Barryvox PULSE potential design flaw

The off/send button on the new Mammut/Barryvox PULSE tranceiver can be knocked to off, due to a very poorly designed and implemented on/off switch. I’ve just purchased two of the spankin’ new Barryvox PULSE transceivers, and both have the same major design fault! To turn them on the on on/off button is pulled sideways, and is meant to lock into ‘send’ and can then in theory only be turned off by pushing it AND the off button down together and then moving the whole switch to off.

barryvox pulse

However on both my units the device goes into send mode and does it’s self test, the transmit led blinks and it issues 3 beeps to say ‘I’m OK’ before the switch has moved far enough to be locked into the send position, and thus at any time a gentle nudge on the switch turns the device BACK OFF!!! (Tumbling in an avalanche? Reaching into an inside pocket? Falling ? etc.)

Has anyone else bought one of these tranceivers this year and if so does yours have the same fault?

I consider this to be extraordinarily dangerous, surely the device should only indicate it is turned on and transmitting when the button is locked into SEND and will be returning both my newly purchased units as being unfit for use.

I see a scenario where someone is found dead with their transceiver off.... ‘Silly fool’ everyone says, why on earth have a transceiver and not turn it on??? But it was ‘on’ and transmitting as far as the poor dead guy was concerned. It just turned off as he was tumblin’ due to an appallingly designed on/off switch.

Not a pleasant thought!

Posted by on Saturday, 10 March, 2007 at 02:31 AM

Thank you for sharing this information Colin. Anyone using the Pulse should check this out for themselves and make sure that the switch is correctly locked. This issue follows the “vital signs” incompatibility issue between EU and US spec Pulse beacons (US beacons use a different frequency for the vital signs transmissions and this can only be changed to the European frequency at the factory).

Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 10 March, 2007  at 09:41 PM

My pulse Barryvox does the same…

Always check the button is in the locked position
When the button moves into the locked postion you should hear a click.

Also when one of the party you are skiing/boarding with does a
group check they SHOULD notice your device is not working…

Posted by jay on  Sunday, 11 March, 2007  at 01:29 PM

Jay, I think you are missing my point which is that it is quite possible for the PULSE to be transmitting, and hence to pass a group test, while the on/off button is not locked into the on/send position. So it is possible that it is later inadvertently moved to off without the wearer noticing.

This is why I feel it should not turn on until after the button pops up into the locked on/send position.

This is simply a case of poor design, it appears to be a custom designed switch that has not been thought out and implemented well.

Sadly it has the potential to kill someone, which can only be rectified by a product recall and the fitting of a new switch.

Posted by  on  Sunday, 11 March, 2007  at 07:31 PM

They could redesign the holder the unit is held in.
There is no need for for the slot located on the righthand side of the holder.. that allows the unit to be in the OFF position..This is looking from the rear of the unit when it is placed in the holder.
If this slot was removed .. ie replaced with plastic you could not insert the unit into the holder until the unit was locked into the ON position.
You may notice you cannot set the unit to search when it is in the holder.

If there was no slot for the switch ..  the switch could NOT be
knocked into the off postion.

Always check the button is in the locked position ...

Posted by Jay on  Sunday, 11 March, 2007  at 10:28 PM

"it has the potential to kill someone”

No it does not.  The beacon has no lethal potential.  If you are caught by an avalanche, the avalanche can kill you, not the beacon. For searchers to have a good chance of finding you should you be buried, the beacon has to be working, and so the switch should be turned on fully.  I agree that the switch should be better designed so that you can be sure that it is operating without further effort by you.  There is a design fault which should be rectified.  But I don’t think your case is helped by emotive language.

FWIW, I don’t have a Pulse; I use a Tracker, which operates under the control of a very positive action switch.  I have just checked - the switch is definitely either off or on.

Posted by achilles on  Monday, 12 March, 2007  at 09:48 AM
Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Comments are now closed



Archive Summary

Forum Posts

Sunday, 19 May, 2013

Girl survives 4 nights out at 4000m on the Vert

Posted by juice at 11:44 PM
• (3) Posts • (1891) views •

Monday, 29 April, 2013

Colorado's deadliest slide in 50 years

Posted by Simon Scott at 01:41 PM
• (3) Posts • (1582) views •


Thursday, 25 April, 2013

PGHM Officer killed near Ref Argentiere

Posted by juice at 01:38 PM
• (5) Posts • (1643) views •

Friday, 19 April, 2013

avalanche in st christophe

Posted by davidski at 11:32 AM
• (1) Posts • (1401) views •

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Avalanche on the Tete de Chevrette, Vallorcine

Posted by Alan Scowcroft at 04:57 PM
• (1) Posts • (1379) views •

Thursday, 11 April, 2013

Alpine Bindings

Posted by djfrost at 10:08 PM
• (10) Posts • (1521) views •