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Author Topic: Ortovox 3+  (Read 25774 times)
otter
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Ortovox 3+
« on: 12/10/10, 04:57 PM »

Just had a pair of new Ortovox 3+'s delivered to my doorstep. Mmmm... sexy little beacon.
Simple design, just one flagging button. Simple display with numbers and an arrow. Automatically goes into pinpoint mode at 2m.
Only 1 AA battery!
Although I never use harness systems, this is a design that might actually work for searching. It allows you to get the beacon out to arm's length... unlike many other harnesses.
All three antennas can transmit, and if you stop moving for a while, like if you were buried say, the beacon will begin transmitting from the most optimal antenna to give your rescuers the best chance of finding you.

One thing I find interesting: Ortovox recommends a single rescuer signal search pattern that is 20m from the edge of the debris and 40m apart. BCA and AIARE has been using 10m and 20m. Any thoughts on this topic?
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swaterfall
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #1 on: 12/11/10, 04:57 PM »

Have you tried the flagging function yet?  I wanted to take that beacon for a test drive at ISSW but didn't get the chance.  I was able to flag/unflag pretty quickly and reliably at the booth, but I'd be psyched to try it out in the field.

Not sure on the search strip width.  I wonder if there are some new protocols in Euro?
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Jonathan_S.
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #2 on: 12/12/10, 05:26 PM »

All three antennas can transmit, and if you stop moving for a while, like if you were buried say, the beacon will begin transmitting from the most optimal antenna to give your rescuers the best chance of finding you.
Just two, not all three -- the third antenna on all beacons is only for resolving nulls/spikes in the final search phase, and is probably too small to do any good for transmitting.
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otter
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #3 on: 12/12/10, 10:02 PM »

Just two, not all three -- the third antenna on all beacons is only for resolving nulls/spikes in the final search phase, and is probably too small to do any good for transmitting.

Thanks for catching that Jonathan. I didn't mean to put any misinformation out there.
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russ
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/10, 11:43 PM »

I've been out twice testing with the 3+, still haven't decided if I'm going to keep it because I want to test against more beacons.

First time out was testing against my original model Tracker and a friends F1. We tried single and multiple with every combination...† The 3+ gave erratic results, but we couldn't rule out the problem was with the older F1 (which hasn't been tested for drift) or user error.† The 3+ needed to be much closer than 40M to pick up a signal. On one multiple test it picked the first signal up reasonably, but didn't detect the second until 17M.

On purpose I had not read the directions other than a quick glance of features. On reading the instructions, it talked about panning the beacon 30 degrees to each side and tilt moderatedly up and down to increase the chance of picking up the signal. I think I was doing something like that, but not as systematic.

Second time out was with the same Tracker and a different F1.† For whatever reason the 3+ seemed to work more reliably. Whether a different F1, more experience with it, I didn't get as many erratic readings. It still didn't pick up signals at 40M, but once it had the signal it was very quick and easy to locate the beacon.

Liked the harness and extension cord. I'll continue testing.. Almost forgot - the Marking button - awesome. When you find the first beacon, press the mark and move on to the next. No need to turn off the beacon.
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Jonathan_S.
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #5 on: 12/14/10, 07:20 AM »

Before testing any beacon's search function with an F1 target, the F1 transmission definitely needs to be checked.
Fortunately, the 3+ can do this for you (along with the S1, DSP, and Pulse).  But although I agree that trying a beacon first w/o reading the user manual is a good test of the user interface's intuitiveness this, for the transmission check, you really need to read the manual first, especially for possible error codes.
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ryanb
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #6 on: 12/14/10, 08:55 AM »

Check out the video reviews on the bottom of this page:

http://www.facewest.co.uk/Ortovox-3-Plus.html

They convinced us to go with tracker 2's due to the weirdness they describe a few meters out. Has anyone else noticed this?
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ron j
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #7 on: 12/14/10, 09:50 AM »

