Safety !!! New Pieps Safety Issue

Analisa

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Posts
953
Heyo, just a heads up that Pieps issued a new safety "statement" for a lot of their beacons that might have an electronic issue:

I also want to call out that it is super suspicious that they're processing these under their warranty program. Warranties cover general defects and has a 3 year window at Pieps. Recalls, on the other hand, are done with in conjunction with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and have an open window for claims. If a defect has potential to cause injury or death, manufacturers have a duty to report the issue to CPSC within 24 hours. I don't want to assume, but it kind of seems like they're trying to circumvent standard recall procedures that have the customers' best interests at heart.

Anyways, check your beacon if you're going out this weekend, and happy to share the reporting link to CPSC if anyone else feels like the communication or rectification are lacking. (Numbers definitely help determine what gets investigated).
 

James

Out There
Instructor
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
18,226
There’s now two threads.

 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,660
Location
Tahoe
  • Like
Reactions: zag

zag

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Posts
62
Location
DC
Thank you very much for the info.

I was very annoyed with their response to the defective pressure tab on the previous gen transmitters.

I wasn't defensive after that pr disaster but the way they are handling this recall to start appears to start off in a poor manner.

Surely they should have an idea as to which serial numbers are defective or what software version has the issue.

After this fiasco I'll be sending an angry note to BD about two bad faith incidents in a row and be buying Mammut next.
 

Cheizz

AKA Gigiski
Skier
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Posts
1,395
Location
The Netherlands
I've lost confidence too. I have no Pieps transceiver of my own (I have Mammut, because of the user interface, which works more intuitive for me). But many of my friends have Pieps. Most of them could get very nice deals on Pieps during the course of their ski instructor training...
 

James

Out There
Instructor
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
18,226
Ortovox had a potential software issue several years ago on the 3+ . Afaik you just sent it in and they fixed it with the upgrade. I bought a used one that had it done.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,660
Location
Tahoe
I've sat through a few clinics with BCA and have been impressed with what apprears to be a simple design.
Anyone here have experience with them?
 
Thread Starter
TS
Analisa

Analisa

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Posts
953
I've sat through a few clinics with BCA and have been impressed with what apprears to be a simple design.
Anyone here have experience with them?

I’ve had a Tracker 2 for 6 or 7 years. Very minimalist in features and very maximalist in size. Really pleased with it. Mammut gets a better reputation since the range is a little longer, but the update speed (how quickly the directions / distances change as you get closer to the victim) and the fine search do better on the BCA, which I’d consider equally important.

As mine nears retirement, I’ll probably stick with BCA since it’s what I’ve trained on. Torn if I’ll upgrade models. I’m used to the 2 and I like that all the switches are big enough that I can operate it in heavyweight mittens. Plus I was surprised that Lel Tone still uses a 2 for similar reasons. But extra features could be nice.
 

ZionPow

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Posts
482
Location
Wahsnatch
I have used a BCA Tracker 2 transceiver for the past 8 seasons. It has been very reliable and simple to use. I passed all my rec and pro avalanche courses and tests using the Tracker 2. The Tracker 3 and 4 have more advanced features and seem just as reliable. We have found that the Tracker 2 seems to experience a performance decline after 4 or 5 years of use, so we replace them. I am now using a Pieps Pro BT and I really like the advanced features such as signal marking. The marking function is very beneficial when doing multiple transceiver searches.
 

zag

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Posts
62
Location
DC
I missed where the software issues have been known for three season, where was that noted?

I like BCA trackers, built to last many years, have an airbag from them. I've found their displays can be very dim and hard to see in full sunlight situations.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,660
Location
Tahoe
I’ve had a Tracker 2 for 6 or 7 years. Very minimalist in features and very maximalist in size. Really pleased with it. Mammut gets a better reputation since the range is a little longer, but the update speed (how quickly the directions / distances change as you get closer to the victim) and the fine search do better on the BCA, which I’d consider equally important.

As mine nears retirement, I’ll probably stick with BCA since it’s what I’ve trained on. Torn if I’ll upgrade models. I’m used to the 2 and I like that all the switches are big enough that I can operate it in heavyweight mittens. Plus I was surprised that Lel Tone still uses a 2 for similar reasons. But extra features could be nice.
I skied with Lel Tone in a ski clinic a while ago (maybe 9 years) I still regard her as one of the highest level avalanche pros I know. Any advice she has is strong for me.
A few weeks ago I skied with Jessican Sobolowski Quinn and never talked about beacons. I missed that one but will not let that moment slip by again.

