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  • Ortovox - S1+ Avalanche Scanner/Transceiver - Black Raven

Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Scanner/Transceiver

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    • Black Raven, One Size
      sale $342.30

    10 Reviews


    The S1+ uses Smart Antenna Technology to help you find others and to help you get found.

    Keeping your nerves in check and staying focused are essential when you're in an avalanche situation. So is having gear you can rely on, so count on the Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Scanner/Tranceiver during practice or real-life recoveries. This digital, triple-antenna beacon immediately scans the debris field, showing you how many victims were buried, their orientation in reference to you, and the distance to each signal. Should you be buried, the S1+ features Smart Antenna Technology which analyzes the position of the antennas and automatically switches to the best transmitting antenna, which boots range 43% more than other devices on the market (with the exception of Ortovix' 3+), no matter what search device your companion is using.

    Once switched on, this intuitively-designed beacon transmits, but when opened up it switches straight to search mode and automatically starts scanning so you can quickly make the best decisions with the best possible information. Its illuminated 360° real-time display gives you detailed instructions on what to do. Bearing lines, direction arrow, and distance information lead you along the fastest route to the strongest transmission signal. A fine search mode helps you find the right spot to probe with a clear circle and arrow display as well as the distance down to a tenth of a meter. Once you pinpoint one signal and make the rescue, mark it with the glove-friendly flag button and move onto the next victim without other signals clouding your search. 

    Ortovox gave the S1+ rubberized housing to protect it against moisture and impact while a neoprene bag with elastic keeperstrap attaches the device securely to your body with a comfortable strap system. A backlight display allows for nighttime rescues while its updatable microprocessor keeps the S1 at the forefront of avalanche beacon technology. The S1 also has clear and optimized search acoustics for reliability and a Recco reflector that helps professional rescuers find victims buried in the snow. 

    • Smart Antenna technology
    • Automatic switchover in case of secondary avalanche after 120 seconds of no movement
    • Signal analysis
    • 360° real time display
    • Display of multiple victims
    • Microprocessor control
    • Permanent monitoring of the transmitter
    • Intuitive search acoustics
    • Backlight display
    • Recco receiver
    • Slope inclometer
    • Setup functions: contrast of display, volume
    • Quality rubberized housing
    • Carrying system with flexible device link-up and wrist loop
    • Item #ORT0156

    Tech Specs

    Digital Range
    50 m
    Batteries Included
    Battery Life
    250 hours
    Claimed Weight
    [including batteries and harness] 8.11 oz
    Recommended Use
    skiing, snowboarding, snowmachining, backcountry, avalanche rescue
    Manufacturer Warranty
    5 years with registration

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Ortovox S1+ Avalanche Transceiver

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    There is a reason both of the instructors on your AIARE course had this exact beacon: its the best of the best. The technology packs a punch. Its multi-burial search capabilities, flagging functionalities, and simple send to receive modes are all well thought out in the construction of this product. While you must be slow and mindful when it comes to the fine search for this software to work effectively and efficiently, that's simply mimicking the educational practice of taking your time during the arguably most important part of the entire search process. This beacon works with you using intelligent sounds and icons to help move the search process along keeping the situation as stress-free and intuitive as possible.

    Like a good friend . . .

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Like a good friend this beacon is there for you when you need it to be. I used this all season and while teaching avalanche courses and was very impressed with the features and functions of this beacon. If you are a guide the group check and signal analyzation is super nice. If there are multiple rescuers with the S1+ you can really cut down on locating multiple victims. The search function displays and sounds are super intuitive to follow and help you pin point the victim faster. Basically if you spend a lot of time in avalanche terrain you should have this beacon.

    Disclaimer: I am a member of the Ortovox North America pro team and while I try to write non bias reviews I'm sure some bias makes its way in.

    great beacon

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    This beacon is great, easy to use and has all the features you could want from a 3 antenna beacon. The harness that comes with it is pretty sweet as well. Would certainly recommend it to anyone.

    Ortovox Smart Antenna Demo

    You can see in the video when he flips the beacon without a smart antenna the beeping stops. When he lays it flat it starts beeping again. When we switch to a beacon with a smart antenna it has a small break in the beeping when it gets flipped vertical but, it continues to transmit a strong signal.

    The Ortovox devices have three antennas (x, y, and z).

