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Gear Question

Any one goy some experience with S1+?

Any one goy some experience with S1+?

Responded on

I have experience with the S1. The only difference is the ability to switch transmit antennas.

It does a good job of locking on to signals and doesn't want to let go. At the Vail beacon park, the BCA rep turned on three transmitters - two were within 2 meters of one another. The S1 was able to filter the signals and locate them without trouble. Three ski patrollers and the BCA guy had to use more advanced techniques with their Tracker2s that worked eventually, but took longer.

The compass and inclineometer are nice doodads, but I don't expect to be pulling out my beacon to tell me where I'm heading or how steep a slope is. Wrong tool for those jobs.

Responded on

The Inclinometer is actually a very handy feature when digging pits in the backcountry. It's a fast and easy way to accurately determine the slope angle of the run you are about to ski so you can evaluate risk and hazard. I've used it many times and enjoy this feature on the S1+.

Best Answer Responded on

Hi - yes, I actually purchased and field tested three beacons during a recent Avalanche training course. Of all the beacons (including Mammut Pulse, and BCA Tracker 2), I was the most impressed with the S1+. (Note: they were all good, and did their job. Read on).
Ease of use is pretty straightforward - open, and you're searching. Closed, and you're sending. If the beacon is open for too long (ie: you were hit by another avalanche while searching for someone), it will automatically revert to Send mode. A small LED flashes to let you know it's turned on in the holster.
I was the most impressed by the S1+ on the "Range Test" (where the instructor walks further and further away with a transmitting beacon, while 12 students read out the distance indicator) - the S1+ was the one of only two beacons in the group to go past 40 meters (the Mammut Pulse was the other one). The S1+ though - it kept reading past 60 meters. This might not seem like much, but if I'm searching for one of my best friends or my wife, I want as much range as I can darn well afford - the small extra cost for a better beacon is suddenly going to be worth it.
The other test that sold me on the S1+ was during multiple-burial drills. Comparing the S1+ and the Mammut Pulse, I personally found the S1+ to have a faster processing speed while locating 3 or more victims.
Downsides - the fine-search is different on the S1+ than some people might be accustomed to. But anyone who has taken an Avy course will quickly and easily adapt to the circle instead of a big "+" symbol.
Which brings me to my last point - if you're reading this and looking for an Avalanche beacon, but haven't yet taken an Avy course - Stop. Spend your money on the Avy course first, then a good beacon second. You'll be informed, and will make an educated purchasing decision as a result.