Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 37 total)
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  • #569003
    Snowolf
    86 Posts

    Okay guys and gals, I am in the need to get a new beacon and have kind of settled on the Ortivox brand. I found one that I really like, but I want some feedback from some serious back country riders who know their equipment. Is this a good price for this beacon and is this beacon a good one?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ortovox S1 Avalanche Beacon

    $594.95

    Description of Ortovox S1 Avalanche Beacon:The Ortovox S1 Avalanche Beacon uses a sensor-driven triple-antenna design to allow extremely fast multiple-burial searches. Instead of numbers and arrows, the S1 Avalanche Beacon shows a digital grid with icons marking where each victim is located. Just turn until the vertical crosshair is on the signal, and walk forward until this Ortovox beacon says you’re there. No grid search, no dealing with flux lines. The S1 leads you directly to your friends and even tells you the depth of the burial. Once a signal is found, just mark it with the push of a button and continue to the next until everyone is located. The S1 Avalanche Beacon also includes an inclinometer, thermometer, and compass, making it the all-in-one backcountry package.

    #597645
    brg
    141 Posts

    Its a new beacon on the market Rando Steve of Teton AT did a review here is the link http://www.tetonat.com/?p=149.

    #597646
    powder_tracker
    83 Posts

    Its a good beacon, there is not another one like it. That said, I’m a little hesitant because of how long it took to get to the market. Ortovox has been talking about the s1 for a while now.

    The price is last years price. According to the current price list, the new retail is $499.99. It will be tough to find one at that price until a little later in the season once the retailers start getting in the new product (October – November)

    I will get to play with one on Thursday, I can let you know what I think about it after that.

    As far as the all in one package, I don’t want my batteries to do anything but send and receive signals. Plus, your beacon should be under most of your clothing, so the thermometer and compass seem pretty much useless to me.

    #597647
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    The multi-burial feature on the Orto S1 is awesome, but I can’t stress the added benifits of the Mammut Pulse! It can detect up to 8 buried people at once and pretty much achieve the same recovery performance of the S1 without the visual map feature. Instead of a mapping system, Mammut gives you a more functional “compass-like” system to detect victims.

    Where Mammut’s technology really shines is when an entire group is equiped with the Pulse. This allows all of them to have the added benifit of the Pulse’s “triage” feature if the event of a multi-burial occurs. This unique “triage” feature detects a buried victim’s vitals and adds another piece of data (above and beyond what the S1 can do) to allow you to make a better decision on which victim has the best chances of being recovered ALIVE, in other words… which victim to dig for FIRST!

    To have a beacon that has this added benifit of helping you decide who to dig out first and thus insuring the best possibility of survival is priceless. Simply put, the Pulse, IMO, makes the current crop of beacons “dated” technology.

    I’m curious… with all the fancy stuff on the S1; what happens if there’s a system failure? I’m comforted knowing that the Pulse, with all its great technology, will revert to a basic analog beacon if the system crashes.

    I suggest that you use the Search feature for other S1 and Mammut/Pulse posts here on the forum… there’s a lot of other good arguements for the Pulse posted (mostly by me). 😀

    #597648
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    I’m interested in the pulse for this season, but not because of the triage feature. I met up with ctowles in Jackson last season and he was showing me how that beacon can tell different beacons apart based on small variations on their transmission frequencies. So you can identify different members of your party by their beacon signals. (Yoda – tell me if that’s not accurate.)

    It was a very timely demonstration because the day before we had been in a slide with 3 partial burials. All three partial burials were accounted for, but only one of us was able to get his beacon to recieve mode quickly. Anther party member was unaccounted for higher up the hill and we weren’t sure if he was under the snow or not. Also, there were other stray signals around as people came closer to the slide. So it took us about 10 confusing & horrible minutes to figure out that no one else was buried. It would have really sucked to waste that time while someone was clinging to their life under the snow. The ability to identify different signals and ‘mark’ them when they are accounted for would have been really helpful, I think, if the feature works well.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #597649
    Killclimbz
    1165 Posts

    I demo’d it and wasn’t a big fan. We had three different beacons to play with including the S1. A DSP, D3, and and Arva Evolution. It didn’t play so nice with the DSP. We had to be almost on top of it to get a reading. After playing with it for awhile, it seemed that the beacons had to be a little ways away from each other before turning them on. Turning the beacons on close to one another seemed to cause this problem. I have no idea why. The range wasn’t so hot either. Searching was sweet though once you got a signal.
    The real problem was the flip phone case for me. It was difficult to open without gloves on. With some practice it got easier, but that is the last thing I want to fuck with in a rescue situation. Geeze, that would be tough enough. I like super easy gear to work with. Simplicity is genius in my book.

    #597650
    powder_tracker
    83 Posts

    It didn’t play so nice with the DSP.

    When did you demo it? Was it last years version or this years version?

    it seemed that the beacons had to be a little ways away from each other before turning them on

    Was that true for all the beacon or just the DSP?

