Today we are reviewing the new Easton Tracer
lighted nocks for crossbows.
As we have previously tested the Burt Coyote
and the Firenock International Firenock 2.0c (here)
Easton was the only one missing.
Easton launched the new Tracer this January at
the ATA Show, as we reported here and it became
available a few weeks ago.
The Easton Tracer is a LED illuminated nock that
replaces your conventional nock and allows
tracing arrow flight as well as helps you
retrieve the arrow in case you miss your
intended target. In hunting situations the
lighted nock helps in identifying the where you
hit your game and in locating game especially at
dusk or at night.
Easton Tracer is magnetically activated, meaning
that the LED on the nock is triggered by means
of a small magnet that you have to position
strategically onto your crossbow riser. This
activation via a magnet is a patent that Easton
bought from a company named Tracer Products Inc
(hence the name).
This patent is also the reason why Firenock
developed the new G series lighted nocks
(acceleration activated) and quit selling
magnetically activated lighted nocks.
The Firenock International nocks we reviewed
here are magnetically activated but are not
available in the US
The Easton Tracer is a product that shows there
is a big name behind it, the package is really
designer stuff, very elegant in shades of black
and green, (not that you buy products picking
package design but it really stands out) .
The nocks are available in a blister package
that contains a single nock and the activation
magnet, or multiple packs of two and four.
Multiple packs also include practice , matched
The Easton Tracer is available in both Flat nock
and Half Moon nock variations.
The package also contains an instruction leaflet
that is well written and easy to understand.
Also in the package you will find a Velcro patch
with self adhesive back to easily attach the
magnet to the riser of your crossbow. Since the
magnet is really small and unobtrusive I prefer
to use a few drops of silicone to permanently
affix it to the riser though.
The nock is built using a Easton flat nock
(translucent orange) that houses the PCB
(printed circuit board)
The small PCB has a few
electronic components to drive the LED and
connects to the battery. The battery is not
replaceable as it is wrapped with a thermo
shrinking sleeve and its terminals soldered;
this means that as the battery is exhausted you
need to buy a new nock. Easton rates battery
duration at 90 hours, that should be plenty
enough for field practice, in hunting situations
you will be probably searching for your game a
few hours after the shot , again 90 hours are
more than enough.
There is no magic about this long battery
duration: Easton makes good use of the LED
driving electronics , the LED in fact is
programmed by the onboard electronics to switch
on (passing over the magnet) and stay on for 10
seconds, after that it goes into flash mode
(this saves battery)
thus it flashes once every seconds.
LED is not as bright as competitor’s offerings:
this is due to the type of led used (this
choice helps saving some battery) and by the
fact that Easton decided to use an orange
translucent nock that diffuses light but reduces
the brightness further. I found, however, that
this becomes a feature instead of a negative
remark if you are target shooting: If I shoot a
lighted arrow into the target on the subsequent
shoots I have the tendency to be distracted by
the light of the first shoot , (actually I
really tend to concentrate on it…) and this is
especially bad if your first shot is off center…
Another feature , so far unique to Easton’s
Tracer, is that the chip inside the nock can be
set to “transport” mode: in order to avoid
activations. The nocks comes in this
mode, as a result if you pass a magnet close to
it just flashes once and then it goes back to
sleep .To activate the nock you should put the
magnet close and the nock will flash once,
continue keeping the magnet close for at least 5
seconds and the nock will flash twice,
immediately remove the magnet and the nock will
flash rapidly five times, your nock is now ready
Installation is pretty straightforward, just
remove your old nock , use a little sandpaper to
remove glue remains and slide in the new Easton
Tracer , we used the size for 2219 aluminum
arrows and we found it fits quite snugly , no
cement is necessary , the nock is also self
centering onto 6 ribs along its length
there is also a small O ring positioned onto the
battery to help centering the battery in the
arrow tube and to prevent it from shaking.
Now you can use the Tracer Nocks just like any
conventional nock: thanks to its low mass you
will barely notice a variation in the point of
impact compared to your standard setup.
The Easton Tracer Flat Back Tracer Nock for 2219
Aluminum arrows weighs
The Easton Tracer triggers very well and it
activates reliably on every shot , the magnet
can be positioned a full inch within arrow path
allowing you to find the best position on the
Deactivation downrange is where a second magnet
comes handy, unless you want to carry you
crossbow downrange just to turn the nocks off.
(Actually if you attach the magnet with the
supplied Velcro patch you can remove it and
carry it downrange to turn off your nocks)
Illuminated nocks are a valuable aid in field
training to discover flight problems and to
score your shot without a scope. In hunting
situations illuminated nocks are invaluable in
helping retrieve lost arrows or lost game.
The Easton Tracer is a remarkable product, well
built and with the Easton name behind it.