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Not idiot-proof, but one of the best out there

    Why do so many people complain that beacons arent redicuously easy to use? If youre in the backcountry, its your responsibility to learn how to operate your equipment correctly, big deal if that actually includes reading the manual and running some drills. I picked up the M2 last season after having the BCA DTS and couldn't be happier. Spent a little time learning how to use it and it performed admirably during the season.
    Its accurate, comfortable thanks to the contoured fit (not as bulky and slightly lighter than the tracker), has a fast response time and is better than expected with multiple burials. Great range, and the hybrid feature's a plus. My only issue is with the on/off switch on the back, which can be a hassle with or without gloves.
    I've converted to the germans when it comes to beacons, maybe you should too.

    Still a good beacon

      This is my first beacon, and after some practice is very easy to use. Not as idiot proof as some beacons, but after you get how it works it's really great.

      I've used a few friends' beacons (tracker, pieps, etc) and I'm as fast with this one during the search.

      This is my beacon of choice

        I've used this beacon for the past six seasons, it has never failed me and still has a kept it's signal strength. 80 meter range is a great thing in a large search area. All my patrol buddies use it and it's design hasn't changed much over the years which tells me that it is solid. It is a solid piece of equipment for the price.

        Beacon will not switch to search mode

          After using the beacon for practice only a few times it will no longer switch to search mode. This is fine if I get buried but it would suck for the person I'm skiing with. Due to all the good reviews, I'm assuming that my beacon is just defective, but it's enough to scare me into buying another model.

          Excellent beacon

            This beacon has all the simplicity and reliability of the F1 plus the added benefit of a more sensitive signal strength display and a distance readout. The dial adjust prompt is unnecessary but certainly doesn't hurt. This beacon shows you on a screen what the F1 tells you with sound. The only down fall of the beacon is the on/off switch and strap system which takes ungloved hands and some getting used to. The transmit/search switch is easy and fast which is what really counts. A great beacon and the only one with a faster search time than the F1.

            m2 Question

              We have one m2. I'm looking at buying another one. Can one m2 find another buried m2? Or do you have to have a special receiver?

              Great Beacon

                this was my first and i'm still using it years later. it's a great beacon. it's easy to use. the display tells you which way to turn the dial as you approach the other beacon, if you are getting closer or further away. i've used this thankfully only in practice and it's as efficient as any other beacon my peers have. the strap is easy to use and fits the body well. the only gripe i have is getting it to shut off completely means you have to dig up this little tab and pop the bottom out. sometimes tough with very cold fingers, and impossible with gloves on.

                There's no better

                  Out of all the transeiver I have owned, including the Mammut Pulse and Ortovox Patroller, this is by far my favorite. It is extremely comfortable to wear because it contours to your abdomen, it has a phenomenal range of 80m, and it is relatively inexpensive when compared to its big brother the Ortovox S1. To top it all off, it has an extremely user freindly interface that works best with single burials but works well with multiple burials too. The strap system also works extremely well, because whenever it is strapped to you it is automatically locked into the on position, so there is no way that it could accidentally be turned off during use. I HIGHLY recommend this transceiver.

                  Can you afford not to have one?

                    I purchased three of these for myself and my two kids. We had a 3-4ft dump here in Tahoe, CA and my kids wanted to hit the deep stuff off piste. As a Dad it is exciting to watch your kids become GREAT skiers/boarders, however, when you start taking the kids to the backcountry/off piste, your heart is in your throat when you see them drop in. I had discussed this concern with a ski buddy and former ski patrol and he said, what are you waiting for, I never go anywhere with it. Done. Purchased these based on reviews from this and other sites, easy of use was on high on the list. They came in your site's usual rapid fashion. Out of the box, within an hour we had the basics down and were off to the mountain (Didn't get any first tracks, but the skiing was still awesome.) I have to admit it helped, but the heart is still in the throat when the kids drop-in, but I do feel prepared to do something and that helps. We ski at Alpine Meadows and the patrol there buries beacons to practice search and will even take us out to show us technique. So what are you waiting for? Dropping into the deep stuff anytime soon, make sure someone can find you... Ski often, ski safe!

