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ARVA Evo 3
Search-Strip Width: 40 meters
ARVA Evo 3
The Evo3’s LCD screen displays direction with five arrows and distance numbers. It indicates the presence of multiple transmitters (but won’t tell you how many), and has a marking function. The Evo3 is not software updatable.
In testing, the ARVA’s range averaged 29 meters, but more importantly, deviation from this average was small. It didn’t detect signals from as far away as some beacons could, but even at its worst, range remained a very respectable 21 meters, and the average of the lowest 10% is on par with the S1.
All testers noted that both the direction arrow and the distance indicator “bounced around too much” at longer range (greater than 20 meters). But they agreed that it wasn’t a huge issue, since after closing the distance to about 20 meters, both direction and distance were smooth and consistent. The Evo3 retains directional arrows down to two meters.
The ARVA’s audio “beeping” increases in frequency and pitch as the distance to a victim decreases, and displayed distance numbers during testing were consistent. Occasionally, at longer pinpointing ranges of two or three meters, the display was slow to update small distance readings, but all testers succeeded in precisely pinpointing single burial scenarios.
By quickly flipping the transmit/receive switch back and forth once, the Evo3 will mask the strongest transmitting signal and allow searchers to hone in on the next-strongest signal in a multiple-burial scenario. The masking functioned very well in all cases but one: a difficult test with three beacons located within 1.5 to three meters of each other. The Evo3 failed on a few tries to mask the first found beacon, though it allowed the tester to quickly pinpoint and mask the other two. While not as sophisticated as some, ARVA’s masking of multiple burials is effective in all but the most challenging scenarios.
The Evo3 powers on by plugging in the end of the harness eliminating the chance of touring with a turned-off beacon. Wide harness straps secure the Evo3 comfortably, but female testers found the transmit/receive switch hard to operate with gloves. The distance display is large and easy to read.
The Evo3 is a lot of beacon—three antennae, multiple indicator, masking function, 40-meter search-strip—for the money, an excellent value. One tester concluded, “I’m liking this one—good audio, effective on multiples. I’m going to buy one as an extra beacon for visiting relatives and friends.”
It didn’t perform as well as some others on the most difficult multiple-burial scenario.