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Old December 15, 2007, 08:41 PM   #1
FirstFreedom
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New Watch: Casio Pathfinder: Model PAW 1100T-7V

If you want one of these, go to a JC Penney NOW - all Casio Watches are 25% off - this one is marked $350.00 - I was out the door after sales tax for $286. I'd been wanting a Pathfinder for awhile. This particular model has the following:

1. Compass
2. Altimeter
3. Barometer
4. Thermometer
5. Atomic Clock Synch, including Daylight savings adjustment
6. Solar Powered

I liked this combination of features. Also has stopwatch, countdown timer, a full backlight, and a titanium band. It also has something called "Digital Dial Code", which I do not yet know what it is.

It's a huge beast, and the instruction manual is literally one inch thick, but it's a cool gizmo I think I will enjoy and use immensely in the woods and elsewhere. My only concern is, will the crystal get scratched in the briars & brambles?

http://www.casio.com/products/Timepiece/Pathfinder/

http://www.casio.com/products/Timepi...r/PAW1100T-7V/

P.S. If you're researching these, my second choice after the 1100T-7V was the 1200-1V or the 1200-3V (Same as 1100T-7V except no altimeter/barometer/thermometer, and no titanium band); third choice was the 1300T (Same as the 1200s - no altimeter, etc., but more expensive due to the slimmer design, and *does* have the titanium band). If you're an underwater diver or an open sea navigator, you'll want to look at the "Sea Pathfinder" versions - the SPF100S-1V, the SPF40-1V, and the SPW-1000-2V.
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Old December 16, 2007, 10:51 PM   #2
Jorbenweb
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I think this is a really cool watch - I almost bought one, but ended up going with a Suunto Core instead as my 'go-to' outdoors watch. Still, the Pathfinder series looks pretty slick.

Nice purchase.
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Old December 16, 2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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If it isn't analog or doesn't at least look analog, it's a geekwatch.
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Old December 16, 2007, 11:40 PM   #4
Jorbenweb
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Yeah.. and as soon as my Omega grows a stopwatch and an altimeter I'll start using it for mountaineering.

Geeky but useful.
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Old December 16, 2007, 11:57 PM   #5
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I've had a PAG80T for a while and you're right they are huge. I rarely wear the thing. It would look huge on an NFL linebacker. Congrats!
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Old December 17, 2007, 01:13 PM   #6
FirstFreedom
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MW, if it's analog, it's a geezer watch! JK - I freely admit to being about 2/3rds nerd.

Jorbenweb, that Suunto Core looks good - impressive - didn't know of it's existence before. One thing the Core has that the Pathfinder doesn't, which I would like and use, is the sunrise/sunset tables. However, my GPS has that, so I can use it instead.....

The approaching storm warning is nice, too.....

http://www.princetonwatches.com/shop...p=msn&s=suunto
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Old December 17, 2007, 02:43 PM   #7
jhansman
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If you get one, be sure you can return it. I got a Highgear model that I never could get to accurately display altitude, and ultimately sent it back. Suunto seems to be the brand most users of this kind of watch opt for, but they cost a bit more.
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Old December 17, 2007, 03:05 PM   #8
Capt Charlie
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I've been using a Pathfinder for over 10 years now, and I swear by it. I first bought an early model with a resin case. That worked great, until I wore it scuba diving off Florida's French Reef. The case didn't hold up to salt water .

I liked that watch so much, I looked for another, but this time I got the Casio ProTrek Pathfinder triple sensor titanium, and it truly is a step above.

A couple of years ago I was wandering the ranch (all 4200 acres of it) late one evening when an unexpected, heavy fog rolled in. Couldn't see more than a hundred feet and I was totally bewildered (that's Dan'l Boone's term for lost ). The watch's compass got me back in short order.

A very reliable watch; I highly recommend it.

