Check your emergency beacon

 - November 29, 2006, 6:39 AM

A new and easier way to test emergency locator transmitters (ELT) has been developed by Artex (Booth No. 548) from an earlier palm-held programmer, of which some 500 or so have been sold to date. Previously, in order to test an ELT, it was necessary to use a PC, but a handheld device is clearly preferable.

Having produced a neat palm-sized programmer, an ELT test set (ETS) was the logical next development, so Artex introduced this last year in response to market demand. But although the stand-alone programmer is still available, those previously supplied by the company can be upgraded to fulfill the test role for $1,725.

The new test set is a rugged and waterproof device programmed to read the transmitted code of a 406-MHz Cospas-Sarsat ELT, to display the beacon ID and all encoder data. As it is essential for the beacon ID to be registered with national authorities, the ETS provides an easy and economical means of verifying this after installation or reprogramming.

While all data recorded by an ETS can be backed up to a PC for independent viewing, the handheld device can also produce a printed record.