Avalanche Transceiver Interference – Breaking it Down
The concept of radio frequency noise is much like the audible noise we encounter in a busy public space like a pub or bar. When you get there early before the crowds, you can have a conversation with a friend without the background noise posing a problem. Later on, however, the room is filled with other people around you talking and the music has probably gotten louder, hearing your friend across the table from you becomes all the more difficult.
Active VS Passive Interference
It’s important to note here that Airplane Mode does not reduce the amount of radio frequency noise. The phone needs to be turned off and stored a sufficient distance away from the transceiver.
Passive interference comes from sources that can partially block or warp the transceiver signal, usually in the form of metal or magnets. This includes but is not limited to shovel blades, aluminum foil, granola wrappers, magnets on the pockets of your jacket and your seasons pass with that Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip embedded inside. While these items don’t interfere as much as active or powered transmitters, it’s better to keep them inside your pack or the requisite distance from your transceiver.
How to Reduce Avalanche Transceiver Interference
Want to know more about advanced avalanche search technique? Our ATL 2 course covers multiple-burial searches as part of its curriculum. For more technical analysis of transceiver interference, check out these industry blogs from Mammut and BCA
By Vince Shuley