    #597651
    jimw
    1420 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    It can detect up to 8 buried people at once

    I’m curious… with all the fancy stuff on the S1; what happens if there’s a system failure? I’m comforted knowing that the Pulse, with all its great technology, will revert to a basic analog beacon if the system crashes.

    I’m curious… about these facts. 🙂 Where are they stated? I recently bought a Pulse on sale, and it seems like a nice beacon (though I haven’t had a chance to really test it out yet). I read through the manual and didn’t see either of these facts mentioned. Is there additional info somewhere?

    #597652
    Killclimbz
    1165 Posts

    @powder_tracker wrote:

    It didn’t play so nice with the DSP.

    When did you demo it? Was it last years version or this years version?

    it seemed that the beacons had to be a little ways away from each other before turning them on

    Was that true for all the beacon or just the DSP?

    It was the version that came out last year. I haven’t been by the Patroller Supply offices to see if they have received any of this seasons models.

    I just noticed it with the DSP. We did not have any problems with the other two models.

    #597653
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    Yo JimW,

    I used a Pulse for most of last winter. In practicing I think I had up to five beacons buried and it recognized them all and pretty easily lets you choose which one to search for first. Not sure if eight is the limit or not (I sure hope I’m never looking for eight buried folks).

    In terms of the analog function, I believe Yoda is correct, but I never used it in pure analog. I know one reason the older Barryvox beacon was popular with guide types was that you could customize the settings so that it used the pure analog function when you got close to the buried tranceiver. I believe this continues to be the case with the Pulse, but again I never tested it this way.

    For the hardcore snow nerd, BCA has excellent reports on their website. I personally find the Obsolescence and Analog Avalanche Transceivers report terrifying.

    http://www.bcaccess.com/tech_library/tech_reports.php

    #597654
    bcboarderwa
    38 Posts

    @dishwasher-dave wrote:

    For the hardcore snow nerd, BCA has excellent reports on their website. I personally find the Obsolescence and Analog Avalanche Transceivers report terrifying.

    http://www.bcaccess.com/tech_library/tech_reports.php

    That was a bit concerning. I’m guessing that the beacons were tested outside of clothing at ambient air temps. If you beacon is staying inside your coat, it will keep pretty warm.

    #597655
    jimw
    1420 Posts

    Hmm, that report is pretty interesting (and scary). It sure seems to point to the Tracker DTS as the best performing beacon when you’re searching for analog beacons that have significant frequency shift. Yoda, any comments on that with regard to the Pulse? Has the receive bandwidth been widened compared to the Barryvox unit used in the tests in that report? I think it’s quite likely that typical search scenarios are going to include older analog beacons, and not all Pulse beacons, nice as that would be.

    #597656
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    What I take away from that report is 1. to check that all the beacons in my group talk to each other (duh) and 2. to ditch those older beacons.

    The ability to measure drift is a cool DPS feature.

    #597657
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    That BCA site is a great find, Dave! I think the jewel in there is the whitepaper on strategic shoveling.

    http://www.bcaccess.com/documents/EdgerlyAtkinsISSW06.pdf

    Coulior (RIP) had an article based on this paper last season and I’m not sure if it got enough attention. Shoveling is likely the most time-consuming part of a rescue. Everything I’ve read and learned spent a ton of time on beacon searching, but offered no substantial advice on the fastest way to dig a hole big enough to get someone out from under the snow.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #597658
    Killclimbz
    1165 Posts

    I talked with the owner of PS. Seems that Ortovox has made changes to the new S1 that should address the problems I had with it last year. It’s supposed to have a much better range too. Coming out in October. I’ll demo it and post up what I think.

    #597659
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    @sanfrantastico wrote:

    I’m interested in the pulse for this season, but not because of the triage feature. I met up with ctowles in Jackson last season and he was showing me how that beacon can tell different beacons apart based on small variations on their transmission frequencies. So you can identify different members of your party by their beacon signals. (Yoda – tell me if that’s not accurate.)

    SanFrantastico – That’s news to me. The only feature I know that’s related to it’s ability to decipher signals is it will default on the CLOSEST victim, but it will allow you to scroll through all the signals allowing you to decipher who to dig for first… it will not favor a particular signal (even another Pulse). More modern beacons have pulse rates on their signal that are faster than older analog beacons, so they will be picked up quicker, but once the signal is aquired, the Pulse locks that signal in and equalizes it will all the other incoming signals. Now it’s up to you to use that data to make the next decision and figure who’s the closet to the surface (and/or showing “vitals”) and thus has the best chances of survival. What’s nice is you can easily and quickly scroll through the various signals and simply follow the compass-like arrow to the victim of your choice.

    @jimw wrote:

    I’m curious… about these facts. Where are they stated? I recently bought a Pulse on sale, and it seems like a nice beacon (though I haven’t had a chance to really test it out yet). I read through the manual and didn’t see either of these facts mentioned. Is there additional info somewhere?

