The EPIRB identification data must be stored in an internal memory that will contain the message that will be sent in case of activation.
The message can be of two types:
- "112 bit "Short Message Format" - uses bits from position 1 to 112, range called PDF-1
- "Long Message Format" 144 bits - the bits from position 113 to 144 that are called PDF-2. It is used for EPIRB with GPS, because the position information also travels within the message and the "Short Message" would not be able to contain this information.
Protocols for models without GPS
For an EPIRB without GPS (both automatic and manual), the "Maritime User Protocol" is used in Italy. In some countries it is possible to program the EPIRB using the International Name and also in this case the "Maritime User Protocol" must be used.
Protocols for GPS models
For EPIRBs with GPS, the "Standard Location Protocol" should be used, which allows the position information to be reported to an accuracy of 4 seconds (approximately 120 meters). In the Standard Location Protocol, information about the grades is given in PDF-1 and the remainder in PDF-2.
In some countries, in some cases you need more space for identification data and in this case you have to use the "User Location Protocol" which reduces the position information to an accuracy of only 4 minutes (approximately 6 miles), because for the position information the message can only use the PDF-2.
Using the Serial User Protocol
In some countries such as Great Britain, if the boat is not equipped with MMSI (even Great Britain like Italy does not accept the International Name), is tolerated the programming of the EPIRB through its serial number using precisely the "Serial User Protocol". However, in the case of EPIRB with GPS you must use an international serial number assigned to the manufacturer because the message is normally not able to contain all the bits of the serial number of the unit.
Among the "Related Items" we release a direct link to the COSPAS-SARSAT to the page to decode the UIN code, useful to verify any information entered.