Tech Tip Tuesday: Ortovox Avalanche Transceivers
Last week at the East Idaho Snow Expo, we met with the Ortovox rep and were able to get our hands on some of the new Ortovox gear. Today we’ll talk about the 3+ and the S1+ Transceivers, both of which have three antennas inside for the best in transmitting ability.
Lets start with the 3+ transceiver. At first glance, the 3+ seems simple with just one button on the front, a round display screen and two tabs on top that put it into search mode. The batter cover door also doubles as the on off switch, which when it’s off, sticks out from the housing and is not flush. We’re not sure why the labels for on, off, and open on aren’t labeled as such, but once you’re familiar with it, it’s pretty simple. There’s also a slide that locks the switch in the on position to prevent it from turning off by accident. To get the battery out, we found you have to push down on the compartment door while turning it and holding the slide lock over.
When using the 3+ in a test setting, (finding another beacon in the warehouse) we found it to be very accurate and everything you would want in a transceiver. It’s simple and easy to use design made it easy to find the other transmitting beacon and the flag button on the front allows you to flag each beacon easily. To enter receive/search mode, simple pull outward on the two buttons on top with the arrows and a small tab will pop out letting you know you’re in receive mode. To exit back to transmit mode, simple push the tab back in. Should there be a second or follow up avalanche it would take a fraction of a second to enter back into transmit mode. It is also very accurate and uses a ring system on the display as well as an audible beep that increases in interval as you are getting closer to the transmitting beacon (eerily similar to the motion trackers in the movie Aliens). The big selling point on the 3+ is the use of 3 transmitting antennas for the best transmission no matter what position the victim is in. Search range is also a respectable 43 meters.
Next we looked at the S1+. At first glance, we realized this transceiver is a bit bigger than it looks in the photos online. It’s only slightly larger than the 3+ and kind of reminded us of an old school cell phone with it’s flip up clam shell design or some sort of Star Trek communicator. We weren’t a huge fan of the look and feel of the S1+ but also realize that style doesn’t really matter when it works so well as an avalanche transceiver. Unlike the 3+, the on/off switch is clearly labeled in English and simply requires a twist to engage. Once the unit is turned on, it is automatically put in transmit mode (while closed). To switch to search mode, simply open up the device (like a flip phone). The only downside of this is that if you are in a group search and you find the buried victim, your tendency will be to close the device switching it to transmit mode which may confuse other searches who may think there is another victim buried. The cool thing about the S1+ is that the display will show the position of the victims, such as if they are stacked on top of each other or side by side etc. It also has a range of 55m or searching as opposed to the 3+ that is only 43m. As with the 3+ you can flag each victim once they’ve been located and continue on to finding the next victim without the previous interfering with the next search.
Overall, we think both transceivers are great. For the best value and overall win, we’d have to go with the 3+ for it’s smaller size yet robust features. If you want to spend a little more to get more search features and don’t mind a slightly larger device, then the S1+ might be the transceiver for you. For more details on each of these transceivers, see below or check check them out on our Ortovox page.
- Ortovox’s newest addition to their industry leading avalanche transceivers
- Utilizes the latest in transceiver technology
- The 3+ beacon is a 3 antenna device which, for the first time, can add to your own safety
- The intelligent position recognition analyzes the position of the antennas and automatically switches to the most optimal transmission antenna; there is no longer any such thing as to be in the worst position
- The circular display guides you to concentrate on the most important things: the distance to and the relative position of the buried victim. Always align the device with the arrow, the solid arrow and the central distance value keep you going in the right direction
- The patented representation as a circle shows you at a glance if you are getting closer to the signal or moving away. This allows you to very effectively determine the distance to the buried victim and limit the areas to be probed
- The 3+ allows you to maintain an overview with multiple burials, The number of victims is displayed and as soon as you have found the first burial, you can blend out their signal with the pin key. The victim is displayed as pinned and you can continue immediately with your search
- Displays number of buried victims, 3 and more
- This transceiver is the most simple beacon to use due to clear control elements, precise real time display with directional arrows and circle display
- Lighted display for night searches
- Switchover in case of a follow-up avalanche and clear, optimized search acoustics
- Rubberized housing for protection and ergonomics providing increased durability
- Maximum circular range up to 43 meters and 40 meter search lane width
- This 3 antenna avalanche beacon combines the best features and the latest transceiver technology
- Be found easier with Smart Antenna Technology™. This technology analyzes the position of the antennas in the avalanche and automatically switches to the optimal transmission antenna, the worst coupling position is simply switched off.
- Ortovox is the only avalanche transceiver manufacturer who transmits via two antennas
- Fully compatible with all other avalanche devices
- Easy to operate, without pressing any buttons, flip open the S1+ and you are automatically in search mode
- The only avalanche beacon that offers you an overview of the complete burial situation. The relative position of the buried victims is shown and conveys a sense of control during the search, saving vital time in the rescue
- Simply follow the instructions on the display and the device shows you what you need to do
- When searching, the display show a bearing line indicating your position, directional arrows and precise distance information lead you as quickly as possible to the target
- Once you are in the refined search area, the patented circular display, in combination with the arrow and distance values, supports you in the search, you immediately see whether you are approaching or going away from the victim.
- You can also mark victims in the pinpoint field and immediately continue searching for other victims
- Fully updatable, product development is an ongoing process, to ensure you benefit from the latest in avalanche searching technology, Ortovox has made the S1+ fully upgradeable so you will always have the most up-to-date transceiver
- Displays number of buried victims (up to 4) with a flagging function
- Multiple burial mode (4+), trailhead test, self-test, update, and optimized power management, switches over in case of a follow up avalanche
- Comes with a comfortable neoprene bag
- Uses 2 AAA Alkaline only batteries
- Maximum range approximately 55 meters, search lane width up to 50 meters
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