Avalanche safety tip of the week | SierraSun.com

Avalanche safety tip of the week

Your avalanche transceiver has a finite life span. Transceivers tend to experience a decrease in range over time as frequency shift occurs. Here is a simple way to check the range of you transceiver. Place a transmitting transceiver 100 yards away and walk towards it with your transceiver in receive mode until you obtain a signal. Measure this distance and compare it to the maximum range stated by the manufacture of your transceiver. Expect that the range will be 10 yards or so less than that stated by the manufacture.

It is important that you start far away, switch your transceiver to receive, and then walk towards the other transceiver. If you start close and then walk away until the signal in lost, you will experience an artificial increase in range due to signal drag. If you find that your transceiver has a significantly shorter than stated range, contact the manufacture. Older transceivers should be tested regularly and replaced or recalibrated by the manufacturer if a significant decrease in range is observed.

Brandon Schwartz is the Avalanche Forecaster for the Sierra Avalanche Center and U.S. Forest Service in the Tahoe Region. Look for a new avalanche safety tip of the week each week here in the action. For more information and daily updates, please see http://www.SierraAvalancheCenter.org or call the Avalanche Hotline at 530-587-2158.

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