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Old December 17, 2007, 06:04 PM   #9
FirstFreedom
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Thanks, Capn Charlie, I remember you had mentioned it before, which is what got me initially interested. I had/have owned 2 or 3 Timex Triathlon compass watches, but they get scratched up, have very few features, and the compass seems to be unreliable. This Casio gives quick, precise, easy-to-read compass readings. With its recessed crystal, it's less likely to get scratched, AND when/if it does get scratched, it's an expensive enough of a watch that it will actually be worth it to fix (repair / replace) - with the Timex, it was as easy to buy a new one as to spend time buffing out scratches on the old one, at $40. I honestly don't yet know the material that the Casio crystal is made of, and I cannot tell by looking - I hope that it's glass, so that it's more resistant to scratching, but it may be plastic. In any event, I'm very happy to have the solar power, atomic synch, barometer & altimeter. The thermometer may come in handy as well.
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Old December 17, 2007, 06:41 PM   #10
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PAW+1100T-7V from BlueDial.com

$227.50 plus free next-day delivery.

I don't work for them, but just had a Christmas gift watch delivered from them in two days. Outstanding price and service, and I saved almost $50 from a local source.
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Old December 17, 2007, 06:42 PM   #11
Capt Charlie
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Quote:
I hope that it's glass, so that it's more resistant to scratching, but it may be plastic. In any event, I'm very happy to have the solar power, atomic synch, barometer & altimeter. The thermometer may come in handy as well.
Mine seems to be mineral glass. It's not completely impervious to scratching, but it is pretty tough stuff. I don't have the solar power or atomic synch, so I guess I'll have to suffer . Seriously, battery life thus far has averaged about 3 years (depending on how much you use the bells & whistles), and mine looses roughly 20 seconds per year; I'm pretty satisfied with that.

One thing I don't particularly care for is the length of time it takes the thermometer to adjust to changing temperatures; that being about 20 minutes. Also, it doesn't seem like they took into consideration the sensor's proximity to body heat, as I had to do considerable compensation for it.

Oh, and if you wear long sleeve shirts, forget about getting the sleeve with the watch buttoned .
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Old December 17, 2007, 11:23 PM   #12
FirstFreedom
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Errrm, Crimp, thanks - I guess - for showing me that my "good deal" was actually a bad deal. But cool for the rest of youse guys to know about that website - great price. Capn Charlie, so you take the watch off your wrist to take a temperature measurement?
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Old December 18, 2007, 12:27 AM   #13
Capt Charlie
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Quote:
Capn Charlie, so you take the watch off your wrist to take a temperature measurement?
For warmer weather, I adjust the display to the ambient temperature as measured by another, accurate thermometer.

In cold weather, you'd probably have to take it off, as I don't see any way of putting it on over top of cold weather gear.
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Old December 19, 2007, 08:55 AM   #14
Crimp
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Quote:
Errrm, Crimp, thanks - I guess - for showing me that my "good deal" was actually a bad deal. ~FirstFreedom
No it wasn't. That watch is a good deal at any price.
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Old December 19, 2007, 11:26 AM   #15
FirstFreedom
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After going through the instruction book (it's not a booklet) last night, I have one comment and two questions:

1. If you don't live within 600 miles of Ft. Collins, Colorado, the atomic timekeeping feature is not likely to work well, except maybe on the clearest of days, and at some point beyond that - somewhere between 600 and 1,000, don't even bother trying to use that feature. I find it very odd that "they" (whoever "they" are) haven't set up a relay system and other transmitters - one for the east coast and one for the west coast, let's say, to allow people anywhere in the continental USA to utilize the Ft. Collins clock.

2. I am quite perplexed at how the altimeter works. The altimeter does not (of course) directly measure altitude - it measures altitude by measuring barometric pressure. And of course it has a separate barometric pressure guage (makes perfect sense how the barometer works). But I do not see how it's possible for the altimeter to have ANY sort of accuracy at all, when it's based solely on barometric pressure, which obviously fluctuates greatly with, ya know, the BAROMETRIC PRESSURE! Which rises and falls with the weather changes/storm systems, etc. I know that there's a relationship (generally) to temperature as well (altitude-pressure-temperature relationship), but I am fairly certain that the watch does NOT take into account temperature when giving an altitude reading, because the temperature, first of all, can obviously vary tremendously depending on what time of year it is, and can also vary by being indoors, and by having the watch on your wrist! So is this thing going to be a very imprecise altimeter, or am I missing something? If it works, how is this possible without GPS?

