Summary: The ARVA Pro W is a three-antenna avalanche transceiver that is similar to the Mammut Pulse (the Pro W was initially developed in partnership with Mammut, the company that developed the Pulse). The Pro W offers both analog and digital modes, supports selective marking of multiple burials and offers numerous configuration options. The ARVA Axis is the fewer-featured little brother to the Pro W and shares most of the Pro W's features.
The Pro W was initially released under the product name "Link" in Europe in late-2010 and in the US in late-2011. The Link had an all-black housing. In October 2013 the Link was renamed the Pro W. The electronics in the Pro W were upgraded slightly (adding a new filter) and the software was updated, but the functionality is almost identical to the Link. I own both the white and black Links, but haven't tested them extensively. The Pro W was discontinued in late 2016
Searching: Similar to the Pulse, the Pro W has a freely-floating directional arrow that always points toward the transmitting beacon (even if you rotate it between beeps). The Pro W's arrow floats 180° and displays a U-Turn icon if you are moving away from the victim whereas the Pulse's directional arrow floats 360°. As with the Pulse, you must calibrate the compass after replacing the batteries or the directional arrow will be jerky. (To enter the configuration menu and calibrate the compass, turn off the beacon, hold down both side-buttons, and press-and-hold the on/off button for several seconds.) I've seen the Link repeatedly display a U-Turn which left me searching the same location (versus the Pulse's arrow simply pointing behind me).
As with the Pulse and Axis, the Pro W can be toggled into analog mode by pressing and holding both side-buttons.
Multiple Burials: When a signal is received by the ARVA Axis or the ARVA Pro W, a silhouette appears on the left side of the display. If multiple signals are received, additional silhouettes appear. Depending on how the signals overlap, the Axis and Pro W can display up to five silhouettes.
When searching with the Pro W you can use the side-buttons to move between the silhouettes. You can then see the distance and direction to each signal.
If there is a signal that is closer than the signal you are pursuing, the symbol appears. With the Pro W, you can continue searching for the more distant signal or select a different victim. The Axis will automatically switch to the nearest signal. When you are within 3 meters of a transmitter (or 5 meters if you change an internal configuration setting), the symbol appears on the screen. Pressing the button in the center of the search switch instructs the transceiver to "suppress" (aka, "mark") that signal.
As with the Mammut Pulse, the ARVA Pro W can use the additional information that these transceivers transmit on the "w-link" frequency to better determine the number of transmitters and to do a better job ignoring a signal after marking.
The Pro W's multiple burial features are powerful, but the power results in complexity that demands frequent practice.
Controls: The Pro W is turned on/off using a single, rubber-coved push button. I've had problems with mine (and it hasn't seen that much use). As of recently, I can no longer turn it off. I'm sending it in for repairs.
Two side-buttons are used to select options and a sliding button on the front changes between search and send mode. A button in the center of the sliding button is used to mark transmitters when searching for multiple transmitters and to confirm various actions (similar to an OK button on a computer). That's many more controls than other transceivers, but clear labeling of the buttons and a well designed screen make the controls less complex than they might otherwise be.
I encountered a tiny annoyance when replacing the batteries: the screws were too tight to unscrew by hand and the slots in the screws are too narrow for even a thin American dime. I had to use an actual screwdriver to remove the screws (the Tracker3 also requires a screwdriver).
W-Link: As with the Mammut Element and Pulse, the Pro W transmits additional information on the "w-link" frequency. This allows transceivers that transmit w-link data which is supposed to it easier for it to "mark" transceivers during a multiple victim search. It's uncertain whether this data is actually being used. And unlike the Mammut Pulse, the Pro W does not transmit "victim motion."
|Type:||Analog and Digital|
|Pros: Similar to Pulse in features.|
|Cons: Compared to the Pulse, more buttons and functionally not as well implemented.|