This article addresses the questions we are frequently asked about avalanche transceivers and dogs. Most of these questions come from UK terrier owners trying to locate their dogs underground rather than those buried in the snow by an avalanche.
A few basics – Avalanche transceivers work on a world standard of 457MHz, so if something can be detected by one model of transceiver then it can be detected by them all.
In proper snow use the 457MHz frequency is reserved for humans only. Dogs and equipment are protected by using a separate frequency which is only compatible with certain transceivers in a special mode. This is to protect people and ensure that equipment and dog transmitters never interfere with a search for humans and are never recovered before humans.
So a proper set up for a dog would involve a separate transmitter and a compatible dual frequency transceiver e.g. Pieps DSP Pro, and a Pieps TX600.
Bellman and Flint produce a Dog location system based on the same 457 MHz avalanche safety frequency. As it’s not designed for use on snow where people may potentially be buried this system uses the human frequency. So NEVER use the Bellman & Flint system on snow where you may risk compromising a search for people.
Any avalanche transceiver that we sell will detect a 457 MHz transmitter, which the Bellman & Flint collar currently is, and the Mammut Pulse seems to be the most popular model. The original Bellman & Flint system actually used a rebadged Pieps DSP transceiver but that is no longer the case.
Avalanche Transceivers are sensitive electronic devices and are not designed to be kept in wet muddy pockets! You need to take care of them. Your warranty will be invalid if your transceiver has been damaged by lack of care. If you look at the Bellman & Flint system it is completely sealed and waterproof for this reason, avalanche transceivers are not. You have been warned.
So you can use a normal avalanche transceiver with a Bellman & Flint collar but it’s not as reliable or convenient as the full Bellman & Flint set up.