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So this season we will likely have a new member in our ride group.


All current members in our group use the 'Tracker2' digital 3 antenna transceiver. We are all very familiar with this transceiver and on how to use it.


The new member to our group has a 1 antenna digital transceiver, which has an elliptical receiving range of up to 40 m.




Now the range isn't great, but not so much less than the Tracker2 I guess.

As it has only 1 antenna, I guess the 'search' approach to the signal would be an elliptical, semi-circular approach, right? This is perhaps not as quick as the 'straight line' approach of the 3 antenna transceivers.

Also, an elliptical receiving range of up to 40 m, would only be a straight line range of around 20-25 m I am guessing....


I am wandering if anyone has any experience in using this transceiver?

Does anyone have one?

Has anyone used them with Tracker transceivers in a group? Maybe know of any compatibility issues?


I am looking for any feedback really, on how this transceiver performs and if it is any good. We are happy to welcome our buddy into our tight ride group, but just want to make sure that his gear is good for the type of riding we do.


Any comments, advice, feedback or experience would be greatly appreciated.



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The only thing you use the freeride for is your dog, very small kids who couldnt dig you out anyways, or testing you beacon finding skills by burying it. I would never ever go with someone who had that thing. Its fine if you have absolutely no intention of finding your mates within 15 minutes before they die, and its fine if you want them to find you, but you might as well be telling the people in your group that they can all go **** themselves. I advise if you carry this you also make sure you carry a plastic beach shovel, just so everyone knows you couldnt give less of a **** about their safety. Two antenna beacons are hard enough to follow without practice, i can only imagine how tough it is with one and continually inaccurate spike readings (and no directional indicator), a shit range, and requiring very advanced search skills that almost no one i know has. I know plenty of ski patrol still use single antenna stuff, but theyve been using that shit all their lives and know it inside out.


You could set your mind at rest and plant three beacons and give him 15 minutes to find them. If he cant get at least two of them, tell him to go buy a proper transceiver before you let him ride with you. Honestly, you can make it work, but youll have to practice a LOT with it. And if anyones picking this up i have a feeling theyre not really all that bothered with being safe outside the ropes.


Show this picture to your mate. If it makes sense and they know what it is then off they go.



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yeah Ippy, basically all the reviews I have read describe this piece of equipment as being for kids. OK for a victim, but pretty much lame for searching. I have already asked him to look into getting a 3 antenna transceiver, but get the feeling that he won't stretch to it.


The best we can do if he doesn't get a new beacon, is to take him out on one of our early season practice sessions and see how he and his 1 antenna transceiver perform. If he can't make the grade then I guess he can't play with us until he gets the right gear....

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ETA; was just reading teton (always nice to get in the mood by reading the horror stories on the slide zone), and learned an important lesson:


No beacon on your dog.


To summarise said lesson:


1. If youre searching and your dogs got a beacon on and running about, yay for multiple send signals.

2. If you have a slide where your kid/friend.wife.husband and your dog get buried and you dig out your dog and the kid/wife/friend/husband dies, well done. :)

3. To soften that a little, summit on teton writes:




Companies produce off frequency beacons for use on dogs, snowmobiles, and other itmes you might want to find in a slide, but you never want to find before a buried human. SOS and Pieps do this. Ortovox used to. You can also get a pair of old 2.2Khz beacons on ebay.


You always learn something reading teton. :)

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On the arva. three antenna beacon, multiple burial system like the one i saw on pieps (marking/masking), 40m range. Its going to be more than good enough. I remember when i was first looking for beacons a couple of years back and saw a review on the evo3 that was pretty much a ringing endorsement. The review i just read on the 3+ though seemed to find its features decent, but disliked the build quality on certain key aspects of it (the straps and the on/off switch in particular). They also disliked that if you were wearing it, it had to be switched on.


I like the common sense send/receive slide on it though. My tracker has a very VERY nasty habit of switching back to send. If your mates are in the middle of a search then its a bit horrible suddenly realising that although you switched it onto receive, when the call comes out "can you check your beacons are all on receive, please", youre the guilty party screwing up their exercise. I took to switching it off after the first couple of times of doing it which is a massive no-no in a real situation where a second slide might end up burying the search group. :)


Tangent aside. Competent beacon, read the reviews. No reason you wouldnt pick it up if you wanted a decent three antenna beacon (and why wouldnt you, theyre super simple to use as i discovered watching the cats with their pieps dsp - 2 antenna means youre getting spikes and youre having to follow flux lines... which isnt terrible, its just something you need to practice with first to kinda get your head around). The only thing that seems to be of issue is its durability, but honestly, arva have history making beacons in europe (theyre just not quite so famous in teh US), so i cant imagine theyd be selling a piece of shit that fell apart at the slightest hint of a tumble.

That all being said, im trying to find this comparison chart that derbytownjoe on trusnow posted a while back. Its tough work. If i see it ill put it up.

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Thanks I would appreciate a decent comparison chart

I have read reviews about a few different units but most haven't used more than the unit they are reviewing so not really a comparison if you get my drift

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linky checked and approved sfrom the SJ gang.




Its all in german, but you can figure it out i guess. First one is range of signal strength. Second cluster is signal direction. Third one is fine searching. Fourth one is multiple burial details. (picking up signals, retaining signals and likely masking signals).

Green is great, yellow is acceptable, red is useless. Pieps freeride, hello! Test carried out by the german alpine club. (DAV).


They have a test from 2011 which also has an explication of their test methods:



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The freeride is something you put into your bag just in case your beacon explodes or you forget it at home. It

is not a go to choice at all. I wont ride with someone that thinks it is an acceptable beacon. Never put a beacon

on your dog I would hate to find my dog and loose my friend!

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