Tracker DTS

Gear > Avalanche Gear > Avalanche Transceivers > Digital Beacons > Tracker DTS

The Tracker DTS™ beacon came top of five avalanche transceivers tested by the French magazine Le Point, they were particularly impressed by the performance in localising victims. From experience this can be a particularly stressful part of the search, you think you've found your buddy but fail to locate him with an avalanche probe, as you alternate between probe and transceiver things get more and more panicked. With good reviews and many personal recommendations it is possible no surprise that the Tracker DTS has captured 70% of the United States market with 20,000 units sold in 2002 alone.

Tracker DTS Avalanche Transceiver

Tracker DTS Avalanche Transceiver

Introduce in 1997 the Tracker DTS is one of the original digital avalanche beacons but undergone a number of improvements. The 2004/2005 model is smaller, had a better harness, adds a wrist loop and comes with a five year warranty. The transceiver features two antenna positioned at 90 degrees in an 'X' format within the case. This gives a more precise analysis of signals than single antenna designs. Once a signal is obtained (at around 50 meters from the victim) the searcher swings the beacon slowly from left to right. When the two antenna are receiving equal signal strengths the beacon is aligned with the flux line transmitted by the victim's transceiver and the centre direction arrow will be illuminated. The other direction arrows indicate the direction the searcher should turn should he deviate from the flux line. All the searcher has to do is follow this line to the victim. If the 'distance' indicator increases the searcher should turn 180 degrees, he is following the flux line along its longest path.

The Tracker DTS offers 1 hour battery life in search mode after 200 hours in transmit mode. The LED display is not susceptible to cold temperatures however the transceiver should be worn under clothing both to protect it during an avalanche and to preserve battery life. In transmit mode only a single antenna is used. With the precision offered by the dual antenna system and straightforward display the Tracker DTS avoids confusing users in the stressful environment of an avalanche.

Updated Tracker DTS Avalanche Transceiver

Updated Tracker DTS

The Tracker DTS operates on the worldwide standard 457 kHz frequency and is compatible with other analogue and digital avalanche beacons. BackCountry Access say that the Tracker DTS dual antenna designs means that it is not particularly sensitive to mobile phone transmissions in search mode, however we recommend users to keep mobiles and avalanche transceivers separate.

Multiple Burials

In Normal mode (selected via the options button) within 10 meters the Tracker DTS locks on to the strongest signal. When the first victim is found the searcher can switch to Special mode which narrows the search window to a 75 degree arc back and front (this is a benefit of the dual antenna digital technology). This allows an experienced user to filter out the first beacon and determine the approximate distance and direction to the next victim even before recovering and turning off the avalanche transceiver of the current victim. This can speed up search and rescue where there are multiple victims and is a particularly useful feature for professional users.


If you've tried the Tracker DTS write up your experiences here.

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