We tested the pre production Ortovox 3+ earlier this year the full report can be seen here.
This is an update of searching with the Ortovox 3+ full production model, we carried out two tests, one in the Snowcentre at Hemel with a number of Novice transceiver users and another outside away from any interference.
Transceivers used were Ortovox F1, Ortovox D3, Ortovox Patroller Digital, Ortovox S1, Ortovox 3+, from BCA we had the DTS Tracker and BCA Tracker 2
The transceiver uses had a very short introduction into how transceivers worked and were then left to try out searching for single and multiple victims using all the different transceivers.
This is not meant to be a fully scientific way of testing, more the feedback we got from a number of totally novice users.
The most popular and easiest to use came out as the Tracker 2 and the Ortovox 3+, the very interesting thing was the very close search capacity of the Tracker 2, we buried the target transceiver just under the snow no more than 5cm the Tracker 2 was the only transceiver able to give us a 0 metres to target.
The Ortovox 3+ proved it was very quick at getting you to the target, even if it was behind the searcher, however it only goes down to 0.2 metres from target, which is fine in a real world situation.
The older Tracker DTS struggled with the test and to be fair I think the interference really got to it. The Ortovox S1 handled everything really well especially with the target behind the searcher, however most people struggled to read the screen inside, not a problem outside in the real world, but those who worn reading glasses all comment on how much easier it was to use the Tracker 2.
On multiple burials the S1 users were much quicker finding the targets, even novice users were beating me when I was using the Tracker 2 and the Ortovox D3 and Patroller Digital.
The Ortovox F1, well in novice hands with very little instruction, it was very difficult to use, as we know this transceiver has a great range but needs lots of practise to get the best out of it. Funny enough our youngest tester only 15 found it much easier to get to grips with than the older members on the day?
As a final amusing situation on the inside testing, someone (who shall remain nameless) hid a transceiver behind one of the huge steel uprights of the building, this really confused everyone and all the transceivers, we did finally find it however it meant us all following a huge arc all around the building following a massive reflected signal. I suppose the rule is if you caught in an avalanche make sure your not buried behind a steel upright!
Outside testing with the new Ortovox 3+ transceiver and as a comparison the BCA Tracker 2 searching for an Ortovox D3
Test First signal acquired at 43m on screen, actual distance to target was from 35m to 50m depending on orientation of transmitting transceiver, super quick to target with a few adjustments on the way along the flux lines however the 3+ stayed pretty much on track the whole way through. Better than other transceivers and more of a straight line?
Not sure why, this should not really be the case as the transmitting signal is what is being picked up rather than the receiving signal being interpreted in a different way. We did find that when searching for the 3+ other transceivers gave us a straighter line to target as well.
Final close search when the direction arrows shut down (at approx. 2m) and the circular search kicks was very good giving a quick final search to victim. The 3+ resolved spikes very well indeed and as long as you don’t go to fast the processor handled it quite superbly.
BCA Tracker 2
Test First signal acquired at 40m on screen, actual distance to target was from 32m to 45m depending on orientation of transmitting transceiver, very quick to target with adjustments on the way along the flux lines not quite as direct a route as the 3+ but overall probably a little quicker to react.
Final close search, very quick in fact probably quicker to react if you are going a little to fast than the Ortovox 3+.
The BCA Tracker 2 resolved spikes very well and the speed of the processor handles this really well, with the added ability to go down to zero metres being a big confidence booster to me when searching.
As with the novice users indoors, the Tracker 2 really wins in the clear display setup, it is I think the best transceiver to see the distance display especially if you wear glasses.