Pieps Vector Beacon to Hit U.S. Market Soon

We just got the confirmed word from Pieps with details about their soon-to-be-released Pieps Vector, the world’s first maintenance-free, 4-antenna avalanche beacon with GPS support and rechargeable batteries. We’ll dig up some more info at its official unveiling at Outdoor Retailer later this month, but for now, here’s what we know:

The Pieps Vector opens up an entirely new dimension in terms of range and search-strip-width thanks to its GPS technology. It utilizes 3 antennas / Dual Sampling Technology, and features a self-checking, fourth reference antenna that’s maintenance free. Its lithium-ion battery is rechargeable, eco friendly and economical. As far as looks go, it’s the traditional Pieps yellow with a snazzy fold-out antenna that quickly transitions it into search mode and improve its range.

GPS: Three letters, but such a big impact! The Vector’s GPS capabilities provide support during the primary search phase to maximize the search strip width and give you coordinates for alerting mountain rescue. A GPS map gives you a complete overview of all areas covered in the search, including MARK and SCAN functions and signal reception. Just imagine having access to GPS tracking during your entire tour or search! Plus, it’s all downloadable to your PC or MAC via a USB.

RANGE: The Pieps Vector has a revolutionary 80-meter, circular, digital range. The fold-out antenna enables simultaneous operation of both main antennas (Dual-Sampling Technology). Its doubled sensitivity gives you maximum search-strip-width and faster signal reception. Plus, it’s ultra-fast when time counts; just fold out the antenna and it switches to search mode automatically.

POWER: The Pieps Vector uses lithium-ion technology so it’s rechargeable with a USB interface. This means high performance at extremely low temperatures and permanent display of remaining battery power (transmit and receive). An additional adapter will be available for use with regular alkaline batteries.

We can’t wait to get our hands on the new Pieps Vector and test all these amazing features out for ourselves. Look for our update after Outdoor Retailer later this month.

UPDATE 1/25/11:
We’re back from Outdoor Retailer and experienced the Pieps Vector for ourselves. Surprise #1 was the Vector’s price tag. Retailing at $599.95, the Vector came in a bit more affordable than we thought it’d be. There’s something satisfying as well about the fold-out antenna that switches it lightning fast to search mode. Here are some specs:
Weight: 200 grams, including batteries
Dimensions (inches): 4.5 L x 2.9 W x 1 H

Check out our Pieps Vector videos taken at the OR Winter Market:

Pieps also unveiled the Pieps DSP Tour, a pared down version of the DSP, the Pieps TX600, a mini-transmitter that runs on a different frequency for dogs and equipment like snowmobiles, and the Pieps Backup Transmitter for secondary avalanches.  But certainly the brand’s top honors now go to the new Pieps Vector.

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