    All three antennas are used during Searches. The x and

    y antennas are used to display the distance and the direction

    of movement. The z antenna is solely used for the fine search.

    The Ortovox devices are the only devices on the market that can analyze the position of the antennas using smart antenna technology and transmit via both the x and the y antenna.

    This vastly increases (up to doubles) the victim’s transmission

    range, making him or her far easier to find (improved visibility).

    When you are in the vertical position without Smart-antenna = poor visibility. A vertically positioned transmitter antenna (x antenna) only emits a signal vertically and results in poor visibility due to minimum area coverage (range) in the search area. A vertical tranSmitter without a Smart antenna is therefore more difficult to locate.

    When you are in the vertical position with Smart-antenna = very Good visibility. The patented Smart-antenna-technoloGy resolves this problem of poor visibility in the vertical position. The position sensor analyzes the device’s position in the avalanche and automatically switches to the y-antenna. As a result, the antenna once again transmits horizontally and expands the area coverage to almost the maximum range, making it easier to locate victims in less time.

    the best flip phone I've ever owned

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This little gem has helped me save lives.

    I've been tracker loyal for 10 years now (various models) and didn't think I'd ever make the switch until work required me to use an S1 and I feel in love. It's easy to use and has all the bells and whistles - who thought that combo was possible! All it's missing is a game of snake or pong. But really, its light, easy to use and saves lives, go buy it.

    Easy, small and reliable

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I'm just beginning to use the S1 and can't say enough good things about it. It's faster digitally than a slow as mollasses Barryavox, more intuitive that and BCA and modifiable for an expert or simple to use for a complete beginner. Tested it's signal strength with electronics versus the BCA and had more problems with the BCA than the S1, something that I thought would have had the reverse outcome initially. Very impressed with this beacon.


    This is what the S1+ looks like in all its glory.

    The left image is honing in on a second 'victim's' signal after having flagged another 'victim' to my left.

    The top right is the Menu screen - with options to test the accuracy of another user's beacon, enter into 4+ burial search mode, return to search mode and an icon to access the different settings.

    The top left is the settings menu. My favorite feature, the inclinometer! I use it all the time when waiting around while touring to hone my skills at guessing slope angles.

      ~~ SCREENSHOTS ~~

    Pic of Included Chest Harness

    I love this chest harness, much more so than the one included with my last beacon a BCA Tracker.

    It's FAR more adjustible to my petite frame.

    More comfortable than the Tracker Harness as well.

    I was constantly having to readjust my BCA harness, and this Ortovox harness is far superior in comfort and fit.

    Pic of Included Chest Harness

    its worth the cash

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    ive used this beacon multiple times in practice and have worn it a ton doing back country work. there is a reason that it is popular among the professional snow science workers. i absolutely love my beacon. its nice to be able to flip it open and have it go straight into search mode. another feature that is nice is that if you tilt the beacon to a more extreme angle while its open it will automatically enter send mode as a precaution in case you were caught in a secondary avalanche. over all this beacon is easy,fast and worth the price to have.

    Easy to use!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Easy to use, very intuitive and fast/direct search. I used this during my Avalanche Class and in my observation that it searches direct /much faster than the other beacons in the class.


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I used this beacon for the duration of last season after having used the BCA Tracker (the older model of the Tracker2) for the 3 previous seasons. This beacon does take a moment to get used to, but once you learn how to use it, I found it incredibly intuitive and easy to use. I also found it to be far easier to use in multiple burial scenarios (just practicing of course) than the Tracker.

    In my A.I.A.R.E. Avy 1 course while the entire class tested the range of their beacons the S1+ was the very last beacon from our lineup of 8 units to lose the signal. I would say it has excellent signal strength.

    I love the easy-open feature where the S1+ switches to receive instantly, no fumbling with buttons and wondering what mode your beacon is in. I also sometimes worried about the button depressing and switching into receive rather than transmit on the older Tracker model. I know the actual likelihood of this happening is probably nil, but I do feel much more confident with the S1+ in that aspect.

    You can also give your friends a good laugh by pretending the S1+ is a flip phone. They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

    I used the inclinometer a bunch last winter! It's a great feature. Whenever I found myself waiting or hanging out on a slope, I would take out my beacon and try to guess the slope, so I became better a judging slope angels. I found this feature to be a great learning tool.

