406MHz BEACON Tester

406MHz BEACON Tester

Description

406MHz SARSAT BEACON TESTER (EPIRB Tester) enables professional checking of all types of maritime emergency radio beacons that operate in COSPAS-SARSAT system, such as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRBs).

The 406MHz BEACON TESTER is specified service equipment and reliable test solution for ship surveyors, beacon suppliers, classification societies and administrative authorities. It assures operation checking of all types of distress beacons (EPIRB, PLB) of any manufacturer, and any other device (SSAS, SVDR, VDR) operating within COSPAS-SARSAT system.

The EPIRB Tester intended to determine that EPIRB is operational as defined in appropriate performance standards - the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Performance Standard (A.810) and IEC standard, IEC 61097-2: COSPAS-SARSAT EPIRB – Satellite emergency position indicating radio beacon operating on 406 MHz – Operational and performance requirements, methods of testing and required test results, and RTCM 11000.3 - Standard for 406 MHz Satellite Emergency Position-Indicating Radiobeacons (EPIRBs), required by U.S. Federal Communications Commission and defines performance requirements for EPIRBs used on U.S.-registered vessels.

Use 406MHz SARSAT BEACON TESTER to arrange accurate, independent measurements of the operation of COSPAS-SARSAT distress beacons in a volume of:

  • required annual testing under IMO Circ.1040;
  • shore-based maintenance under IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1039;
  • fast check after beacon’s encoding or installation.

406MHz BEACON TESTER can receive the transmission from any 406MHz COSPAS-SARSAT beacon transmitting either in test mode or in real alert emergency mode. Also the tester provides the reception and check of 121.5MHz home transmitter signal. If the TEST MODE is used the tests can be performed in any room. Radiated tests in real alert emergency mode should be carried out in screened room (or enclosure) only.

The signal can be received through the broadcast by means of antenna or the tester can be connected directly by means of cable through a suitable attenuator (option).

The 406MHz BEACON Tester (EPIRB Tester) can be also described as:

  1.      SARSAT Tester – as it is intended to check the COSPAS-SARSAT beacons;
  2.      COSPAS-SARSAT or COSPAS Tester due to the same reason as it can check all types of C/S beacons;
  3.      EPIRB Tester – as the tester is intended to check all types of maritime EPIRBs;
  4.      PLB Tester - as the tester is capable to check any C/S PLB;
  5.      406MHz Tester – as the tester can measure the signals in this channel;
  6.      SVDR Tester – as it can test S-VDR capsules;
  7.      SSAS Tester – as the tester provides the possibility to check the Ship Security Alert Systems.

All these facilities are represented as single product - 406MHz BEACON Tester (EPIRB Tester).

 

Specification / Features

It is very simple to check the distress beacon operation by means of 406MHz SARSAT BEACON Tester.

Turn on the tester and then turn the beacon to TEST mode. Make sure that there is at least 3 meters (15 meters max) distance between the tester and the beacon, and make simple actions to carry out the test procedures.

The tester will receive the signal, measure the frequency meanings, power level in all channels, signal duration, calculate and compare the BCH code and finally decode all emergency information automatically.

The tester provides demodulation and decoding of the emergency information and displays on your choice the НЕХ-code (15 Hex ID or the message 1-112 bit) as well as all decoded information in text view with all measured parameters. Besides, the BCH code is calculated and compared with received one, and the result is displayed.

All data will be saved in memory for further processing, 10 memory blocks are available.

All emergency data can be viewed on the tester’s LCD or can be transmitted to PC for procession.

Since it is crucial for the beacon ID to be registered with the national authorities, the 406MHz SARSAT BEACON Tester provides an easy means to verify the ID after installation or reprogramming.

The tester measures beacon parameters by means of standard external antenna (from 3 to 15 meters), as well as via high-frequency cable and attenuator connection.

Note: attenuator is required for power level measurements, otherwise the power level will be only estimated.

The tester is lightweight, hand-held and user-friendly in usage, has keyboard and LCD with backlight.

The tester power supply is performed by 4 AA batteries 1.5V, as well as by external DC source with voltage 4.5…7V and load current no less than 300mA.

This tester can be either used for testing of personal locator beacons (PLB) or any other device (SSAS, SVDR, VDR) operating within COSPAS-SARSAT system.

Features:

  • All 406MHz COSPAS-SARSAT protocols will be decoded;
  • Reception the signal within the range of 406.020…406.040MHz frequencies;
  • Easy and quick audio-control of the sweep signal presence on 121.5MHz frequency;
  • Internal database of received messages with possibility to save up to 10 results;
  • Easy connection to PC, laptop, notebook to process the stored data;
  • Windows user friendly desktop application for database storage and review, process and test reports printout;
  • Long life batteries, easy replace;
  • Easy recalibration without returning back to factory;
  • 1 year warranty.

