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Do watch compasses/altimiters/etc ACTUALLY work?

Discussion in 'Watches' started by AliasNeo07, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. AliasNeo07

    AliasNeo07 Loaded Pockets

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    It's time for a new watch...im going through suunto, gshock, pro-trek...

    I'm trying to decide whether to care about the triple sensors. I have mine on my riseman and have never once used it. The only one I might like having is the compass. Are they accurate enough to navigate in an emergency?

    If not I'll just grab one with solar and atomic.

    Thanks everyone
     
  2. Soosh

    Soosh Loaded Pockets

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    If you've set your declination correctly the compass is quite useful. Out of the box, it's probably still good enough in a pinch. I used to have a triple sensor Pro-Trek and really liked it, but the compass was the only thing I used too. If I'm remembering correctly the thermometer is especially useless unless you take off the watch and set it on the ground in the shade for a couple of minutes so it can cool down from body temperature. Otherwise you're just gathering information to really accurately describe the climate of your left wrist.
     
  3. babola

    babola Loaded Pockets

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    Stick with the real deal like Suunto, for example. Casio G-shocks, Pro-treks and Pathfinders are toys when it comes to altitude and pressure recording.

    The new first-ever triple-sensor G-shock Rangeman now shares the same 3rd gen sensor as the Protreks, but still pretty much useless for anything half-serious.
     
  4. raggasonic

    raggasonic Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Suunto Core and an X10, and both work really great : On a 1000m+ ascension, altimeter accuracy stays in a good +/-10m range, compass have never failed and the barometers are more accurates than some well known dedicated stuff like Oregon.

    I can't talk about the overall quality of Suunto products, but the 2 I have are outstanding.
     
  5. Froley

    Froley Loaded Pockets

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    I agree Suunto's are light years ahead of g-shocks in this catagory
     
  6. AliasNeo07

    AliasNeo07 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    The problem with the suuntos (for me) is the battery life. I need something that's going to last more than a week or so. That's why i like the solar gshocks. But if the compass on the gshock is much worse than the ones on suuntos I may have to reconsider. I can't think of any use (for me) for the barometer thermometer or altimiter.)
     
  7. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have a Pathfinder. Works fine. I kept the instruction booklet because it lists how to calibrate ithe altimiter.

    It works fine outta the box though. I checked it against a real compass when I got it. As far as using it for emergencies...it'll be fine.
     
  8. SAKplumber
    • In Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The thermometer gives you an innacurate reading when its worn due to the temp of your arm.
     
  9. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    I have a Suunto Vector that I think is 12 or 13 years old. The compass works fine... when it is calibrated. The thing is, I can never remember how to do it and even the calibration process requires you to dance around in a little circle. That said, it has really helped me out on a number of occasions when I was otherwise under prepared for the day.

    As far as the batter goes, I don't recall it ever not last more than a year and, honestly, I think I may be getting up to two years out of it.

    I'd also add that I've heard from several people horror stories about Suunto CS being rather poor. Make of that what you will.
     
  10. Silverj53

    Silverj53 Loaded Pockets

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    I love my protrek, I use the compass and the thermometer. I do take the watch off for a bit for a proper temp reading. I have used the timers and alarm, but never the barometer or altimeter. I never worry about it working, it's been on my arm for years, can't complain!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
     
  11. Here Comes The BOOM

    Here Comes The BOOM EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Big Protrek/Pathfinder fan here too. I like Suunto too, but it'll probably be at least another decade before we can have GPS watches that are powered by the sun so until then I'm sticking with my Casio.

    The compass is great, I trust it even more than my analog ones. Barometer is also very good at sea level. It works at altitude as well but you'll have to compensate for the pressure difference. If you just rely on the graph there's no problem at all. It (the graph) will go funky on you when driving through the mountains though. All those quick changes in altitude confuse the watch and it'll need a couple of hours to create a new useful graph again. Thermometer is great as well, but you do have to take the watch off and let it acclimatize for a while, like you would have to do with every other thermometer when wearing it directly on your body. I'm not a big fan of the altimeter though. It works fine if you just want to check your elevation after or during a day hike, but you'll need to recalibrate it every time the barometric pressure changes.

    Also, this thread needs pics :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. babola

    babola Loaded Pockets

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    No, the Compass on the Casio outdoor watches isn't lagging much behind the Suunto or any other serious brand, for that matter. They're all very similar in Compass performance department.

