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David_Parker

Avalanche beacons 2007

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It seems the technology is improving again with Pieps DSP leading the way with the advatage towards dealing with multiple burials. Still the Tracker consistantly has the lowest search times. My question is how soon will the technology on the transceivers built in the last few years be "outdated" and then I'm shopping again! I'm leaning towards the tracker because of ease of use which I might apprecaiate as more of the occasional backcounry skier who probably doesn't practice as much as I should. Comments?

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Unless you are a complete dullard the DSP & Barryvox aren't difficult.

 

Mac user = Tracker (simple, east for the technophobe); Linux = Barryvox & DSP (as configurable as you can get); PC = older analog (cheap, gets the job done, but not as quick or efficent unless you are really skilled)

 

Pick which one works best for you.

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It will not be long before someone will tell you what you have is outdated and try to get you to buy a newer, safer one. I think you will be able to use whatever you get effectively for a while, as long as frequency remains consistent into the future.

 

I am still loving the dark ages of the Orto F1. The more I've practiced, the less concerned I've become with updating to the latest technology. As long as you're confident with what you've got and it's compatible with your partner's units, why start fresh with a new unit with more features?

If you're not going to practice, I would stick with the unit you're used to using until it's absolutely obsolete.

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Mine is way obsolete and I HAVE to buy one NOW! So I have not the ability to "demo" before buying.....

 

If you are that impulsive and lazy, stay out of the backcountry

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Maybe someone has a spare they'd be willing to lend for your trip?

 

In way of an attempt to offer useful info, I thought the Tracker worked well when I practiced with a friend's. Seems tried and true at this point, but a long way from obsolete. A lot of people seem to have them. Also, I swear that they receive each other's signals better than they receive from an F1, that's just my own observation from my fuzzy memory banks a number of years ago.

 

I like to give new technology a little while for the kinks to be ironed out before buying something. If you have a really difficult time deciding, I would purchase the same unit most of your partners have.

 

Anyone have any actual useful information about the latest generation stuff? I wouldn't mind hearing it either.

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Anyone have any actual useful information about the latest generation stuff? I wouldn't mind hearing it either.

 

yes

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For simplicity and user-friendliness, the Tracker still appears to be the guide industry's favorite. Its probably going to be the model montanapup buys when she's ready to.

I'm using the Barryvox, for the customization that was mentioned above. If you have experience using transceivers - especially older analog models - then something like the Barryvox will work great for you.

I'm really concerned with signal degradation in older beacons. So, I'd consider purchasing a new transceiver, or sending in your old one to the manufacturer for maintenance and a tune-up, every 5-10 years.

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I'm really concerned with signal degradation in older beacons.

 

do you have any further information about signal degradation, what causes it, how bad it gets, what mfrs do to tune it back up?

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what causes it,

Aging, wear and tear, humidity, drops, shock, etc.

how bad it gets,

It can reduce the transmit range of your beacon. Frequency "drift" can affect how well your beacon plays well with others, some beacons may be able to receive you loud and clear, others very poorly.

what mfrs do to tune it back up?

Dunno, probably varies with each manufacturer. I'm more the replace type than the repair type.

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I'm not an engineer (not even close - my bicycle can confuse me), so I did a quick check with BCA. Follow this link, and click of the PDF "Obsolescence and Analog Avalanche Transceivers: Ensuring Downward Compatibility-ISSW 2004 by Bruce Edgerly and John Hereford"

 

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

 

I'm reading a copy of it right now.

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Sounds like my 18 year old duel-frequency beacon is ready to be retired? The article about frequency drift is a good one. I was even more impressed with the newest article on that site about efficient shoveling technique for recovering avy victims. The same rules apply for removing snow from my windows on my house. A chore I have to do around 6 times a year here.

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Uhhmmm, well, dual frequency beacons haven't been promoted in quite awhile. Even when they were the norm, they were notorious for having problems with changing frequencies and wire problems for the ear bud. Switching completely to 457mgHz was a relief.

I have a dualie too, but I only use it for multiple victim transceiver drills. They've become museum pieces.

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Well I decided to go with the Pieps DSP over the Tracker. The range is better and it is a better unit to deal with multiple burials. Basically I plan to not use this thing except for practices! I did find it for $314.25 so the price difference was worth it for me (and my partners). I am pretty good at practicing and to date my times have been pretty darn good with my 1986 DF Ortovox that was long overdue to be retired. I will keep it to use for practice and may even have my son wear it skiing powder days in resorts in case he falls in a tree well or we hike OB. We do get out of site from each other sometimes.

 

Safety is in your head! See you in the Back Country!

 

 

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Well I decided to go with the Pieps DSP over the Tracker. The range is better and it is a better unit to deal with multiple burials.

 

Yup. The Pieps DSP rocks.

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Well I decided to go with the Pieps DSP over the Tracker. The range is better and it is a better unit to deal with multiple burials. Basically I plan to not use this thing except for practices! I did find it for $314.25 so the price difference was worth it for me (and my partners). I am pretty good at practicing and to date my times have been pretty darn good with my 1986 DF Ortovox that was long overdue to be retired. I will keep it to use for practice and may even have my son wear it skiing powder days in resorts in case he falls in a tree well or we hike OB. We do get out of site from each other sometimes.

 

Safety is in your head! See you in the Back Country!

 

 

Dude, no one ever plans to use one of these!

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The DSP is also upgradeable; I haven't heard many reviews of the most recent firmware, but the V2.0 ish is worthwhile.

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