All of this with the caveat that I am not a backcountry skier but have a desire to learn more and do more.
 
Last edited:

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Posts
22,660
Location
Tahoe
I have used a BCA Tracker 2 transceiver for the past 8 seasons. It has been very reliable and simple to use. I passed all my rec and pro avalanche courses and tests using the Tracker 2. The Tracker 3 and 4 have more advanced features and seem just as reliable. We have found that the Tracker 2 seems to experience a performance decline after 4 or 5 years of use, so we replace them. I am now using a Pieps Pro BT and I really like the advanced features such as signal marking. The marking function is very beneficial when doing multiple transceiver searches.
Another person I respect in this area.
Glad to hear about your experience.
 

pais alto

me encanta el país alto
Skier
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Posts
1,561
Location
I recommend that anyone replacing or upgrading a beacon these days at least take a look at the Mammuts. There’s a lot to be said for familiarity with a brand, but there’s also something to be said for reliability and functionality.

I have, have had, or practiced with BCA, Ortovox, Pieps, and Mammut. Mammuts (currently) have a combination of reliability, functionality, and ergonomics that best suit me. Just sayin’, not to knock the others, YMMV, IANAL, etc. I haven’t used Arva or all the models of the other brands.

I’ve seen interesting (and sometimes bias-confirming) results at beacon trainings where people were using their different brand personal beacons, but of course there are variations caused by personal capabilities and such.

It would sure be a lot cooler if there were convenient locations where people could easily do meaningful comparative testing of several different brands.
 

Cheizz

AKA Gigiski
Skier
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Posts
1,395
Location
The Netherlands
I recommend that anyone replacing or upgrading a beacon these days at least take a look at the Mammuts. There’s a lot to be said for familiarity with a brand, but there’s also something to be said for reliability and functionality.

I have, have had, or practiced with BCA, Ortovox, Pieps, and Mammut. Mammuts (currently) have a combination of reliability, functionality, and ergonomics that best suit me. Just sayin’, not to knock the others, YMMV, IANAL, etc. I haven’t used Arva or all the models of the other brands.

I’ve seen interesting (and sometimes bias-confirming) results at beacon trainings where people were using their different brand personal beacons, but of course there are variations caused by personal capabilities and such.

It would sure be a lot cooler if there were convenient locations where people could easily do meaningful comparative testing of several different brands.
We have such a test event in the Netherlands, of all places. Every last Sunday of September, the Dutch avalanche awareness and safety organization 'Snow Safety Center' has a refresher day at the beach. They offer masterclasses on all things transceiver. And all brands are there to do free software updates and to have people try out different models. Very useful, both as a search skills refresher as well as a testing event for different brands before the season starts.
 

pais alto

me encanta el país alto
Skier
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Posts
1,561
Location
We have such a test event in the Netherlands, of all places. Every last Sunday of September, the Dutch avalanche awareness and safety organization 'Snow Safety Center' has a refresher day at the beach. They offer masterclasses on all things transceiver. And all brands are there to do free software updates and to have people try out different models. Very useful, both as a search skills refresher as well as a testing event for different brands before the season starts.
That.
Is.
So.
Cool!
 

Cheizz

AKA Gigiski
Skier
Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Posts
1,395
Location
The Netherlands
They use the same systems they use in the snow: remotely controlled beacons, buried in the sand. Works great. For probing, they just use wooden poles (1 cm in diameter), instead of metal/carbon probes. They would just rust and break in the tough sand. They teach digging strategies too. Here are some pictures from the 2019 event. The last one I attended personally.

20190929_104817.jpg

20190929_114539.jpg
 

ZionPow

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Posts
482
Location
Wahsnatch

Black Diamond Equipment, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada, is voluntarily recalling its PIEPS and Black Diamond branded avalanche transceivers. Affected models include the PIEPS Pro BT, Powder BT, DSP Sport, DSP Pro, DSP Pro Ice, Micro Button BT, Micro BT Sensor and Micro BT Race avalanche transceivers and the Black Diamond branded Recon BT and Guide BT avalanche transceivers.
 
Top