Advanced users

Beacon testing policy

In the unlikely and unusual event that an operational test of a beacon is required, refer to the beacon testing policy. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) does not grant approval for beacon operational tests unless the procedures have been adhered to.

Operational tests are not the same as general testing using your beacon's self-test switch.

Beacon testing policy

Decoding a programmed HexID

406 MHz Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) can be coded to reflect the beacon type and the vessel of aircraft identification. The coding carried out by the manufacturer results in a unique identifier for your beacon called the HexID. When the HexID is decoded it reveals the country code (503 is Australia). Depending on the protocol used, it may also be a vessel or aircraft radio callsign, Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) or registration, or a serial number.

If a beacon is coded with an MMSI, radio callsign or aircraft registration, it is tied to that vessel or aircraft. If it is transferred to another vehicle it would have to be recoded. Beacons coded using either the manufacturers' serial numbers or national serial numbers (available from AMSA) can be transferred more easily and do not require recoding when transferred between aircraft.

Please visit the Cospas-Sartsat website to decode your programmed HexID.