Frequently asked questions
PULSE and ELEMENT Barryvox
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®?
The devices in the Barryvox family can be operated using different battery types (alkaline/lithium). In comparison with alkaline batteries, lithium batteries offer longer operating times in low temperatures and do not cause any damage due to leakage.
Please note not every type of battery (alkaline/lithium) can be used for every Barryvox model. The battery level indicator is displayed when the device starts up. When storing or not using the transceiver for an extended period of time (i.e. in the summer, when traveling, during flights, or when posting the device) always remove alkaline batteries in order to avoid damage due to battery leakage. Never use rechargeable batteries and always replace all 3 batteries with identical batteries.
Only use alkaline batteries (LR03/AAA) or lithium (L92/AAA) batteries of the same type. Always insert 3 new batteries of the same type. If these batteries are removed, the same 3 or 3 new batteries must be used again.
Only use alkaline batteries (LR03/AAA). Always insert 3 new batteries of the same type.
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/ELEMENT Barryvox® detect at the same time?
The number of buried subjects that can be detected depends on various factors, such as the signal duration of the devices involved. For this reason, no exact figure can be given. Under normal circumstances, 5 - 6 buried subjects are not a problem.
Theoretically the device can separate up to 16 transmitters and add them to the list of buried subjects. The list of buried subjects can display a maximum of 3 buried subjects at the same time. If more than three transmitters are separated this is shown by a symbol on the device display.
The Barryvox® only displays a buried subject in the list if the signal can be clearly separated and the distance and direction can be specified. Buried subjects who are displayed in the list of buried subjects can be marked at a distance of 6 (PULSE Barryvox ®) or 3 (ELEMENT Barryvox ®) meters.
What is the analog mode on the PULSE Barryvox®
The analog mode on the PULSE Barryvox® is particularly suitable for reliably solving demanding search problems using micro search strips, the 3-circle method and circular fine searching. The width of the search strip can be increased to 80 meters in analog mode and the receiver sensitivity can be adjusted manually. Earphones can be particularly useful for analog searching.
What is the advantage of the analog tone on the PULSE Barryvox®?
The analog tone makes it possible to comprehend demanding avalanche situations very quickly and extremely reliably. In particular, the correct number of buried subjects can be determined simply and reliably using a sound check.
Can the PULSE Barryvox® also receive signals from older analog devices?
Older devices typically use longer transmitted pulses. If there are multiple buried subjects, it can often lead to signal overlap, which makes signal separation and thus recognition of buried subjects more difficult. The existence of a non-separable signal is indicated by the + symbol. When this occurs it is recommended that you switch to analog mode and switch off any avalanche transceivers that have already been recovered.
The PULSE Barryvox® can receive any avalanche transmitter that transmits within the standard range of 457 kHz +/- 80 Hz.
The Barryvox® attempts to receive devices with a frequency that deviates from the standard range (457 kHz +/- 80 Hz) using a wider tolerance range. The reduction of search strip width to 25 meters necessary for this is indicated to the rescuer on the display.
How wide is the receiving bandwidth (frequency range) for the PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox®?
The PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox® can receive signals in the range of 457 kHz +/- 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.
What are the different user profiles for the PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox®
ELEMENT Barryvox® – The device has an intuitive and straightforward user profile that is very easy to use thanks to clear instructions and one-button operation.
PULSE Barryvox® – The device allows you to select the most appropriate profile [Basic/Advanced] for the user group, depending on needs and abilities. User profiles allow the PULSE Barryvox® to adapt to different users and application-specific situations. For example, users can start with the very easy Basic profile and then, with a little practice, move up to the Advanced profile offering more options and functions.
Basic Profile – The user navigation of the Basic profile for the PULSE Barryvox® is the same as that for the ELEMENT Barryvox®, however the user has access to all the benefits of the PULSE Barryvox® and its additional sensors. User navigation and searches are optimized, the device can detect classic user errors and guide the rescuer accordingly.
Advanced Profile – This user profile opens up access to a wide range of additional settings and functions for the device (analog mode, vital data, tone support < 3 meters, etc.), allowing it to be configured to the user’s specific needs and preferences.
What is acoustic search guidance on the Barryvox®?
A patented tone that becomes louder and faster depending on the direction of and distance to the victim. This allows rescuers to concentrate their vision on the avalanche site rather than on the device display during the search. Acoustic search guidance was introduced with the PULSE Firmware 3.2 and the ELEMENT Firmware 1.0.
How can I change the W-Link frequency of my PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox®?
Please note that it is only possible for the user to alter the W-Link settings independently on the PULSE Barryvox; W-Link settings on the ELEMENT Barryvox can only be altered by a Mammut Service Center.
On EU devices:
Legal statutes allow users to change the settings to the desired frequency themselves. Settings / W-Link "Region A" stands for Europe, "Region B" stands for North America and Oceania. If "off" is selected, 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, users are required to use the W-Link setting "Region B" when in the United States.
What are vital data?
The PULSE Barryvox® has a highly sensitive motion sensor, which can detect most subtle motions of the body (e.g. organ movement, such as that of the heart and 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 who survive the first 35 minutes are likely to be able to breathe within the avalanche (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 who 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 not carrying a device capable of detecting vital data or whose device does not detect 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/ELEMENT Barryvox®?
In the case of the PULSE Barryvox (firmware versions 3.2 and above), the current firmware version is shown right at the bottom of the display when the device starts up, together with the selected user profile. It can also be called up in the device Start menu under "Maintenance"; "SW" stands for the firmware; the digits ("X.XX") stand for the version.
In the case of the ELEMENT Barryvox, the current firmware version is shown in the top left of the display when the device starts up.
Is there any new firmware for the PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox®?
Like any electronic device, the latest input from development is constantly incorporated in firmware. This is also the case for the Barryvox®. To maintain it at the latest level, we always recommend an update to the latest firmware.
New PULSE Barryvox® firmware version features
You can find more information on the functionalities of the PULSE Barryvox® firmware in the "PULSE Firmware" section.
New PULSE Firmware 4.0 features
The following functionalities have been added to the Firmware 3.2:
- Barryvox Intelligent Search (Guided fine search)
- Expanded first signal display
- Optimized direction display
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
What is new in the firmware version 3.0?
The following points have changed compared to version 2.7:
- 2 user profiles: Basic and Advanced
- Optimized distance and direction display
- Chronological numbering for located buried subjects
- Less frequent "Please stop" messages
- Dynamic pinpointing cross
- Protection against accidental switching from SEARCH to SEND
- Frequency check for group checks
- Notification tone upon first reception
New Firmware Version 2.30/2.60 features
The following points have changed compared to Version 2.00:
- Backup Mode is now called "auto analog mode"
- Analog Mode is now called "manual analog mode"
- To switch to analog mode, both lateral keys now have to be pressed for 3 seconds.
- The range has been increased by a few meters through software optimization; however, the search strip width of 50 meters remains the same.
How much will it cost to update my PULSE/ELEMENT Barryvox® to the latest firmware?
The Barryvox is based on a platform that is continuously being developed. An interface allows even the first generation of devices to be updated to the latest version without having to purchase a new device.
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/ELEMENT 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.