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Old 10-13-2008, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
Zee
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Default Tracker 2 Beacon

Backcountry Access has come out with a new beacon, the Tracker 2. MEC has it for C$318, looks like a solid unit at this price.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's not real. At least I have yet to see a working model. It is on a backorder status with MEC. They have been talking about this beacon for two years now. It was suppose to come out last year and then they went back to the drawing board. With their emphasis on single vs multiple burial technology, BCA feels like they are a little stuck in the past. The Pieps DSP is light years ahead of the original Tracker and I suspect the Tracker 2 (if it's produced this year) does not match up. All of the things that BCA says a beacon should focus on the DSP does better than what they could put out.
Now the original Tracker turned the beacon industry on it's ear with it's digital processor and ease of use. Still a solid beacon. It's started to fall behind and BCA realized this late. They are playing catch up. Another thing is that I would give the Tracker 2 a generation for them to work out their bugs or at least to see what other users find out.
I should be able to get a hands on with the Tracker 2 at some point here. I'll definitely put a review up of my thoughts once I get to play with it. I've been surprised by more than one beacon over the years. Hopefully it will be another great beacon on the market. I do give credit to BCA for taking their time and trying to get it right. You just shouldn't hype it if you are not 100% sure it's going to be there.
The Ortovox S1 was a complete disaster in terms of marketing. It's now a pretty damn fine beacon.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not hyping it, I guess I should have put the question out there, does anyone have experience with it? Sounds like no one does yet. I checked beaconreviews.com and there is a youtube video of it. You are correct, it appears to be on backorder at MEC. I've ordered it regardless and once I do get one, I'll post up a review.

PS. The Pieps is the other one I was looking at, but it is stupid expensive up here.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, the DSP can be a bit pricey. I have the one without all the bells and whistles (inclinometer and such) and it works great for what I want. A beacon.

I haven't found anyone who has any experience with it except for the BCA guys. So I have no idea. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Tracker 2 does not come out this year.

If you are looking for an inexpensive 3 antenna beacon, check out the Ortovox D3. I found it to be highly accurate and easy to use. It's basically the same as the Tracker 2 in what they promise. I found the range to be around 40 meters if I remember correctly. Pretty good for a digital beacon. Pinpointing was a breeze with it. I also like the the fact that to put the Beacon on you have to turn it on. Something both the Pieps and Tracker lack. Not sure of the Tracker 2 but I suspect it's the same. Too many times I have gone out with people that have forgotten to turn on their beacon. I've also left my Pieps on for a week. I was impressed though the batteries were only drained to 70% after 6 days of being on. If you find the Tracker 2 to be on infinite back order, you might consider swapping for that one.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My only hesitation on the D3 is the poor review on beaconreviews.com
If they work out the kinks though, I would probably go for it if the Tracker 2 doesn't materialize.

I did some additional reading on the Tracker 2. Sounds like they delayed release to work out any possible issues, which is not a bad thing. I think you are right though, it is a big "wait and see" on it, and it may not be prudent to pick up the first run off the assembly line.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I read the review on beaconsreview.com and needless to say I did not find those issues. In all honesty, I think it was one of the better price point beacons out there.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I contacted BCA, they are saying that it is now January release. Even if it is a good product, delay after delay certainly makes the company look bad.

So.. Pieps is again at the top, and I'll take another look at the Ortovox D3.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, I would run with your thoughts. The Ortovox S1 was much heralded and much delayed. When the first generation came out it was pretty good but it also had a couple of serious (though low tech problems, not software) design issues that I could not recommend using it. Ortovox has addressed those issues and now it's a amazing though pricey beacon.

As I said before. If you are looking for a price point Beacon, I thought the D3 was solid.

The Pieps DSP is definitely worth the money. I still get over a 60 meter range with mine. Which is way better than any other digital beacon out there. Throw that in with a great pinpoint search, the making capability, plus software upgrades, and you have a top notch beacon.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I found the Pieps DSP V6.2 for right around $400 locally, sure beats the $550 that coast mountain sports is charging for last years v5.0.

I should have it in my hands by next week. Everyone I have spoken to can vouch for the Pieps, but what really sold me on it was the "Smart Transmitter" feature. Makes not only multiple beacon searches easier, but also makes it easier for you to be found if you are in a multi burial situation.
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Old 10-30-2008, 05:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sweet zee. I think you'll really like that beacon. The software upgrade feature is sweet too. I've upgraded mine twice now. You can use the Pieps to diagnose how much drift other beacons have too. The only problem I have with mine is the harness. It's the first generation harness and it sucks. Which reminds me, I need to hassle them some more for my replacement...
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