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Avalanche Beacons: Is there a real Stand-Out Winner?

KSH

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The Barryvox Pulse is a great beacon, but I have found that it can be confusing, especially under pressure.
I have the Barryvox pulse, I'm very impressed with it.
I would say it is a beacon that is for the person that bought it, it's not a loaner unit. With the new firmware you can lock out the confusing stuff.

I have not read any complaints on them being confusing from people that only use them, it's mainly from the people that jump between different beacons.

We took Mike Duffy's rescue class this year. He put a beacon over the arch of the hill about a 100 yards away, then had us turn our beacons on to search. Mine picked it up right away. He had everybody move closer until there beacons locked on, then had them stop. The next closest person to me was 20 yards away.

On the search portion of the training, I was able to take a straighter line to the buried beacon than the Pieps or other beacons. So I was able to do multiple's faster.

I would say that any of the newer three antenna digital beacons are a good choice with the proper training.
 

christopher

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I have the Barryvox pulse, I'm very impressed with it.
I would say it is a beacon that is for the person that bought it, it's not a loaner unit. With the new firmware you can lock out the confusing stuff.

I have not read any complaints on them being confusing from people that only use them, it's mainly from the people that jump between different beacons.

We took Mike Duffy's rescue class this year. He put a beacon over the arch of the hill about a 100 yards away, then had us turn our beacons on to search. Mine picked it up right away. He had everybody move closer until there beacons locked on, then had them stop. The next closest person to me was 20 yards away.

On the search portion of the training, I was able to take a straighter line to the buried beacon than the Pieps or other beacons. So I was able to do multiple's faster.

I would say that any of the newer three antenna digital beacons are a good choice with the proper training.
I think I am coming to the following conclusion.

General Use, (My Family and Children), the BCA TRACKER 2. ($335)

Trained Use, Myself and Oldest Son, The Barryvox Pulse ($400)
 
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Insaneboltrounder/sjohns

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Nov 26, 2007
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This has been a very informative and helpful thread. Thanks to all. How do the Avy Packs work?

Here's how i get the cheapos to justify the costs.
ABS pack is 1200
you have to have a backpack anyway ,- cost 200
if you ever want to sell a abs you will get 700 any day of the week -700

Total money lost for something that very possibly save your life 300 bux:face-icon-small-hap

Get the vario , its an excellent pack , fits great.
 

mt.sledder

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Check out these new probes from Pieps. They have a reciever built into the tip of the probe. They work with all beacons but if you are probing for a DSP beacon and get the probe within 50 cm of the beacon you can press the mark button which will turn off the dsp beacon to make it easier to find multiple burials. In the event someone pulls the probe out by mistake as soon as it is more than 50 cm away from the beacon it will turn back on.
Our whole crew got them this year. Haven't had to use them in a real burial but they have worked good in practice.
pm me for more details.

http://www.pieps.com/en/probes/pieps-iprobe.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJozB2wg3hE
 

backcountryislife

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I've owned a lot of beacons, and have had the newer tracker for a while (gen II, not the tracker 2). This year I have tried quite a few of the other more advanced beacons, and after trying them I feel that the S1 gives you more information quicker allowing you to be more effective in a multiple situation. I also felt that as a new user, the basic search function was VERY easy to get used to & rivaled the simplicity of the BCA but with more information.

In a multiple situation the bca is a HUGE step backwards from the pulse, pieps, or S1. I practice quite a bit more than the average person & still get tripped up with my tracker, but it's difficult to get tripped up with the S1. I would hope that we're all being smart enough that we DON'T EVER SEE a multiple, but recent news shows that's not reality.


If you ride in terrain that's risky enough to use a beacon... get a pack, they're getting cheaper now & they're the one thing that might save your life BEFORE you get buried. It's worth the $$.
 

retiredpop

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I too am going to update our transceivers as we still have the old Pieps 457 Opti4 units with the four red leds. Something not mentioned in any reviews is how easy it is to see the LCD readout in bright sunlight. I have a terrible time with digital cameras in the bright sunshine and am wondering if these are as hard to see. Would those of you who have the newer transceivers comment on this please?
 

KSH

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I too am going to update our transceivers as we still have the old Pieps 457 Opti4 units with the four red leds. Something not mentioned in any reviews is how easy it is to see the LCD readout in bright sunlight. I have a terrible time with digital cameras in the bright sunshine and am wondering if these are as hard to see. Would those of you who have the newer transceivers comment on this please?

