Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 27 total)
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  • #578724
    peacefrog
    376 Posts

    Looking to upgrade my ortovox X1 What recommendations do you have?

    #668555
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    If the BCA Tracker 3 ends up being as good as it is supposed to be, it will be very, very nice. But until production versions are available no one knows for sure. I have been waiting for this one for two years now… At least their webstite is now suggesting they will be available this year.

    #668556
    Matt Wood
    328 Posts

    +1 ^ I was just told today that I would have one by turkey day. Fingers crossed, Wife needs a new hand me down.

    #668557
    MHolmes
    190 Posts

    I can recommend the Mammut Element. It has really helped me step up my game in beacon practise and multiple burials. Fast, accurate, and good range. And it’s small and the harness is awesome.

    #668558
    shredgnar
    643 Posts

    Another vote for Tracker 2 or 3 if you can wait. The 2 is a very good beacon, and very user friendly. The 3 however, will be even better. It has a few options that will make it even more user friendly, more compact, and more accurate than the current model.

    But all beacons are only as good as the person using them.

    #668559
    PedroDelfuego
    758 Posts

    I have the Mammut Barryvox Pulse. Works great and had better range than any of the beacons we tested in Silverton during the companion rescue clinic.

    #668560
    ieism
    298 Posts

    I cannot really recommend the Tracker 3 yet, nobody knows how well it performs. The Tracker 2 is one of the fastest beacons out there, but you can’t “mark” a found beacon and continue with the next one as most other new beacons. BCA says this method is not reliable so they won’t offer that function as multiple burials are rare in their opinion.
    The new Tracker however does have this function, so maybe they revised that view somewhat. As it stands, for a single victim the Tracker 2 is still a very fast beacon.

    We just had a national practice session with all kinds of beacons (120 people showed up) and did in fact test how fast a beacon picks up a signal from a single buried beacon. The Mammut Element is very quick to pick up a signal, about 10 metres quicker than the Pieps DSP/tour. But the winner here was the Arva Neo. By a long ways. That thing picked up a signal before we even started the drill. 🙂

    I did not test the Arva Neo in a difficult multiple burial yet, so can’t comment on that.

    The Pieps Tour has some problems with marking and finding multiple burial, same with the Arva Link and Arva Axis (did not test the new W-link). It worked most of the time, but close together was a problem and you could lose the mark, or not get a reliable second signal.

    Mammut Element was the only beacon that performed well in all situation on that day. It’s also one of the easiest beacons to use, so that would be my recommendation for now.

    I will likely upgrade to a Arva Neo myself, as I really liked the design and long range of that thing.

    http://flatlandsplitfest.com/

    #668561
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    eism: Any experience with the Ortovox beacons? One of my partners has the middle version (one below the S1) and I have tried it. Simple and easy to use, marking function worked well, range seemed about average. The claimed transmit feature is interesting, which chooses the best oriented antenna of the three, but I have never heard of any tests of this feature.
    One reason I really like Tracker beacons is the LED display, all the other beacons with LCD displays seem much harder to see in bright sunlight, I know that the LEDs mean a little shorter battery life in search mode, but I am faster in a search looking at an LED display, that combined with the fast processing of the Tracker allows for “running”, as well as one can in snow, during the first part of the search.
    Of course, shredgnar is right: practice, practice, practice. And do it with a stopwatch. We should all practice enough so that when we really need to save a partner, our beacon skills are second nature.

    #668562
    Powder_Rider
    498 Posts

    I have the Mammut Barryvox Pulse. Works great and had better range than any of the beacons we tested in Silverton during the companion rescue clinic.

    I would cast a vote for Mammut too. My wife and I have this beacon. I like the Mammut, because it was upgradable.

    Also the BCA Tracker…

    What beacons do others people use in your crew? By crew, I mean people whom you travel with in the backcountry with. Consider getting the same beacon to which your group is using. This makes it easier to discuss how to use a beacon amongst your crew.

    This is not very a key point compared to other beacon concerns or features. Just helps in making a final beacon selection.

    Also look through http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/ for beacon reviews.

    #668553
    ieism
    298 Posts

    @barrows wrote:

    eism: Any experience with the Ortovox beacons? One of my partners has the middle version (one below the S1) and I have tried it. Simple and easy to use, marking function worked well, range seemed about average. The claimed transmit feature is interesting, which chooses the best oriented antenna of the three, but I have never heard of any tests of this feature.

