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  1. #1
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    Practice Beacon?

    Looking for a good, cheap solution for a transmit-only avy beacon for solo practice. Seems overkill to have a second fully-functional beacon for this. Aiming to do paired/team practice if available/when possible, but will be in a new area so don't know what to expect. Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    You might be able to get a good deal on a Pieps DSP soon. A cheap used beacon (Rx & Tx) is your best bet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    You might be able to get a good deal on a Pieps DSP soon. A cheap used beacon (Rx & Tx) is your best bet.
    ha, yeah, just gotta make sure to tape the switch to tx

    thanks.

  4. #4
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    Pieps has this thing which is either a dog beacon or an insurance policy for DSPs, and $82 actually seems reasonable for it.

    https://www.evo.com/outlet/avalanche...up-transmitter

    Agree that used normal beacon is probably best. I bet someone around here is sitting on a 2-antenna beacon that can go to this purpose.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by caulfield View Post
    Pieps has this thing which is either a dog beacon or an insurance policy for DSPs, and $82 actually seems reasonable for it.

    https://www.evo.com/outlet/avalanche...up-transmitter

    Agree that used normal beacon is probably best. I bet someone around here is sitting on a 2-antenna beacon that can go to this purpose.
    Yeah - saw that backup beacon but not sure how that auto-on function might work. You're probably right about just getting a used one. Will probably take this over to gear swap. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Beat me to the punch on DSP's ;-)

    Seriously however, post on Gear Swap ... ya know ... where folks buy, sell and trade.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  7. #7
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    Fleabay usually has several ancient beacons at any given time, heaven forbid anyone buys one for anything but use as a practice transmitter. If a seller doesn't realize his beacon is obsolete, maybe a polite message would convince them to lower their price.

    Stuff like this:
    ORTOVOX M2 AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER BEACON - Fully Functional
    Ortovox F2 Avalanche Transceiver Beacon Purple

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by caulfield View Post
    Pieps has this thing which is either a dog beacon or an insurance policy for DSPs, and $82 actually seems reasonable for it.

    https://www.evo.com/outlet/avalanche...up-transmitter

    Agree that used normal beacon is probably best. I bet someone around here is sitting on a 2-antenna beacon that can go to this purpose.
    It operates on a slightly different frequency plus you need a pieps DSP pro to receive to signal
    “I have a responsibility to not be intimidated and bullied by low life losers who abuse what little power is granted to them as ski patrollers.”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoqpass View Post
    It operates on a slightly different frequency plus you need a pieps DSP pro to receive to signal
    good callout, that makes it pretty bad for both dogs and insurance policy

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoqpass View Post
    It operates on a slightly different frequency plus you need a pieps DSP pro to receive to signal
    Quote Originally Posted by caulfield View Post
    good callout, that makes it pretty bad for both dogs and insurance policy
    But good for your partners or you that probably want to get dug out before the pooch.

  11. #11
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    Yep, beacons for dogs and snowmobiles are intentionally a different frequency.

  12. #12
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    If you search for an old analog beacon with a newer digital beacon, the searching beacon may sometimes think there are multiple sending beacons. I have seen this. I've also read about why this happens, but I've forgotten the details.

    It's not an issue if your only doing single burial practice. But if you're going to practice multiple burial scenarios an old analog beacon may not be suitable.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    Fleabay usually has several ancient beacons at any given time, heaven forbid anyone buys one for anything but use as a practice transmitter. If a seller doesn't realize his beacon is obsolete, maybe a polite message would convince them to lower their price.

    Stuff like this:
    ORTOVOX M2 AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER BEACON - Fully Functional
    Ortovox F2 Avalanche Transceiver Beacon Purple
    back in the day i was skiing with a guy who had done a recovery several weeks before and buddy was telling us how he got fooled by his analog beacon cuz the body was at a wierd angle so it was just not clear but due to that experience one thing was clear that he needed a new beacon as he held up his rattling F1

    i seen that beacon at the ski swap a week later, I supose its > nothing
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  14. #14
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    Glad this is generating a good discussion. Thanks all for the knowledge. Seems like a simple TX-only beacon is a product category that should exist, though (a) the market probably isn't very large and (b) could cut into full-on beacon sales.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    back in the day i was skiing with a guy who had done a recovery several weeks before and buddy was telling us how he got fooled by his analog beacon cuz the body was at a wierd angle so it was just not clear but due to that experience one thing was clear that he needed a new beacon as he held up his rattling F1
    I've played with an analog and am confident I could get fairly close with one, but it would certainly take a lot longer. Hell, even with a modern 3-antenna you can't be 100% certain you're going to find the target quickly. For example, if the scene is steep and full of trees and brush and the target is against a tree (with branches in your way), below a log, and buried several feet down. You know you're close, but probing and digging is hell. (It's a great training scenario, BTW.)