Check out the video reviews on the bottom of this page:
http://www.facewest.co.uk/Ortovox-3-Plus.html
They convinced us to go with tracker 2's due to the weirdness they describe a few meters out. Has anyone else noticed this?
Yeah, my jury's still out regarding this unit. Two of my partners and I just bought the 3+ at the recent REI sale based on the review at beaconreviews.com.
I have been out practicing with this unit twice now, once searching for two SOSs and one 3+, the other time searching for one SOS and one 3+.
In both sessions I experienced the confusion period mentioned in the above videos more than once. I was thinking that possibly some of the confusion was due to the long analog pulse of the SOS beacon, but now I'm not too sure... or at least not sure that the long analog pulse is the total cause.
Another thing I found a bit frustrating was that if I moved too fast the unit's processing would not keep up. I'm sure that coming from an analog beacon that can keep up even if I am running contributes to that frustration.
Right now I'm thinking my search times will still be faster with my SOS (especially considering the time advantage of locking on sooner due to the longer range). I'm planning on spending a afternoon at a beacon basin to test this out.
Of course even if my search times with the Analog machine are faster, that benefit then gets offset by the fact that the longer pulse signal of the Analog machine in send mode reputedly confuses the Digital machines in search mode which could result in the user of the Analog machine being recovered last (or at least later) in a multiple burial situation. So it appears that analog users are destined to go digital soon whether they like it or not. That was actually a factor in deciding to go digital with the 3+.
I was hoping the 3+ would be the cat's meow and the transition to Digital would be a breeze because of it. Now it's not as simple as I'd hoped.
Are we working towards taking the 3+ back and getting something else?
What are all you pros seeing out there on the matter?
Anyone have any words of wisdom to help with this dilemma?

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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Jonathan_S.
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #8 on: 12/14/10, 09:53 AM »

They convinced us to go with tracker 2's due to the weirdness they describe a few meters out.
Which of the two videos and at what time mark?
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ron j
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #9 on: 12/14/10, 10:06 AM »

Which of the two videos and at what time mark?
Starting at about 3:26 on the first viddy and 3:23 on the second.

« Last Edit: 12/17/10, 09:56 AM by ron j » Logged

"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Jonathan_S.
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #10 on: 12/14/10, 10:12 AM »

I like the British-accented "quirk" reference.
(Unfortunately though I don't have a 3+ with me now, so I can't check it out.)
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andyrew
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #11 on: 12/14/10, 10:48 AM »

Check out the video reviews on the bottom of this page:

http://www.facewest.co.uk/Ortovox-3-Plus.html

They convinced us to go with tracker 2's due to the weirdness they describe a few meters out. Has anyone else noticed this?

I have only played with the 3+ for a couple minutes, but I did notice that the directional arrows were considerably slower/laggier to update compared to the tracker 2.  I believe I also saw some erratic misreadings at the tail end of the fine search like seen in the video.  I will have a chance to play with it some more tomorrow and will see if it's reproducible with different target beacons.  I think I used a pieps dsp in my initial test.
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PNWBrit
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #12 on: 12/14/10, 11:24 AM »

Although I never use harness systems

Dan - do you think that might have been any factor in having forgot your beacon the day of your accident?

Not that the forgot beacon was a factor or the most important lesson from your incredibly honest and sobbering accident report.

I'm anal about wearing mine. Often do just out of ingrained habit when there is absolutely no need - skiing in bounds on groomers - on zero risk days.

Only ever not use a harness in the spring or with a hudge overnight pack - for comfort. Never just put it in my pack in case I need it later.

Not judgiing at all. If question offends or upsets I'll remove it.
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russ
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #13 on: 12/14/10, 11:59 AM »

The video shows exactly what I was referring to as "erratic behavior". Interesting in that I don't remember seeing on the second searching session, but it's been a couple of weeks ago so I may not be remembering, or I may have walked right through that zone as he suggests.

In the first testing session I stood and watched it jump all over the place before just moving to get a different read. It did steady out after that, so I'll have to check and see if it's consistent around 6M.

