Frequently asked questions
Please note that the statements made here are intended to aid the customer in the usage of the avalanche transceiver. By no means do they substitute for the careful reading of the user manual, which contains detailed and authoritative information.
Which battery type should I use in my Barryvox®?
Only use type LR03/AAA alkaline batteries. These batteries are best suitable for use at varying temperatures and have a slow discharge rate. The display of the battery power level at startup is designed for this battery type and only displays reliable values when this type is used.
If the transceiver is stored or not used for an extended period (e.g. summer), the batteries must be removed to avoid damage from leaking batteries.
Can I also use rechargeable batteries for my Barryvox®?
Rechargeable batteries should not be used. They do not guarantee flawless functioning of an avalanche transceiver. The discharge curve of a rechargeable battery varies significantly from that of a regular battery. The voltage of a rechargeable battery drops rapidly toward the end. The display of the battery power level at startup does not accurately reflect the remaining battery life, and the outage of the device during a tour is possible. In addition, rechargeable batteries provide a voltage of 1.2 volts, compared to 1.5 V with regular batteries, which leads to a decrease in the device’s performance.
How many buried subjects can the PULSE Barryvox® detect at the same time?
The number of buried subjects that can be detected depends on various factors, such as the pulse length of the devices involved. For this reason, no exact statement can be made. Under normal circumstances, 5-6 buried subjects are not a problem. The PULSE Barryvox® doesn’t display the buried subject until the signal can be distinctly separated, and the distance and direction to the buried subject can be indicated precisely. From that point on, the buried subject can also be marked as located, provided you are closer than 6m.
Can the PULSE Barryvox® also receive signals from older analog devices?
The PULSE Barryvox® receives signals from all avalanche transceivers, which transmit within the standard range of 457kHz +/- 80Hz.
With old devices that transmit a permanent signal in addition to the standard pulse, the digital signal separation can be affected. In this case, it can occur that the PULSE Barryvox® always shows a number followed by a + sign for the number of buried subjects. If this happens, it is recommended that you switch to analog mode.
What is the receiving bandwidth of the PULSE Barryvox?
The PULSE Barryvox® receives signals in the range of 457KHz +/- 180 Hz.
What is the difference between the US and the EU version?
Aside from the standard signal frequency used by all avalanche transceivers, the PULSE Barryvox® is equipped with an additional communications channel (W-Link). Varying regulations in different countries prohibit the use of one unique frequency worldwide for this purpose. For this reason, we offer two different preconfigured device versions; one for the European region (EU version), the other for North America and Oceania (US version).
The only difference between the two versions is the preconfigured W-Link frequency. This does not affect the standard signal of the avalanche transceiver, and the devices are 100% compatible with other avalanche transceivers.
How can I change the W-Link frequency of my PULSE Barryvox®?
On EU devices:
Legal statutes allow the user to change the settings to the desired frequency him or herself. Settings / W-Link "Region A" stands for Europe, "Region B" stands for North America and Oceania. If "off" is selected, the W-Link communication is disabled.
On US devices:
Legal statutes prohibit manual switching of the W-Link frequency. The switching of the frequency on these devices can only be performed by one of our Service Centers. Once the configuration has been modified, the user can manually toggle between the two frequencies, just like on EU devices. However, the user is required to use the W-Link setting "Region B" when in the United States.
What are vital data?
The PULSE Barryvox® has highly sensitive sensors (g-sensors), which can detect most subtle motion of the body as can be generated by organs, such as the heart or the lungs. Any motion within a certain maximum period of rest is interpreted as a sign of life. The buried subject is thereby considered to belong to a category with "increased chances of survival". Buried subjects which survive the first 35 minutes are likely able to breathe (air pocket) and to have higher chances of survival. At the same time, the detectability of vital data decreases due to increasing hypothermia. Buried subjects which have survived the first 35 minutes according to the vital data are therefore considered to belong to the category with "increased chances of survival" for the entire duration of their burial time. All buried subjects who do not carry a device capable of detecting vital data or whose device is not detecting any vital data belong to the category with "unknown chances of survival".
The data are displayed on the buried device itself as well as transmitted via the W-Link radio communication to the devices of the searching rescuers. The rescuer determines based on the list of buried subjects in which order to search for and excavate them. The use of the vital data triage criterion reduces the burial time of the buried subjects with "increased chances of survival". The overall efficiency of the rescue mission is thereby increased.