I have no complaints on my Pulse, the display symbols are blocky and easy to see.
 

snowww1

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Nov 27, 2007
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What state of mind are you in when using a beacon in a real situation? Ease of use is pretty important. Biggest problem with beacon use is that people do not practice enough. The average person practices only one hour a year. That is not enough to be proficient. You do not get a practice run in a real accident.
New beacons are so good that the shoveling to get the buried victim out is what takes the most time in a rescue. Most people carry shovels that are way too small to move significant amounts of snow.
Once you are completely buried, it cuts your chances of surviving. Some studies state that if you are completely buried you only have a 30% chance of surviving. This is why avalanche airbag packs are becoming so popular. You have the best chance of surviving an avalanche with an avalanche airbag pack and it is used in conjunction with a beacon, shovel, probe and avalanche training.
Multiple burials and flagging features on beacons can work very well. You still only want one person on the slope at a time and you do not want to be in the runout zone. Multiple burials=fatalities. In what situation would you flag a person and continue looking for others? Having one person doing the beacon search and having others dig is not the most effective way to rescue. Unless you are the only one that knows how to use a beacon. I do not ride with people who are not trained, carry the right gear and are fast in rescue. Less than 5% of all avalanche accidents are complete multiple burials and even less are a situation where flagging actually makes a difference. Put 4 beacons close together and see which beacon works best. There are advanced search techniques that work extremely well in multiple burials: Searching in parallel and micro search strips.
Not many riders are getting killed because of the beacon used in the rescue. They are getting killed because of group dynamics, trauma, the human factor (decision making), lack of trained rescuers, lack of avalanche gear and not altering their riding according to the danger.
The best beacon is a three antenna beacon that you are proficient with. Time of rescue is not the time to try to figure out how the beacon works. Ease of use is very important in finding someone fast. It's time to update your beacon if you have an analog, single or two antenna beacon. The newer beacons are faster. Then practice with it and take a hands-on rescue class. It's amazing how much faster riders are in rescue after a four hour class. They are finding multiple beacons in less than 2 minutes for each beacon. In parallel searching, 5 riders are finding 4 beacons in just over a minute.
Mike Duffy
Avalanche1.com
Affordable, effective and proven avalanche classes specifically for snowmobilers
 
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wowgogs

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I think I am coming to the following conclusion.

General Use, (My Family and Children), the BCA TRACKER 2. ($335)

Trained Use, Myself and Oldest Son, The Barryvox Pulse ($400)

where did you find for $400? I am interested...
Thanks
 

Reeb

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I have used a Pieps DSP for years now. Before that I used an SOS Analog.
My dad and I took an Avy course 5-6 years ago and had our SOS beacons, many others had the BCA's and the instructors had the Pieps(there were other brands there too) We paired off with our new friends to try our hands on a burial using our own beacons. Took the fastest of the group(instructors not included) and for 3 burials, it took 27minutes. Took buddy and I 31minutes to complete.
We traded off beacons and the next one I was given was the Pieps. Again, buddy and I against the rest of the class, everyone wearing a beacon unfamiliar to them. We found 3 burials in under 10minutes. During a parrallel search it was under 5minutes. Not the greatest, but we have since improved. Remember, these were beacons we'd never touched before vs. our very own.
My dad saw that, and later got to use the Pieps and the time it saved using one was enough to go out and spend $600ea for a DSP(at the time they were a pretty penny)
Never looked back although this year I've brought in some BarryVox units and am interested in trying the Pulse for this year. Any direct experiences with these two? Either I buy the Barryvox and my kid brother gets the Pieps, otherwise I'll buy him the BarryVox if the general concensus is fairly average. I won't go back to analog for nothing anymore.
 
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Reeb

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Check out these new probes from Pieps. They have a reciever built into the tip of the probe. They work with all beacons but if you are probing for a DSP beacon and get the probe within 50 cm of the beacon you can press the mark button which will turn off the dsp beacon to make it easier to find multiple burials. In the event someone pulls the probe out by mistake as soon as it is more than 50 cm away from the beacon it will turn back on.
Our whole crew got them this year. Haven't had to use them in a real burial but they have worked good in practice.
pm me for more details.

http://www.pieps.com/en/probes/pieps-iprobe.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJozB2wg3hE


The integrated digital technology enables a temporary deactivation of the already found transceiver (only beacons with iPROBE-Support) – the searcher can focus on the next strongest signal! So PIEPS provides the first truly 100% perfect safety solution for multiple avalanche burials!

Which beacons support iPROBE? I'd be interested but ony if my existing DSP or Pulse would work with this.
 

SnowBigDeal

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Which beacons support iPROBE? I'd be interested but ony if my existing DSP or Pulse would work with this.
The iProbe will pick up the signal of any standard-frequency avalanche beacon; however, for the temporary disabling of the beacon by the iProbe, you must have a Pieps Beacon. The Pieps DSP will work as long as it has software version 5.0 or higher and the Pieps Freeride beacon will work. No other beacons on the market (that I am aware of anyway) have the functionality to be temporarily disabled by the iProbe.

So to answer your question, the iProbe will pick up the signal of the Barryvox Pulse beacon but in the case of a multiple burial, you will not be able to disable the transmitting signal of the Pulse by using the iProbe.