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PIEPS Micro Avalanche Beacon

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PIEPS Micro Avalanche Beacon Drag to zoom



The PIEPS Micro is the smallest and lightest three-antenna beacon on the market. Featuring patented sensor technology and wireless device management, it offers the performance you expect from a PIEPS avalanche transceiver and next-generation technology to improve ease of use. READ MORE
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The PIEPS Micro is the smallest and lightest three-antenna beacon on the market. Featuring patented sensor technology and wireless device management, it offers the performance you expect from a PIEPS avalanche transceiver and next-generation technology to improve ease of use. Learn More


The smallest and lightest three-antenna beacon on the market, the PIEPS Micro is a compact, easy-to-use beacon for sidecountry and backcountry use. The Micro is the first beacon to offer sensor technology, which allows the beacon to switch from send to search mode as the user focuses on the rescue. With a large display for easy readability, the Micro features a vibration-based warning that triggers upon first reception of a signal, and it offers a truly circular range for a higher level of accuracy. With a 40 meter range and a flagging function for multiple burials, it's the go-to for moderate backcountry use.

  • Smallest & lightest three-antenna beacon on the market
  • Patented sensor technology delivers ease of use and intuitive handling
  • Large display for best readability
  • Includes lightweight chest harness
  • Wireless updates managed through a Bluetooth® enabled mobile app
  • Maximum circular receiving range of 40 m
  • Flagging function in case of multiple burials

Tech Specs

Antennas :   3
Frequency :   457 kHz (EN 300718)
Power Supply :   1 Alkaline AA
Battery Life :   200+ h in send-mode
Maximum Range :   40 m (131 ft)
Weight :   150 g (5.2 oz)
Dimensions :   102 x 71 x 18 mm (4.3 x 2.3 x .9 in)

Beacon Comparison

PIEPS Micro Avalanche Beacon is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great beacon after initial learning curve I have used this beacon on 7-8 tours and finally understand it enough to review. I was initially confused about how to operate the thing and honestly a little scared when it seemed like the tranceiver wasn't working properly. After a little yard practice I think it deserves 5 full stars. Here are the basics. The beacon has a simple ON/OFF knob that seems to just rotate the battery into position to power the unit. The beacon has one button marked with a flag, and it has a "proximity sensor" that determines if the unit is stowed in your holster/pocket or outside ready for action. This simple interface works because the unit has a carefully thought-out sequence that makes it safe and relatively idiot proof. Here's the sequence. After the beacon is turned on it does a self check. Make sure the beacon is out of your holster/pocket while it initiates. (See hints below for more on this) After initial checks it then goes immediately into SEARCH mode. Once you stow it away, it switches to TRANSMIT mode and beeps and vibrates a bunch of times so you know for sure that you can go skiing. Easy so far: outside=search / stowed=transmit. A diagram on the screen displays the current mode. When you take out the beacon again, it switches back to SEARCH and LOCKS in this mode. The screen displays a lock. Even if you stow it at this point it will NOT switch back to TRANSMIT unless you lie very still for a full minute (in the event of a secondary avalanche). When the beacon has been still for a minute while in SEARCH mode it AUTO-REVERTS to SEND mode. Still with me? The SEARCH-LOCK scared me at first, but now I think it is an important feature. It keeps gumby's like me from accidentally stowing the beacon in the middle of a search and inadvertently transmitting. It helped my confidence to test the AUTO-REVERT to SEND feature. (See hints below) To get back to TRANSMIT mode, hold down the FLAG button for 3 seconds and stow the beacon. Confirmation that you are transmitting will come in the form of beeping and vibrating. (It beeps 4 times and vibrates 10 times.) There are more advanced features like multiple burials, group check mode, bluetooth customization and firmware upgrades, and error codes. I dove too quickly into trying to use these features (because I thought I was a pro) before I really understood the basics. Four hints for success with this newfangled technology: 1. Do NOT use the ON/OFF switch as a toggle for going between SEARCH and SEND. If you end up doing this a bunch, you need to read the manual again. 2. You can fool the beacon into thinking it is stowed by putting your finger over the proximity sensor. This is useful while training with it and to visually check when in TRANSMIT mode. After some practice I know where to grab the beacon to do a quick visual check mid-tour without switching modes. 3. Do NOT turn the beacon ON while it is stowed or while covering the sensor. During the initial self-checks the beacon will assume that the proximity sensor is DAMAGED and will go SEND mode and display the error code E7. If this happens, turn off the beacon and restart it without covering the sensor. If E7 is displayed you can manually switch between SEND and SEARCH by holding down the FLAG button. The sensor will do nothing. At first I thought this was a stupid feature, but in the event of a damaged senor, this makes the unit useable 4. Test the AUTO-REVERT-TO-SEND feature at home. Get the beacon into SEARCH-LOCK mode by turning on, stowing it, wait for the burst of vibrations that signals TRANSMIT mode and then removing it. Now just like it down on the ground and let it sit motionless for 1 minute. After a minute it will make a terrible alarm sound and switch to TRANSMIT. The alarm will continue indefinitely until you press the FLAG button and switch it back to SEARCH. Now imagine getting caught in a secondary slide and having to listen to that MF alarm until you die. Pros: -Small, lightweight -Long range (tested ~50m) -One AA battery, long life (user manual says ~300 hours on SEND) -After intial learning curve, intuitive and simple interface -Great for gumby guides, gumby clients, all of us other gumbies. Cons: -Takes practice to use intuitively and efficiently. Pretty much like every other beacon. -I think that annoying AUTO-REVERT alarm should also go off when I'm making a stupid decision that could get me killed. Maybe that will come with the next bluetooth firmware update. :)
Date published: 2017-02-08
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