The vital data do not constitute a medical assessment of the buried subject. They do not substitute for a thorough assessment by medical personnel (physician).
Only rescuers carrying an avalanche transceiver with W-Link radio communication are capable of receiving vital data.
What do the times under “vital data” in SEND mode mean?
If you press one of the two lateral keys in SEND mode, the data from the most recent burial appear. The upper time is the total burial time; the lower time is the time during which the device detected vital data. The device stores the last five burials and automatically overwrites the oldest entry in case of a new incident.
My devices displays “457 SEND failure“. What is the cause?
This message appears if a deviation in the sending performance is detected during the power-on self-test (when you turn the device on). This normally happens when other electronic devices or metal objects (e.g. ice axe, magnetic jacket buttons) impede the sending performance. It is a built-in safety feature of the device. In this case, the red SEND LED no longer blinks, indicating to the user that something is wrong. The device is still sending signals, which can also be impeded by external interference.
If this message appears in the absence of any external interference, the device is defect and must be diagnosed by a Service Center.
What is firmware?
Firmware is software embedded in a hardware device, which is used for the electronic device’s operation. Aside from the user interface, the firmware contains all the relevant functions and data, which are needed for the internal control of the device. The firmware is software developed by the manufacturer, which cannot be modified by the user.
Which firmware version is installed on my PULSE Barryvox®?
The firmware version can be viewed under Settings / Maintenance. SW stands for firmware, and the digits represent the version (X.XX).
Is there any new firmware for the PULSE Barryvox®?
Like any electronic device, the latest input from development is constantly incorporated in firmware. This is also the case for the PULSE Barryvox®. To maintain it at the latest level, we always recommend an update to the latest firmware.
What is new in firmware versions 2.30/2.60?
The following has changed from 2.00:
- Backup Mode is now called "Automatic Analog Mode"
- Analog Mode is now called "Manual Analog Mode"
- To switch to the Analog Mode, both lateral keys now have to be pressed for 3 seconds.
- The range has been increased by a few meters through a software optimization; however, the search strip width of 50 meters remains the same.
What is new in the firmware version 3.0?
The following points have changed compared to version 2.7:
- 2 user profiles, Basic and Professional
- Optimised distance and direction display
- Numbering of marked victims
- Less frequently occurring "Please stop" message.
- Pinpointing with distance indication
- Protection against accidental switching from SEARCH to SEND
- Frequency check for group check
- Acoustic signal after first reception
What is new in the firmware version 3.2?
The following points have changed compared to version 3.0:
- Acoustic search guidance
- Lithium battery mode
- LCD contrast setting
How much will it cost to update my PULSE Barryvox® to the latest firmware?
The Pulse Barryvox® is based on a platform which is continuously being developed. An interface allows even the first generation of Pulse devices to be updated to the latest version without having to purchase a new device. For safety reasons, an update should only be carried out by an authorised dealer or service centre. It is up to the dealer to decide whether to charge a lump sum fee for funding this interface and for the service. In general, a fee is charged for the service. We recommend that you carry out a functional test every three years to check that all the parameters of the device are working correctly.
Where can I obtain the latest firmware version for my PULSE Barryvox®?
The update can be installed wirelessly with the appropriate maintenance device. Major retailers and our Service Centers are equipped with these devices. Every device that is sent to one of our Service Centers is automatically updated to the latest firmware version.
For devices sent in for a periodical diagnostic test (recommended once every 3 years), a complete diagnostic test with a printed report is conducted, and the latest firmware is installed. A fee will be charged for this service.
My Opto3000 beeps three times without me doing anything. What is the cause?
In this case, the device is restarting. During every startup, the device conducts a power-on self-test. This built-in safety mechanism is executed anytime the device detects an irregularity. By restarting, the device stability is increased and flawless functioning is ensured.
Aside from a brief contact problem, the software may also trigger this automatic safety mechanism. The safety of the device is not directly affected; however, we recommend that you have the device diagnosed by a Service Center.
My Opto3000 can be turned off using the magnetic buttons of my jacket. Why is this possible?
An avalanche transceiver must be 100% waterproof. This requires the use of a special on/off switch. The Opto 3000 has a magnetic switch. It is waterproof and maintenance-free; however, other magnets may interfere with its function. Therefore, we highly recommend refraining from the use of clothing with integrated magnets if you are using an avalanche transceiver at the same time.