UKC

Re: Pieps DSP Sport avalanche beacon

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 Martin W 03 Mar 2021

Reference this (now locked) thread of late last year: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/skiing/pieps_dsp_sport_avalanche_beacon-727878?v=1#x9336050

I have just received an e-mail from Pieps notifying me of the following: https://www.pieps.com/dsp/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021_DSP_Communication_User_DE

Basically, they're offering to replace the neoprene carry case, as originally supplied with the transceiver, with a hard case which is presumably intended to reduce the risk of the main switch unlock button getting inadvertently depressed while the transceiver is being worn, and the main switch then getting moved from "Send" to "Search".

FWIW, in my case I have just recently completed the "dance" with Pieps mentioned by ecrinscollective in that other thread (https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/skiing/pieps_dsp_sport_avalanche_beacon-727878?v=1#x9336323) and sent my DSP Sport off for a free replacement Powder BT.  In retrospect I wish I'd got round to it last year, before Brexit mucked up sending stuff to and from the continent, but fingers crossed I will get my replacement unit.  Or they might just send me the DSP Sport back with the new hard case, which would also be acceptable.  (Worst case the thing will end up stuck in customs somewhere and cost an unreasonable amount to retrieve.)

Post edited at 16:15
 SenzuBean 04 Mar 2021
In reply to Martin W:

I don't know if this recall is separate to what you've mentioned (sounds like it is?), but if it is - maybe a new thread is needed (your title isn't sufficiently alarming enough for a recall );


https://gearjunkie.com/black-diamond-pieps-dsp-recall

 spenser 04 Mar 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

Same bit of kit, just a bit confusing that the two recalls seem to be doing different things.

It is good to see that BD have decided to do the right thing here (although disappointing that they had plenty of notice before the start of the ski season and didn't act sooner). Hopefully they conduct a more in depth assessment of the failure modes for these devices when designing them in future as the failure of the switch locking mechanism as a failure mode should have been picked up before production started. 

 Martin W 04 Mar 2021
In reply to spenser:

> Same bit of kit, just a bit confusing that the two recalls seem to be doing different things.

The first wasn't a recall, it was (per the Instagram* posting linked in the gearjunkie article posted by SenzuBean) an offer to upgrade your avalanche beacon if you had concerns about it.  This latest move - the Voluntary Product Correction Program - is a recall: the announcement says "Consumers should stop using the DSP transceivers immediately and contact PIEPS for the new hardcase carrying system."  The "voluntary" bit just means that Pieps have decided to do it of their own accord rather than being compelled to do it by a third party (e.g. an industry regulator) - note the bit in the announcement where they say that as far as they are concerned "the products comply with international standards, are properly designed, and perform as intended".

It may be that Pieps were already in the process of designing the hard case solution way back last year when the issue first started to gain attention.  It's also possible that, despite their attempts to defuse the situation by claiming that there's nothing wrong with the switch lock design, they found that the number of people to whom they ended up having to offer free upgrades was unsustainable, so they came up with an alternative, lower cost solution which they now want all remaining customers with concerns about their beacon to adopt.

Bottom line seems to be that the hard case solution now replaces the free upgrade offer.  AFAIK they're e-mailing everyone who had registered their DSP beacon with Pieps about the recall programme (and there were good reasons to register, not least the extra three years of warranty that it gave you).

 Martin W 04 Mar 2021

* Another reason why it wasn't a true recall: announcing something like that on one random social media platform and nowhere else (AFAICS it wasn't posted on Pieps' Facebook account, and they don't seem to have a Twitter one) is no way to announce a recall.  The latest, actual recall has been announced both on Facebook and Instagram as well as on Pieps' own web site, and by direct e-mail to registered owners of the affected devices.  That's how you announce a recall, rather than trying to pretend that there isn't any problem and hoping it will go away.

Pieps has posted a video on YouTube which shows the new hardcase carry system for the DSP models:  youtube.com/watch?v=ZWeDuzd-QQo&  I have to say I'm not 100% impressed.  There doesn't seem to be any kind of impact protection for the device - or the user's ribcage - like the old soft case provided.  (AFAIK the Powder series still come with a neoprene case - but those devices use a different and apparently less-fault prone locking system for the main switch.  I pointed this out to Pieps when I was in correspondence with them about my DSP Sport: if there's nothing wrong with the design, why did you change it?)

 spenser 04 Mar 2021
In reply to Martin W:

The recalls I was referring to were the one referenced in Senzu Bean's post and the replacement of the neoprene carry case with a hard case.

The product can be fully compliant with standards and still introduce hazards/ failure modes peculiar to the design. 

 Martin W 04 Mar 2021
In reply to spenser:

> The recalls I was referring to were the one referenced in Senzu Bean's post and the replacement of the neoprene carry case with a hard case.

That's the same recall that my original post was about, except that it's Black Diamond managing the recall for US customers.

As I say, the original "if you're worried about it send it to us and we'll have a look-see" post of October last year on Instagram was not a recall in any meaningful sense of the word.


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