Jonathan - really - novel concept....

I think remembering all the error code meanings in the field is going to be a problem unless you carry a cheat sheet or generalize:

Error code on Self Test (E1-E4)= check for interfering signals, if still getting an error beacon isn't working right. Dig out backup Tracker.

Error code on Partner Test (E1-E7)= give partner your backup Tracker(and show him/her how to use it...)
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khyak
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #14 on: 12/14/10, 07:10 PM »

I was excited about this beacon when it came out, but one trip to REI cured me.  Turned the on/off/recieve button too far and the battery fell out.  Took an effort to get the battery compartment closed.   The switch alone would steer me away, but also, did not care for the display.  Was not that large or very bright.  Design seems very poor.
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sachelis
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #15 on: 12/15/10, 08:50 AM »

<snip>
One thing I find interesting: Ortovox recommends a single rescuer signal search pattern that is 20m from the edge of the debris and 40m apart. BCA and AIARE has been using 10m and 20m. Any thoughts on this topic?

I have an explanation regarding IKAR's recommendation to manufactures on how the maximum search strip should be calculated here (on BeaconReviews.com). BCA now says 40m for the Tracker DTS and 50m for the Tracker2 (although the Tracker2 manual states 40m in one location).

Steve
BeaconReviews.com

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ron j
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #16 on: 12/15/10, 09:38 AM »

I have an explanation regarding IKAR's recommendation to manufactures on how the maximum search strip should be calculated here (on BeaconReviews.com). BCA now says 40m for the Tracker DTS and 50m for the Tracker2 (although the Tracker2 manual states 40m in one location).
Steve
BeaconReviews.com
Steve - Thank you for joining the discussion and thank you for providing you link to the Calculated versus Recommended Search Strip Widths on BeaconReviews.com.
And welcome to TAY. You web site is a huge resource to those of us trying to figure out the pros and cons of various new beacons on the market and I, as one of many, appreciate all your hard work.

When you did your tests of the 3+ for BeaconReviews.com did you see any of the perceived "wierdness" or "quirks", i.e. momentary erroneous/unstable indications at a particular distance as mentioned above and also mentioned in the video reviews cited above?

Thanks, in advance, for your feedback.


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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
PNWBrit
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #17 on: 12/15/10, 06:09 PM »

Ron if range is a priority, which I understand and agree with to a degree - the speed that a secondary search can be conducted with a digi beacon possibly outweighing that advantage - have you tried a DSP? I'm constantly amazed at how much further out it reaches than most all other beacons.

It really is time to retire those old analogs everyone... almost to the point of being industry standard to do so.. you mentioned yourself good reasons why. It's current CAA advise to junk them. I sincerely hope no one is still teaching any avy courses with one as an instructor.
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otter
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #18 on: 12/15/10, 07:31 PM »


Dan - do you think that might have been any factor in having forgot your beacon the day of your accident?

Not that the forgot beacon was a factor or the most important lesson from your incredibly honest and sobbering accident report.

I'm anal about wearing mine. Often do just out of ingrained habit when there is absolutely no need - skiing in bounds on groomers - on zero risk days.

Only ever not use a harness in the spring or with a hudge overnight pack - for comfort. Never just put it in my pack in case I need it later.

Not judgiing at all. If question offends or upsets I'll remove it.

Good question, non offense taken.
I always carry my beacon in my front zippered pocket, attached to my beltloop. That's where it lives. If I ever washed my pants I guess it would come out, but I don't...
I find it faster to get my beacon out when its in my pocket and I don't have to worry about layering issues. And a lot of harnesses are poorly designed. I initially picked up the habit patrolling, because beacons in harnesses are too close to our radios and interfere with transmissions.
The reason I didn't have a beacon was because I had just gotten a new one and had been playing with it the day before and had not girthhitched it to my pants yet.
So in a way, not using a harness system may have contributed, but only because I had become used to always having me beacon with me without having to think too hard about it.

