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Old 08-01-2012, 07:22 PM
rhalloran rhalloran is offline
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Default ORIGINAL BCA tracker vs tracker 2?

OK, so back in 99? 2000? I retired my old Pieps, earphone and all. Honestly, I only had it to satisfy the patrollers at the access points at Snowbird (yeah, I'm a skier, sorry, Dogmeat. We "practiced" with them, aka burying the last beer on the side of the road waiting for a ride up the canyon (I got mine used in 89? Something like that).

So, I bought two of the "new" BCA Trackers. They look pretty much like the Tracker DTS:

http://www.snowbigdeal.com/avalanche...acker-dts.html

Basic layout is the same, but the red search button is smaller and harder to use. They've served me well over the years. Never had to REALLY find one, thankfully, but I've always managed to find them (most of the time "alive," aka <3min, sometimes very much dead...) after putting them in a white plastic bag and hucking them down a hill.

Finally broke down and bought a new Tracker 2. Going to buy another one for my primary skiing, errr, sledding partner (the kid, ie, cost is not the object). I like the T2, I like the S1+, there are lots of good options out there.

On one hand, I'm doing my damndest to avoid putting the kid in that position - I never, ever want to put HER in charge of digging ME out; that's a sh1tty situation to put a kid in (and I certainly act accordingly on the days we're out as a pair). So, I'm MOSTLY concerned with transmit, in this case.

I'm going to get her a new beacon this year - either the T2 I just got and I'll get a S1+ for me, or another T2 - the question then becomes whether I should just retire these/donate them to beacon-bashes, or keep them around for "loaner" beacons/backup beacons?

Thoughts?


RH

Question is, how _bad_ are these things?
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:09 AM
rhalloran rhalloran is offline
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Default

OK, so over the weekend, I put one of the old Trackers on the ground, walked ~150' away from it (out of range of the other old Tracker/new T2), walked toward the transmitting beacon.

The new T2 picked up the transmitting beacon 12-20 feet before the ancient tracker. Did it 3 times, same result each time. Neither one had a good lock on the signal, but we'd just walk together and the first time a beacon alerted, we'd stop walking. Another 10' or so, both had a pretty good idea of where to go.

I'm going to get at least one more new beacon. The difference between "first alert" was really not much - the other person was not very far away. Thinking about it, though, we're walking on a big, open parking lot and we already know exactly WHERE the "victim" is, we're just measuring distance, and 12-15' (of the 3-4 tries, only one was 20'), on PAVEMENT is not a big deal.

12 feet through debris at the toe of a slide through bushes, broken branches, sled bits and who knows what else? Hrmph. Better than nothing, but postholing uphill 12' in the wrong direction is time consuming, and now the victim is farther away.

Unscientific, but answered my question - they're not BAD, but buying better is not prohibitive.

In the other direction, new beacon transmitting, old Trackers searching, they both picked up the signal within feet of each other, at about the same distance. It does not seem to me that a new T2 transmits dramatically farther.

I did not have two new beacons to try, so, yeah. Grains of salt, but the original Tracker has been out long enough that lots of people probably have the older models and are wondering at which point they should retire the original Tracker; for me, it is pretty much here. I'll certainly still use the old trackers, they're not BAD, but the T2 DOES seem a bit better.

All beacons had new batteries - two at 99%, one (old tracker) at 97%. Victim was placed in the same location, same orientation each time. Absolutely not scientific, but representative, I think.


RH
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