                    Ortovox M2 Avalanche Beacon

                      Positive interlocks provided by the harness connections make the On/Off and Send/Transmit controls fail safe and intuitive. As long as your batteries are fresh, which is easy to determine from the display, you have confidence of what mode you are in without needing to look at anything. The downside is that when you turn the unit off it is either hanging lose around your neck or you have to stow it away. I consider this a small price to pay to instantly know the unit is in send mode. While in search mode, like most modern peeps, it provides intuitive clues about how to close the distance and its use will be familiar to anyone who is in the backcountry. Maybe not the best on the market but certainly an equal to all the other models I have used. Note that I have not tried any of the gazillion $ units now on the market.

                      Trust Worthy

                        If I am going to be responsible for saving my friends life this beacon will allow me to do it. The #1 Beacon used by ski patrollers and guides world wide I will not trust anything else.

                        M2 Avalanche Beacon Kit

                          I have used the older Ortovox F1 for many years and like the simplicity. The M2 kit (w/shovel and probe poles) I just bought for my wife is a nice step up. It’s a very simple operation. I like the arrow-icon that tells the user to adjust dial up or down. It seems to be very accurate in distance and very sensitive to direction. Other than price, I highly recommend this product.

                          The probe poles and shovel also appear to be of very good quality, although another reviewer said the shovel was weak. I have not really tested these too much yet. Happy skiing from Sandpoint!

                          ortovox M2

                            Although a bit delicate (don't drop it in the snow) this is a very accurate and reliable beacon-I personally found it the easiest to use and understand- it's use is simple and precise, saving precious moments while in search mode (I have not used it yet in a real emergency situation-thankfully,) I wouldn't use any other beacon to locate my riding partner or fellow skiers/boarders in distress-the most accurate I've tried. Accurate and the longest most reliable range of any beacon-we practice frequently-fun game BTW-and we can locate this little guy under 6 ft. of snow from 60 meters within 10 minutes or less!!! A bit larger than most-and as I said keep it dry and careful switching batteries, which also BTW lasted 2 weeks when I forgot to turn it off...DOH!-checked it-it still had a 99 percent battery power indication-AWESOME! This is an incredible beacon-next to my board and backpack, this is my best backcountry friend-I trust my life and my partners with it 100%; well worth 300 bones. If you snowmobile or your 'better half' does and you want them to return home after a really bad day in the hills-get 'em this guy-and feel safe knowing they WILL be found alive!!! Nuff said...
                            (Truly all beacons work superb, any working beacon is a good beacon-I just like this one best; easy,accurate,superior range, one of the first companies making beacons)

                            A great beacon

                              Distance and signal strength information makes locating the victim simple. Plus the display tells you when to change your distance attenuation. IMO the M2 is just as easy to use as a Tracker. In practice I found the short range of a Tracker to be limited to slightly less than 40m, while I was getting 80m out of the M2. Does range matter? All I know is I want a signal sooner rather than later. I also found the M2 to be superior in fine-grain searches. The audio tone of the M2 changed noticeably when you were right over the victim while with the Tracker you never know until you probe. The M2 is also much better for multiple burials. You can hear the other beacons and you can adjust the range attenuation to quickly identify the relative distances from the initial beacon.

                              Great Hyrbrid Features

                                Takes more practice than the Tracker, but very fast once you gain experience. Also better for multiple burials in which each beacon stays on as it is found, since you can hear the different beacons. Longer range can be helpful in certain situations, although usually is not a factor. Harness system allows for very easy change to search mode.

                                Ortovox M2

                                  My fiance and I live in Breckenridge, Colorado. He is an avid snowmobiler and for his last birthday I bought an Ortovox M2. I did a lot of research before buying. The consistent response was also the strongest endorsement - people trust it with their lives.
                                  Knowing that he is wearing it, that it is the very best on the market and that I got it for a great price - make it a gift to both of us!
                                  Thank you
                                  Jeni Eakman
                                  East West Resorts

                                  Unanswered Question

                                  how does this beacon do for short range,...

                                  how does this beacon do for short range, pin pointing? ie: within 5 meters. does it have a digital icon or anything for multiple burials, or just different sounds?

                                  How does the M2 match up against the Tracker...

                                  How does the M2 match up against the Tracker DTS?

                                  the main difference between the two is that the M2 has a single antenna while the Tracker has 2, making it faster and easier to use, another huge difference between the two is analog vs digital, meaning it relies upon auditory info rather than a digital interface, digital is also much more specific in terms of search area. thirdly the M2 had recall problems because of battery issues (http://beaconreviews.com/transceivers/OrtovoxRecall.asp) and was discontinued in 2009, there's probably a reason why. If i were buying a beacon now i'd take a look at the newer, smaller, three antenna products, take look at the Oct issue of Powder for a solid cross-section of the current beacons.

