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Old 10-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying Beacon--Ortovox 3 Plus or BA Tracker 2

After listening to people on this board I've decided it's a good idea to buy my avy gear before in get in over my head living out in Utah, so thanks for that it makes sense that's it's better to be broke than dead just hope I can get some side work in this month to help pay for it, split board will have to wait until next winter but at least I can do some parking\hiking this winter as safely as possible, of course I will be taking an avalanche safety courses shortly after arriving in Utah.

Anyways I've looked at all the mainstream beacons I could find in my price range(250$ to 350$) and I think I've got it narrowed down to these two models(but feel free to suggest other like priced models)

Backcountry Access Tracker 2 Avalanche Beacon
Backcountry Access Tracker 2 Avalanche Beacon from Backcountry.com

Ortovox 3 Plus Beacon
Ortovox 3 Plus Beacon from Backcountry.com

Honestly I'm not a 100% sold on either model, I like the Tracker 2 for it's simplicity, reliability and range but I also like the Ortovox for it's advanced features\display that could come in handy for dealing with multiple burial scenarios and the "pin" system to mark already found victims.

Thanks for your feedback\guidance in advance
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Both are great beacons. I believe both beacons have a 40 meter effective search range. So I think that part of your statement is a wash. The Tracker 2 is simple and processor is very fast. At least as fast as the DSP, maybe even faster. I know it's next to impossible to out run it where you would have to stop to reacquire the signal.

I do not know about how fast the processor works in the field for the 3+. I have played with it but not in that sort of situation. My initial thoughts were that it was a lot faster than the S1 processor which you can get ahead of. Being that both come from the same company, I suspect it is easier to get ahead of the 3+ processor. Meaning that you have to be disciplined in a search, which you need to be for using any beacon anyway.

When it comes to your pinpoint, the system that Ortovox has developed the best one hands down imo. With the Tracker and DSP, you have to do a quick "mini grid" to find where you want to go for your probe strike. Both are super effective at getting you right on top of your victim, but sometimes it takes two or three tries to hit your mark. The 3+ and S1 use a shrinking circle on the display. When you get it as small as you can that is your spot to go for a probe strike. 5 out of 5 times I hit the buried bag with the S1 on my first probe. Highly impressed with that.

Also, since you are hikeswithdogs. Pieps is releasing a doggie beacon that works on alternate frequency that Pieps beacons can read. All you need is a software update on the DSP and you can do this. Might be something you want to consider. It's making me stick with the DSP for this season for sure.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't worry about a split this year. Brighton has some excellent hikes outside of the gates with a bootpack the whole way. You can't get to the wolverine cirque though without a split unless you want to post hole up to your hip or beyond. You can save the cirque though for the next year.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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40m ain't shit when you look at the size of some of the slides out here. that is a problem and a serious concern i have with the newer beacons.

just saw that the pieps dsp has a 60m range at least so thats better....

.... the pieps vector looks NASTY!!!
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Also, since you are hikeswithdogs. Pieps is releasing a doggie beacon that works on alternate frequency that Pieps beacons can read. All you need is a software update on the DSP and you can do this. Might be something you want to consider. It's making me stick with the DSP for this season for sure.
OK I just noticed that the DSP is only 369$ on Amazon but 449$ on backcountry.com so that's weird.

Is the Pieps DSP unit comparable in features and performance to the Tracker 2 and Ortovox? As far as I can tell it is but I didn't see anything about the alternate frequency feature for finding a buried non human.

So YES please add the Pieps DSP to the list of possible options especially if it has an extra 10 meter range and alternate frequency search.

Basically I want the unit that will help me find my buddy, get him marked and dug out as soon as possible.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShredLife View Post
40m ain't shit when you look at the size of some of the slides out here. that is a problem and a serious concern i have with the newer beacons.

just saw that the pieps dsp has a 60m range at least so thats better....

.... the pieps vector looks NASTY!!!
It's easily accounted for in your search pattern. Not nearly as big of a deal as you would think. I agree though a bigger range is nice. Everyone was talking about the Vector that saw it at SIA. I'm considering buying one, but my DSP also works just fine atm...
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Pieps DSP is the benchmark for 3 antenna beacons. Ortovox and Tracker have been trying to catch up to it for years. The range is 20 meters better than either the Tracker or Ortovox 3+ not 10. I get a solid 60 meter reading from mine all the time.

You won't see much about the alternate frequency thing. It's new this season. For those of us, (like me), I will have to get a software upgrade to be able to use it with the doggie beacon. No big deal, I have easy access to that. Most metro areas that sell avy gear will have a shop that can do this. Any new DSP for this season that you may buy should already have the firmware update.

Check out Patrollersupply for the DSP. They can make sure that the DSP they send you is updated as they have the firmware. They will also have the doggie beacon when it becomes available. Call them up and speak with the owner Steve. Tell him I sent you and score an extra discount...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hikeswithdogs View Post
OK I just noticed that the DSP is only 369$ on Amazon but 449$ on backcountry.com so that's weird.

Is the Pieps DSP unit comparable in features and performance to the Tracker 2 and Ortovox? As far as I can tell it is but I didn't see anything about the alternate frequency feature for finding a buried non human.

So YES please add the Pieps DSP to the list of possible options especially if it has an extra 10 meter range and alternate frequency search.

Basically I want the unit that will help me find my buddy, get him marked and dug out as soon as possible.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
The Pieps DSP is the benchmark for 3 antenna beacons. Ortovox and Tracker have been trying to catch up to it for years. The range is 20 meters better than either the Tracker or Ortovox 3+ not 10. I get a solid 60 meter reading from mine all the time.

You won't see much about the alternate frequency thing. It's new this season. For those of us, (like me), I will have to get a software upgrade to be able to use it with the doggie beacon. No big deal, I have easy access to that. Most metro areas that sell avy gear will have a shop that can do this. Any new DSP for this season that you may buy should already have the firmware update.

Check out Patrollersupply for the DSP. They can make sure that the DSP they send you is updated as they have the firmware. They will also have the doggie beacon when it becomes available. Call them up and speak with the owner Steve. Tell him I sent you and score an extra discount...
killclimbz I notice there's two DSP models, there's the DSP and the DSP Tour it looks to me like the non-tour is the newer model and it has 2 more buttons, besides that I can't really tell the difference.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's got a few more bells and whistles that you really don't need. That is something that does annoy me a bit with Pieps and Ortovox. They add little things in like an Inclinometer, or Compass on the beacon. Stuff I am going to carry regardless. I just want my beacon to do one thing. Find my buddies beacon or allow my buddies beacon to find me and I want it to do it well. Fortunately, they do "do it well", but I have a little bit of a bone to pick with that. That is a nice thing about BCA they are focused on beacon only specific functions. Though I really do wish they would not blow off the multiple burial scenario like they do.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have the pieps DSP and find it the super easy to use and mark other locations. It does have all kinds of special things such as the thermometer and altimeter. I would recommend it since it is pretty simple to use and pinpoint locations. I haven't used the ortovox pinpoint system which seems pretty bad ass in being able to target someone with such precision.
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