Backcountry skiing. Snowshoeing. Snowmobile. Mountaineering. These winter sports – besides filling your eager heart with pure, unadulterated joy – have one thing in common: avalanche danger. Here are some sobering statisticsf one of your friends gets buried. If they don’t die immediately from an avalanche, you have about 18 minutes to save them. If you manage to clear their airways during this time, the survival rate is 90%. If they are buried longer, their chances of survival drop to 40%. Fortunately, a new avy beacon, the Ortovox Diract Voice Avalanche Transceiver, can improve those odds.
Ortovox Diract Voice speeds up the search for an avalanche victim by providing voice instructions throughout the search process. Switch the beacon from “send” mode to “search” mode, and it guides you through the search, with commands such as: “Go to the snow surface”, “Turn around”, and “Run all the way law”.
Ortovox’s goal with Diract Voice was to create the best recusal device focusing on intuitive use. His research has shown that voice commands are the most direct link to the brain, and hearing a command like “run straight” can calm adrenaline and anxiety, and aid in decision-making, especially in difficult situations. high stress.
Other avalanche beacons show arrows on the screen and they beep to let you know you are getting closer to the buried transceiver you are looking for. Diract Voice lets you keep your eyes on the snow, making it easier to navigate through avalanche debris and giving you a better chance of spotting a clue like a hat or glove that could speed up the rescue.
Voice guidance is the beacon’s most unique feature, but it’s not the only one. Three smart antennas automatically detect the angle of the buried beacon, automatically transmitting to the optimal antennas to speed up the rescue.
The beacon uses a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. It can’t leak like disposable batteries do and it has excellent cold weather life. A Recco transmitter in the beacon harness further helps rescuers locate people wearing the Diract Voice beacon, so it should always be put on in their harness and not hidden in a trouser pocket.
Each company measures their range of beacons slightly differently. Ortovox calculates the average avalanche at around 80×100 meters. Diract Voice has a search bandwidth of 50m. In a medium-sized avalanche, this means a searcher using Diract Voice can search the debris field in a single pass.
A universal problem with transceivers is that near the limits of their range they can become unstable, send a seeker off in the wrong direction, or the signal can die out. With Diract Voice, Ortovox focused on building a predictable transceiver, with the smallest corridor of instability possible, instead of looking for a beacon with the greatest range. The company’s view is that a massive range doesn’t make a rescue faster, but a stable display and supported decision-making do.
It is also a simple looking and intuitive to use transceiver. A single button marks up to four burials. It also switches the beacon to sleep mode. And, in the case of a secondary slide, it automatically switches from searching or standby to transmitting. It includes group verification and permanent self-testing, and it’s easy to see if the beacon is sending or searching: a lever flips up to change modes. This lever also covers the on/off switch to prevent the beacon from accidentally turning off.
Diract Voice takes two to three hours to charge, lasts at least 250 hours transmitting at 50°F, and 50 hours searching.
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