Altimeter watch

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Altimeter watch

Postby johnnash » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:06 pm

Just for fun, I'm thinking about asking Santa for an altimeter watch for Christmas. I'd like to get one that has a download feature so I can graph my vertical profile record (not that my vert is likely to be anything to get all that excited about, but still I think that would be kinda cool :-). I'd prefer not to impose on Santa's financial resources too much, but as far as I can tell, the cheapest altimeter watch with this download feature is the Suunto X-6 at around $300, and even this one seems to get mixed reviews for reliability and user friendliness. Any opinions on the Suunto or other recommendations?
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby Admin » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:16 pm

The Suunto you want for skiing is the S6, not the X6. I don't know of any alti watch priced less than the S6 (also $299 like the X6) with a download feature. I love mine...you'll find my review on it in the accessories portion of our 2006 Holiday Gear Gift Guide:

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/index. ... le&sid=742

You'll also find other 3 other alti watches reviewed in the accessories portion of this year's guide:

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/index. ... e&sid=3248

I frequently see the Highgear watches (reviewed in 2005: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/index. ... le&sid=571) going for cheap ($50-70 IIRC) on Steep and Cheap (www.steepandcheap.com).
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Re: re: Altimeter watch

Postby Patrick » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:33 pm

Admin wrote: I love mine...

Same S6 as Admin, I love mine also, BTW you might look on Ebay for one. Got mine new for about $100 cheaper back in 2006.
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby Admin » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:07 pm

Now that I think about it I've seen the S6 on Steep and Cheap lately, too, for something in the neighborhood of $160. Check http://www.sacattack.com for a Steep and Cheap history, then call Backcountry.com and say that you missed the deal on SAC and ask if they'll match it.
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby johnnash » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:35 am

Thanks, I'll pass this on to Santa. I'm sure he'll be grateful for the tip :-)
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby johnnash » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:14 pm

Hi, I got the S6 wrist altimeter, and I have a small (I hope) problem. The laptop onto which I want to download the data doesn't have the right kind of port, so I got an adapter from Radio Shack, with a 9-prong plug on one end (to plug into the cable that clips to the altimeter) and a USB (to plug into the laptop) on the other. This adapter is a "device" with a chip and its own driver software. I installed the adapter driver and the SKIM software from Suunto on my laptop. When I clip the cable to the altimeter, and plug the other end of the cable into the adapter, the altimeter seems to "recognize" that it is connected to a computer, and the read-out on the face says "data transfer". Likewise, the laptop "recognizes" that the adapter is plugged in. (The computer calls it "RadioShack serial adapter" or something like that.) But when I open the SKIM software, and click on the icon for "Connect to wrist altimeter", I get a message saying that it cannot find the altimeter. Before I start calling the helplines (I'm not even sure whether to go to Suunto or Radio Shack) and spend hours on the line talking to Bangalore :roll: , I thought I would check FTOL and see if anyone else has had this problem and how they resolved it. Thanks!
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby Admin » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:29 pm

Yup, your computer lacks a serial port (as most now do - I have no idea why Suunto hasn't gone to USB) so you're using a serial-to-USB adaptor. the problem is that the SKIM software is set to the wrong COM port.

Go into Device Manager (right-click on My Computer->Properties and select the "Hardware" tab) and with the whole setup plugged in expand "Ports" to see which COM port the USB-to-Serial adaptor is operating on. Set your options in SKIM to reflect that COM port.
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby johnnash » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:39 pm

Thanks! I had actually thought of doing something like that, but when I looked, I couldn't find anywhere in the SKIM interface to change the setting in order to tell it where (which port) to look for the altimeter. But with your reassurance that it's there somewhere, I'll look for it again tonight.
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby johnnash » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:43 am

Well, I still was never able to find any way to set any options in the SKIM software, but I managed to solve the problem. When I originally downloaded the SKIM software from the Suunto website, I downloaded the "full package" version, not the "update". I just assumed the full package would of course incorporate all updates. But while fiddling around with this over the weekend, I went back to the website, downloaded the update, and Volia! the SKIM then automatically found the right port to which the altimeter was connected. Somebody really should give Suunto some lessons in user friendliness. First, they should use USB, and second, they should include all the latest updates in a download they call the "full version". Oh well, the important thing is that it's working now and it's fun. Looking over the graphs lets me re-live the day!
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re: Altimeter watch

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:07 pm

Admin wrote:
I love mine...


Then why have you stopped using it? :evil:
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Re: re: Altimeter watch

Postby Admin » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:17 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:Admin wrote:
I love mine...


Then why have you stopped using it? :evil:


Like I said...'cuz I'm lazy.
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