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BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby Bean » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:28 pm

CO Native wrote:You can't write off single antenna beacons completely. Well you can for the average user, but those willing to take the time to learn a single antenna beacon will have the advantage of huge signal reception range. The Barryvox 2000 Pro is a single antenna beacon that has almost an 80 meter range (the EXT version comes with an external antenna that boosts that to 100 meters). That's huge. The Pulse comes in at 50 meters (which is still awesome), the Pieps DSP at 45, and the Tracker 2 is in the high 30s. Better range means you can search an avalanche field much faster. Single antenna beacons are still very useful to pros that need the ability to search large areas quickly.

However the reason these aren't practical for the average user is that you must be able to interpret the signal yourself rather than the beacon doing it for you. For most people the faster time acquiring the signal will be out weighed by the delay in zeroing in on the location.


When the Tracker was introduced, it destroyed all the old badass patroller pros with their "signal reception range advantage" in a beacon comp. The time spent interpreting the signal can be better spent doing a strip search.

The Pieps Vector will crush absolutely everything on the market in every way - if it ever gets released. Huge range and about as stupid-proof as it gets.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:33 pm

I'm very curious about the Vector. Lot's of hype about it, hopefully it will live up to it.

Pieps has a history of delays on their releases and the Vector has been no exception. Fortunately the delays are usually because Pieps maintains extremely high standards for their products and they won't put something out until they believe it's perfect.

Have you had a chance to try one yet?
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby Bean » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:53 pm

I've briefly played with demo units the past couple years indoors. Very slick, and I'm sure they'll get it right. As nice as it'd be to have one, the delays make me more confident that it'll be a quality product.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby shaunster_co » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:55 pm

I own the Pieps DSP, and have been watching for the Vector - but I have a few concerns with it. Perhaps once it is out there my concerns will evaporate. I agree with Bean, the delays make me more confident too.

However;

1. The collapsible antenna... I just see problems with that.

2. The power pack. I have heard from someone at SIA that it is Lithium-Ion powered.. Surely Pieps would not release a beacon with all the downfalls of lithium - but I am eagerly awaiting to see what it is they come up with, and why a rechargeable Lithium-ion powerpack was built in to the design.

As far as practicing goes.. I have organized a few practice sessions with people, and a few groups. I think practicing with the people that you typically go in to the BC with cannot be stressed enough.

Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby Bean » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:01 pm

shaunster_co wrote:2. The power pack. I have heard from someone at SIA that it is Lithium-Ion powered.. Surely Pieps would not release a beacon with all the downfalls of lithium - but I am eagerly awaiting to see what it is they come up with, and why a rechargeable Lithium-ion powerpack was built in to the design.


Lithium batteries are unacceptable for beacon use because the beacons are sensitive electronics and are calibrated for alkalines. The Vector is made to work with the battery that's built in to it - this is a non-issue. There's also going to be the option to use replaceable alkaline batteries for extended trips and such, but that isn't relevant to your concern.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby dehrlich101 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:23 pm

Rock-a-Fella wrote:
dehrlich101 wrote:Anyone use this beacon before? What are the Pro's and Con's of this beacon? Good buy or find something better?

All the reviews on REI.com sound good.. Wanted to hear what you all think of it.

http://www.rei.com/product/717163/backcountry-access-tracker-dts-avalanche-transceiver


I would recommend you take a look at Mammut /barryvox Pulse and or Ortovox S1 and work from there if they are too much in features or price. Those two units are the Top of the line. Learn what features they offer and "IF" those features are important to you. Work down from there. You may consider taking an Avy course and using different units in different situations before you buy. Some ski areas have "Beacon Parks" for practice.

If price is a hurdle get your regular BC ski buddies to pitch in and help you pay for the "Features THEY want you to have."

Hope this was helpful. PM me if you have more questions and I'll try to help.

I forgot to mention Pieps DSP (although their signal processing has some pitfalls)


Thanks for everyones reply's.. I've done some more searching and while the Ortovox S1 would be prime, its a little outside of my price range. Does anyone have experience with the the Ortovox 3+ ?