    Very limited, but I can tell you there are some issues with the newer Ortovox beacons. The s1 is a good beacon, no problems with that one though it takes some getting used too.
    The Ortovox Zoom kinda sucks, i’ve heard enough problems with it that I just don’t trust it anymore. And they can’t upgrade it so it’s not fixable. Zoom pretty much the same beacon as a Tracker 2, exept the Tracker doesn’t have problems. So there is no reason to buy the Zoom.

    Same with the 3+. Sometimes it has very long range, and other times it fails to pick up a signal unless very close. No reason for it, it just fails. I had another person come up to me with a 3+ sunday with the exact same problem, so I saw this myself. Of course it may be fine most of the time, but if i’m standing pretty much next to a buried beacon (my Arva was showing 13) and it shows me nothing i’m pretty much done with that beacon forever.

    Again the S1 is fine.

    http://flatlandsplitfest.com/

    #668554
    Jason4
    443 Posts

    I have had two Ortovox 3+ transcievers now. The first was returned to the retailer as it started showing signs of poor signal reception. The second one has been fine for a year now and I have done lots of practice with it. I suspect that the 3+ is fairly senstive to interference from other EM sources (cell phones, FRS radios, possibly digital cameras, etc). I don’t have enough experience with other transcievers to know how delicate they are to interference.

    I have heard very good things about the S1+ but haven’t had a chance to try it for myself. I did get a chance to check one out in the field in a multiple burial practice scenario but I was just looking over the users shoulder.

    #668563
    peacefrog
    376 Posts

    The 2 guys I ride with the most have the Pieps DSP. It’s actually a pretty common beacon around here. I don’t know why but I just don’t “feel” like that’s the right beacon for me. Maybe it’s the sliding track the switches modes?

    Thanks for the 3+ info. I was looking pretty seriously at that but that kind of failure just can’t be tolerated. I’m leaning toward the mammut pulse or waiting to see what happens with the tracker 3. I’ve not heard of the Arva before so I suppose I should give the neo a look.

    #668564
    ieism
    298 Posts

    The DSP is/was a solid beacon. They are still for sale, but are being replaced by the DSP Pro and DSP Sport next month. I think they will be very similar to the current DSP’s, if you can wait give them a try first.

    It’s tricky with so many new beacons coming out, stick to what feels good to you and practice often. Just wanted to let you know there are some problems with some beacons.

    http://flatlandsplitfest.com/

    #668565
    fustercluck
    668 Posts

    Why “upgrade”? Is there something not working well with your beacon? It doesn’t matter that much what beacon you have, it’s how much you practice with what you’ve got. Yeah, for someone with no experience, some beacons may be easier to search with. But if you are regularly in the backcountry, you should be very comfortable using your beacon, whichever it is. Some may have better range than others, but they don’t go bad. And from what I’ve seen (as of a few years ago) the “easier to use” beacons such as Trackers had less range. Maybe consider sending it back to the manufacturer for a recalibration (should be done every few years), practice your searches, and save some coin.

    #668566
    Method
    151 Posts

    @fustercluck wrote:

    Why “upgrade”? Is there something not working well with your beacon? It doesn’t matter that much what beacon you have, it’s how much you practice with what you’ve got.

    In general, I’d agree. However, some beacons don’t handle multiple burials very well. I have the backcountry access tracker and it doesn’t handle multiple burials as well as something like the Mammut Element Barryvox. I did a multiple burial practice scenario with both beacons and I’m confident of finding everyone using mine (the tracker), but I found it quicker in that multiple burial scenario with the Mammut. Basically, the problem with the BCA tracker is that it doesn’t consistently remove a found “beacon” from a search using the multiple burial button.

    :twocents:

    #668567
    ieism
    298 Posts

    We’re talking about upgrading an Ortovox X1 here. Have you ever used one? It’s true that with lots of practice it’s perfectly fine, but it’s still not an easy beacon to use. It doesn’t have direction arrow untill you are very close from what I recall. I think upgrading to a modern 3antenna beacon is really smart here, especially if you friends are using DSP you may feel like you’re getting old. 😀

    http://flatlandsplitfest.com/

    #668568
    Method
    151 Posts

    @ieism wrote:

    We’re talking about upgrading an Ortovox X1 here. Have you ever used one? It’s true that with lots of practice it’s perfectly fine, but it’s still not an easy beacon to use.

