Transceiver Knowledge


The standard requirements of an avalanche transceiver are strict!


Did you know that an avalanche transceiver with standard test...
• Falls 6 times from 1 meter on a hardwood floor?
• Sits 10 hours in a heat chamber at 45°C?
• Sits 10 hours in a cold chamber at -20°C?
• Sits 1 hour in a water basin, at 15 cm depth?
• Is exposed 80 hours to direct sunlight?

After this series of tests, the beacon have to be fully functional!


The transmission parameters are subject to certain standard specifications.
• Transmission frequency: 457 kHz (457,000 Hz) ± 80 Hz
• Signal strength is defined
• Signal characteristics:
Perio : 1000 ± 300 ms
Pulse duration: ≥ 70 ms
Pulse break: ≥ 400 ms

Figure: Standard requirements of transmission characteristics:


457 kHz is the wave length that permeates best through snow. The less air that exists in the snow, the harder it is for the signal to propagate and the receiving range is reduced. An extreme range reduction occurs at low snow thickness (<1m) or in glacial ice, since it has only a very small portion of air. The recommended search strip widths are no longer valid! If an avalanche transceiver is sending signals with values ​​at the limit of standard or outside the standard, some receiving avalanche transceivers can be challenged with performance degradation.


Use available PIEPS CHECKPOINTS in ski areas, huts and ski touring starting points to check the sending parameter of your avalanche transceiver.




How strong is the disturbing influence of my cellphone?
Cellphones, especially smartphones, as well as other electronic devices (e.g. cameras), can influence the functionality of your avalanche transceiver in the close range. This applies for all avalanche transceivers!

Possible effects on send function:
Reduction in signal strength and therefore range reduction for faulty transmitter.

Possible effects on search function:
• Reduction of receiving range
• Wrong direction and/or distance indication
• Display of additional, non-existent transmitter

For all electronic devices, as well as metals and magnets, a minimum distance should be observed: 20 cm in SEND mode, 50 cm in SEARCH mode.

PIEPS DSP PRO/DSP SPORT is equipped with an auto-antenna switch. It detects external negative influencing sources and reacts with an automatic switching of the sending antenna. This ensures that the device is always sending with the maximum possible signal strength.


Invest in a modern avalanche transceiver!

Old transcievers, especially analogue 1-antenna devices, offer massively less support than digital 3-antenna devices in the search phase.Old devices can drastically increase search time and make it harder to find you!

Avalanche transceivers don't send equally! The transmission characteristics (such as frequency, period, and pulse duration) of many old devices lay at the limit of the standard or even outside! Changes of the transmission characteristics can occur because of temperature unstable individual components. All these devices, send in adittion to the puls signal a continuous carrier signal, which makes it difficult to detect signal and signal processing. If producer of beacons wouldn't have to take care of old devices, the performance of modern avalanche transceiver could be increased.



Don't use analoge 1-antenna-devices and invest in your safety and buy a modern avalanche transceiver!