The Pieps DSP is a small beacon, it has one of the longest
ranges of the digitals, it allows you to
lock-out a transceiver during a multiple burial,
its third antenna is excellent at dealing with
spikes during deeper burials, it handles
frequency drift well, and it can be periodically
upgraded with newer features.
Pieps Tour is a nearly-identical twin to the
DSP, but the Tour has only one button, three fewer features, and a lower price
tag. The now-discontinued
Pieps DSP Advanced
included the same features as the Pieps DSP plus it added a temperature display,
compass, and barometric altimeter. The Advanced was discontinued in 2009.
Searching: The DSP has a long range
and an intuitive direction indicator.
The direction indicator refreshes slightly slower than the
Trackers (although I
haven't quantified this or adequately compared it to the
As with most transceivers (the exceptions being the
Mammut Pulse, and the
Mammut Element), if you are headed in
the wrong direction (which can easily happen, since transceivers simply align
you with the transmitting beacon's flux
lines) you will need to notice that the distance is increasing and turn
Multiple Burials: The handling of multiple
burials is similar to other digital transceivers: you press the Mark button
to ignore the current beacon and advance to the next beacon. (The DSP and Tour
require you to press and hold the button.) The DSP also has
a Scan function that will display the number of transmitters within 5, 20, and
50 meters. Read
about these multiple burial features
Spikes: The Pieps DSP was the first three-antenna
beacon and set the standard for spike handling.
Controls: The switch that changes between Off, Send, and Search is
the most intuitive of the 30 beacons reviewed. A bump of the switch changes
from Search back to Send. The Mark button (a flag, which is reasonably intuitive)
tells the transceiver to ignore the nearest transceiver during a
multiple burial search. As with other beacons
that use a magnetic switch, it is possible for a large radio or for
magnetic jacket closures to turn off the Pieps (details
Comfort: The Pieps harness is now on its third generation. The original
black and subsequent silver harnesses were far from ideal. The new harness is
a very comfortable pouch-style harness. It can be purchased separately, for
less than $20, from LibertyMountain.com.
Other Features: The DSP lets you
check the transmitting frequency
of your friend's transceiver. It has a "Smart
Transmitter" which modifies the cadence of the transmitted single to
reduce the likelihood of signal overlap during a two-victim multiple burial.
The scan function shows
the distance to multiple victims. Version 5.0
and newer versions of the software supports the
Version 8.2 and newer versions of the software
supports the Pieps TX600
The Pieps DSP is programmed to blink the little man
icon () at
the bottom of the screen when it senses a continuous background
signal (i.e., an older analog beacon). To test this, I searched for an
Ortovox M1 which had a
strong background signal. The DSP's man icon did not blink during the
coarse search, but it did display
two blinking men during the fine search.
I treat the blinking men as a indication that the DSP is aware of an unusual
signal and is trying to interpret it.
Upgrades: The DSP can be upgraded via the earphone jack. Read about
the latest software updates here.
Other: Read about the DSP's self-test.
The Pieps warranty only covers the DSP for 2 years unless you register it within
three months of the date of purchase, in which case the warranty is extended
to 5 years.
View the comparison table for more information
regarding the Pieps DSP.