                                  the question is do i need two of the same...

                                  the question is do i need two of the same beacons in order to make them work, also not really sure how one works and would love to hear back from someone who has used one from the snowboarding perpective...

                                  No, you don't need to have the same type of beacon (I have a DTS tracker (easier to use than the ortovox IMO) and my friends have different models. Depending on where you live, there are classes available for basic beacon usage, backcountry survival, and snow science (Avy 1, etc). I'd highly recommend investing in at least a basic course when the snow hits again. Your friends will live to thank you for it.

                                  No you do not need two of the same beacons for it to work. Beacon technology is now universal so any brand can be used with any other no matter if the frequency is analog or digital. As far as just using one, it doesn't work at all. The only way using one solo would be if you are in out of bounds resort area and ski patrol can get to you, or if other people in the area randomly have beacons they could pick up your signal. However being out solo with a beacon and no one is around, then it is rendered useless.

                                  I borrowed this beacon from a friend, and...

                                  I borrowed this beacon from a friend, and it worked great. I'm curious if anyone knows where to pick up accessories for it though---I seem to have misplaced the shoulder strap and want to replace it before I return it.

                                  I just bought a Ortovox 2 this is my first...

                                  I just bought a Ortovox 2 this is my first becon did I buy a good one

                                  hello I would like to buy one of these...

                                  hello I would like to buy one of these but I am want to make sure this can be use also in Europe. I believe in Europe they are the same but not sure . And also IF someone with me has one Ortovox , do they need to have the same one to have these connesting each other ??? Looking forward to hear from you .

                                  Have the people who advocate the Pieps DSP...

                                  Have the people who advocate the Pieps DSP tried a multiple burial senario with 4 beacons, and 3 being within a 3 yard radius?

                                  As far as i know (never used it in the scenario you describe) the DSP offsets beacon responses by a millisecond to make sure you hear all the beacons. You can flag one at a time and still get the multiple beeps. Again, i have not used it in the situation you describe. Plus, i think if you have 4 searching you could flag one at a time and basically do a process of elimination to find the exact spot for each beacon.

                                  I have an M1 that I purchased in 2000....

                                  I have an M1 that I purchased in 2000. I've never had any problems with it. Is there any reason not to continue using it? I know technology has improved but I assume this is still compatible, am I correct?

                                  @Michael: what makes you say the M2 is...

                                  @Michael: what makes you say the M2 is outdated? (except for the build date, and if you say 'technology' could you elaborate maybe). And what makes the Pieps worth spending an extra $130 or so

                                  I am not @Michael but I can tell you the M2 is outdated because it does not use a full digital antenna. The DSP is much better because of the features it has multiburial, flagging, frequency check, ect. The Pieps also has a fourth antenna that check the emitting frequency every time you turn it on. 130 dollars isnt much more to spend if it could save time in your or a friends burial.

                                  The M2 like the M1 or F1 is an excellent unit for someone willing to train & practice with it. For a trained searcher it should have a faster find time than any 2 or 3 antenna beacon for the simple reason it does not need to take the time to process the incoming information like the Pieps DSP, tracker, or similar beacon. It is easy for an excited searcher to outrun a 2 or 3 antenna beacon. That being said for someone not willing to practice with the beacon go with a tracker, Pieps DSP or similar type with the tracker being the easiest to use for a non-practicing beginner. Fast successful multiburial scenarios with the M1, M2 or F1 require lots of practice and excluding guides, ski patrol, & SAR folks I doubt most people would get enough practice to pull them off with success. Here again the Tracker & Pieps DSP would proform better for a person not trained and in not practicing often.

                                  I've been using an Ortovox M1 (blue case)...

                                  I've been using an Ortovox M1 (blue case) for a number of years, which was a big step up from my first analog Ortovox. No doubt the technology gets better every year and I'm wondering if someone can clue me into how the M2 is an improvement on the M1 and whether the ultra spendy S1 is worth the money? Thanks.

                                  I was looking at buying a used M2 that is...

                                  I was looking at buying a used M2 that is white in color? The only M2's I've seen are orange... What does the white casing mean?

                                  Best Answer

                                  i think if it's white it is the older version. i have a white one. it was my very first purchase at backcountry.com. they were selling it cheaper than anyone else. anyway i think the updated newer version is orange.ONLY buy used if you know the complete history of the beacon. Is this really something you want to skimp on?