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New Barryvox Pulse

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just spoke to my local retailer and asked about getting a group buy on some Barryvox's. He said that he is getting the new pulse version in soon.
What is this new feature/upgrade? Do i want it? Im probably going to get a barryvox for my ventures out west. Is it worth spending what ever the new price is going to be for the pulse feature?
Fill me in please

Mad
post #2 of 18
If I was buried, I wouldn't object if my partner had one of these, but I won't run out to replace my current Barryvox. The pulse has 3 antennas to improve final fine search pattern and multiple burial. Many of the features are similar to the existing unit. It costs $100 more, and wont help anyone find you faster. My current vote: buy the older model, practice a lot, and spend the difference on an Avalung 2.

Good review from Pistehors HERE
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
how do you like your current barryvox as far as durabulity, usability, speed, accuracy? Im probly going to get the older version from climb high here in burlington on a group discount. I dont think i need the new one.
Is the avalung worth it? I probly wont get one, but im curious how many people ski with them. How about the new inflatable packs to raise you to the surface of a slide. I think its a good idea, but overkill for one like me who only goes into avalanche terrain a couple times a a year, and only then the advisories are in my favor, nothing over moderate
post #4 of 18
The Barryvox in particular has a lot of options in the way you use it. Mine is set to operate in analog mode for distant signal pickup and to switch to digital mode as the signal strengh increases. The default is full digital. It helps to work with the unit, and multiple burials are the most difficult. I have access to the beacon basin at Kirkwood, and have used that; as well as just hidden beacons with a friend or two and conducted practice searches.

In its default setting, the Barryvox controls consist of an on-off switch and a single mode switch that toggles between transmit and receive. Press the button 3-times and you are ready to search. The device automatically reverts to transmit in 8-minutes, or a user settable time delay, including no reset. That time resets each time you press the mode button. This is a safety feature in the event the searcher might be caught in a second avy, but you need to recognize it in your own unit or other's. Anyway, I think its one of the best on the market along with the BCA Tracker. The new one sounds like it will be a nice improvement when the price drops a bit.

Inflatable backpacks and balloons are designed to keep you on top of an avy or make searching easier. Evidence suggest they work provided you are not one of the 25% killed by trauma. They are very expensive. Avalung is a super device that you hope never to use. It has allowed victims to be rescued alive and can extend survival to a realistic length of time. 15-20 minutes just is not long enough for searchers to reach you and dig you out. My own experience falling into a treewell and being suffocated by powder snow rushing into my mouth, nose and throat, until I cleared an airspace was enough to convince me that breathing is a good idea. I'm buying the new Covert backpack with the built-in Avalung2.

About all I can say, is be safe and avoid high angle terrain in sketch conditions. Easier said than done when your group commits to a ski cut before dropping into an untouched chute in fresh snow. Anyway, I tend not to go where I think the gear will need to be used.

Moving to Backcountry for more opinions.
post #5 of 18
The Pulse if this is the model beacon I am thinking of, has a feature that also tells you if you have a heartbeat or not. Basically if the victim is alive or dead. For mutiple burial situations, it can help set your priority. Of course everyone needs to have a Pulse beacon for this to work. At least this is my understanding of the pulse. Maybe I am way off, because I have yet to see it in existence. It is supposed to have the 3 antenna upgrade, which does make the search a little easier, but it's not a huge breakthrough.
At least this is my understanding of the pulse. Maybe I am way off, because I have yet to see it in existence.

Practice is what counts most with beacons.
post #6 of 18
Just remember gang, you survive avalanches by avoiding them, not by buying gear to help you float or is easier to use. Get whatever beacon you can afford and practice, practice, practice. To be honest, I'm not up on most of this modern gear as most of my backcountry experience (considerable) predates it. But,,,,we stayed safe then by good descision making and you will stay safe now by doing the same. So go ahead and buy your gear, but when you ski in the backcountry, forget you ever bought it. Ski like you don't have it and your life totaly depends on good descision making. Later, RicB.
post #7 of 18
I am not an expert (and I am average skier too) but I am trying to learn as much as I can.
I think ...
For many people around who having a hard time to learn how to use analog transceiver, this is break-trough!
Not all people practice often so sometimes your survival depends a lot on others. Maybe improved technology will compensate lack of knowledge? I prefer that few unown members of my group look for me using PUlse transceivers than analog (they recently rented). :
It's well known that our two clubs organizing trips to backcountry for all members (and non-members) and you end up introducing yourself to the group at the parking lot. Others do that too.
At many instances we meet for a first time. How fun is that ...
Here in Vancouver, BC if you avoid going to avalanche exposed areas, you can do 2 trips per season. OK, maybe 3...
I know people who don't have transceivers because they are very skilled in choosing safe terrain. At the same time I know people who ski solo in the backcountry who carry transceivers. Example is Garibaldi Neve traverse, or Spearhead Traverse. Maybe they hope they could be found and handed to the family for burial and some comfort.
About avalung ...
Latest research shows people can survive up to one hour, if they have enough oxygen. So, avalung will increase chance for survival significantly. I don't have one because I don't have enough money.
What a lame exuse ...
In general, I like any new gear or technical improvements in the backcountry field.
I think it's good that extensive research in technology influence backcountry skiing too.
Maybe my problem is that I work in Telecom and I am all the time amazed with the new things developing (Voice over IP, satellite signals etc.)

I hope new transceivers soon will have GPS locator built in, altimeter, AM/FM radio, two-way radio, small dynamo machine to recharge the batteries etc.
And at the end become lighter. it's possible ...

