jane_elliot (jane_elliot) wrote in little_details,

How to break (then fix) an emergency beacon

I'm writing a story in which an emergency beacon (or, if it would be easier, any other transmitter that at least has the ability to ping a receiver) is broken during a parachute landing and needs to be fixed with items that might be found in a typical day pack.  In case very specific details are easier to work with, I'm looking for:

1. A problem that can be the plausible result of impact (but an impact that wouldn't set off the beacon -- water immersion is possible if that helps), but can be fixed with every day items.

2. How to fix the problem.


1. Transmitter schematics.

I remember having better luck finding schematics a few years ago -- these days all I can seem to find are overly simplifed graphics that aren't helpful for this kind of project.  I've googled 'transmitters', 'transmitter schematics', 'emergency beacons', and 'how emergency beacons work' without success.

Also, since I'm posting: can anyone tell me about how line-of-sight affects GPS transmissions?  Is tree cover enough to impact it, or just stone?

Thanks in advance!

Tags: ~technology (misc)

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