Sunday, December 29, 2019

Group Check: Myths and Misnomers

Recently an experienced user posited the question, "Is is dangerous, when doing a group check, for the two beacons to touch?"

First of all, there is absolutely no hazard in 2 beacons coming into contact during a trailhead check or any other time--it will not affect the future performance of either of the devices.

Likewise, you cannot harm your beacon by touching it with an iPhone. Electromagnetic noise is just that, noise. It makes searching for a victim difficult if it is within 20cms of the transmitting unit, but it does no permanent damage to the actual beacon. It is quite simply that the "noise" is so loud that the "beep" cannot be heard by a searching beacon.

The only issue with doing a trailhead check in extremely close proximity--or touching--is that there is a chance the beacon being tested has a broken antennae or other problem that cause it to have a WEAK signal. In this case the receiving device will still "beep" and produce a low number on the screen, even though the signal isnt strong enough to detect normally in a real beacon search--a "false positive" so to speak.

So, if you chose to do a beacon check in this manner (we at Mammut refer to this as a SEND CONFIRMATION) be aware that you have confirmed a 457 kHz signal, you simply do not know anything about the strength of that signal.

A "Send Confirmation" is an