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406 MHz GPS EPIRB //
Model No.: RLB-36
Product No.: 2846.0, 2848.0
Y1-03-0233 Rev. F


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  • Page 1 PRODUCT SUPPORT MANUAL GLOBALFIX™ iPRO 406 MHz GPS EPIRB // Model No.: RLB-36 Product No.: 2846.0, 2848.0 Y1-03-0233 Rev. F...
  • Page 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section for further information or call our Technical Service Department. The website address is If in the future you lose this manual, you may access and print a replacement on the ACR website. NOTE re: Applicable products This manual supports all configurations of GlobalFix™...
  • Page 3: Table Of Contents

    Table of Contents STEP ONE - REGISTERING YOUR BEACON ___________________________________ 2 STEP TWO - HOW THE BEACON WORKS ____________________________________ 6 STEP THREE - INSTALLING THE BEACON ___________________________________ 16 STEP FOUR - MAINTAINING THE BEACON __________________________________ 21 APPENDIX A - USING AND TESTING THE GPS SYSTEMS ________________________ 27 APPENDIX B - USER INTERFACE: SPECIAL ICONS ______________________________ 29 APPENDIX C - USER INTERFACE: DIGITAL DISPLAY DURING OPERATION ___________ 30 APPENDIX D - USER INTERFACE: DIGITAL DISPLAY DURING SELF-TEST ____________ 33...
  • Page 4: Step One - Registering Your Beacon

    STEP ONE - REGISTERING YOUR BEACON Why is registration important? As the owner of this 406 MHz beacon, it is mandatory that you register it with the EPIRB national authority of your country: It is the law. Please note that all 406 MHz beacons are required to have their registration updated every two years by the owner.
  • Page 5 2. Faxing a registration is also acceptable. Fax the registration form to the fax number on the top of the registration form. NOTE: Do not confuse the registration form with the ACR Electronics warranty card. 3. If online or fax registration is not available, mail the registration form with...
  • Page 6 Registration outside of the United States In countries other than the United States, 406 MHz beacons are registered with that country’s national authority at the time of purchase. The sales agent should have assisted you in filling out the forms and sending them to the country’s national authority.
  • Page 7: Step Two - How The Beacon Works

    STEP TWO - HOW THE BEACON WORKS How your beacon brings help 406 MHz beacons are a type of portable emergency equipment that transmits a distress signal to search and rescue (SAR) organizations. The purpose of these beacons is to aid SAR teams in tracking and locating ships or individuals in jeopardy as rapidly as possible.
  • Page 8 Anatomy of your beacon NOTE: When unpacking your beacon, it is recommended that you save the original packaging for re-use when shipping the beacon for battery replacement in the future. // Activation switch with Witness Tab The activation switch embodies a special, patented method of activating a beacon.
  • Page 9: Top View

    Strobes Antenna Top View Interface Activation/Test Switch Green Digital Display Internal GPS Screen Receiver Switch Positions TEST Position ON/TRANSMITTING OFF/READY Position Position Y1-03-0233 Rev. F...
  • Page 10 Category 1 – SeaShelter™ Bracket HydroFix™ Spring Ejector Release Hydrostatic spring knob Release Unit (HRU) Antenna hook Interface Cable Front cover hook (detent) Category 2 – LowPro™ Bracket Water Sensor Deactivation Magnet Antenna hook Interface Stowage Port Front Cover Release Tabs Release Latch Y1-03-0233 Rev.
  • Page 11 Digital Display The digital display in the beacon is used as a secondary visual aid, supporting the green/red LED and the audio tone, which indicate the status of the beacon during testing and during emergency operation. The messages on the digital display typically appear as one or two words at a time, until the entire message has been displayed.
  • Page 12 Activating your beacon WARNING: This transmitter is authorized for use only during situations of grave and imminent danger. Deliberate misuse may incur a severe penalty. Overview Category I beacons are designed to be automatically deployed and activated in the event of a sinking vessel. The beacon may also be hand held on the deck of vessels, or floated in water and attached to a raft or life vest with the lanyard provided.
  • Page 13 Category I beacons-Automatic deployment and activation If the vessel sinks, the HydroFix™ HRU frees the beacon from the bracket, allowing it to float to the surface. Built-in sensors detect that the beacon is no longer in its bracket and when continuity is created by water between two of the top cap screws, an activation circuit is completed.
  • Page 14 Category I and II Beacons-Manual deployment and activation Both Category I and II beacons can be manually deployed by removing the beacon from the bracket. Once removed, the beacon can be activated by placing it in water OR by lifting the Activation Switch to a vertical position, sliding it toward the antenna and pushing down to the opposite side of the beacon.
  • Page 15 False alarms To prevent false alarms, it is important to be aware of how your beacon can be activated. An ACR 406 MHz EPIRB can be activated by two different methods. Whether you have a Category I or Category II, these methods are the same.
  • Page 16 Precautions to prevent false alarms Do not mount or transport the beacon within 4.6ft/1.4m of a magnetic source. Do not store the beacon outside of its bracket if it can get wet. Do not mount the EPIRB backwards in its bracket (lanyard roll must face in).
  • Page 17: Step Three - Installing The Beacon

