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The S1 plus Smart Antenna Technology to help YOU get found.

During practice or real-life recoveries, your Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Scanner/Transceiver immediately scans the debris field, showing you how many victims were buried, their orientation in reference to you, and the distance to each signal. Improving the original S1, the 2011 S1+ features Smart Antenna Technology, which actually improves your chances of being recovered by transmitting from the most effective antenna based on its position in the burial.

  • Smart Antenna Technology is the first in the industry to use two of three antennas to transmit your signal, and it turns on or off the antennas that are most likely to be detected based on your orientation beneath the snow
  • Auto Scan function starts scanning as soon as you open the flip-up S1 so you can quickly make the best decisions with the best possible information
  • Navigator uses a bearing line, direction arrow, and distance value to guide you to first victim
  • Fine search mode helps you find the right spot to probe with a clear circle and arrow display as well as the distance down to a tenth of a meter
  • Once you pinpoint one signal, mark it with the glove-friendly flag button and move onto the next victim without other signals clouding your search
  • Also features vital backcountry tools including an inclinometer, compass, and thermometer
  • Neoprene bag with elastic keeper strap secures the S1 to your body with a comfortable strap system
  • Fully updateable microprocessor lets the S1 remain cutting-edge for years

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Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Scanner/Transceiver

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Your community contributions

4 5

Sending out an SOS

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this beacon for the duration of last season after having used the BCA Tracker (the older model of the Tracker2) for the 3 previous seasons. This beacon does take a moment to get used to, but once you learn how to use it, I found it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. I also found it to be far easier to use in multiple burial scenarios (just practicing of course) than the Tracker.

I also had similar results to what Nate L. reported during my Avy course while testing the range. The S1+ was the very last beacon from our lineup of 8 units to lose the signal.

I love the easy-open feature where the S1+ switches to receive instantly, no fumbling with buttons and wondering what mode your beacon is in. I also sometimes worried about the button depressing and switching into receive rather than transmit on the older Tracker model. I know the actual likelihood of this happening is probably nil, but I do feel much more confident with the S1+ in that aspect. You can also give your friends a good laugh by pretending the S1+ is a flip phone, this joke has never failed me.

I used the inclinometer a bunch last winter! It's a great feature. Whenever I found myself waiting or hanging out on a slope, I would take out my beacon and try to guess the slope, so I became better a judging slope angels. I found this feature to be a great learning tool.

One more note, the sling or harness on the S1+ was significantly more comfortable and low-profile than the older tracker model. I am a diminutive female, and could never really get the tracker harness to fit correctly or sit where I wanted it without constant adjustment. In hindsight, I just should have altered the harness, or sewn some adjustments, but the S1+ harness was easily adjustable and fit me directly out of the box. It was more comfortable and seems to stay in place much better.

5 5

nice piece of kit

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Nice piece of kit that works real simple and reliable - ease of use and simplicity is the word here

5 5

excellent gadget

ease of use is top notch, very intuitive and amazingly fast in scanning the field. If you have to have one, consider S1+ it will not disappoint.

5 5

Using the Ortovox S1+ in practice parcs

I've used it in avalanche practice parcs and it works just fine. Not too much going on on the screen! I like the way it changes from sending to receiving by just opening the beacon. I found it very easy to use, after a bit of practice I could find multiple beacons (3) in under nine minutes.

Is the frequency for transceivers the same...

Is the frequency for transceivers the same all over the world?

Best Answer Responded on

All avalanche transceivers work on the same 457khz frequency. There used to be a different standard - 2.275khz - and during the transition, things got a little screwy. However, the International Commission for Alpine Rescue adopted the 457 standard in 1986 and ASTM adopted it in 1996. Every beacon sold since 1996 sends and receives on the 457khz frequency.

You may encounter a dinosaur who refuses to give up his old, 2.275khz beacon. That person is a moron and you shouldn't ski with him.

Is there much advantage to having this in...

Is there much advantage to having this in a single burial situation?

Best Answer Responded on

The Smart Antenna technology will be advantageous as it will choose the best transmitting antenna for the orientation you are buried in.

Responded on

Isn't that true for all multi-antenna beacons?

4 5


Impressive how easy to use this beacon is, especially for multiple burials. I've been using the Tracker for the past 8 years and it was good and I was very capable with it on single burials, however not very good on multiples.

I'm not any faster with the S1 because it requires the user to move more slowly. It will give you the "stop" sign if you move too fast, which is annoying at first, but you get accustomed to it. The beacon really shines on multiples. Easy to view on the screen, then flag and move on to the next.

There are other features aren't all that useful. It is nice to be able to check other peoples beacons to see if they are functioning properly.

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.