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Suggestions for Inclinometer

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby dsunwall » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:02 pm

No....
1.you are relying on batteries I find them quite reliable, one lasts me all day with tracking on, have spares
2.you are relaying on random people for calibration brilliant
3. If your beacon is on your phone shouldn't be on not so sure about that one, I'll test.

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby TeamDino5280 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:17 pm

[quote="dsunwall"]No....
1.you are relying on batteries I find them quite reliable, one lasts me all day with tracking on, have spares
2.you are relaying on random people for calibration brilliant
3. If your beacon is on your phone shouldn't be on not so sure about that one, I'll test.[/quote

1. You carry spear cell phone batteries? kind of defeats the purpose of going light?
2. By random, I mean no accredited avalanche knowledge
3. http://www.backcountryaccess.com/2012/11/19/issw-2012-avalanche-beacons-and-electrical-interference/

Tell your buddy you couldn't find them because you wanted to keep your FB feed up to date.

Also the liquid in the inclomiters is alcohol (isopropyl I think ) which its freezing point is -128F can't remember it being that cold
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby dsunwall » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:34 pm

I would give up on this but for some reason your flat out "NO" kind of pissed me off, you could have been a little more civil in your reply.

one battery weighs 1.3 oz, just checked. Your beacon uses batteries in fact mine says to use Alkaline which aren't the best for cold temps. If you are relying on a beacon to save your life your nuts in the first place.
why would you need avalanche knowledge to calibrate? The paid app does allow you to calibrate it yourself, not very difficult. Besides, being 1 or 2 degrees off can't be that important.
I am not a member of Facebook, hate the site. I'm generally where there is no coverage anyway, not at a ski resort, don't like them either.
I have my smartphone in Airplane mode so it does not transmit. I'll make sure my phone is more than 12" from my beacon, it generally is anyway.

Next time, reply in a way that doesn't sound like an a**hole and I will be more apt to accept what you say. good day.

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby schrund » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:49 pm

I loaded "Tiltmeter". You can leave the phone off until you want to use it. I suppose an analog instrument would be better since it doesn't have an "on/off" switch, but this was simple and free.
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby TeamDino5280 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:51 pm

The "NO" did come off bad and I apologize. As someone who works with avalanche safety and mitigation regularly I just want to make sure people who are new to this get good info. From a professional stand point I don't like the apps and that is my opinion, I find them subpar for safety reasons. In the last few weeks a 5 degree deference in slope angle has been huge. I have personally seen stable snow at 25 degree (N-S moderate) turn to complete sketch at 30 Degrees, same aspect. once again sorry, hopefully there was some useful info and I didn't de-rail this topic.
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby BenfromtheEast » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:07 pm

Clarification: The orange BCAs that I know of having broken have broken from impact, not freezing. And my understanding is that the impacts weren't severe, just normal wear-and-tear deals. Again, I haven't broken mine yet.

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby TeamDino5280 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:23 pm

BenfromtheEast wrote:Clarification: The orange BCAs that I know of having broken have broken from impact, not freezing. And my understanding is that the impacts weren't severe, just normal wear-and-tear deals. Again, I haven't broken mine yet.


That is true the glass is completely exposed compared to the old credit card style. If breaking it is a worry the compass is a better bet especially since you can glance from the side. Ease of use vs durability I guess. Are there any other non digital ones beside BCA, Lifelink and a compass that people have come accross?
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby powhound » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:36 pm

A bit off topic here. But maybe one of you inclinometer experts could give me an opinion.

I do my homework at my desk. For any area of concern, I figure the rise and run off my map. Divide rise by run = gradient. Hit 2nd tangent on a scientific calculator to get degrees. When I am out in the field I like to double check my map calculations with the inclinometer on my Brunton compass. It seems my map calculations are consistantly about 2 to 3 degrees lower than what I read in the field.

So now I always allow for a cushion of up to 4 degrees ... just to be safe. But it would sure be nice to be accurate in the first place. Any idea of why I am consistantly coming up low on the map calculations ... or is this amount of inaccuracy expected with the method I am using?

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby TeamDino5280 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:58 pm

powhound wrote:A bit off topic here. But maybe one of you inclinometer experts could give me an opinion.

I do my homework at my desk. For any area of concern, I figure the rise and run off my map. Divide rise by run = gradient. Hit 2nd tangent on a scientific calculator to get degrees. When I am out in the field I like to double check my map calculations with the inclinometer on my Brunton compass. It seems my map calculations are consistantly about 2 to 3 degrees lower than what I read in the field.

So now I always allow for a cushion of up to 4 degrees ... just to be safe. But it would sure be nice to be accurate in the first place. Any idea of why I am consistantly coming up low on the map calculations ... or is this amount of inaccuracy expected with the method I am using?


If you are using USGS 7.5 minute quads the accuracy for vertical rise is 90% within half the contour interval. I think these have 40' contour lines which means that the change in elevation between contour lines should be 90% accurate within 20'. Now I think that you would need to take into account a 20' (+- 10%) error margin in the calculation.... total speculation on that one.
Last edited by TeamDino5280 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby mtn_nut » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:00 pm

I know that my ortovox s1+ has an inclinometer built in. I also use bca curved tube and I haven't had any issues with it.

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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby Dave B » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:41 pm

mtn_nut wrote:I know that my ortovox s1+ has an inclinometer built in. I also use bca curved tube and I haven't had any issues with it.


I can't imagine that taking an avy beacon off to measure slope angle would be a super-great idea in avy terrain.

I think the crux of the issue is an ability to be able to tell what slopes are +/- safe (i.e. <30 degrees) and those that aren't. Beyond that, site-specific snow pack information is far more important than slope-angle.
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Re: Suggestions for Inclinometer

Postby randomboulder » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:41 am

Thanks all for the suggestions! Yeah, I've read bad reviews about the curved BCA inclinometer, so I was going to try to avoid that one, the older 'box style' one seems a little more protected.

Apps are great, but I'm in the camp of having something non-digital, simple, reliable. The compass combo is logical and enticing....and tempting, but I like my Suunto so I'm on the fence about that option.

I'm liking the discussion about determining slope angles from topo maps. This is something that I haven't messed around with much but would like to. Dancesatmoonrise, I tried your suggestion of printing a pdf topo at 235% zoom so that I could use my Lifelink card, but it was cumbersome because at that magnification, you can barely fit much of a map onto an 8.5x11 standard sheet of paper.

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