    The beacon should be serviced 5 years from the installation date but no later than the battery expiry date. The ACR HydroFix™ HRU has an expiration date of 2 years from the date of installation or 4 years from the date manufactured, whichever comes first.
  • Page 18 CAUTION: Category I brackets must be mounted free from obstruction to allow the beacon to automatically float free from the ™ can be mounted on a vessel in case of sinking. The SeaShelter vertical surface with the beacon antenna pointing skyward or a horizontal surface with the beacon face up.
  • Page 19 CAUTION: Keep this beacon a safe distance away from all magnetic sources. Magnet safe distance is 4.6ft. or 1.4m, including the distance from stereo speakers. Category I bracket ™ Category I bracket has five pre-drilled screw holes to The SeaShelter ™...
  • Page 20 Category II bracket Category II brackets are designed to hold the beacon securely in place. The beacon must be manually deployed. The bracket can be mounted on a vertical flat surface with beacon antenna up or on a horizontal flat surface facing skyward.
  • Page 21 Installing the optical interface to an external GPS receiver The beacon is fitted with an optical interface to connect with an external Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that will determine latitude longitude of its position. The black lead wire with white stripes should be connected to the output of the external GPS receiver positive transmitter pin.
  • Page 22: Step Four - Maintaining The Beacon

    Carefully inspect the beacon case for any visible cracks. Cracks may admit moisture, which could falsely activate the beacon or otherwise cause a malfunction. Any cracks observed should immediately be referred to ACR Service for evaluation. Call ACR Electronics Technical Service +1 (954) 981-3333. Battery replacement Battery replacement is due 5 years from date after the beacon placed into service, or by expiry date on the beacon whichever is first.
  • Page 23 The first shore based maintenance on all ACR EPIRBs is due at the date of the first battery replacement. Visit ACR’s website at for organizations that perform shore based maintenance.
  • Page 24 Registration forms for the United States are available from NOAA by calling (888) 212-7283 (212- SAVE) or by visiting the ACR website at Outside of the United States, the new owner may contact his local authority for the necessary form(s).
  • Page 25 WARNING: Discard the expired HRU. Failure to replace the entire assembly may cause the bracket to malfunction. WARNING: Be sure to use only ACR’s HydroFix™ HRU (ACR P/N ™. Use of unauthorized replacement parts will 9490) in the SeaShelter void your warranty and may cause the bracket to malfunction.
  • Page 26 Self-Tests can be performed randomly, however, ACR recommends that you perform the Self-Test on a once per month schedule. Do not exceed sixty (60) Self-Test cycles limit in the five-year life of the battery, to conserve the battery for emergency use.
  • Page 27 Extended GPS test The beacon may be tested for GPS functionality, however, this may only be done once in the five-year lifetime of the battery due to the significant drain on the battery. This test is not necessary at any time in the life of the beacon, but is made available in the event that the beacon owner wishes to verify internal GPS engine viability.
  • Page 28: Appendix A - Using And Testing The Gps Systems

    APPENDIX A - USING AND TESTING THE GPS SYSTEMS How the external GPS interface works The beacon is fitted with an optical interface to connect with an external Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that will determine the latitude and longitude of its position. This data is transmitted to the emergency system.
  • Page 29 Self-Test. If no valid GPS position data is available, the beacon will keep the previously stored GPS position data for up to 4 hours. In this case, call ACR Customer Service at +1 (954) 981-3333 for instructions on how to reset the beacon with the default message.
  • Page 30: Appendix B - User Interface: Special Icons

