So I just bought an ACR/Artex 406ResQlink+ at Cabela's. Now, having been an avionics tech, I'm pretty familiar with PBs ELTs etc. But something I never gave any thought to was manual operation. (Most aviation ELTs are designed to activate on impact and remain on.)
So in this context, I wonder about battery life. The unit is designed to be activated manually and then transmit for 30 consecutive hours. Does anyone have any thoughts on cycling the unit on and off during an emergency to save battery power? If I were to be in need of rescue and activated the PLB for one hour, and then turned it off for one hour, and then back on, etc etc, it would double the battery life. But how would that be interpreted by the Coast Guard or the RCC at Elmendorf? Would they see the discontinuation of the distress signal as a "false alarm" and abort the rescue? Or would they continue to proceed to the last known position sent by the PLB?
Conversely, how long is the normal response time and is this question of saving battery life and transmit time even necessary?
The other question is what is the threshold for "grave and imminent danger"? If I break a leg, but can get back to my boat and get back up river (talk about a painful ride), then should I still attempt a "self rescue?" Same scenario (or any scenario) and I have an alternate means of communication. (For me, that's HF Amateur Radio) Am I required to try to get help via the radio first, or do I just trigger the PLB?