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  1. #1
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    Inbounds: Recco vs Beacon? (now with group buy info on pg. 4)

    Apologies, I think that this thread should be in Tech Talk but doubted it would be seen by as many maggots with good opinions and excellent insight. I also searched recco and did not easily find this info. If it is out there please post a link to the thread.

    With all of the inbounds slides this year and the predictions that the snow pack will/could remain sketchy (without the new salt bombs) I am wondering about what to do for my family.

    We ski about 30 days a year and ski a lot of steep runs like the Tram at Big Sky and Headwaters at Moonlight). We have trips to Snow Bird, Snow Basin, Targhee, Big Sky & Moonlight Basin planned. There are five in my family and due to the fact that they are young (10-13) and when at these big mountains I am the group leader for 30-40 High School kids, all or our skiing is inbounds. There are obviously a lot of reasons to wear beacons everyday (especially this year) and if we had them they would be as standard as helmets for my kids & me.

    I am wondering about recco as something that would be practical for us vs. beacons. I know beacons for everyone would be the best but that would be quite an investment (my God I canít imagine how little that investment would seem if tragedy ever struck like it has for so many this year already but with a family of 5 I would have to budget for that for awhile)

    At a resort:
    Does recco provide enough detection ability to be useful vs. beacons?
    What is the most practical way to outfit all five of us with recco? Would I have to get everyone a new piece of outerwear or is it sold within undergarments or are the reflectors available by themselves?
    Knowing that we ski inbounds and that I would be buying 5 what would be an economical beacon and how economical would that be (I know mtlion was selling some earlier this year anyone know if these are still available).

    Any insight from the maggots & experts here on the board would be appreciated.
    Last edited by mtsprings; 01-13-2009 at 09:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    >Detection of Recco is not an issue... but getting the detector to the site is. Every patroller at an avalanche prone resort should be wearing there beacon at all times, whereas the Recco has to come to the scene via ski, snowmo, whatever...

    >You can buy Recco tags and stick them to the inside of your boot shells.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoboy View Post
    >Detection of Recco is not an issue... but getting the detector to the site is.
    Exactly.

    At this point in time RECCO is pretty much a corpse recovery device. When the sensors get small enough that everyone can carry one, then sure they might be an effective substitute. But we're not there yet.

    A large group, all wearing beacons and trained to use them is much more effective than one relying on recco reflectors.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  4. #4
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    You can buy Recco reflectors for $20 or $30, I think mountaingear.com sells them.

    But as said previously - Recco detectors aren't something generally carried around by patrol as they aren't pocket items, there might be a few units on the mountain if you're lucky. So they need to be deployed. And when survivability plummets after 15 minutes, the odds of them being deployed quickly enough aren't great. Couple that with the fact that they don't pinpoint quite as well as a beacon, and it isn't a great tool. Yet.

    I would buy 5 BCA Trackers, someone might discount them if you buy 5. That way everyone in the family learns on the same beacon and your cost of entry should be around a grand.
    "Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
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  5. #5
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    there are such things as transmit only beacons which i believe are about 50$ a pop.

    since you are dealing with kids, it is unlikely you would have or want them to be involved in any searches... finding them is the only thing you want to do... so this seems to be a good fit for them

    that said, there is some controversy about transmit only beacons. some are concerned that they will become standard, and then no one will actually have searching beacons and that = problem. see debate and other discussion here: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/a...php?t-957.html

    it seems like there are such things as transmit only doggie beacons for cheap too... maybe look into those?

    i agree though, reccos are popsicle finders. if you can get beacons on everyone for a low price, do it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post

    At this point in time RECCO is pretty much a corpse recovery device.
    That is the reason I don't mind the couple bucks for the gear with it, if the gear is what I want.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel View Post
    That is the reason I don't mind the couple bucks for the gear with it, if the gear is what I want.
    It's the least you can do for your family right?


    I've got a jacket that came with some and I stuck some on my boots. Doesn't make or break a decision on gear for me though. I have no delusions about the effectiveness of the current state of the technology.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  8. #8
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    lots and lots of people skiing gnar wear beacons and know how to use them to find folks in avys. Pretty much everyone I ski with will start a beacon search ASAP if they are the first upon an avalanche event. I suspect a vast amount of skiers and riders do the same. Can''t imagine many folks carry recco around...

    Anybody sking in avalanche terraine should have a beacon.
    Its not that I suck at spelling, its that I just don't care

  9. #9
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    Recco's new search device is about the size of a water bottle. Not many out there yet, though.
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Recco's new search device is about the size of a water bottle. Not many out there yet, though.
    http://www.tetonat.com/archives/674/...ecco-detector/

    7" x 7" is still pretty big to carry around all day but at least it's an improvement. And according to the article, the new Recco will pick up a beacon signal as well which is a nice added feature, although I doubt it serves much practical use
    Sunday ends with her head in a pillow, ass in the air with me pounding her from behind. Life is good.

  11. #11
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    RECCO vs. beacons

    RECCO reflectors should not be worn inside anything. They must be external as they are passive and only reflect the signal from the handheld detector. Read the RECCO review at www.tetonat.com for more information. The new RECCO detectors should be standard equipment for all ski patrols, but as someone stated, the RECCO detector would have to be fetched in the event of a slide. They are not routinely carried by patrol, an important factor when every minute counts for a victim.

    Although aftermarket RECCO reflectors are available, strongly consider outfitting with beacons. The new Pieps Freeride (single antenna digital) would be an excellent choice for someone unlikely to be involved in a search. Check out www.beaconreviews.com for his review. BCA Trackers (dual antennae digital) may be a better choice as they would be far superior if used to search for a victim. If you can find a good price on the Ortovox F1 (single antenna analog), it would also be a good choice for the kids. There are always caveats, but do your homework and pick the one best for you.

