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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Denver, CO
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    60

    When to upgrade beacon

    How often do you replace your beacon?

    I currently own and use an Ortovox Patroller Digital from 2013. It is a 3 antenna digital transceiver, and I am quite comfortable using it. It still works well and I have had no issues with it. However, coming up on 7 years seems like a long time, and I know many of the new beacons have better range and better technologies for multiple burials. Is it worth upgrading to newer technology at this point? Or should I continue using the beacon I am comfortable with for now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    In the shadow of the wasatch
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    3,134
    I'm in the same boat you are. Older pieps dsp. I took it into BD who now own pieps and they tested it and it's all good. Digital circuitry doesnt drift and when it fucks up it just quits. I have an even older orthovox f1 that lives in a big ziplock and is buried in beacon drills but will not be used in bc because its oldAF

    I'm sure there is some guidance on the subject out there. We need a dentist to chime in
    Bunny Don't Surf

    Have you seen a one armed man around here?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    6,545
    https://beaconreviews.com

    IIRC he posts here, but I can't remember the username.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fairhaven
    Posts
    47
    The general guidance that I've been told to tell people in avalanche classes is "keep your transceiver as long as the warranty" or ~5 years. Check search, send, and range regularly with all of your partners and after 5 years check for frequency drift. The newest generation of beacons handle multi-burial scenarios well and have much better range than older ones.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    5,340
    Just depends on the beacon model, IMHO. Take the three-antenna Ortovox S1 and S1+ for example, they've been around a long time but still perform up there with the best. And one would probably survive 1,000 years in a landfill if you put it in an airtight container, so ten years in your closet is nothing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
    Posts
    337
    I think as long as you have a 3 antenna design your are good - at least if you have good functionality to mute devices of already found persons so you don't have to mess with "Dreikreismethode" (sorry for my German but you know what I mean).

    Sure the newer ones have some great functions but being used to the device helps a lot, too.
    Do your regular checks, software updates (reminder to myself) and training. There have always been better and less capable devices: I am fan of Mammut and Pieps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    9,300ft
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    17,770
    Ortovox Patroller, like the X1 and D3, should be replaced after 5 minutes of use by the average person. Not really 3 antenna and not really digital, most of the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    60
    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Ortovox Patroller, like the X1 and D3, should be replaced after 5 minutes of use by the average person. Not really 3 antenna and not really digital, most of the time.
    Patroller digital was the successor to the D3, it's fully digital and three antenna.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    6,213
    Quote Originally Posted by dub2 View Post
    Patroller digital was the successor to the D3, it's fully digital and three antenna.
    It's a POS. https://beaconreviews.com/Specs_OrtovoxPatroller.php

    Have some respect for your partners and get a modern beacon. A Pieps or Barryvox will be better in every way. Plenty of sales right now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    the ham
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    I use my Ortovox Patroller as the victim for search practice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    5,340
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    I use my Ortovox Patroller as the victim for search practice.
    ^ This.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    310
    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    Just depends on the beacon model, IMHO. Take the three-antenna Ortovox S1 and S1+ for example, they've been around a long time but still perform up there with the best. And one would probably survive 1,000 years in a landfill if you put it in an airtight container, so ten years in your closet is nothing.
    Truth. The og S1 is still a bad ass transceiver. Not quiiiiite as snappy as the new barryvox s (for example) but not far off, which is pretty amazing considering its age.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyhoyle View Post
    The og S1 is still a bad ass transceiver...
    I had two separate S1's that had software issues and would need to be rebooted in the middle of searches. They were replaced under warranty. I had a third that was ok. Ortovox also recalled the 3+ because of software issues. I believe the S1+ was recalled twice, once because it had some wiring that failed in the cold. Oops. If yours is running well that's great. But I would not recommend Ortovox as a brand. They have a history of releasing flawed products.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
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    1,020
    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    But I would not recommend Ortovox as a brand. They have a history of releasing flawed products.
    My first beacon was a hand-me-down Ortovox M1 circa 2005. There was a recall for an issue where the batteries would dislodge and the beacon would turn off. I returned the beacon to Ortovox, and received a different M1 with the supposed fix. Batteries dislodged while doing a practice search in my L1 course, so yeah, I'm out on Ortovox.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    60
    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    It's a POS. https://beaconreviews.com/Specs_OrtovoxPatroller.php

    Have some respect for your partners and get a modern beacon. A Pieps or Barryvox will be better in every way. Plenty of sales right now.
    Well, guess it's time to upgrade. Appreciate the advice

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    5,340
    I've had two S1 and two S1+, never had an issue with any of them, but did send them all in for the recall updates just to be safe.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    12,318
    Like skis opinions on Beacons varies.

    I have a 3+ and used it professionally and now use it recerationally. I have used every brand on the market except Arva.

    My rule of thumb is replace when the warranty expires. I would have no hesitation buying another Ortovox.

    I patrolled and did avalanche control for 33 years, was a Snow Safety Dir for > 1/3 of that time.
    Ooof!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
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    ^^^ I'd rather have you searching for me with an analog beacon than the average BC skier rocking the latest and greatest, but a new Pieps/BD Pro has 50% more range than the only beacon Ortovox currently makes, the 3+.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    12,318
    I have never really found that a larger coarse range is really that big an advantage nearly as much as the guy using he tool having more than a passing familiarity with it.

    Use what you want, the question was "when should I replace my beacon".
    Ooof!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Boston
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    2,968
    Are you intentionally not using Arva, or is it just a coincidence?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Striker View Post
    https://beaconreviews.com

    IIRC he posts here, but I can't remember the username.
    Steve is in the process of updating the website now. (Sorry for the delay, kind of late this season.)

    The beacon model of the OP lacks any marking feature, and in general was kind of a budget model for its day.

    In general though, good any to run a beacon of any vintage through this testing protocol each fall:
    https://beaconreviews.com/testing_your_beacon.php

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,192
    Quote Originally Posted by Self Jupiter View Post
    Are you intentionally not using Arva, or is it just a coincidence?
    The new Evo5 is a sweet little model. Mine arrived just in time for the Eldora skimo races this past weekend. Hoping to run it through some formal testing this coming week.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
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    2,437
    Quote Originally Posted by Self Jupiter View Post
    Are you intentionally not using Arva, or is it just a coincidence?
    Those frenchies, they give up too easily

    A couple of friends have Arvas. They seem happy, but I haven't played wth them though. The older Neos were definitely a bit bulky in comparison.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,192
    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    My first beacon was a hand-me-down Ortovox M1 circa 2005. There was a recall for an issue where the batteries would dislodge and the beacon would turn off. I returned the beacon to Ortovox, and received a different M1 with the supposed fix. Batteries dislodged while doing a practice search in my L1 course, so yeah, I'm out on Ortovox.
    The recall at the time entailed only a new battery compartment door. Ortovox disputed that the claimed problem could ever be replicated. I still have a couple of those units that were given to me, and often use them as testing targets since the longer slender housing ensures that transmit antenna is aligned as intended.
    I don't think any of that reflects on whether or not the 3+ is a good model.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Your Mom's House
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    6,454
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    I don't think any of that reflects on whether or not the 3+ is a good model.
    Agreed, however the 3+ has TERRIBLE range for a modern beacon. It's pretty decent otherwise but man there's no excuse for the shitty range.
    Quote Originally Posted by Norseman View Post
    All ye punterz! Leave thine stupid heavy skis in the past, or at least in the resort category, for the age of lightweight pussy sticks is upon us! Behold! Keep up with the randocommandos on their carbon blades of shortness! Break thine tibias into spiral splinters with pintech extravagance!

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