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 Post subject: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:48 pm 
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Location: Bay->Tahoe
I stumbled across BCA's new radio that they are releasing this Winter. From the specs it looks a lot more practical than the typical FRS radios that I bring but just leave in my pocket or pack. I like the idea of the base unit being in your pack and just using a mic. It's supposed to work with FRS radios's but offers longer range, and battery life. Retail should be around $175.

Has anyone put their hands on these?

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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Great idea. It'd hard for me to believe this is the first time a company has come up with this idea. Many ski patrollers have a radio in their pack connected to a mic/speaker on the pack strap.
I wonder if it interferes with avy beacons like cell phones, gps, and digital cameras.


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:43 pm 
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Not sure what part of a radio interferes with a beacon exactly, but having most of the thing in your backpack should actually help creating less interference right? If you wear your beacon on your chest at least.

I think cellphones are a lot worse for creating interference. If I turn my beacon on at home in the city, I will always get a signal and i'm pretty sure nobody's around with a beacon on send here. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:52 am 
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So what part of your pack is warm exactly?! unless you are carrying heating pads of course...Also carrying radios in a pack only obscures the signal unless you have a conductive metal pack that is being used as the antenna. $175 is a bit steep for a radio that doesn't even mention specs. So many things that don't make much sense here. They should've just made the mic so it can be used with any radio system because that's the only real improvement here. :twocents:

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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:58 pm 
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If it were $175 for a pair, I'd be interested. Or, as was mentioned, a mic for existing radios....

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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:35 am 
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Location: Bay->Tahoe
I wonder if there is signal interference with digital Beacons and FRS radios.

I would really like to know what the improvements were in signal strength, battery life and how durable it is. I don't think the base unit in the pack should effect the signal much more than say having the radio in a pocket. While the inside of our packs are not warm they do offer an added level of insulation that should increase the life of the battery.

I found this video that talks more about the controls and layout.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-2gtrmsu9gE#


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Location: san diego CA
I gotta get my beacon out and use my cell next to it, the garage door opener, and my cordless house phone. These signals are not supposed to pick up interference from one another. Electronic devices are tested for interference leaks before they get UL or Canadian labs certified.
I have some BIG,Expensive RC helicopters. The frequency is 1.4 gigahertz. I have never had an issue with signal interference with those and Here in San Diego we have 3 air bases and a whole lot of military signals bouncing around like Sonar,radar ect not to mention aircraft signals

so, Im gonna do some tests

If you know any proven interference let me know


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Cbalke - OMG there's a Tacker3 behind the dude in the vid! . . . and a suggested video. :drool:

TEX - The beacons operate ever so slightly outside the AM frequency range. You can hear them on a normal radio. 1.5 GHz is way to high to affect interference. Sonar, radar, microwave, whatever signals' source are too far away to confuse your beacon.
The interference comes when a bolus of energy is required by an electronic device which sends out a pulse across the EM spectrum: a vibration alert on a phone, an incoming cell signal, GPS pings, the spinning of a hard drive from a camera. The effect of these pulses decreases significantly with distance.
While you probably won't see much action from the controller, place your beacon under the helicopter (with the electric motor) and you'll see some interference, especially when the blades start moving. :headbang:

The bottom line vis a vis interference in the field is distance. Keep the beacon 40 cm (< arms reach) away from anything electronic while in search mode and you should be able to mitigate almost all interference. The trick with this cleverly placing everything electronic on one half of your body and the beacon on the other.


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:57 am 
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Yeah, I realize that Hans but what Im saying is lots of people have said that my "ipod,iphone,smart phone ,medic alert ect cause their beacon to go wacky. Im wondering if there is a site with beacon performance and interference and if not we should try to get some good numbers and what does and doesnt effect the beacons. We should also test different brands to see if one is better or worse. And, do a test with search mode and transmit


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:04 am 
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Location: Altadena SoCal
Like this?
THE EFFECT OF EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE ON AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER FUNCTIONALITY by John Barkhausen of Prescott College and Alaska Pacific University

I haven't found much else.


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:39 am 
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" Havent found much else?" Hans-this study is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Now I just have to read the PDF to get an understanding of the test

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Here's a blog post on BCA's site that summarizes the findings in that paper:
http://www.backcountryaccess.com/2012/1 ... erference/

One of the comments also mentions finding interference with the new wi-fi enabled GoPro's, interesting.

The two main points are:

- Other devices don't seem to affect *transmit* capability of transceivers, which is obviously great news ("oh wait, Mr. Avalanche, I have to turn off my cell phone before you bury me...")

- Almost all negative effects can be mitigated by distance as Hans mentions. When searching, just hold the transceiver at arm's length.

Back on topic, I do like the concept of having an easily accessible and small remote talk interface like this. There are other remote mics for regular radios, but none designed with the specifics of BC travel in mind. Having the the talk interface immediately accessible w/o accessing your pack/pockets etc is hugely useful.


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 Post subject: Re: BCA BC Link Radio
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Location: Fairhaven
Nothing new here really, I had a remote mic for my second Motorola Talkabout radio back in 2002. The silly part was that the mic was almost as big as the radio.

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