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Old 10-16-2006   #1
BV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 46
Beacon Suggestions

Can anybody give me some pros and cons on some beacons? I'm looking at the BCA Tracker and the Pieps DSP currently. Any other suggestions? Thanks for any and all of your comments. Evan

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Old 10-16-2006   #2
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928

I'd stick with Hilshire Farms thick sliced

I have the Tracker, and like it. I'd say try a few out. Sometimes avalanche school has different ones, digital, analog, etc. you can try.

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Old 10-16-2006   #3
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485

Trackers are nice because they are really easy to use, and have a multiple burial setting. However they supposedly have less of a transmitting range than Ortovox or Peips. This probably doesn't matter often, but it seems like in a large avalanche a better range would be better, wider search grid, etc. I also like more transmitting power because of selfishness, and if there is not a "last seen" point, searchers may get a signal quicker from farther away.
I really like beacons with good audio, it seems like you ears can really pick up on differences that the LED/LCD displays alone may or may not show.
Just my opinion
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Old 10-16-2006   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
I would suggest the Pieps DSP. The trackers are nice and are simple to use, but the Pieps overall I think is a better beacon. It is just as easy to use I think and with a little practice the Pieps multiple burial system is much better in my opinion. (Or so I hear I fortunally have never had to use it outside of practice). I agree with dgosn that you need a beacon that has good audio because in a burial situation you dont want to be and wont be completly focused on the LCD screen of your beacon. I have used both the tracker and the Pieps and I like the Pieps better, but both are good beacons.
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Old 10-16-2006   #5
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,062

I just went to a very informative beacon testing clinic. The new Pieps Beacon is very impressive. With the triple antenna system they are using and the easy to upgrade features. The Pieps beacon should be the last beacon you would ever need. The multi-search function is the most simple system I've ever seen. It's more expensive than the rest, but it's worth every penny.

PM me with your email, and I'll send you all the results. Very interesting how all the beacons played out.
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Old 10-16-2006   #6
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 334
I like the BCS Tracker because it is easy to use. If you have two and lend one out you don't have to worry that some one won't figure out how to use it, it is dummy proof. It has analog and digi as well. Pieps makes a good product as well. It all depends on your need and money. Good luck.
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Old 10-16-2006   #7
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
I currently own and use the BCA tracker and like it's simplicity, I have been able to demo the Pieps and am very impressed with there technology.

The triple antenna is a great feature as well as the multiple burial function. It has to be the easiest multiple burial function on the market, my next beacon will be the Pieps.
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Old 10-16-2006   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
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DTS Tracker.
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Old 10-16-2006   #9
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Seattle, Washington
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Haven't used the new peips. Given the choice of any other beacon on the market, the Tracker hands down wins. It should be noted that absolutely no beacon is idiot proof and they are all hard to use given the circumstances. It doesn't really matter which you use, but I'd recommend after you become proficient, spend at least an hour of practicing before every day you go out. Last year was an extremely stable season by CO standards, don't be fooled. If you can't dig each other out, you or your friends are dead. Ski Patrol and S&R only find bodies, not people. That being said, powder to the people.
Patrol Joe

P.S. Dylan - you're crazy. If you don't even own a beacon, you couldn't possibly use one in an emergency nor do you have the experience necessary for being in the backcountry. Borrowing a beacon is like borrowing your first ever life jacket at the putin for Gore.
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Old 10-16-2006   #10
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by JCKeck1
P.S. Dylan - you're crazy. If you don't even own a beacon, you couldn't possibly use one in an emergency nor do you have the experience necessary for being in the backcountry. Borrowing a beacon is like borrowing your first ever life jacket at the putin for Gore.
they have done tests with small children, and they were able to find a buried beacon using the tracker. :shrug:

But while I can't disagree with your overall point, it isn't that crazy to go in the BC with a novice using a borrowed beacon. It would be crazy if you skied dangerous terrain. But everyone has to start somewhere, and getting people into the habit of "don't go in the BC without the required equipment" is a good start. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to have the equivalent of a level one course. When people don't have the training, ski choices should be made accordingly, but it doesn't mean I need to stay at the resort.

And my opinion regarding which beacon to buy? Doesn't matter, because the best beacon is the one you own and know how to use.

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