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NEW TRANSCEIVER TEST RESULTS - which is best?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
If you are considering a new transceiver or just wondering how your old clunker stacks up? You should read this review on single double and triple antenna transceivers - analogue and digital. Like you needed an excuse to blow $400???

http://backcountryskiingcanada.com/forums/?page_id=3/gear-talk/tranceivers/#p90
post #2 of 25
Bottom line:

Quote:
In the hands of a knowledgeable user, there was only a small difference in search times
between the two-antenna and the newer three-antenna transceivers. All expert testers noted that with all the newer digital transceivers, it's important to slow down and reduce lateral movement since the searcher can move faster than the processor can process. In the hands of an expert user there appears to be little difference in the results using the multiantenna transceivers and all are faster than the F1, which is nearing two decades of use.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
 Agreed, no matter which transceiver you own or use as long as you know it intimately then it is a good fit for you - worst thing to do is get the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles and not know how to use it when it counts most. Get one. Learn it. Practice. Practice. Practice.
post #4 of 25
I need to get some training! i would like to at least be able to use one if I had to.
post #5 of 25
Take an Avy I course.
post #6 of 25
thanks, i just need to find one. is there a site that posts classes and such? 
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

thanks, i just need to find one. is there a site that posts classes and such? 
Here you go:
http://www.avalanche.org/
post #8 of 25
I've said this often enough,  but I'll say it again.

The only live recoveries I have been personally involved with or personally worked with those involved were done with fairly simple old gear, in the hands of people who had used it many days and were skilled with their personal equipment.

One need only to look at cell phones or GPS units to understand that the fancy new units are better.  They've had various shortcomings, but progress marches on.


Locating is a small part of the equation.  Digging technique, first aid. and luck are very important.  The tranceiver improves the margin of safety in a a few cases.  Somewhere between the little ones you walk away from and the big ones in which you are toast.
post #9 of 25
All true.

It's often easy to forget that in addition to the beacon, probe and shovel, there's a fourth vital piece of backcountry equipment:  the brain.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

thanks, i just need to find one. is there a site that posts classes and such? 

http://www.avtraining-admin.org/courseprov.cfm
post #11 of 25
THANK YOU!!!
post #12 of 25
Pardon my ignorance, but I am curious. Have they started manufacturing any form of GPS based avalanche beacon? One that would broadcast the position for a receiving unit? I ask mostly because in the last decade GPS based ELTs (Emergency Location Transmitters) in light aircraft have become more and more popular and affordable. Has this technology moved into the skiing world?

Thanks
post #13 of 25
Avy beacons and PLBs are different beasts. Both in their mission and how they function.


There are lightweight Personal Locator Beacons. But they are not avy beacons. And the other way around...
post #14 of 25
most GPS have difficulty with moderate tree cover.
Think how well they would do once buried under a few feet of snow.
Not sure how much power you would need to use to hit a satellite from several feet under packed snow, but more than you would carry in a backpack.
post #15 of 25
In addition, while you're looking for an aircraft, being off by a 2 or 3 meter radius isn't bad. When you're digging up your buddy, it's unusable.
post #16 of 25
 FWIW - 

I just got out of an AIARE avy class.  I was consistently able to get more useable signals with my Ortovox Patroller than other folks were getting with their beacons - I certainly was getting signals from much further away, as well as very useable micro-grid signals.  I think that part of it was the analog-digital combo in that particular beacon.  I do know that at least one attendee is now going beacon shopping based on what we experienced.

YMMV, and obviously any beacon will work if you take the time to SERIOUSLY learn how to use it.  Mine was pretty darned idiot-and-adrenaline-proof, though.
post #17 of 25
mountaingirl - thanks so much for your post. Even though I am in the east, I get out west occasionally, and avy beacon info is always welcome.

I was thinking of buying some Recco reflectors and putting on my ski boots... still, I ALWAYS repeat:ALWAYS ski in bounds in avy country.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosrocker51 View Post

I was thinking of buying some Recco reflectors and putting on my ski boots... still, I ALWAYS repeat:ALWAYS ski in bounds in avy country.

Neither RECCO nor skiing in-bounds will prevent an avalanche or ensure that you're found quickly if buried in one.

In-bounds avalanches happen.  And RECCO receivers are too rare and too bulky for anyone to be skiing with them before an avalanche is reported.  Best-case scenario, a patroller grabs a RECCO from where it's kept and brings it to the debris. 

By contrast, I know of several ski areas where patrollers are required to ski with a beacon at all times.  That means the first responder shows up with a beacon, able to search for victims.  No waiting.

If you wear a beacon in an avy-prone in-bounds area, you will have a far better chance of being found during the critical 30-minute window, before your survival prospects nose-dive.
post #19 of 25

Just picked up a Ortovox S1 today. backcountry has them 30% off. Since I am heading down to Chile I though i would pick one up. I NEED to attend a course but I figured having this is better than not and I can still practice with it. I would like to find some good training ideas that can be used during the summer. Anyone have any? I can always just ahve my wife place a transmitter in the yard. I know that wont help with depth but it's something.  I red some good info on beaconreviews.com and others for ideas and information.


Edited by Finndog - 6/28/10 at 12:34pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

I would like to find some good training ideas that can be used during the summer. Anyone have any?


Blind search practice is important, but it's obviously difficult when you're on your own.

 

Don't underestimate the value of sighted searches.  Seeing how the position of the transmitting beacon affects the direction of the flux lines and your signal read, following the flux lines' curves into the beacon, etc., can help you understand what's happening when you're looking for a buried beacon.

post #21 of 25

apprecaited , If you aren't familair with the S1, check out the features and specs. its pretty innovative; especailly dealing with Flux lines and resolving spikes.  Not that it or any transceiver is fool-proof, the S1 seems to have created a pretty easy to use interface making the search fairly straight forward, while reducing some of the issues other transceivers have with the flux lines showing strong signals away from the buried victim due to curvature in the signal. I think the Pieps DPS has done this as well. i think the next gen of transceivers is going to considerably more accurate and easier to use. That said, there's no substitute for taking a course and practicing.

 

http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/Specs_OrtovoxS1.asp

post #22 of 25

I also picked up an S1 off Gear Trade yesterday.  Looking forward to checking it out next week.

 

In the fall I have my kids hide the beacon in the leaves, bushes and even up in trees.  Many resorts have beacon basins that you can use to hone your multiple burial skills. 

 

Find a good mentor, never stop learning and practice a lot!

post #23 of 25

you snagged one of the 3?  good job, i bought it on Backcountry.  I saw that post on TGR. All gone.....

 

Yeah, that's why I am going to get that used M2 (see other post on general forum.) I have to practice to at least get used to the receiver and how it reacts to the signal. How close on target and all.  TAM just told me about a beacon basin at Steamboat for practice.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Locating is a small part of the equation.  Digging technique, first aid. and luck are very important.  


this is definitely required reading (there was a similar article or series of articles in Backcountry Magazine last year or the year before, too, by the same authors).

http://www.backcountryaccess.com/index.php?id=199

post #25 of 25

I picked up two Tracker 2's this fall. I thought I got a good price at $268 from EMS but I bought the second one for $230 from the instructor  of my L1 course. I was going to pick up a used beacon to use as a target for beacion practice but I couldn't pass up $230. My son will be able to use it in a couple years after he takes a class. I will probably stick it on him when we're in Steamboat if we ski some of the steeper inbounds stuff, just in case.

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