    // Talker device identifier: GP (GPS Receiver) // Sentence format: GGA (GPS Fix Data) For more information regarding external GPS device compatibility, please visit the ACR website at APPENDIX B - USER INTERFACE: SPECIAL ICONS Characters displayed during beacon operation include the following:...
  • Page 31: Appendix C - User Interface: Digital Display During Operation

    GlobalFix™ iPRO Display, LED/ Audio Signaling and Description of Operation long beep The beacon has been activated and the ACR Electronics Welcome Page appears Next, the product name appears EPIRB The system reports that the beacon is on and in activation mode...
  • Page 32 121.5 The system reports that the 121.5 MHz homing signal is on. Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel use this frequency when arriving close to the scene. If this message is accompanied by a green LED flash, the GPS coordinates have been sent.
  • Page 33 EPIRB UNTIL RES Q LEAVE The system reminds you that leaving the beacon on continuously gives the best assurance of being rescued. SAR groups need the ongoing transmissions from the beacon to most effectively find you. If this message is accompanied by a green LED flash, the GPS coordinates have been sent.
  • Page 34: Appendix D - User Interface: Digital Display During Self-test

    GlobalFix™ iPRO Display, LED/ Audio Signaling and Description of Operation Beacon Self-Test has been initiated, and the ACR Electronics’ Welcome Page appears. Next, the product name page appears. 48HR √...
  • Page 35: Gps Test

    TEST √ 406 RF beep The fourth test checks for 406 MHz signal strength/RF power. If power is adequate the system passes. TEST  406 RF beep beep The fourth test checks for 406 MHz signal strength/RF power. If power is not adequate the system fails.
  • Page 36 NMEA DATA This message appears if Self-Test has passed. The display indicates that the external GPS did not update its coordinates during Self-Test. NOTE: If external GPS data cannot be acquired, typically due to the external GPS not having achieved a good fix, it does not affect the pass status of Self-Test. Self-Test requires GPS engine readiness but does not require that the GPS obtain coordinates.
  • Page 37: Appendix E - User Interface: Digital Display During Extended Gps Test

    APPENDIX E - USER INTERFACE: DIGITAL DISPLAY DURING EXTENDED GPS TEST The following chart describes the display and audio-visual feedback the beacon provides during extended GPS Test. The messages on the digital display typically appear as one or two words at a time, until the entire message has been displayed.
  • Page 38: Appendix F- User Interface: Language Translations

    APPENDIX F- USER INTERFACE: LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS The RLB-36 user interface is available in five languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. The following table provides the digital display phrases that appear on the screen. Please note that all language translations utilize simple terms and abbreviations for the purpose of speed and readability of messages.
  • Page 39: Appendix G - The Cospas-sarsat System

    APPENDIX G - THE COSPAS-SARSAT SYSTEM General overview EPIRBs transmit to the satellite portion of the Cospas-Sarsat system. Cospas-Sarast satellites are an international system that utilizes Russian Federation and United States’ low altitude, near-polar orbiting satellites (LEOSAR). These satellites assist in detecting and locating activated 406 MHz satellite beacons.
  • Page 40: Appendix H - Technical Specifications

    ACR P/N 9490  Approvals FCC ID #B66ACR-RLB36  COSPAS-SARSAT certificate #189  USCG #161.011/86/0  MED EC Type Examination (Module B) Certificate No.: BSH/4612/5060959/08 NOTE: For complete information regarding beacon type approvals, please visit ACR’s website at Y1-03-0233 Rev. F...
  • Page 41: Appendix I - Warranty, Notices

    1 (one) year* from date of purchase or receipt as a gift. During the warranty period ACR Electronics, Inc. will repair or, at its option, replace the unit at no cost to you for labor, materials and return transportation from ACR. For further assistance, please contact our Technical Service Department at ACR Electronics, Inc., 5757 Ravenswood Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312-6645.
  • Page 42: Ec Declaration Of Conformity

    EC DECLARATION OF CONFORMITY ACR Electronics hereby declares that the following product is in conformity with Council Directive 96/98/EC of 20 December 1996 on Marine Equipment (MED) last amended by Commission Directive 2008/67/EC of 30 June 2008, and has been type examined as described in this Declaration. In accordance with the...
  • Page 43 All ACR 406 MHz EPIRBs shall have their first shore-based maintenance performed on the same dates as their battery replacement. SBM Providers: ACR only authorizes battery replacements and shore based maintenance to be performed by certified ACR service providers. Manufacturer: ACR Electronics Inc.

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