    If the Compass is the only usable function from the triple sensors you intend to use, then yes sure, stick with Solar Casio's and they don't have to be Pathfinder or ProTrek sort, there other more cheaper (and smaller) alternatives from Casio.
     
  13. kd7dvd
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    kd7dvd EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have a Suunto Core. Compass is OK (although I'm usually in a city where compasses are easily distracted) and the barometer is excellent. (Calibrating a barometer for use as an altimeter has been a problem for hundreds of years and has nothing to do with the watch.*) Battery life is 6-9 months, usually. A watch that requires a battery replacement in less than a week is faulty and should be returned.

    * Ever notice that GPS users are usually happy when their device gets them within 100 feet horizontally, but get cranky when they can't get the altitude to the exact foot?
     
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  14. BalancedEdge

    BalancedEdge Loaded Pockets

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    I have a gshock with a compass and thermometer feature. Compass works perfectly, thermometer is off by as much as 5 degrees at times.
     
  15. AliasNeo07

    AliasNeo07 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I think im going to stick with a solar casio for now. Battry shoils last a number of years. When I was referring to the suunto lasting a week I was referring to the new one with gps that needs to be charged every week or so.

    Among the casios...what are the differences between the protreks pathfinders and gshocks? I'd like the new range man but I think it's $400. As long as it's solar, compass, waterproof/shockproof, I don't care. Any hints on pathfinder/gshock/protrek debate? It'll be worn 5 or 6 days a week.

    Thanks again!

    (I'll cross my fingers for a solar gps watch soon)
     
  16. SAKplumber
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    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have only had the Pathfinder. 6-7, maybe 8 years, I can't recall. Only issue its ever given me is that the solar panel can't recharge under the cuff of my winter jackets. It went into a power saving mode once and I sat it in the sun for about 10 minutes and it was fine as long as I remembered to pull my sleeve up when I drive. That way it gets exposure as I have my arm propped on the door like I do.

    As for the temp...I find that the local temps taken by the local news are always different than what I expeirence in my part of town. News places are all downtown. I get a different temp out here.
    But seriously, how accurate do you need the temp reading to be, ya know? Its not like it used to check the internal temp of your wild game birds caught whilst surviving against all odds, right? :giggle:
     
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  17. babola

    babola Loaded Pockets

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    I own the Rangeman and for what it's intended application is for, it's a great watch. The new Gen 3 triple sensor inside it is the same as the one it comes on the latest generation Pathfinders and Protreks. The difference is in UI - a dedicated outdoor watch like Protrek will always be a bit nicer and easier to use compared to a G-shock with the sensor features added to as extras.

    If you like the look and features of a Master-of-G Rangeman, go for it - you won't be disappointed.
     
  18. AliasNeo07

    AliasNeo07 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks again everyone. The watch will have these features as a bonus or "just in case." I doubt they'll be used. Now I just have to decide between the range man and the protrek PRG270. 120$ more for the rangeman. Tough call.
     
  19. Sato

    Sato Empty Pockets

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    Hi, i can tell bout my experience with compasses. I have casio protreks (500/510/270), gshock mudman G9300 and a suunto core all black. The compass is pretty accurate in all of them. I compared with geological compass (Brunton Transit Compass). However, i always do a calibration in place where ill use the watch. In Casios there are two calibration modes: Bi-directional and north calibration. In Suunto the calibration is more simple, only rotate few times. Another thing is know the magnetic declination of the place to set your watch. The mudman is very tough, protreks are tough and suunto is ok to use in the field, imho. Sorry my english, I hope you can understand.
     
  20. Here Comes The BOOM

    Here Comes The BOOM EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Protrek/Pathfinders and the G-Shock range uses a lot of the same technology so I wouldn't worry about that too much & just pick one you'll like and that's within your budget.

    They did come out with a new sensor last year though, which is a bit quicker and displays the compass on the screen for a longer time (I believe it's something like 20 seconds for the old sensors vs 60 seconds for the newer one).

    The newer sensor is also a bit smaller which translates to an overall smaller watch. I'm not very familiar with the G-Shock range though, so I don't know which ones carry the newer sensor and which ones use the older one, but I would suggest looking in to the PRW-3000 as well (nothing wrong with a PRG-270 though, just giving you another option).