Monday, October 30, 2017


Your new Mammut avalanche transceiver  comes with a user manual printed in several languages, but if you like to get the most from your equipment it's worth going online to download a copy of the Barryvox S Extended Reference Guide (link) or the Barryvox Extended Reference Guide (link).  
The Extended Reference Guide is available online as a PDF, and contains additional information on advanced searching that is not found in the basic User Manual included with the beacon.

The Barryvox S Extended Reference Guide contains the basic User Manual that came with your beacon, but also contains additional comprehensive information for your BarryvoxS on device settings, advanced search and rescue techniques, and in particular the "Pro Search" option and the alternate search mode, which are not contained in the more basic User Manual.  Anyone who will ever practice alternate search strategies such as micro strips, micro-box or 3-circle should consult these instructions on utilizing the advanced search functions of the Barryvox S.  It is an important and valuable resource for advanced recreational and professional users—and all educators.

The Barryvox Extended Reference Guide contains additional information on conducting Group checks before a tour, more comprehensive rescue strategy, and more comprehensive information and guidance for conducting multiple burial searches and companion rescue guidance.  

If any of the above describes you, you can download a copy of the appropriate Extended Reference Guide directly at the links above, or through the Beacon Info landing page on this blog (along with other resources).  


  1. Hello Dave, thanks for the information you post and collect here.
    Finally got Barryvox S in my hands and have couple of questions about its different search modes. Still it' not so clear for me what to expect from the device in "other" regimes.

    [1] Default search mode with standart sounds - uses 3-Antenna Signal Processing for Distance&Directions&Tones.

    [2] Default search mode with analog sounds - uses 3-A SP for Distance&Directions and analog 1-A for Tones. Tones sensivity tuned by using 3-A SP Distance values (?)

    [3] "Alternate" mode - uses 1-A SP for Distance&Directions&Tones with automatic or manual sensivity tuning(?) So it is more or less full 1-A Analog mode and you will expectedly have all its features like false maximum deep for burials (?)

    [4] "Range+" mode - the same as in [3] but the sensivity boosted up to max (?) and after the signal caught returns to default [1] mode.

    Another question is about beacon harness. The way the beacon positioned on my body is not very comfy, harness sits vertically right over the solar plexus and ribs, have pretty bad experience of falling face forward with phone-over-the-ribs. So for my previous harness (Barryvox Pulse) I had to modify it to position the beacon horizontally below the lower rib line on my belly. For Barryvox S it is almost identical, and looks like the "beacon vertical" position is intentional?
    Can you see any obvious drawbacks of my "beacon horizontal" mod, e.g. for my signal being caught?

    1. Hi--There's a full couple blog posts to answer your questions! If you're in the US or Canada perhaps a phone call would be most helpful, maybe send an email to and we can set up a call or I can send you some other resources.
      Quick answer is that I think you may be overthinking the beacon. Users who will never practice alternate search strategies such as micro box or micro strips or 3-circle should leave the beacon int he default user settings and dont change anything. Based on your depth of knowledge I would recommend you turn the pro-search function to "on" and not change anything else from the default settings--this stays on all the time, you never switch back and forth between pro search "on" and "off". I am told there are some who prefer some very specific other settings, but 99.9% of advanced users should not change any of the other defaults except perhaps their preferred visual guidance display (this allows you to choose between the smart fine search and the "cross" fine search from the Pulse). You'll have analog tones that you can use to identify a false-positive or signal overlap while you follow the digital distance/direction in most cases. If you identify a discrepancy between the display info and the analog tones, then you can go to alternate search mode only to perform a micro box or micro strip search or to do a long-range "scan" to listen for interference, etc--this will automatically default to the correct mode based on whether there is any signal being received.
      The only drawback I can think of on the sideways versus vertical is that it seems realistic to be buried sideways, but rare to be buried vertically--so carrying the beacon "sideways" could be more likely to result in a vertical orientation on burial. Maybe try a zippered pants pocket with the leash around a belt? You lose vital data in most cases but that is my personal preferred carrying location.

      Hope this helps, and shoot me an email if it's helpful.

    2. Hello Dave, thanks for your reply! Appreciate it very much.

      Yes, my thoughts was directed the same problem of orientation of transmitting antenna mainly. And as my pant's pockets are pretty shallow and the beacon is horizontal in there anyway, so looks like not a big difference. Also in Mammut instruction video some pocket options are horizontal as well (with mammut bibs), so looks like not a deal breaker.

      Considering alternative search regimes, as I understand the physics and mathematics behind the signal processing it is more "comfortable" for me to know what is actually happening now. And it looks like I missed the point when the beacons became smarter then me)) as this "beacon layer" is thicker and thicker and no longer transparent as before.
      The main question - what the "alternative search mode" actually is? Pure 1-antenna mode with automatic sensivity tuning? Or 2-antenna with some postprocessing? (It definitely doesn't look like 3-antenna mode from what I see in my field tests.
      Also I'me pretty sure that "Range+" uses pure 1-antenna data.)
      In all the articles I browsed through there are no technical details, only words like "alternative", "advanced" etc.
      I understand the settings and algorithm of switching from "regular" to "alternative" with micro-strip/box search you've described (as it's the same as for Barryvox Pulse), but at the moment I feel somewhat more "solid" using alternative search modes actually switching from shiny new Barryvox S to old analog Ortovox F1 as the F1 is simple, understandable and transparent, and Barryvox S operates like black box: looks like 1-A analog, but ...
      More playing in the field will definitely helps, but I'd prefer to know the tech details.
      Thanks again for usefull information here.


  2. Hello Vadim,
    Unfortunately I can't get so deep into the math because I don't understand the math! My understanding is that the analog tone is closest to 1-antenna analog with auto-sensitivity as you suggested, although there may very well be more to it that I'm not aware of. There are no details such as match or physics because even the most advanced users don't need this info, and in nearly all cases it only distracts from the important stuff. Some of it is also likely proprietary info. If you want to send me an email I can put you in touch with the product manager in Switzerland who may be able to answer some questions on that level.
    Regarding switching from a pulse or Barryvox S to an F1 to do a alternate search--I definitely dont think that is the most efficient means to do this. If you'd like some insight on performing these searches with a pulse and Barryvox S, this blog post may be helpful, and includes video links at the end to some videos going over micro box, etc, with Mammut digital/analog beacons.

    If you have further questions best to get in touch directly at my email address above.