Ortovox are suggesting that users of the M1 and M2 avalanche beacons replace the battery compartment lid with a free service part following reports that the unit can switch itself off when subject to a shock, such as might be experienced during an avalanche. The original reports came from the Mount Washington Avalanche Center in the USA but have been widely discussed on a number of backcountry web forums. The problems have been traced to battery size tolerance.
The M2 is very sensitive to the size of the AA batteries used in the unit. A difference of 1mm in diameter or width is enough to cause problems. All AA batteries vary slightly in size from manufacturer to manufacturer and there is no precise standard.
A spokeman for Ortovox USA made the following comments on the TelemarkTips forum:
“it is important to note that no failures of this type have been reported by an Ortovox M2 in the field… if you strike the bottom of a beacon on the palm of your hand, you can occasionally dislodge the battery and shut it off.”
Ortovox claim this is an industry wide problem affecting a number of other brands. They say that they have knowledge of 3 reports of failure in the field out of some 100,000 beacons manufactured and sold world-wide but without any reports of injury.
Rather than recall beacons ORTOVOX is offering a free exchange of the battery compartment lid for all m1 and m2 units that reduces the tolerance and movement of the batteries within the battery compartment. The retrofit applies to all m1 and m2 units regardless of the colour and year of manufacture.
Ortovox suggests that all users replace the battery compartment lid of their beacons and to choose batteries with a prominent negative terminal. This problem does not affect the Ortovox X1 or F1 transceivers.
Please refer to: [url=http://www.ortovox.com]http://www.ortovox.com[/url] for further information