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| |-+  January 2010 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
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Author Topic: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video  (Read 11972 times)
PNWBrit
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #25 on: 01/22/10, 02:30 PM »

There's a lot of stuff on Wild Snow and TGR by Jonathan Shefftz on this subject. His übergeek conclusion is that iPhones and iPods are especially troublesome. I've started turning mine off or at least mitigating risk by doing so on higher risk days/terrain, not carrying phone close to beacon etc. As I recall the problem is the likely drive rather than the GPS/Cell antennae

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savegondor
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #26 on: 01/22/10, 03:34 PM »

There's a lot of stuff on Wild Snow and TGR by Jonathan Shefftz on this subject. His übergeek conclusion is that iPhones and iPods are especially troublesome. I've started turning mine off or at least mitigating risk by doing so on higher risk days/terrain, not carrying phone close to beacon etc. As I recall the problem is the likely drive rather than the GPS/Cell antennae



Interesting...may need some field testing.... did you say the hard-drive caused it? 
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gravitymk
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #27 on: 01/22/10, 04:29 PM »

Thanks for answering my question.

As a rule I avoid having anything on my person when beacon is present and on that can generate a magnetic field. If I have my iphone with me it's off, or otherwise at the car. The only time that I carry the GPS is on the sled, and I've taken to mounting it to the sled instead of carrying it on my pack or in a pocket. I don't know that the GPS is an issue, but I'm also not willing to take a chance that it is.
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Randy
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #28 on: 01/22/10, 05:33 PM »

A GPS doesn't have a transmitter -- the RF emissions it creates are very weak.
A cell phone does have a transmitter -- and a "smart" phone like the Droid is pinging the network periodically -- that could cause some interference.

VHF/FRS/GRMS radios in transmit mode generate a strong signal and might confuse or interfere with searching beacons.  It is possible that the transmit button could be depressed by snow or other items pressed against the radio in a burial.  The FRS/GRMS radios that I now use have an automatic cutoff feature to revert to receive after 60 seconds of continuous transmission.

In my own experience with VHF/FRS/GRMS radios -- I've been careful to position away from the beacon -- but mainly because of interference from the beacon's transmissions being audible on the VHF/FRS/GRMS radios when they are place close together.

The broad approach to "no electronic devices at all"  -- is simple -- but perhaps not the best.   Beacons are supposed to be worn in transmit mode all the time -- so it would be best to know whether a device interferes or not -- 'cause otherwise you can't use it at all eh?

It's not that hard to test for interference -- Just place the a beacon in transmit mode and the device next to each other and then try searching for it with another beacon.  Compare results of signal detection distance and direction indicators with and without the device.

A basic beacon test at the start of a trip -- where you test whether each of you can pick-up each other's signals is a good idea anyway.
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silaswild
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #29 on: 01/22/10, 07:58 PM »

Here's the link to Jonathan Shefftz analysis:  http://www.wildsnow.com/1609/jonathans-wildsnow-beacon-test-notes/

Last Saturday I did some exercise at the Alpental Beacon Park with my Tracker beacon in my right hand and my iPhone turned on in my left pocket.  I had no interference problem.  Hardly a scientific study, n=1.

Have we accomplished a second hijacking of this thread now?   Marcus, shall we move a few of these posts to a random tracks thread:   Beacon/Cell Phone interference?
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gibbycu
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Re: Jan 18th: Skyline & Video
« Reply #30 on: 01/22/10, 09:15 PM »

That tracking program sounds sweet...will definitely be trying that next time out.  If you are wondering about interference, try putting the phone and beacon together and searching for itwith another beacon
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