For 2012, the new Zoom avalanche beacon from Ortovox is designed to be used by anyone, from those that regularly ski or snowboard in the backcountry, to those venturing out of bounds for the first time. Packed with technology but featuring limited buttons, the Zoom dramatically cuts down on the chance of user error.
Ortovox reduced the complexity of the Zoom avalanche beacon down to only two buttons. A dial at the back turns the beacon on and off. If an avalanche occurs, all you have to do is move the top switch from Send mode on the left to Search mode on the right, then you are ready to help recover any victims that might have been buried.
The Zoom takes advantage of the latest avalanche beacon technology, including 3 antennas and Ortovox’s Smart Antenna technology. The beacon analyzes its position in the avalanche and automatically switches to the best antenna. The result is 43% more range, even in the worst reception area. This Smart Antenna technology works with all transceivers, regardless of which device the other people in your group may be using.
With a built-in motion sensor, the Zoom will automatically switch out of Search mode back into Send mode if the device detects no movement for more than 120 seconds. This safety feature ensures you are protected from a follow on avalanche at all times.
The large display in the middle of the Zoom indicates both the direction and distance to the avalanche victim, picking up the signal within 40 meters range. An LED graphic will also indicate if you have more than one buried victim. Visual search is supported by audio sounds, with higher and faster beeps as you are approaching the victim.
A single AA battery will power the Zoom avalanche beacon for up to 250 hours in transmission mode. The Ortovox Zoom retails for $249.