Three Antenna, 40 m range, multiple burials, etc.

http://www.ortovox.com/avalanche-transceivers/drei-plus
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby GregMiller » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:04 pm

dehrlich101 wrote:Thanks for everyones reply's.. I've done some more searching and while the Ortovox S1 would be prime, its a little outside of my price range. Does anyone have experience with the the Ortovox 3+ ?

Three Antenna, 40 m range, multiple burials, etc.

http://www.ortovox.com/avalanche-transceivers/drei-plus


No on-snow experience, but I played around with it at an REI transceiver clinic, and honestly could not figure it out. Definitely wasn't intuitive to me, but it must be to someone. BCA's Tracker 2 worked best for me, so that's what I ended up getting.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby Rock-a-Fella » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Thanks for everyones reply's.. I've done some more searching and while the Ortovox S1 would be prime, its a little outside of my price range. Does anyone have experience with the the Ortovox 3+ ?

Three Antenna, 40 m range, multiple burials, etc.

http://www.ortovox.com/avalanche-transceivers/drei-plus




Nice unit! Nice price !

Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby mtnfiend » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:56 pm

At the risk of sounding like an @$$ - the price really shouldn't be the deciding factor when choosing a beacon.

You're buried friend will not appreciate the $50-150 you saved if you can't use the beacon efficiently. Buy the beacon that is the most intuitive for you to use and then practice with it.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby CO Native » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:44 pm

Cost shouldn't be much of a consideration, however now some are starting to come with a lot of bells and whistles that you don't really need. As long as my hiking buddies all have decent beacons I'm more concerned if they've practiced with them than if they have a 35 meter versus a 50 meter range.

Like Rock-a-fella said, they've all got their own idiosyncrasies and no matter which beacon you get you need to learn how to use it well.

I'll take a buddy with a Tracker DTS that's practiced with it regularly over one with the Pieps DSP that has never flipped it to search mode.
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby Obese_goat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:32 pm

Never used mammut or ortovox. I like the mammut features never used one though tho. Id like to try before i buy. I used the pieps dsp at a clinic at loveland ski resort. My "friend" aka training beacon attached to a piece of wood under the snow did not survive. It took me 15minutes for me to figure out the location with pieps. For whatever reason it kept sending me ass backwards in a circle. Again, that day was my first and only use with pieps so im sure it would get better with practice. It took less than 5 minutes for me to locate a different target in different location with BCA2 on same day granted i have little experience with it. Loveland has a beacon testing station by the ski patrol shack near chair 1, and a beacon park in what is called the "forest meadow." I've used the BCA tracker2 at least 20 different times and I still find it to be the most efficient and easiest to use. Probably because I'm still a total noob. I like the pull to search feature on tracker 2. My input here is null since I don't own a beacon. I'm working on it though! I know our lives are worth way more than 300$ but I just don't make enough money to invest. This is because I'm a buster. I usually borrow, rent from bentgate or REI when conditions warrant or I know I'm going to be heading out in the gnar. I definitely don't get enough practice tho. Usually about a 20min session of practice before we leave the car and then were are heading up and out into the unknown. lol I am always skeptical about borrowing and renting and throwing down loot on used electronics. I would rather buy brand new and know that it is my own fault it does not work properly. Anyone have any recommendations where i can find newer great condition used tracker2 or other beacons at the best price or should I just suck it up and throw down the funds on brand new?
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Re: BCA Tracker DTS Avy beacon reviews?

Postby COBuckeye » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:14 am

A few thoughts, and I am by no means an expert:
1.) You don't need snow to practice searches. While snow adds a level of complexity due to varying burial depth, you can practice honing in on the transmit beacon any time, any where.
2.) You can go to REI and practice with all the different flavors. Just have them hide one beacon somewhere in the store and go find it. Try this with different models and hiding places to see what works best for you.
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