Why we didn't do a beacon check is another question. "Complacency" is the best answer I can find.

I appreciate the question and I invite more. I hope I didn't make it weird for people to ask questions with my little rant. Just avoid judgments f you don't know the details is all.

 
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ron j
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #19 on: 12/16/10, 08:34 AM »

Ron if range is a priority, which I understand and agree with to a degree - the speed that a secondary search can be conducted with a digi beacon possibly outweighing that advantage - have you tried a DSP? I'm constantly amazed at how much further out it reaches than most all other beacons.
It really is time to retire those old analogs everyone... almost to the point of being industry standard to do so.. you mentioned yourself good reasons why. It's current CAA advise to junk them. I sincerely hope no one is still teaching any avy courses with one as an instructor.

Brit Ė Thanks for your comments. I agree with all your points.

I probably wasnít too clear on this but I'm not interested in hanging onto the analog - I'm committed to the change and clearly understand the reasons why I should be.

What I'm interested in is NOT ending up with a beacon that increases my search times... and especially not ending up with a beacon that has a "quirk" that could cause a mental breakdown in a time of extreme stress and panic (of course, Iím not talking about me in such an instance; I'm WAY too cool and collected under pressure Roll Eyes )

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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
PNWBrit
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #20 on: 12/16/10, 09:12 AM »

Why we didn't do a beacon check is another question. "Complacency" is the best answer I can find.

Yep completely agree.

Very easy to just trust that a regular, (more) experienced or fellow pro tour partner hasn't had a brain fart and to not do a beacon test.

Ron - if you keep looking for "quirks" you'll probably always find them even to the point of sticking with an old dual frequency audio only pieps. These things have been around for ~10 years ;-)
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ron j
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #21 on: 12/16/10, 10:01 AM »

Ron - if you keep looking for "quirks" you'll probably always find them even to the point of sticking with an old dual frequency audio only pieps.

Ahh... It would be nice if I exhibited more competence than that.† Regardless, for some reason your warning doesn't worry me Smiley

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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
zeroforhire
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #22 on: 12/16/10, 12:00 PM »

I have messed with mine a bit inside, and actually like the controls.  I will be going out this weekend to test it outside.

pics are up on my website...

www.gearinformant.com

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PNWBrit
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #23 on: 12/16/10, 03:58 PM »

Ahh... It would be nice if I exhibited more competence than that.† Regardless, for some reason your warning doesn't worry me Smiley

What a truly bizzare reply.

I wasn't "warning" or intending to "worry" you. Nor was I doubting your "competence" or years of experience.

But I'm sorry if I somehow caused your passive-defensiveness.

Please update your beacon soon and encourage others to do so as well.


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sachelis
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Re: Ortovox 3+
« Reply #24 on: 12/17/10, 08:21 AM »

Steve - Thank you for joining the discussion and thank you for providing you link to the Calculated versus Recommended Search Strip Widths on BeaconReviews.com. And welcome to TAY. You web site is a huge resource to those of us trying to figure out the pros and cons of various new beacons on the market and I, as one of many, appreciate all your hard work.

When you did your tests of the 3+ for BeaconReviews.com did you see any of the perceived "weirdness" or "quirks", i.e. momentary erroneous/unstable indications at a particular distance as mentioned above and also mentioned in the video reviews cited above?

Thank for the kind words, Ron.

I did not see the 3+ quirk shown in the video. That certainly doesnít mean that it isnít real (and the video looks pretty convincing). I spent four or five hours testing a handful of 3+ transceivers (appreciatively, I did this testing with the owner of Ortovox). I spent much of that time searching for multiple transmitters and testing the Marking feature (which was excellent during my test session). I also spent a considerable amount of time testing the 3+ís range (versus the other popular transceivers). I definitely walked through the seven meter zone many times, but I didnít see the quirk. Unfortunately, I havenít received my 3+ yet. If the quirk is real, letís hope it can be corrected with a software update.

Steve
BeaconReviews.com




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