Need help with a Ciclosport HAC4 Manual (HW & SW)

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by chrispopovic, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm writing my own Ciclosport HAC4 manual, in ENGLISH!
    I just bought a new HAC4 Titanium Ciclosport computer. I'm a numbers freak and was really anticipating all of the great feedback the HAC4 offered. After reading through the all-too-lame user manual, I took the computer out for a spin. Boy, was I disappointed. I've had Cateyes, Specialized and Vetta computers and never have I experienced something as convoluted and complicated as the HAC4.

    I have found that if you're patient with the little bugger, the information is in there. I'd like to better understand this unit as I've invested almost $400 in the unit along with the cadence module as well as the PC interface and USB adapter I had to get for my PC that doesn't have a serial port.

    I'm trying to write my own manual that I will be more than happy to share with anyone who needs it. And from the posts I've read here, it looks like a few people will appreciate it. I'm looking for users who have found out the way(s) to use the primary functions and input on how to do them. Once I get the hardware manual complete, I'm going to move on to the software portion. I'm guessing it will take a few months to put something together but I'm optimistic it can happen.

    If anyone has anything to share, regardless of how small a nugget you might consider it, please send me an email, text message, or a word file with what you've found. My email is [email protected]. I will be posting my findings via website for review. I should have the site up shortly.

    Thank you very much for your help. Please send anything you have.

    Chris
     
    Tags:


  2. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    I can't understand your confusion. The HAC4 interface is one of the easiest I've seen.

    The display is divided into an upper half (actually more like 2/3) and a lower half. The upper right button controls which primary function appears in the upper half. Just keep pushing it to scroll thru the functions. The upper left button controls the subfunctions of the current function. Just keep pushing it. For example, if speed is displayed, press the upper left button will display ave., max, min, etc.

    The lower display works exactly the same -- lower right controls functions, lower left subfunctions.

    Press upper right or lower right for 4 sec to enter setup mode for that button.

    Press upper and lower left simultaneously for 4 sec to start recording (flashing mtn range icon) Press for 4 sec again to stop recording. While recording all functions are being saved whether they are displayed or not.

    Press upper and lower left momentarily to set flag (lap time) during recording.

    That's about it. Not sure you need whole manual. There's a night light and stopwatch. Use button on side of unit.

    There are a couple of typos in the manual and quick reference card as it was translated from German.

    I got my unit in December and it came with USB PC Interface. If you got a serial one, it may have been old stock.

    This cycle computer has upwards of 50 functions compared to an inexpensive one which might have 4-6. Maybe some will find it too complicated at first but I believe anyone can learn with patience.
     
  3. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Cycleboy,

    Had I had your explanation instead of the poorly translated manual, I might not be so frustrated. For example, holding down the UL & LL for four seconds isn't mentioned anywhere that I can find. I believe that the manual states to hold them down for a "short time." I haven't seen anything about lap time settings either. I slogged through the software and am a little confused there as well. The HAC4 software is just about useless as it shows nothing other than the basics. The CicloTour seems to be pretty useful but some things seem to be missing.

    I can't seem to find any information regarding my cadence or wattage output. My understanding was that this information is recorded somehow. The cadence shows fine while I ride but I can't seem to access any record of it afterwards. Any idea where I can see my average/max cadence as well as my power output (wattage)? Either on the unit after the ride or somewhere in the software?

    Is there some way to access the data from the last ride without having to import it into the PC? I'd like to be able to scroll through the unit and see what my efforts produced. The manual states that I can get back into bike mode if the unit is off the bike by pressing the UL & LL buttons. Won't that start capturing a new tour?

    I'm also a little concerned about the HR function. I'm in decent shape but I just got back from a sixty mile ride and it showed my avg HR at 148 and max at 176. I've done the same ride a hundred times and my last two computers typically showed me at 160-164 average and peaks of 189-193. The HR is definitely off. Is there someway to calibrate it?

    I appreciate your input but I really don't think I would call it intuitive at all.
     
