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Gear Review

5 5

Very happy with this

This is my first beacon, and the only basis I have for comparing it to others has been using it and comparing my experience with that of other beginners during avy training. The short of it is that it is easy to use.

The Pulse units would consistently pick up signals from longer range than any others in the group- this included Trackers, DSPs, a few others- at 70m both of the pulses in our line lit up, with the rest of the units ranging anywhere from 20-50m before acquiring a signal.

On occasion this unit will become confused and order you to stop waving it about while it understands its environment. This seems to happen more in situations where there are many sending beacons, one or more of them are moving, or where you're rotating the beacon about excessively (or possibly if you haven't calibrated the device- the Pulse uses an internal compass to help it understand its spatial relationship to the the signals it's getting) Used deliberately, rather than rushingly, searches went efficiently.

While practicing large-group multiple-burial scenarios, I found that I could quickly obtain and use information with this unit to direct team members whose beacons didn't tell them these things. For example, knowing that there were 4 close-together burials (in a drill where we didn't know the total number of victims) helped individual rescuers better understand the confusing signals they were getting during their grid searches, and it allowed us to organize the team to search, probe, and dig pretty much in parallel.

I certainly expected that as a beginner I would be able to use this device to do an effective individual search- what surprised me was that as a beginner I was also able to use the information it provided to switch roles and organize a team of rescuers.