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  1. #1
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    Beacon Picking Up Weird Signal

    I fired up my Tracker 2 this last weekend while I was in my garage and it was picking up a signal in search mode (with no other beacons on in the area). It kept reading a distance of 10, I moved into a different part of the house and it still was reading a distance of 10. I haven't tested it away from the house yet. Anyone else experienced this before?


    In before hate on Tracker 2

  2. #2
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    Don't take your garage into avalanche terrain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  3. #3
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    Any fluorescent lighting in said garage?

    Cell phone in your pocket?
    Ooof!

  4. #4
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    Cordless tool batteries on chargers.

    Electrostatic air filter in furnace.

    Breaker panel.

    Etc... etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  5. #5
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    Yep.... tons of things can cause electrical interference and give you phantom signals. Have a high voltage power line running near your house?
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Looks like a lot of things can cause a false signal. Phew. I thought my beacon was toast after just a year. I'll retest it out and away from the all the house stuff

  7. #7
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    my Tracker 3 alerts on my television.

    not saying there isn't any problem with yours, but it's prob just interference.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    391
    Certainly wouldn't want to have to do a search with a digital beacon under the power lines at La Rosiere/La Thuile - one of the main transmission circuits from France to Italy and LOTS of interference back in the analogue beacon days when you could hear it instead of having to rely on the signal processing to reject it.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2009
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    Portland, OR
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    EMI - same reason people advise keeping phones/electronics away from your beacon while traveling in the backcountryTM

  10. #10
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    Make sure you only use alkaline batteries in BCA trackers. I put lithimums in mine and it pushed the frequency signal a few degrees off of 457 mHz, it was still within the acceptable range but I felt like I could notice while doing searches.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brutah View Post
    Make sure you only use alkaline batteries in BCA trackers. I put lithimums in mine and it pushed the frequency signal a few degrees off of 457 mHz, it was still within the acceptable range but I felt like I could notice while doing searches.
    Only ever use alkaline batteries in a beacon.

    It's what they're designed to give battery life % for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Only ever use alkaline batteries in a beacon.

    It's what they're designed to give battery life % for.
    There are a couple beacons now that can accept lithium batteries. You generally need to change a setting in the beacon.

    Mine can take lithiums. I see no reason to change from just using high quality alkalines though.
    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!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I see no reason to change from just using high quality alkalines though.
    Yep I know that some can take lithium with setting change.

    But this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    There are a couple beacons now that can accept lithium batteries. You generally need to change a setting in the beacon.

    Mine can take lithiums. I see no reason to change from just using high quality alkalines though.
    The Mammut Barryvox Pulse recognizes and adjusts for Lithium batteries, which last much longer (both in use and especially in storage), don’t leak (which happened to me using alkalines and required sending it away for servicing), are much less impacted by cold temperatures, and are lighter. They’re a cheap upgrade if your transceiver accepts them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1CK. View Post
    my Tracker 3 alerts on my television.

    not saying there isn't any problem with yours, but it's prob just interference.
    Poltergeist
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  16. #16
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    Wasn't the point of not using lithium's that when they die it's sudden and total, whereas alkaline's tend to fade off giving some measurable warning?

    Correct me if I'm mistaken. I use lithium's in most everything, except my beacon.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    Wasn't the point of not using lithium's that when they die it's sudden and total, whereas alkaline's tend to fade off giving some measurable warning?

    Correct me if I'm mistaken. I use lithium's in most everything, except my beacon.
    More accurately, alkaline and lithium batteries have different voltage vs. discharge curves. Lithium batteries have very flat curves - the voltage stays fairly constant until the battery is nearly completely discharged, then drops rapidly. Alkaline batteries experience a more gradual voltage drop as the battery discharges. The battery indicators on the majority of beacons are calibrated for the discharge curve of alkaline batteries so functionally yes - if you stick a lithium battery in a beacon designed only for alkaline, it will read a very high battery level right up until just before the batteries die.
    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!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    More accurately, alkaline and lithium batteries have different voltage vs. discharge curves. Lithium batteries have very flat curves - the voltage stays fairly constant until the battery is nearly completely discharged, then drops rapidly. Alkaline batteries experience a more gradual voltage drop as the battery discharges. The battery indicators on the majority of beacons are calibrated for the discharge curve of alkaline batteries so functionally yes - if you stick a lithium battery in a beacon designed only for alkaline, it will read a very high battery level right up until just before the batteries die.
    Thanks for the confirmation. So how do the newer beacon's detect voltage drop with lithiums?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation. So how do the newer beacon's detect voltage drop with lithiums?
    I'm not 100% sure but just from looking at the graphs there IS a voltage drop on lithium batteries as well, it's just a lot more gradual over the first 80%-ish of the battery capacity. So I'd imagine the designers simply just program both curves in.
    Any electricity wizards, please feel free to correct any inaccuracies.
    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!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakersTeleMark View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation. So how do the newer beacon's detect voltage drop with lithiums?
    it's basically just a timer. or that's how it was explained to me by the Pieps rep.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by N1CK. View Post
    my Tracker 3 alerts on my television
    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post
    Poltergeist
    mark it with your probe

  22. #22
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    Don't confuse voltage and current (amperage/wattage).
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  23. #23
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    Did you check the pockets of that hitchhiker you buried in the basement?

  24. #24
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    adrenalated is correct. It is voltage drop.

    Here’s a nice chart courtesy of Eveready showing how lithium batteries hold reserve power better under a constant draw. At 0.8 Volts the battery is dead.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Ted Striker; 01-03-2020 at 10:43 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I'm not 100% sure but just from looking at the graphs there IS a voltage drop on lithium batteries as well, it's just a lot more gradual over the first 80%-ish of the battery capacity. So I'd imagine the designers simply just program both curves in.
    Any electricity wizards, please feel free to correct any inaccuracies.
    Correct
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

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