    Quote Originally Posted by ntblanks View Post
    Seems like a simple TX-only beacon is a product category that should exist, though (a) the market probably isn't very large and (b) could cut into full-on beacon sales.
    Since a TX-only beacon would have an appealing price, would you like to meet folks for a tour and discover that some "frugal" members of your group have TX-only beacons? If you or your group were buried, would you want nearby BC skiers to come to your rescue with TX-only beacons?

    It would be worse than if they had old analog beacons.
    Last edited by 1000-oaks; 10-18-2020 at 04:31 PM.

  16. #16
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    There was such a transmit only product being marketed a while back. And not as a practice beacon.

    It was a fucking stupid idea.

    There's a thread about it somewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    Since a TX-only beacon would have an appealing price, would you like to meet folks for a tour and discover that some members of your group have TX-only beacons? If you or your group were buried, would you want nearby BC skiers to come to your rescue with TX-only beacons?

    It would be worse than if they had old analog beacons.
    C'mon. You know that's not what I have in mind. I'm envisioning a special use case as described.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntblanks View Post
    C'mon. You know that's not what I have in mind. I'm envisioning a special use case as described.
    Yeah, but you know how people can be, lol.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1000-oaks View Post
    Yeah, but you know people how people can be, lol.
    And the stakes are pretty high so I get it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow Skipper View Post
    But good for your partners or you that probably want to get dug out before the pooch.
    Yea, makes great sense and is clear on the BD site. The evo site and that "backup" marketing is not as clear

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    If you search for an old analog beacon with a newer digital beacon, the searching beacon may sometimes think there are multiple sending beacons. I have seen this. I've also read about why this happens, but I've forgotten the details.

    It's not an issue if your only doing single burial practice. But if you're going to practice multiple burial scenarios an old analog beacon may not be suitable.
    It's an issue even for single burial practice:
    https://beaconreviews.com/continuous_carrier.php
    But if you can get an old Ortovox F1 for really cheap, since a good practice target, especially since they're still in use, i.e., you might have to find one for real someday.
    Just be sure it hasn't suffered from frequency drift, otherwise it won't work for practice (or a real search either).

    Ortovox M1/M2 beacons make perfect practice targets though, since the long housing body makes the antenna orientation really obvious.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    There was such a transmit only product being marketed a while back. And not as a practice beacon.

    It was a fucking stupid idea.

    There's a thread about it somewhere.
    At first I had no recollection of that.
    Then I remembered all of this:
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...he-Transmitter
    Predecessors that actually came to market include Snow-Joker, Powder-Beep, Arva Life Bip, Barryvox S2, Ortovox D2.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  23. #23
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    I have a few 10-12 year old Trackers that were still functioning last time I checked. I'll send one along for the cost of shipping if you promise never to tour with it and not to resell it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    I have a few 10-12 year old Trackers that were still functioning last time I checked. I'll send one along for the cost of shipping if you promise never to tour with it and not to resell it.
    Pm'ing.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    I have a few 10-12 year old Trackers that were still functioning last time I checked. I'll send one along for the cost of shipping if you promise never to tour with it and not to resell it.
    Just remember with those that if you want to set up the target in a certain way (whether easier or harder), the transmitting antenna is at a 45-degree angle to the housing, as BCA is the only company to ever have used crossed antennas (i.e., instead of perpendicular).
    Oh, and the way to remember which antenna is the transmitting antenna, is, umm, IIRC, the antenna that has the CE verbiage on the back of the housing, or something like that.
    Otherwise, excellent choice for a practice target, especially since I've never heard of frequency drift on those.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

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