  4. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    Your right. Intuitive is in the mind of the beholder.

    Link to website mentioned above:www.hac4.com
     
  5. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alrighty then. Things are getting a little clearer but I'm not 100% sold just yet. I tried getting back into bike mode but couldn't see what I wanted. As you warned, I did indeed get back into record mode and wiped out all of my past settings so that's moot until the next ride.

    I did discover that by clicking on the basic data I was seeing in the HAC4 software that I can now find my cadence data I was looking for. I also found my wattage info. Is there anyplace to compare power output to? What is considered "strong" or good wattage? On my 60 mile ride, I registered 89 for average power output and peaked at 325.

    I looked at my cadence report and it showed an average of 77 with a peak of 105. I regularly ride at 90+ and know for a fact that I hit 120+ on a couple of hills. The only thing that I can guess is that the 20 second interim is coming at a time when I'm pausing or coasting. I looked back through my logs and most of the readings were indeed in the 90s and above but there were peppered measurements of 0 or low teens. Same thing with the heart rate. During the first 10 minutes of my ride, my heart rate was registering as low as 28 and didn't get much over 50. I know I'm in decent shape but nobody's in that good of shape.

    I do appreciate the input and believe me it has helped quite a bit. Please keep the informaiton coming.

    When I get my site finished, I'd like to credit you with an assist. Please send me your info at [email protected]. Thanks.
     
  6. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    Wattage: It's only an estimate since it can't take into account headwinds, tailwinds, slight inclines. It's most accurate when climbing a good grade say 10%+. I think about all you can do is use it to compare two identical rides (ie same route) to see if you worked harder on one or the other. Maybe one of these days someone out here with a real accurate power device will get a HAC4 and can tell us how accurate it is.

    What is 'strong'? Well, it's been written that Mario Cippolinni the Italian sprinter hits 1900 watts in the last 100 meters to the finish! Some dispute that number but hey Super Mario wouldn't exaggerate.

    Cadence: I get values lower than I expected too. I'm not sure but I think ave. cadence might be pulled down a lot by coasting. I pay more attention to the actual value while I'm spinning.

    HR: Do you wet the electrodes on the belt before putting it on? Low values usually mean intermittent transmission. Also caused by power lines, car alternators, etc. Also, if your unit was on a shelf for a while it might have a low battery. Mine arrived in a 'sleep' mode -- no display.

    The 20 second sampling point causes a few peak readings to be missed.

    Thanks but no kudos necessary. I've been helped by others here and the best way to repay the help you receive is by helping others down the road.
     
  7. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    Reposted:

    Wattage: It's only an estimate since it can't take into account headwinds, tailwinds, slight inclines. It's most accurate when climbing a good grade say 10%+. I think about all you can do is use it to compare two identical rides (ie same route) to see if you worked harder on one or the other. Maybe one of these days someone out here with a real accurate power device will get a HAC4 and can tell us how accurate it is.

    What is 'strong'? Well, it's been written that Mario Cippolinni the Italian sprinter hits 1900 watts in the last 100 meters to the finish! Some dispute that number but hey Super Mario wouldn't exaggerate.

    Cadence: I get values lower than I expected too. I'm not sure but I think ave. cadence might be pulled down a lot by coasting. I pay more attention to the actual value while I'm spinning.

    HR: Do you wet the electrodes on the belt before putting it on? Low values usually mean intermittent transmission. Also caused by power lines, car alternators, etc. Also, if your unit was on a shelf for a while it might have a low battery. Mine arrived in a 'sleep' mode -- no display.

    The 20 second sampling point causes a few peak readings to be missed.

    Thanks but no kudos necessary. I've been helped by others here and the best way to repay the help you receive is by helping others down the road.
     
