ACR MicroFix 406 MHz GPS Personal Locator Beacon
NOTE: This item has been discontinued by ACR. It is replaced by the ACR SARLink (click here), with a new slimmer design and improved GPS reception; or upgrade to the ACR SARLink VIEW (click here), with a digital display.
Accidents happen every day in the outdoors, whether you fall out of a tree stand, break a leg during a hike, or roll over on an ATV. In the outdoors, an every day accident instantly can become a life threatening situation, and rescues may take days or weeks if you're not prepared.
Why wait days being stranded in the outdoors hoping someone will find you? Put the power in the palm of your hand with the ACR MicroFix 406 Personal Locator Beacon. Now you can turn that life threatening situation into a successful rescue story.
It's as easy as pushing a button: with an internal GPS receiver the MicroFix will acquire your GPS position and transmit it, along with your personalized indentifier code, through the SARSAT satellites, instantly alerting Search and Rescue forces that you need help, immediately!
The MicroFix from Tiger GPS works fast; if GPS data is present in the beacon's first transmission, SAR forces can be notified and start planning your rescue in as little as three minutes.
Be Responsible, Be Prepared, Be Safe.
ACR MicroFix PLB Features:
- Transmits on 406 MHz via the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system with your registered, unique, digitally coded distress signal and 121.5 MHz (SAR homing frequency).
- Onboard 12 channel parallel GPS acquires, then transmits, LAT/LON when the unit is activated - dramatically saving valuable time for your distress message to reach local rescue centers and providing rescue agencies with your exact position to within 110 yards (100 meters).
- Smallest and most functional PLB available; can be easily carried in a pack or pocket; small enough to be worn by skiers, hikers, hunters, kayakers, climbers, pilots, snowmobilers or any other outdoor enthusiast.
- Lanyard and removable holster provide functionality and allow for multiple mounting options on backpack, belt, webbing, and life vest.
- Full functional self test of internal circuitry, battery voltage & power, 406 MHz transmission, and GPS acquisition.
- Flat, stainless steel antenna wraps compactly around the unit for easy stowage; and is ready for rapid deployment.
- Exceeds RTCM waterproof requirements.
Did You Know...
406 MHz technology has been around since 1982 and is credited with saving over 20,000 lives worldwide. In 2005, 222 people in 93 incidents are alive, thanks to the SARSAT system.
It is mandatory that you register your PLB. It's fast, easy and free:
When activated, the unique identification code in your PLB is linked to the registration database. This way authorities can retrieve valuable information about you and your trip.
The MicroFix is a satellite signaling device of last resort, for use when all other means of self rescue have been exhausted, where the situation is grave and imminent, and the loss of life, limb, eyesight, or valuable property will occur without assistance
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why do I have to register my beacon?
A: Registering your PLB is mandatory. Registration is FREE and should be continually maintained. When you register your beacon you are providing potential search and rescue personnel with valuable information that will expedite a rescue. If you should be in an emergency and activate your PLB, the MCC will pull up your registration information based on the satellite signal received from your beacon. With this information in hand, they will now know who the beacon belongs to, what type of trip you may be on, an who to contact to verify that this is an emergency. You can also add other valuable information to your registration like any medical conditions that you or someone accompanying you may have. In an emergency, every piece of information helps. Take the time and properly register this beacon.
Q: Is their a monthly fee for this service?
A: No, It's FREE.
Q: Why does my PLB say give clear view to sky, will it work inside my house or car if need be?
A: Your PLB can work indoors or in a car, but due to the shielding effect on the distress signal your location may be skewed and take SAR personnel longer to identify your location. To maximize the PLB's potential, it is best to activate it in an open clearing, with a clear view of the sky. In order for the GPS receiver to work, it needs to have a clear view of the sky so that your beacon can acquire GPS data and transmit this information to search and rescue personnel. This will decrease the time it takes for SAR forces to know exactly where you are.
Q: Will my PLB work if I cannot download any GPS data?
A: YES, the GPS receiver is an added bonus that may shorten response time. If for some reason you are unable to download GPS data, rest assured that the LEOSAR satellites will pinpoint your location using Doppler Shift. With each pass of a satellite, your position is recalculated and the search area is narrowed down. SAR forces will then home in on your location using the 121.5 MHz homing frequency.
Q: How long does the PLB hold GPS data in memory?
A: Four hours. If new GPS data has not been downloaded, the MicrOFix will return to default mode and utilize the LEOSAR satellites to obtain your position using Doppler shift. PLB does not retain GPS data from self test.
Q: Why can I only test my GPS once per battery life?
A: All ACR beacons that have internal GPS receivers are extensively tested before they leave the factory, to assure that your GPS receiver is working properly. If you do feel the need to test your GPS receiver, you are consuming some of the PLB's battery power. ACR recommends a one time test per battery life cycle because we want to make sure that in an emergency you have as much battery life as possible in case you are stranded in a remote location that takes search and rescue forces longer to get to.
Q: Is it okay if I lend my PLB to a friend who is going on a trip?
A: YES, give a copy of the product support manual so your friend will properly know how to use this beacon in an emergency, along with the responsibilities that come along with owning one. Then you must register the beacon again with your friend's information in case an emergency should arise. Once the PLB is returned to you, update your registration. Remember, registering your beacon is free, so update your registration as often as you want.
Q: What should I do with my PLB when I am not using it?
A: Stow it away in a safe location to prevent it from an inadvertent activation. Keep it away from small children and pets.
Q: What is the IR LED on my keypad for?