Regards,
Zoran
post #8 of 18
Zoran, When you open the box, the Mammut Barryvox is a digital transceiver that is simplicity itself. Turn it on, and you are transmitting, Push the large mode button three times, and you are receiving/searching with digital arrows pointing along the flux line of the strongest 457 hz transmitter. IMO, that is all most of us need. If you can advance your skills, the unit is customizable to use both digital and analog.

The easier a unit is to use, and the faster it can help a novice home in on a target, the better. So, the Pulse represents an advancement from that perspective. Personally, I would question going into any risky terrain with a partner who had no experience and had never practiced with a transceiver; even if it is the best one on the market. You still need to know how to operate the unit, set it to receive, and hopefully follow a standard search pattern to obtain a signal to follow (Not to mention rescue protocols and group organization). I have been in BC and met people that didn't even know how to deploy their probes. So I won't replace my current unit, and would be hard pressed to spend the additional $100, even if I was buying my first one. I just think there is a deminimus skill level one should have before ever doing this, and of course there are many in the backcountry that carry no gear or knowlege, and they do surprisingly well at defying the Darwin principles.

A transceiver is sensitive (in receive mode) to interference from certain electronic devices like radios, GPS and cell phones. As a result, I don't expect to see additional devices built in soon. Besides, adding controls, and features would defeat the first objective, which is to make the unit as simple as possible. I would hate to be in a rescue situation, and lose time by accidently turn on the wrong device.
post #9 of 18
OK ...
It's silly.
Even I can't imagine listening new Bob Dylan's album: "Modern Times" and searching for missing skier. Just to let you know, major manufacturers in Europe thinking about it.

However, I can imagine rescue team starting the search with already determined GPS coordinates of the burried person.

In the future my wife could track my movement in the mountains over the Internet. It's scary, eh?
post #10 of 18
My experience with GPS is that without a clear path for a signal, it doesn't get a fix. Carrying a GPS inside a pocket or pack, let alone under clothing and buried a meter deep in snow wouldn't have a chance of obtaining a positional fix. GPS is great when yoiu have a full view of the sky; something a avy victim would dearly like.
post #11 of 18
Chiming in here with three separate comments:

1. "Inflatable backpacks and balloons are designed to keep you on top of an avy or make searching easier. Evidence suggest they work provided you are not one of the 25% killed by trauma."
- Just a clarification that the ABS pack is designed to keep the skier out of the 25% category, and detailed stats published by the manufacturer indicate noticeable success. (Drawbacks include significant additional weight plus the inability to bring it on a plane as checked baggage.)

2. "The Pulse if this is the model beacon I am thinking of, has a feature that also tells you if you have a heartbeat or not. Basically if the victim is alive or dead. For mutiple burial situations, it can help set your priority. Of course everyone needs to have a Pulse beacon for this to work. At least this is my understanding of the pulse."
- Almost: despite the name, it's not a HRM but rather it senses any sort of very small body movements. Also, multiple searchers with Pulse beacons supposedly have some sort of ability to communicate with each other, i.e., searcher 1 finds a beacon, and in lieu of physically turning off that found beacon can somehow indicate to searcher 2's beacon not to bother looking for it anymore. (So like the Pieps DSP, but shares the info among fellow search beacons.) And the search display seems to have some grid-like qualities. This is all based on pre-production model info though.

3. I've been very happy with my Mammut Barryvox Opto 3000 beacon and pretty much agree with all the previous comments. Not *quite* as fast or idiot-proof as the Tracker, but I appreciate the additional features. (I may have to buy a Pulse though just for additional cred when teaching avy courses.)
post #12 of 18
Jonathan- do you know exactly what the technology is that the new Barryvox uses to detect small body motion, and how sensitive it is? I cannot imagine that it is foolproof, and I would hate to be either the victim or rescuer who is not dug out because of relying on possibly erroneous data to determine if I (or my companion) was dead.
post #13 of 18
Sorry, but I don't know the answers to your questions - nor does anyone else it seems. And I share your concerns - as does everyone else it seems.

The irony is that despite the model name, and despite the publicity surrounding the victim viability info transmission, the real advantages of this beacon seem to be in its display screen and in the ability to transmit beacon "masking" info among searching beacons. I'm not saying these are necessarily big advantages, but they do seem like they would be useful in certain situations. I'll report back once/if I actually have a chance to test it (or I guess them, as the latter feature would work only with two Pulse searchers).
post #14 of 18
Somewhat change of topic but, did anyone have a hard time making the switch from analog to digital? I used an ortovox f1 for a few years and then last year switched to a mammut barryvox. I probably practiced a few hundred times with the f1 and was very proficient in finding beacons. When I switched to the digital my times were quite a bit slower due to me having to wait for the processor to 'catch up' to my movements. I also wasn't very good at following flux lines, I searched entirely by the volume of the beeps. Just wondering if anyone else had this experience.
post #15 of 18
The only thing I had a problem with was waiting for the processor like you mentioned. At first I was definitely faster with the analog. With practice, I am much quicker with the digi now. Just like everyone has said, it all comes down to practice.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
during my AIRE( sp) course last winter i used an F1 and a tracker. The tracker took me less than half the time to find the burried beacon. I could almost make a b-line towards the victim
post #17 of 18
ZZZ, have you every tried using the barryvox in full analog mode? I never spent time with a full analog unit so was not conditioned to use the volume homing approach.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
ZZZ, have you every tried using the barryvox in full analog mode? I never spent time with a full analog unit so was not conditioned to use the volume homing approach.
Not yet, I've been playing around with a few different settings the past few days to see what I like best.
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