 

Connection to PC

After all tests are done usually it is required to process the measured data, prepare and print the test reports.

Thus the 406MHz tester can be easily connected to any PC or laptop. The connection is carried out by means of standard USB A-USB A cable and special software available on this website. The minimal requirements are Microsoft OS, such as Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 and at least 1 USB port. No special hardware configuration is required.

Also the special FTDI driver should be installed for proper connection. It can be downloaded at our web-site as well.

So, it is very simple to connect the tester to PC. Connect one side of the cable to tester and other to PC. Then install the drivers following the standard Windows wizard. After the driver is installed run the software. No installation is required. Just run the executive file and press DOWNLOAD MESSAGE button. All saved data will be transferred to PC.

Download the examples of test reports below.

Complete set of 406MHz BEACON Tester

  • 406MHz BEACON Tester
  • Antenna
  • PC cable (USB A – USB A 1.5m)
  • 4 AA batteries
  • Technical description and operation manual (English)
  • Device packing
  • High-frequency cable (optional)
  • Attenuator (optional)
  • Software and software user’s manual (available at our website)

Technical description

The BEACON tester allows to perform:

  • reception, demodulation and decoding of the emergency information transmitted on channel 406MHz;
  • frequency measurement of 406MHz signal in range of 406.020…406.040MHz, with accuracy to ±500Hz;
  • audio-control of the sweep 121.5MHz signal presence in range of 121500 ±10kHz;
  • power level measurement on 406MHz channel within the range 19 – 43dBm or 0.08W - 20W, with accuracy to ±3.0dB by means of antenna and ±0.5dB by means of attenuator;
  • power level measurement on 121.5MHz channel within the range 13 – 20dBm or 20-100mW, with accuracy to ±3.0dB by means of antenna and ±0.5dB by means of attenuator;
  • estimation of the positive/negative phase deviation of modulated signal, with accuracy to ±2.8о;
  • measurement of total transmission time of 406MHz signal, with accuracy to ±0.2%;
  • measurement of  unmodulated carrier duration of 406MHz signal;
  • estimation of the equivalent radiated power of 406MHz signal through broadcast.

The tester is designed to operate at the temperature range from 0°С to + 45°С and relative air humidity should be no more than 95%, which is determined by used LCD.

The tester power supply is performed by 4 AA batteries 1.5V, as well as by external DC source with voltage 4.5…7V and load current no less than 300мА. The tester is power supplied by USB cable when connected to computer or net USB adapter.

Approximate continuous operation time of the tester from the internal power supply elements is about 6 hours.

406MHz BEACON Tester operation video manual

Downloads for 406MHz BEACON Tester

406MHz BEACON Tester / Specifications / Brochure (version: 1.0; 24.01.2011; 1.05 Mb)

Complete specification and advertising brochure of 406MHz SARSAT BEACON Tester. Available in PDF format.

Note: Free access. Can be downloaded without registration.

406MHz BEACON Tester / Operation video manuals (version: 1.0; video; flv)

User guide video manuals for 406MHz SARSAT Tester are available online.

Note: Free access. Can be downloaded without registration.

406MHz BEACON Tester / Technical Description and User Manual (version: 3.07; 01.03.2015; 0.41 Mb)

Complete technical description and operation user manual for 406MHz SARSAT BEACON Tester is available in PDF format.

Note: Limited access. The registration is required for downloading the item.

406MHz BEACON Tester / Test report example (version: 3.0 BE; 24.01.2011; 98 kb)

Examples of test reports created by 406MHz BEACON Software. The test report is important logical completition of test process.

Note: Free access. Can be downloaded without registration.

406MHz BEACON Tester / Drivers (version: 1; ; )

Drivers to create virtual com port for direct connection

Note: Free access. Can be downloaded without registration.

406MHz BEACON Tester / Software v3.6 RC2 (version: 3.6 BE RC2; 15.08.2012; 478 kb)

Here you can download latest version of software for 406MHz SARSAT BEACON Tester. No installation is required. OS Windows.

Note: Limited access. The registration is required for downloading the item.

News

16.05.2016

Guidance on AIS devices agreed

The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft Safety of Navigation (SN.1) circular providing information to seafarers on the display of AIS-SART, AIS Man Overboard (MOB) and EPIRB-AIS devices, for submission to the MSC for approval.

03.04.2016

GMDSS modernization on agenda

The modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), e-navigation implementation and new and amended ships’ routeing proposals are among items on a busy agenda as the third session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) gets underway (29 February-4 March).