3. The Compass: Unlike my Timex compass watches, this watch does NOT have any way to allow you to enter the declination angle based upon where you live, and thus adjust for true north from magnetic north. I don't know why it doesn't, and find it a little hard to believe that such a sophisticated watch doesn't allow you to enter the declination angle and make the correction automatically for you. Now, having said that, the watch DOES allow you to enter a manual calibration from a compass known to be correct: You can enter a "bidirectional" calibration if you magnetize your watch and it's fouled up and has no way to take an accurate reading. Or, more importantly for my purposes, you can enter a "northerly" calibration to simply tell the watch what true north is, and it will remember the difference between true and magnetic, and give you accurate readings from then on. But the only way to do this is to "tell it" by lying the watch on a flat surface pointing exactly at true north (using some other accurate compass) and then hit the setting. Fine, I guess, except that this is a pain in the rearend - how am I going to know actual north from a regular compass, when regular compasses also give me magnetic north, not true? Why wouldn't Casio, like Timex, just allow you to enter your "zone" relative to magnetic north, and thus the declination angle and fix the reading for you automatically? Only one reason I can possibly think of for this: Perhaps this is intended this way for the specific reason that, since magnetic north is actually gradually moving along its way, due to plate tectonics, etc., having a static declination angle adjustment feature built into the watch will actually give you INaccurate readings here in 10 or 20 years or longer. So, since I guess they expect you might actually own and use the watch for that long, they opted for just putting in the manual calibration instead.... plausible theory?
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Old December 19, 2007, 12:35 PM   #16
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FF, I'm not 100% sure of this, but I believe the time signal is uploaded to a series (?) of satellites and broadcast from there. I do know there are a number of government and research facilities that do the same thing, i.e., Lawrence Livermore Labs, Oak Ridge, etc.

#2 I can answer. Other than GPS, all hand held altimeters are based on barometric pressure, and yes, there are a lot of variables.

What you need to do, each day, is reset to a known altitude. For example, I know that the ranch office is at exactly 1240', as determined by a 7.5 minute USGS Topo. I'll reset to that just before I go out on trail (not that I really need it in this area).

Rapidly moving weather fronts will affect it somewhat, but at least in my experience, not all that much. The most deviation I've experienced is about 40', but understand, this wasn't at high altitudes like, say, 8000'. It's not precision, but it's usable.

#3, no, you can't adjust for declination, but I've never found that to be a problem. Each year, I check with a surveyor friend for that year's magnetic declination. It does vary a little bit from year to year. Knowing that, I just take a reading and apply a little "Kentucky windage" to get true North. Again, it's not precision, but it's usable.

I don't think this watch was ever meant to be a serious instrument, but it does give you useful info in a pinch. If you're going to do some serious trekking in the Montana backcountry, you probably should be packing a GPS, along with topo maps, a good compass and altimeter as a backup.
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Old December 19, 2007, 01:25 PM   #17
FirstFreedom
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Cap'n Charlie, thanks a lot - that's perfect, and pretty well explains everything...

-I'd bet your right about there being other transmitters, but that is definitely contrary to what the instructions say - they make no such mention of other transmitters, and say or imply basically, if you're more than 600 or so miles from Ft. Collins, or even less if in the mountains, then you're out of luck.

-On the altimeter, that makes perfect sense to just calibrate it each use with a known altitude, and that it could be very accurate measuring relative to the pressure measurement taken at the time that you calibrate the known elevation. I still don't see though, how it could have any accuracy at all really, without such a known-alt calibration, but it doesn't matter since following that procedure will work perfectly for me. I can use the GPS to get the known points (deer camp(s)).

Quote:
The most deviation I've experienced is about 40', but understand, this wasn't at high altitudes like, say, 8000'. It's not precision, but it's usable.
Good enough for my purposes.

-You're right, it's a rough instrument, and the kentucky windage you mention is gonna be plenty close enough for my purposes, to get out of the woods in the dark or in weather. You're exactly right, if it's a long track involving potential danger, it's gonna be GPS as the primary tool, and this only as a secondary/backup. I guess I was making too much of the declination thing - it ain't off by that much where I live.
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