    My opinion on beacons is that you need to be ultra-comfortable with what you’re using and able to use it as if it were your mobile phone (sorry we don’t call them “cellphones” downunder!) even if there’s not really any rational reason why you prefer one over another (not that I’m suggesting that’s the case with you!). I’m sure I’m overstating the case when I say that when the shit hits the fan and you need to use your beacon “in anger”, it’s a life-or-death situation and stress has a funny effect. Tasks that are normally easy are suddenly harder than you remember. Things that you can do quickly in the quiet of your “man cave” (my girlfriends words) at home are suddenly a whole lot more difficult on a windy, cold mountainside with your gloves on where your best mate is practically drowning under a pile of debris and rubble and you need to get this not-often-used basically user unfriendly piece of gadgetry that takes you in a non-intuitive curved path to tell you where to probe and then dig and do all this in the minimum time under maximum stress.

    Bottom line and more of my :twocents: : Get whatever YOU feel confident with and comfortable enough with it so that you can get yourself in a position where you hear that shrill-like close together beeps and you’re seeing .7 (or whatever) flashing rapidly in the MINIMUM time possible.

    I think what fustercluck is saying is that every beacon on the market is capable of finding someone buried under the snow, it’s up to you to get the requisite knowledge and experience to use that tool to get to that probe point in the minimum time.

    Sorry for dribbling on about this!

    #668569
    peacefrog
    376 Posts

    @fustercluck wrote:

    Why “upgrade”? Is there something not working well with your beacon? It doesn’t matter that much what beacon you have, it’s how much you practice with what you’ve got. Yeah, for someone with no experience, some beacons may be easier to search with. But if you are regularly in the backcountry, you should be very comfortable using your beacon, whichever it is. Some may have better range than others, but they don’t go bad. And from what I’ve seen (as of a few years ago) the “easier to use” beacons such as Trackers had less range. Maybe consider sending it back to the manufacturer for a recalibration (should be done every few years), practice your searches, and save some coin.

    first and foremost we discovered that the X1 is not compatible with the DSP. before my buddies upgraded it wasn’t a problem. Now that they have multiple burial beacons when we did beacon checks at the top of the run their DSP’s would not consistently and accurately tell them how many beacons were out there.
    ex. 4 guys including me. One guy turns on his DSP and it says there’s 2 beacons (not good, someones missing). That guy turns off his DSP and another guys turns his on and it says there’s 4 beacons (not good, there’s an extra beacon). When I turned off my beacon the DSPs all reported the correct number of beacons.
    This didn’t happen all the time but enough that it wasn’t a fluke.

    Also even though multiple burials are rare if you follow good protocol it can still happen and it seems irresponsible to not have a beacon that can do that. Also going to a 3 antenna beacon seems like a no brainier.

    #668552
    FloImSchnee
    291 Posts

    Pieps DSP Pro or Tour,
    or Mammut Pulse or Element.

    All four of them are best in class in terms of range (even with bad coupling, which is where most Ortovox beacons (except S1) are terrible), easy and reliable to use.

    Haven’t tested Arva models and newer BCA models than the normal Tracker though.

    #668570
    fustercluck
    668 Posts

    @peacefrog wrote:

    first and foremost we discovered that the X1 is not compatible with the DSP. before my buddies upgraded it wasn’t a problem. Now that they have multiple burial beacons when we did beacon checks at the top of the run their DSP’s would not consistently and accurately tell them how many beacons were out there.
    ex. 4 guys including me. One guy turns on his DSP and it says there’s 2 beacons (not good, someones missing). That guy turns off his DSP and another guys turns his on and it says there’s 4 beacons (not good, there’s an extra beacon). When I turned off my beacon the DSPs all reported the correct number of beacons.
    This didn’t happen all the time but enough that it wasn’t a fluke.

    Also even though multiple burials are rare if you follow good protocol it can still happen and it seems irresponsible to not have a beacon that can do that. Also going to a 3 antenna beacon seems like a no brainier.

    Sounds like the problem is THEIR beacons, not yours. Seriously. Anyone transmitting on 457 should be able to send and receive a signal. But if that’s the crew you normally ride with, that might be the easy solution to an odd problem.

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