinds. But hey, Iím cheap and not lazy so I got this. What about waterproof integrity? Iíll just put it in a zip lock bag.

I figure ACR, etal have a stake in not wanting the products they sell not fail. So Iíd trust their batteries and new gaskets coming from an authorized facility more so than an admitted non-authorized, non-OEM online seller with batteries from who knows and whose very existence is just to sell cheap batteries. Beacon Battery apparently assemble the packs so Iíd still be relying on somebody else and itís not going to be under ACRís aegis. Folks can certainly do what they want. I just donít equate last ditch life saving equipment with changing the battery in my tv remote.
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Old 01-20-2022, 05:09 PM   #7
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On the ones I changed batteries on...my Amazon fire stick is harder to get open.

Other than making sure the gaskert was correct, tightening the screws correctly and pushing the test button...not much more to it.

But I get survival equipment...big part of may past careers.
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Old 01-20-2022, 06:32 PM   #8
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The price of battery replacement prompted me to just buy a new unit, there are some really big discounts over full market price from some very reputable companies. That can bring the savings down to just a little bit and the new ACR's are self replace batteries, where as the older units require some sort of expertise and I tend to not venture into the unknown. By the time it's known and I know what I should have before the job began I have destroyed whatever I was hoping to have repaired :-)

New electronics often also have some upgrades over the old stuff, self battery replacement being one of them. And no, I have never had to flip the switch... But I do keep all the parts in like new operating condition!
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Old 01-22-2022, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porgy View Post
Folks can certainly do what they want. I just donít equate last ditch life saving equipment with changing the battery in my tv remote.
I'll pack my own parachute, thank you very much.
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Old 01-22-2022, 07:50 PM   #10
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I have ACR ResQLink PLBs. I took them to an authorized ACR facility in Seattle. They also inspected my Gumby suits and 4-person life raft.

So one question:

Is your life or the lives of your family worth $300?
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Old 01-22-2022, 09:52 PM   #11
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I always tell people to think what their life is worth when buying PPE. I see people putting a D cell light on their PFD for a personal marker light instead of a quality strobe light. The D cell may, if it still works, be seen from a couple hundred feet away. While the strobe can be seen from a couple of miles away, but the D cell light was cheaperÖ
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Old 02-04-2022, 12:31 PM   #12
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I spoke with tech support at ACR and they provided the following information. The new EPIRB Model Global Fix V4 is about $460 and has a 10 year battery that can be replaced by the user. The newer PLBs still have the 5 year battery and still must be sent in to an authorized center to replace the battery. Only the ACR authorized battery replacement centers have the ACR software to reset the clock, otherwise the unit will fail the self test. I called the contact at beaconbatteryreplacement.com and asked about the failed test if I get the battery from them and install it my self. He explained that you get a certain number of self tests, and even if you replace the battery yourself, the failed test will not appear until you exceed that initial number of tests. He said the normal boater only tests their Epirbs maybe 3 or 4 times a year, if that, so the fail test will not happen for quite awhile. Did not ask if the failed test also applies to the PLBs. ACR gave me a discount code of 10offACR if purchasing from ACR, but did not know how long this is good for. I think I got all of this right. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-04-2022, 03:38 PM   #13
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When we were patrolling for the CG we were issued ACR PLBs. We had to test them every month and document the test. The batteries were supposed to be good for 60 tests or 5 years.
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