    One more note, the sling or harness on the S1+ was significantly more comfortable and low-profile than the older tracker model. I am a diminutive female, and could never really get the tracker harness to fit correctly or sit where I wanted it without constant adjustment. In hindsight, I just should have altered the harness, or sewn some adjustments, but the S1+ harness was easily adjustable and fit me directly out of the box. It was more comfortable and seems to stay in place much better than the BCA harness.

    If you purchased an S1+ last year, there is a SOFTWARE update available!! Take your unit to a local authorized dealer to get the update, just a few minor tweaks.

    ** Improved intuitive search sound and clear acoustic feedback when flagging

    ** Fine search: Sound at 3.0m, tendency display at 2.5m

    **Customization of welcome screen: Password is not necessary/possible any more

    Find a local dealer here:

    I am assuming the S1+ you guys are selling have had the recall issue fixed? I read the ones that have been fixed the menu button and horizontal line is colored green, but the pictures on your website are white, which refers to the unfixed model that is part of the recall process.

    Unanswered Question

    I just got an S1+ from for Christmas 2015. I also just learned about the S1+ recall. Is my new beacon covered by this recall?

    So what I'm deducing is that, during a rescue, if I were to have to begin to dig a person out there would be no way to avoid putting this beacon back into send mode. If it automatically goes to send when shut, I can't stow it away in the harness. If it goes to send when I put it at too steep of an angle, even when open, I won't be able to let it dangle from a tether or toss it (open) in a separate pocket. And even if I do manage to find a way to store it both open AND horizontally while digging someone out, it will automatically go to send if I don't move my location for two minutes. With the exception of turning the device off completely, how the hell am I supposed to get this thing to stay out of send mode when there are other people trying to rescue different victims than the one I'm recovering???

    I'm hoping I just don't understand it's function, because everything else seems great with this device. Just very worried that the numerous "auto-to-send-mode" functions are impossible to avoid, putting real victims at risk of not being found quick enough due to a rescuer (any S1+ carrier) not being able to stay out of send mode.

    I will not be detaching my beacon from my body or switching the power on the unit off until I am in a 100% guaranteed safe spot. Is there a solution????

    Best Answer

    Hey! Corp399663 asked some great questions above. Here are the answers... we thought they might be useful for others as well!

    #1 Stowing the S1+ - Yes, if you fold the S1+ shut, it will return to transmit. Regardless of brand, we would not take the time to re-stow the transceiver in the harness when seconds count. You may either let the unit dangle from the tether or you may place it ( open for the S1+) inside an open clothing layer, or pants pocket.

    #2 Vertical Stow - Ortovox beacons do not revert to transmit mode from a change in angle of the transceiver. Once in search they will remain in search until the user changes modes, or our Safe Switchover technology activates. Safe switchover is explained below under #3.

    You may be confusing our patented Smart Antenna feature which functions in transmit mode.

    Modern transceivers search/receive with 3 antennas. All transceivers on the market, including Ortovox, transmit with one antenna. Ortovox models S1+, 3+, and Zoom+ may choose the optimal transmission antenna based on the orientation of the transceiver. Smart Antenna technology eliminates the scenario where a victim's transmitting antenna is in a predominantly vertical orientation, which results in less range for searchers and harder to interpret distance/direction information. Smart Antenna technology makes the searchers' job easier regardless of the brand of transceiver they use.

    #3 Moving location- Ortovox models S1+, 3+, and Zoom+ are equipped with Safe Switchover. In search mode, without motion, the unit will revert to transmit in a given amount of time. With the S1+, via the menu, you may disable this feature, or set the time to either 60 or 120 seconds. The 3+ and Zoom+ have a fixed time of 120 seconds.

    Safe switchover is designed to function if a searcher ( in search mode ) is buried in a second avalanche and therefore cannot move, the unit will revert to transmit.

    From your verbiage, it will automatically go to send if I don't move my location for two minutes." We want to make sure it's understood Ortovox transceivers are not linked to any GPS locating. Certainly, movements during a rescue are sufficient to keep our transceivers from reverting to transmit.

    To provide a sense of the acuteness of the motion sensor, it is also active in transmit mode. If, at the end of the day, you accidentally leave your Ortovox beacon powered on and put it away, with no motion, the unit will sound an alarm indicating that it is still transmitting. A function to preserve battery strength.

    Cheers from Ortovox USA!