A: The IR LED is for programming the country code into your PLB, and resetting the battery witness seal. Both activities can only be done by an authorized ACR certified service center.
Q: Can I use my PLB outside of the country I have registered it with?
A: Yes, they work as part of a global system. Be sure to update your registration file with your travel itinerary so that the country your beacon is registered with knows your trip plan so that any useful information can be passed on to the SAR authorities governing the country you are visiting if an emergency should occur.
Q: If I move to another country, do I need to have my PLB reprogrammed?
A: If you should move to a new country you should bring your PLB to an authorized ACR service center to be reprogrammed with that country's national code. Next, it is very important to update your registration files. Register your beacon with your new country so that they have your latest information and contact information in case of an emergency. Also, notify the country you previously had your PLB registered with that you have moved and that your registration has been updated with your new country's 406 registration database.
Q: Can I take my PLB on an airplane?
A: With regards to general aviation, Yes, the PLB can be very useful if your plane should happen to crash. A 406 MHz PLB is more likely to summons help faster then a 121.5 MHz ELT. The higher altitudes while flying will not cause your PLB to activate.
With regards to commercial traveling, it is a personal preference if you want to store your PLB in your carry on bag or your checked baggage. If you choose to carry your PLB in your carry on baggage, you may wish to check with the airline about any restrictions or proper documentation that you may need to carry with your PLB. The higher altitudes while flying will not cause your PLB to activate.
Q: What's the difference between the new ACR MicroFix and the old ACR TerraFix?
A: The new MicroFix is thinner and lighter, with a built-in GPS antenna. The MicroFix has an improved design and can be activated easily with one hand.
Q: What's the difference between the ACR MicroFix and ResQFix?
A: The MicroFix is designed with outdoors adventurers in mind, while the ResQFix is designed for marine adventurers, since it comes with a buoyant case. Both can be used anywhere, any time, since they alert the closest emergency response source, regardless of location or activity.
PLB Anatomy of a Rescue:
- ACR MicrOFix
- Multi-Function Belt Clip
ACR MicroFix PLB Specifications:
- Size: 1.4 x 5.85 x 2.21 in (35.5 x 149 x 56 cm)
- Weight: 10 oz (283.5 g)
- Batteries: 2 Class 2 lithium battery packs, (non-hazmat)
- min. transmit 24 hrs @ -20°C
- 5 year replacement life (11 year storage)
- Material: Engineered polycarbonate blend
- Color: Hi viz ACRtreuse
- Storage: -40°F to + 158°F (-40°C to +70°C)
- Deployment: Manual
- Activation: Manual
- Operation: 2 steps: deploy antenna, press ON button, giving clear view of sky
- Waterproof: 16ft (5 m) @ 1 hr., 33 ft (10 m) @ 10 min.
- Factory tested @70°F
- Exceeds RTCM waterproof requirements
- Certification: COSPAS-SARSAT and FCC approval
- Limited Warranty: 5 years
- Radiated Power: 5 W ±2dB (406 MHz) 50 mW ±3dB (121.5 MHz)
- Operational Life: In excess of 24 Hours @ -20°C (-4°F)
- Typical performance is:
- 36 Hours @ -4°F (-20°C)
- 20 Hours @ -40°F (-40°C)
- Longer in higher ambient temperatures
ACR EPIRB & PLB Feature Matrix
|Model||#||Type||Internal GPS?||NMEA 0183 Interface?||Category Deployment||Size||MSRP|
|GlobalFix iPro Cat I||2846||EPIRB||Yes||Yes||Auto (HRU) / Manual||
15.3 x 4.2 x 3.58 in
|GlobalFix iPro Cat II||2848||EPIRB||Yes||Yes||Manual||$1300|
|GlobalFix Cat I||2742NH||EPIRB||Yes||no||Auto (HRU) / Manual||
17.5 x 4.75 x 3.5 in
|GlobalFix Cat II||2744NH||EPIRB||Yes||no||Manual||$1300|
|RapidFix 406 Cat I||2776||EPIRB||no||Yes||Auto (HRU) / Manual||
14.5 x 4.25 x 3.62 in
|RapidFix 406 Cat II||2777.5||EPIRB||no||Yes||Manual||$880|
|Satellite2 406 Cat I||2774NH||EPIRB||no||no||Auto (HRU) / Manual||$1030|
|Satellite2 406 Cat II||2775.5NH||EPIRB||no||no||Manual||$880|
|ResQFix 406||2897||PLB||Yes||no||Manual PLB / Personal||
1.4 x 5.85 x 2.21 in
|MicroFix 406||2898||PLB||Yes||no||Manual PLB / Personal||$750|
|AquaFix 406 I/O||2797.4NH||PLB||Yes||Yes||Manual PLB / Personal||
1.74 x 5.71 x 3.03 in
|TerraFix 406 I/O||2798.4NH||PLB||Yes||Yes||Manual PLB / Personal||$750|
|AquaFix 406 I||2797.2NH||PLB||no||Yes||Manual PLB / Personal||$540|
|TerraFix 406 I||2798.2NH||PLB||no||Yes||Manual PLB / Personal||$650|
EPIRBs and PLBs: How Do They Differ?
Your registration can be updated daily. Nobody sees the information unless the beacon is activated. Use the “Additional Info” field to supply rescuers with any information that will help them help you. (i.e. float plan, number of persons onboard, known health issues, allergies to medicine, etc.) Some beacon owners have added a web address in this field so rescuers can see a picture of their boat.
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