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McMurdo Fastfind 210 Battery Service  

Approved McMurdo & Kannad PLB Service Agents 

You can place your order at the bottom of this page. 
We do recommend that you read the important information included below. 
McMurdo Fastfind 210
If your PLB has passed its Battery Expiry Date (printed label on the back of the PLB), then there are 3 options open to you: 
Option 1: Send it to us for Battery Service, by far the most economical choice. With the replacement batteries installed, we extend the PLB's operational life, on average, a further 6 years. We also replace the antenna and exchange the top cover for the new improved-grip version. Please scroll down to see this in more detail 
Option 2: Buy a New One. If you shop around the discount-house chandlers online, you'll find yourself a good deal. It will still be around double the price of the Battery Service Option. If you go with this option, be sure to responsibly dispose of your old PLB, and also notify EPIRB Registry of any changes. You will need to register your new PLB 
Option 3: McMurdo/Kannad offer a Service Exchange unit, which means you hand-in your old PLB and then receive a 40% discount off the retail price of a new PLB. In real-terms, this comes in at just under the price of a new PLB from the discount-house chandlers in Option 2 above, and still double the price of the Battery Service in Option 1. This too will require you to contact EPIRB Registry with the details of your new PLB 

Is the Battery Service Option Safe? 

If you're worried that your PLB may be tired and therefore unreliable, here are some reassurances for you 
Externally, this range of PLB's consist of three main parts:  
The Base or Cup  
This houses the electronics and batteries. It's made of heavy-duty materials and will show no signs of structural damage whatsoever.  
The Antenna & Seal  
This forms the top of the Base/Cup to seal in the electronics and batteries. We replace your old one with a brand new assembly and seal, with the new screws tightened to 45 cNm for optimal watertight integrity, as recommended by the manufacturer 
The Top Cover 
Two versions of the Top Cover are pictured left. The original Top Cover (on the right) received some bad blog-press as being sometimes difficult to grab and pull with cold wet hands. We replace the Top Cover with the new and improved version (on the left). You'll see the cap no longer folds in the middle, but now lifts as one unit, which makes it much easier to grab and pull with cold wet hands. The Top Cap is secured to 75 cNm to ensure the lid comes away smoothly, but not to tight as to damage the "quick break" plastic retaining clip inside 

What about the Internal Electronics, and is my Unique ID Safe? 

Inside the watertight, airtight compartment, the main circuit board and batteries of the PLB are absolutely undisturbed, not to mention hardly used, short of a handful of self-tests and the odd GPS test. So inside, the PLB is as good as new! 
To make sure all is as it should be when you receive your PLB back, not only do we replace the batteries and ensure the new antenna & top cover are secured correctly, we also test the PLB before and after the service. Using our McMurdo/Kannad FPROG Programming Software, we can carry out the following checks: 
Check the Unit Serial Number is intact 
Reset the Run Time Counters. A self-test takes approximately 4 seconds each time, a GPS Self-test takes approximately 30 seconds* (*GPS enabled PLB's only). We reset the Run Time clock to zero again 
Check the 406MHz Power is OK 
Check the 121.5MHz Power is OK 
You get 10 Long GPS Self-tests in a 6-year battery cycle* (*GPS enabled PLB's only). We ensure this is reset back to 10 for the next 6-year cycle 
CRUCIALLY, we ensure Programmed Message and Unique HEX ID are still intact. These link the PLB to you, should you ever have to activate the beacon. The Coastguard & National Rescue Coordination Centres will be able to look up your records and quickly match the distress signal to you. This is a VITAL part of the service we carry out on each and every PLB we service 
We work very closely with the manufacturer, to ensure our servicing is carried out according to their strict guidelines. Your safety at Sea is of paramount importance to us, so we will not compromise our Service Agent Accreditation, nor place you at risk with a sub-standard PLB.  
If during the service, we discover the PLB is faulty in any way, we will notify you and give you the option to have your PLB returned, or we can coordinate the return to McMurdo/Kannad for them to carry out the required repair. If the PLB is out of warranty, the worst you will face is the Service Replacement (option 3 at the top of this page), a new PLB at 40% discount.  
Any faults will be identified during our pre-service inspection, before we even open up the PLB. In such case, the battery service will be immediately halted and you will not be charged.  

How Long will the Service take? 

We don't hang around, as we want to minimise any disruption to your sailing, flying or general adventure plans. We tend to perform the battery service on the day we receive the PLB, an overnight stay at worst. Our record so far is a customer in Sweden who sent his Fastfind 210 by courier on Monday; we received it on Tuesday, seviced it same-day and he received it back in Sweden on Wednesday  

My Batteries Expired in 2015, is it Too Late? 

Absolutely not. We are still able to service your PLB with new batteries, a new top cover, new antenna and full testing, giving it a new lease of life for another 6 years. Don't delay though, the manufacturer recommends you keep your batteries within their expiry date to guarantee the performance of your PLB, should you ever have to use it 

Is it Safe to Post my PLB? 

YES! The batteries are contained within the equipment, not loose. All you have to do is make sure the package is suitable to protect the PLB in transit. We will always recommend you return your PLB to us by means requiring a signature on delivery. Royal Mail Signed-For Service will offer the signature, but note it will only cover loss for up to approximately £50. Royal Mail Special Delivery offers ample compensation for the value of your PLB (up to £500), but the choice is yours. We will of course ensure the returning PLB is covered against loss or damage in transit 

What about the sailing Bloggers who say "Do it yourself, new batteries are only a few quid"? 

We say "PLEASE don't risk it". Not only do we guarantee waterproof integrity, but we also check the bits you can't without having the manufacturer's programming software to hand. We reset the counters; we guarantee your Unique HEX ID is intact; we guarantee the functionality of the 406MHz, 121.5MHz & GPS* (*GPS enabled PLB's only). Taking a unit apart and changing the a couple of batteries is pretty straightforward, granted. But, the checks before and after guarantee your PLB is functional and safe to use. A PLB serviced by us WILL work 

Okay, Let's do it! What Next? 

You can book your PLB Service now, and we can contact you when the PLB is with us, serviced and ready to return. We'll just need to take your credit/debit card details over the phone. Simply complete the BATTERY SERVICE ENQUIRY FORM 
If you're happy to pay up-front, you can order the battery service in our web shop and check out with credit/debit card or PayPal. Details for returning your PLB to us will then follow on after you've received your order acknowledgement. This is a manual process at our end, so don't worry if the return information doesn't arrive immediately 
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