How to choose your avalanche transceiver?
An avalanche transceiver (or beacon) is a piece of equipment that emits and receives a signal in order to rescue someone or be rescued in the event of an avalanche. This means that someone wearing a transceiver can rescue someone buried beneath the snow if the latter is also wearing a transceiver. This device helps to save precious minutes before search and rescue professionals arrive on scene.
Choose the right transceiver by reviewing the performance characteristics and features that you need. A device’s performance is expressed in search strip width. This means the width of an area the device is capable of “scanning” to indicate whether or not an avalanche victim is buried in the area. In addition to this, there are several other functionalities or search options that you might need.
All ARVA transceivers include certain standard functions that enhance performance and make them simple and easy to use. All of our devices are digital, equipped with 3 antennas, and feature the marking, group check, and auto-test functions.
The three antennas provide distance information in three dimensions. The main antenna, also referred to as the Y antenna, is the longest antenna. In transmit mode, it emits the signal, and in receive mode, it provides greater range. The secondary or X antenna orients then signal. This antenna provides reliable directional information. The third or Z antenna provides depth information during the fine search to avoid the multiple spike effect. Combining these three antennas provides a full signal.
Through digital processing, the signal is then translated into a distance and a direction indicated by an arrow. The search is made much easier through clear, visual indicators.
The auto-test is also a standard feature on all of our devices. It checks to make sure the device is working properly as soon as it is turned on: transmit, receive, and battery life.
The group-check feature allows you to make sure that everyone in your group is wearing a transceiver and that their transceivers are transmitting properly.
The marking feature rounds out all of these useful and essential functionalities. During a multiple burial search, the marking feature allows you to isolate and eliminate the signal of a victim who has already been found in order to focus on the next burial.
Our avalanche transceivers
The EVO4 is our simplest transceiver to use. In addition to a 40-meter search strip width, it includes all standard features to ensure a maximum level of safety without increasing the complexity of a burial search. This is the perfect device for novices or occasional users.
The NEO+ offers an incredible 70-meter search strip width. In addition to including all standard features, this device provides several additional functionalities during a burial search.
The revert-to-transmit mode allows the device to automatically return to transmitting a signal in the event of a secondary avalanche if the integrated motion sensor detects that device has not moved within a certain timeframe. This timeframe can be customized through the device’s settings menu.
The device also has a u-turn indicator, and will sound an alert if the person conducting the search is heading in the wrong direction.
Modern communications devices (cell phones, radios, smartwatches, etc.) can potentially interfere with a transceiver signal. In this case, the device will reduce its search strip width to focus on the closest signal in its attempt to eliminate the effect of all interfering frequencies.
In group check mode, the NEO+ is equipped with a frequency check feature that verifies if the transmitting device is working properly on the standard international 457 kHz frequency. All devices on the market use this frequency, but the device may drift over time. If the frequency of the transmitting device is off plus or minus 80 Hz, the device conducting the group check will indicate an error.
The NEO+ is a simple and high-performance device designed for professionals and the most demanding backcountry enthusiasts.
The AXIO, equipped with a third extendable antenna for a spherical search, makes it much easier to conduct a search in undulating terrain, and regardless of the device’s position. It has a search strip width of 60 meters. In addition to the 60-meter search strip width, it is equipped with a standby mode and burial marking feature.
The standby mode means the device is neither in search or transmit mode. This function is designed to allow the user to work the avalanche without disturbing searches being conducted with other devices. In the event of a secondary avalanche, the revert-to-transmit function automatically switches the device back to transmit mode.
The multiple-burial indicator makes it much easier to organize a rescue by being able to select the burial to search as well as to spread search responsibilities among everyone participating in the rescue. The identity of each victim is not displayed but a list of burials is created based on proximity, which allows searchers to select a burial to search based on distance.
The AXIO is a device designed for search and rescue professionals as well as expert backcountry skiers and riders looking for the most advanced features available.