BCA Tracker 2
Detektory Sondy Lopaty

BCA Tracker 2 changes periodic signal after 12 hours in send mode. Firmware upgrade available in two weeks.

3 marca 2020

BCA Tracker 2 changes its periodic signal after 12 hours in send mode. Firmware upgrade incoming in two weeks.

Our recent discovery [6.01.2020] with BCA Tracker 2 looks like this – BCA Tracker 2 changes its periodic signal after 12 hours in send mode, which causes Pieps MICRO BT, Pieps PRO BT, Barryvox S – show error at Pro / Advanced Group Check does not show an error with normal Group Check. Additionally, Barryvox S has a problem finding BCA Tracker 2 (after a while it finds it).

In the instruction manual there is information that BCA Tracker 2 after 12 hours in send mode by sound informs that it has been on for 12 hours (there is a slight mention in the instruction manual), BCA has additionally implemented a change of the periodic signal to save battery – which causes that this signal goes beyond the ETSI standard.

In a nutshell, this is a BCA Tracker 2 issue, not a devices in search mode  – about 6-8 BCA Tracker 2 from various distributions (USA, Europe) have been checked. The result is that it might be more difficult for a searching transceiver to locate a Tracker2 that has been transmitting for more than 12 hours.

Of course I contacted BCA USA sending all results and materials. A few days later, I also sent a tested detector to the headquarters.

Update 03.03.2020:

Bruce Edgerly (Co-founder / Vice President at Backcountry Access, Inc.) contacted us. BCA is working on software update, new software is expected to appear within 2 weeks.

By the way – the BCA Tracker 2 detector was withdrawn from official sale in February.

Which avalanche detector to buy? Why not 1 or 2 antennas – TOPR Chief’s opinion.

Detektory Lawinowe


For the test we used
Barryvox S (latest software)
Pieps MICRO BT (latest software)
Pieps PRO BT (latest software)
Two BCA Tracker 2 devices (latest software 04).

I turned on BCA Tracker 2 for 12 hours (send mode). After 12 hours, Tracker 2 beeps/sounds informs you that it has been working in broadcast mode for 12 hours (there is a slight mention in the user manual), BCA has additionally implemented a change of the periodic signal to save battery. At the moment when Tracker 2 begins to emit a sound (informing about work for 12 hours), the Period Signal changes from ~ 889ms to 1315ms, which goes beyond the ETSI standard which is 700ms – 1300ms for avalanche trasnceviers.

Both Pieps’s and Barryvox S showed an error when checking Pro Check / Advanced Check. Barryvox S has a problem finding (after a while it finds) Tracker 2 turned on for over 12 hours in send mode. When performing a normal Group Check (Pieps’s and Barryvox S) on BCA Tracker 2 working for over 12 hours, no information or error appears – everything indicates OK.

I performed the tests on two Tracker 2 – with the same result (periodic signal outside the norm).

The recording shows how BCA Tracker 2 has been working for 12 hours in sendmode, the moment when it starts to emit a sound about the detector in send mode for 12 hours. As a result, the periodic signal transmitted by the detector changes.

Here I did the whole test using Barryvox S, Pieps Micro BT and Pieps PRO BT.

Plecaki Lawinowe


I asked Steve from https://beaconreviews.com to do similar tests. BCA Tracker 2 – the same result as for me (periodic signal outside the norm) , on BCA Tracker 3 – after 12 hours of operation periodic signal changes from 852ms to 1148ms (i.e. normal).

In addition, I informed Mammut Barryvox Europe, and Pieps Europe. The results of their tests:

Mammut Barryvox Answer:

We run some short experiment in Lab with four T2  devices to verify your findings. The outcome:

    1. We measured the four T2 @+20°C with fresh batteries as well as after 12h of operation
      -> yes we also see the behavior that the T2 devices changes period length from approx. 850-950 ms up to 1317-1322 ms
      Remark: a period length from 1300 ms is upper range of for Avalanche Transceivers since 1984)
    2. We run two measurement sequences: a) with an Laboratory measuring instrument (PicoScope; @+20°C) and b) with the Barryvox S Pro Check (Firmware R3.2)

> the conclusion is that the measurement result from the Barryvox S Pro Check @+20°C varies with +/- 3 ms in comparison with the result from the PicoScope @+20°C

BCA Tracker 2 with new batteries before 12 hours in broadcast mode.

BCA Tracker 2 lost period

BCA Tracker 2 over 12 hours in send mode.

BCA Tracker 2 lost period

Answer from PIEPS Austria:

Thanks Lukasz!

I just have made some measurements of the Tracker. I can confirm your observation that it changes the period length after a specific amount of time.

In my case from 932ms which is in the norm to 1317ms which is outside the norm!

Our standpoint is clear:

  • The PIEPS group check function measures the period and pulse very accurate. There is no issue on our products.
  • Pieps strongly declines, changing the period length close or above the border of EN 300 718  with the aim of saving power but risking wrong signal characteristics.