    Cheers, Dave

  12. #12
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    You can buy just reflectors here:
    http://www.mountaingear.com/pages/pr...0&N=4294966885
    Sunday ends with her head in a pillow, ass in the air with me pounding her from behind. Life is good.

  13. #13
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    the doggie version is $130

    seems way overpriced for a simple single freq transmitter. its big and gets poor reviews,and transmits on a different freq from humans.

    the cheapest beacon is $200 the pieps

    im sure there will be a lot of sales this year.

    i bet a group buy here could get a factory direct discount

    Hayduke Aug 7,1996 GS-Aug 26 2010
    HunterS March 17 09-Oct 24 14

  14. #14
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    Mntlion's site is here.
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    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

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  15. #15
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    Is there a problem having RECCO and your beacon on at the same time? I would guess they have different signals?

  16. #16
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    the recco gets a roung ride but there have been instances of people being rescued alive using them

    i am trying to work out the logistics of a search when the group involves a number of untrained kids. wouldn't transmit-only beacons make searching a nightmare? i guess you could get everyone to switch theirs off while the search is ongoing. what if you, as the designated searcher, are the one buried?
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arno View Post
    what if you, as the designated searcher, are the one buried?
    designated searcher? You mean like the guy who was supposed to bring the weed?
    .....Visit my website. .....

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by powderdave View Post
    RECCO reflectors should not be worn inside anything. They must be external as they are passive and only reflect the signal from the handheld detector.
    Sorry, that's entirely wrong. The signals are radio waves, at frequencies that pass through feet of snow. The additional attenuation from a few inches of clothing is minuscule. The photons don't know if they've been generated by a battery in your pocket, or have been reflected. The frequencies are around those of cell phones; the Recco transmitted signal is at 917 MHz, and the reflected signal is frequency doubled to 1834 MHz. The signal will pass right through clothing. If you were wearing aluminum foil, e.g. on your helmet to protect against mind control rays, or had the chip behind keys in a pocket, that would be an issue.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by otter View Post
    Is there a problem having RECCO and your beacon on at the same time? I would guess they have different signals?
    There is no interference between RECCO and a transceiver. RECCO is a passive signal reflector, while a "beacon" is a 457 mHz transmitter and receiver. Completely different systems. There are some things that MAY interfere with tranceivers:

    http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/Interference.htm

    * Electronic devices (cell phones, radios, headlamps, MP3 players, etc.) can effect transceivers. The electronic devices affect the searching beacon more than the transmitting beacon.

    * In search mode, irregular readings and decreased range can also be caused by other sources of electrical interference, such as power lines, lightning, and electrical generating equipment. Ortovox also mentions ski lifts.

    * It is preferable to turn off your electronics when transmitting. If it is not practical to turn them off, always keep them at least a few inches away from your transceiver. Metal objects should also be kept away from your transmitting beacon (e.g., pocket knifes, additional transceivers, etc).

    * When searching, the electronics and metal objects should be further away from your transceiver. Tracker says at least 15 cm (6 inches), Ortovox says least 30 cm (12 inches), and Barryvox says at least 50 cm (20 inches). My informal testing leads me to feel that Ortovox's 30 cm (12 inches) is a reasonable minimum. Of course, it is best if you turn the devices off (which is what most manufactures suggest), but turning off radios and cell phones during a search is not always realistic.

    * Remember that a cell phone that is not being used still transmits a signal to the cell service periodically (I have heard that this occurs every 3 to 15 minutes).

    * Some transceivers use a magnetic compass while searching (e.g., Barryvox Pulse and Ortovox S1). It is especially important that you keep magnetic items away from these transceivers while searching. Be especially wary of magnetic buttons on jackets.

    * Some transceivers use a magnetic on/off switch. It is possible, although not easy, to turn these transceivers off with a magnet. This is another reason to avoid jackets with magnetic buttons.
    Last edited by Cirquerider; 01-02-2009 at 11:07 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arno View Post
    there have been instances of people being rescued alive using them
    ?
    Got any examples?


    I saw an article in powdermag where a helicopter mounted version was being used for large searches. I could see that being useful but I don't know of any cases where live victims have ever been pulled using any version of the system.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  21. #21
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    there are a couple listed on here and I am pretty sure they aren't the only ones:
    http://www.recco.com/company/milestones.asp

    i am definitely not saying that recco is in any way a substitute for a beacon and the rest of the kit (even recco make that pretty clear). however, it is probably worth a few $$ as a safety device for inbounds skiing
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
    There is no interference between RECCO and a transceiver. RECCO is a passive signal reflector, while a "beacon" is a 457 mHz transmitter and receiver. Completely different systems. There are some things that MAY interfere with tranceivers:

    http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/Interference.htm
    wow, thats interesting! Never thought about it before, but I usually have a Ipod nano clipped to my beacon when hiking. Maybe not such a good idea.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
    There is no interference between RECCO and a transceiver. RECCO is a passive signal reflector, while a "beacon" is a 457 mHz transmitter and receiver. Completely different systems. There are some things that MAY interfere with tranceivers:


    http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/Interference.htm

    Good info, thanks. To be technically accurate, the frequency is 457 kHz, i.e. below AM radio.

  24. #24
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    do a lot of ski patrollers carry beacons? If there is a slide at a resort, do they make a probe line, and have a guy or two searching with a beacon, or is a beacon not always used?

  25. #25
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    bacon is $4.99 a pound. A pound should cover the whole family.
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