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 Post subject: Beacons
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:59 am 
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Looking to upgrade my ortovox X1 What recommendations do you have?

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Location: Colorado
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Location: Routt County Co.
+1 ^ I was just told today that I would have one by turkey day. Fingers crossed, Wife needs a new hand me down.


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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:54 pm 
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Location: Squamish, BC
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:21 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:37 am 
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Location: Colorado
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:34 am 
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Location: Amsterdam
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:41 am 
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Location: Colorado
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:06 am 
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Location: New Castle, Colorado
Quote:
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:19 am 
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Location: Amsterdam
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:38 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Fairhaven
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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:21 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: Beacons
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Location: Amsterdam
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.

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