Tracker DTS


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Tracker DTS
Manufacturer Backcountry Access
Page By John
Page Type Jun 7, 2002 / Jun 7, 2002
Object ID 354
Hits 5955
The Backcountry Access Tracker DTS can greatly reduce the amount of time spent pinpointing, probing, and digging during an avalanche rescue. Which means you should buy one for your backcountry partner so they can find you as easily as you can find them. Using state-of-the-art analog and digital technology combined with conventional transceiver design, the Tracker DTS (Digital Transceiving System) takes the guesswork out of locating avalanche victims. The Tracker’s unique dual antenna keeps the searcher directly on the path to the buried victim, which eliminates the stop-and-go process of traditional grid searches. The Tracker's "smart" DTS technology not only creates significantly faster rescues, but also makes it simple to operate. As long as the number in the distance indicator is decreasing, simply follow the directional lights to your target. The Tracker also has a unique feature which accounts for the possibility of a secondary slide while searchers are in receive mode.
  • Digital distance and direction displays simplify searches for inexperienced beacon users
  • Dual receiving antennas eliminate "grid" and "tangent" searching, resulting in significantly shorter search times for both novices and experts.
  • Automatic sensitivity adjustment eliminates the need for manual volume controls.
  • Multiple search filtering helps isolate signals in the event of multiple burials.
  • Optional auto revert-to-transmit system can protect rescuers caught in secondary avalanches or who forget to switch back from search to transmit mode.
  • Improved harness design provides comfort, speed, and protection to rescuers during search.
  • Batteries: three AAA alkalines, not included
  • Battery life: minimum 1 hour in search mode after 200 hours intransmit mode (approximately 250 hours in transmit only or 50 hours in search only)
  • Limited 3 year warranty
  • Made in U.S.A. at an ISO-9002-certified facility. Certified to be in compliance with all applicable North American and European norms.
  • (2002): "The easiest-to-use avalanche beacon we sell."
Similar Products: Mammut Barryvox, Ortovox M2



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mpbro - Jun 8, 2002 8:38 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Yup, the blurb says it correctly, this is one easy beacon to use. The direct search recommended by the manufacturer, which puts total trust in the distance meter and directional indicator, will indeed lead you to the target.

I have done the so-called "tangential" search, where you follow constant-field-strength curves into the target.

Paradoxically, I find it difficult to do anything but the direct search using the beacon's features. The arrows and LED distance is too much to resist. You have to "trust" the beacon--anathema to some purists, who consider grid searches the only way to go. If I ever get the time (unlikely), I'll do some systematic tests, where I try a variety of search techniques, for a variety of burial depths and orientations.

A mundane weakness: If anyone figures out that silly strap system, let me know! Much worse than a fouled climbing harness.

I was in the Vancouver MEC in December, 2001, and I noticed much lower prices on beacons in particular. Starting at around $200 CDN! Much lower than the exchange rate gap alone. May check it out if you have a chance.

miztflip - Jun 29, 2002 2:30 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Luckly this is the one piece of gear that I've never had to "really" use. I did, however, work in a gear shop where I got to play with several different beacons.

Without question this was much easier to use than anything I could find. The arrows were easy to follow and right on every time. It really saved alot of time instead of using time consuming search grids and differentiating between a weak signal and a weaker signal.

Having worn it on several long trips I can say that I never even knew that it was there.

mconnell - Aug 11, 2002 8:48 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I used one of these during rescue training a couple of years ago. In general, I didn't find it much faster than a tangential search but it was easier.

A couple of problems I did have with it: The receiving range is shorter than the analog receivers. In our tests, it was about 25 meters compared to others picking up a signal at around 30-35 meters.

The other problem was using it when there are multiple signals. As you cross the signal fields, the receiver will switch between the signals which means it will tell you to go one direction, you take a couple of steps and it tells you to go in another. Moral of this story is to use your brain and don't blindly follow the arrow.

Ed F - May 26, 2005 6:05 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
This is the best beacon on the market. My only drawback is that it's a little awkward to search with when it's strapped to you. The 2005 model (which I bought for my wife) has corrected this with an easy release system to search.

Timothy Pearl - Jan 25, 2006 11:11 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
This is the quickest and easiest-to-use beacon out there. Has great functions for protecting against user error. Long battery life with battery indicator, will transmit many hours after at 1% battery. Works well for multiple burials, very correct distance measuring, and simple directional indicators. I've played with a few different brands and had to purchase this one.

Steve Larson - Jan 22, 2007 5:23 am - Hasn't voted

Yup, easy to use
Much easier than the analogs I first trained on! I haven't used it in multiple burial scenarios, so I don't have anything to say about that, but it kicks butt in single search. Thanks heavens I've never had to use it in a real rescue.

Bergshrund - Dec 21, 2007 1:19 am - Voted 5/5

Amazing device but the unit seems to sag on my chest, no matter how I adjust it. It's too heavy for the straps. Mine was 1999 mgf.

OJ Loenneker - Nov 23, 2009 2:44 am - Voted 5/5

Re: Straps
They fixed that with the newer units. They now sport a harness and a holster for the beacon, with an elastic tether. It might be a tad heavier than the old strap, but only heavy enough that weight weenies would notice.

OJ Loenneker - Oct 10, 2009 12:42 am - Voted 5/5

Easy Peasy
Pretty easy unit to use. I like the multiple search feature. I compared it to my buddy's Ortovox, and it blew it's doors off as far as being easy to use.
Lucky for me and my buddies, there is a BCA Beacon park on our local hill, so every year we spend a few hours there getting as much practice in until we feel confident in out abilities.

Viewing: 1-9 of 9