    Jimw – I’m fortunate to have inside info stemming from past employment with Mammut and a trip to Switzerland where I had the oportunity to actuallly be schooled on all of the Pulse’s intracacies. My teachers were the actual engineers from Ascom… the Swiss company who helped develope the hardware, the software and all the technologies found in the Pulse. These guys covered, in major depth, all the details of the Pulse’s numerous features and how they each worked. This was nearly a 3 hour lecture and demo, but it was amazing to learn that such technology had been developed for avalanche safety. I asked a lot of questions and took many notes. I also received some printed data along with a Pulse workbook. Unfortunately your right about this detailed info not being published, so I could be your one of your better resources for Pulse details, so feel to question me any time.

    #597660
    powder_tracker
    83 Posts

    Seems that Ortovox has made changes to the new S1 that should address the problems I had with it last year

    In addition to some software changes, there are some physical changes as well. On the new version, the on/off switch will be located on the outside of the beacon, in addition, they are adding a lip to to make it easier to open.

    #597661
    jimw
    1420 Posts

    @yoda wrote:

    @jimw wrote:

    I’m curious… about these facts. Where are they stated? I recently bought a Pulse on sale, and it seems like a nice beacon (though I haven’t had a chance to really test it out yet). I read through the manual and didn’t see either of these facts mentioned. Is there additional info somewhere?

    Jimw – I’m fortunate to have inside info stemming from past employment with Mammut and a trip to Switzerland where I had the oportunity to actuallly be schooled on all of the Pulse’s intracacies. My teachers were the actual engineers from Ascom… the Swiss company who helped develope the hardware, the software and all the technologies found in the Pulse. These guys covered, in major depth, all the details of the Pulse’s numerous features and how they each worked. This was nearly a 3 hour lecture and demo, but it was amazing to learn that such technology had been developed for avalanche safety. I asked a lot of questions and took many notes. I also received some printed data along with a Pulse workbook. Unfortunately your right about this detailed info not being published, so I could be your one of your better resources for Pulse details, so feel to question me any time.

    Thanks for the info. I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of questions for you once I get started using it…

    #597662
    Camgina
    91 Posts

    there are compatability issues between Mammut and ortovox that i have heard of – mainly between the barryvox and f1. But i have also experienced issues with the Pulse and DSP as noted above.
    I think the triage features on new beacons are targeted mainly at the mechanized ski industry. I cant think of the last time i went touring with 8 people, let alone had 8 people exposed at one time

    #597663
    Yoda
    264 Posts

    @camgina wrote:

    there are compatability issues between Mammut and ortovox that i have heard of – mainly between the barryvox and f1. But i have also experienced issues with the Pulse and DSP as noted above.
    I think the triage features on new beacons are targeted mainly at the mechanized ski industry. I cant think of the last time i went touring with 8 people, let alone had 8 people exposed at one time

    I think you have missunderstood some of the features of the Pulse. Currently the triage freature is a limited benifit due to the amount of (or lack there of) Pulse beacons and thus users/carriers in the market place.

    The major benifit of having the triage feature does not have any baring on the “mechanized ski industry”… please elaborate on this theory. The triage feature is the beacons ability to detect minute motion and thus vitals… if your breathing or your heart is beating, you’re moving.

    Let me paint a picture for ya – you have 3 buried victims all equiped with the Pulse. You’re using a Pulse beacon and have located all the victims signals. The beacon is now giving you an average distance and direction of all the buried victims from your current position. You now move in and pinpoint all 3 victims and find that some are buried deeper than others. In this case you generally start digging for the one that’s buried the shallowest and thus has the best chances of survival.

    Now think about not only having the ability to locate all 3 victims quickly and the knowlege of their average burial depths, but to add one more element of data that tells you that out of the 3 buried victims, only one (or two) is indicating vitals.

    Now if 2 of the those 3 victims are of average buried depth and only one is showing vitals, you now have your question answered on who to dig for FIRST! This is the breakthrough innovation… a beacon that can help you make BETTER life-saving decisions during a recovery.

    Viatals = WAY,WAY BETTER CHANCES OF LIVE RECOVERY!!! The only exception to this (which is the golden rule and why not to solely rely on the triage feature if using the Pulse) is to still focus on the victim buried the shallowest. If you have one victim showing vitals, but is buried 3m and another victim not showing vitals, but buried only 1m, you ABSOLUTELY need to start diging for the victim buried 1m… vitals or not!!!

    The reason for the Pulse’s abilty to max out at 8 victims is two fold. The first reason is the processors maximum abilty to decipher signals at once… which just happens to be 8, more than you hope you’ll ever need. The second reason is it’s better to have the ability to process too many signals than not enough. Statistically a single searcher can not recover more than 1-3 victims in the time to possibly save them all from asphixiation. But knowing that your beacon can locate that many signals, and thus insuring that no one is overlooked, gives me piece of mind.

    Check out this link and look for the Pulse details – http://www.mountainlife.us

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