Electronics company McMurdo will this month unveil its latest emergency distress device aimed at outdoors enthusiasts.
The new Fast Find Ranger personal locator beacon is a compact, lightweight piece of gear which the company says will fit into small pockets or rucksack compartments.
UK legislation was changed this year to allow the use of PLBs on land, meaning walkers, mountaineers and other outdoor enthusiasts can now use them to summon help in remote areas. Previously their use was only allowed at sea or in the air.
McMurdo’s new Fast Find Ranger will be available from 31 May and uses the 406MHz frequency to transmit a distress signal to the orbiting international Cospas-Sarsat emergency satellite system.
McMurdo said: “It features new contemporary styling, with retro reflective detailing for improved visibility in low light, a six-year battery storage life and non-slip, impact resistant ruggedised casing providing ultimate protection in harsh outdoor environments.”
It has a built-in GPS receiver that the company says will give a fix with a typical accuracy of 62m.
Ross Wilkinson, global sales director of McMurdo’s parent company Orolia Positioning Division, said: “Our Fast Find range of PLBs are widely recognised as essential safety devices by outdoor enthusiasts from mountaineers and adventurers to every day ramblers, and have been instrumental in a vast number of documented rescues world-wide.
“In 2010 alone 2,338 people were rescued globally using information provided by the Cospas-Sarsat system.
“We are excited to launch the new Fast Find Ranger, representing the next generation of our PLB range, with styling and usability enhancements as well as GPS as standard to offer even further peace of mind to all safety conscious adventurers.”
As well as sending out a distress signal by satellite the Ranger also transmits a 121.5 MHz homing signal.
The unit is waterproof to 10m and can operate in temperatures as low as –20C. Once activated, using a three-stage activation, the Ranger will transmit continuously for a minimum of 24 hours at a 5W output.
The beacon measures 112mm by 50mm by 36mm and weighs 164g. It features an LED flash-light to help with rescues at night or during limited visibility.
The UK-manufactured device will sell for £270; there is no subscription charge for the system. More details are on the McMurdo website.