  8. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was having trouble with my heart rate showing lower than it actually is/was. The HAC4 was reading about 10-15 beats lower than it should. The gap seemed to grow as my heart rate increased. After speaking with Veltec this morning (Jason, very helpful thank you) they recommended changing the batteries in the chest strap, head unit and apparently there is yet another battery in the cradle on the handlebars. Fortunately, the HAC4 takes a standar CR2032 battery and is user changable. They did point out that you want to be very, very careful if you attempt to change the head unit battery. There are several small springs that can jump out of the unit and can be difficult to replace if you're not watching. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, you can send the unit back to Veltec or a jeweler can probably do it as well. Veltec can be reached at 800-578-5790. Their address is 1793 Catalina Street, Sand City, CA 93955-3746. Once again, they were very cooperative and helpful.

    On a side note, I'm using the old-style serial connector with a USB to serial adapter from Radio Shack. The adapter works just fine once you find the right drivers. Apparently, you can buy the new-style USB direct adapter for the "old" HAC4 but it comes in a whole kit that retails somewhere in the neighborhood of $140. This new style connector has just become available and is currently on back order.
     
  9. cycleboy

    cycleboy Guest

    There's a site called www.hac4.com which is run by a British bike shop. I think they have a download describing the battery change. I took mine out to reset the totals and files on Jan. 1. Main thing is lift the back slowly and straight up. You'll see the springs.

    Also, if you have another chest strap from your previous HR monitor it'll probably work. They all use the same freq.
     
  10. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the update on the battery change. I successfully changed the 2032 batteries in the chest strap, handlebar cradle and the head unit. I appreciate the tip on the springs. Those little fellas are small. Unfortunately, after changing all of the batteries, the HAC4 is still showing an incorrect heart rate. It seems to be fairly accurate as you go through 120-130 bpm but it starts to drift downward as you go up in effort. By the time I'm at my max heart rate of 196, the HAC4 is only showing 173. I even tried a new chest strap but I received the same results. I put my old Vetta and Polar heart monitors back on the bike just to make sure I didn't suddenly become superman but sure enough, they both read into the 190s at full effort.

    The good news is that I spoke with Veltech USA today and they were extraordinarily helpful. I spoke with a gentleman by the name of Markus and he was very helpful. I'm sending the unit back in to them and they will repair or replace it under warranty. Apparently there is a three year warranty on the HAC4. I can't say enough good things about their personnel. They are definitely one of the better outfits I've dealt with.
     
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is Veltec the US distributor? If so, I have a bone to pick with those MoFo's. They simply do NOT respond to the "contact us" form on their website. Mine is all messed up, showing freakish oscillations in temperature and altitude, which throws off power, etc (not that it's very accurate anyway). I need to get some warranty action.

    I do think the HAC4 is a mind-numbing mess when you first get it. Once you discover all the functions you really care about, and read the manual a few times, eventually it all falls into place. I thought about defecting to the Polar 720i, but when I took a good long look at a friends, I skipped it. I like the nutty German-made product better.

    One super cool function is the tour comparison. You can see how you are doing vs. an identical previous ride. Neat. A little tricky to get set in that mode, though (or at least it seems tricky). I think it's the vagueness of the technical German translation.

    The one TRULY offensive thing is the price of a 2nd bike mount. $75!!!! That is nuts. I bought a whole 2nd unit for just over $200 on eBay. That gave me a spare EVERYTHING for just $125 over the 2nd mount.

    OK, the software is truly offensive, too. Who the F wrote that stuff? And why are there three???? And why are they mutually exclusive? I got so sick of it that I just stopped downloading it months ago!
     
  12. chrispopovic

    chrispopovic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just got my new HAC4+ in the mail from Veltechsports. I sent the old one in because the heart rate wasn't reading properly. They had it for a week and were waiting on backorder for a replacement unit. I called back and when it still wasn't in, a fella by the name of John offered to swap it for a Lance Armstrong postal edition with a USB vs. Serial connection. Sure it's ugly but in a cool way. It makes for good conversation though. And how about Veltech? Because I had to wait a week, they threw in a pair of socks and a HAC4 T-shirt. It doesn't sound like much but I thought it was a nice touch for the inconvenience of being without my computer.

    So now I have my new new HAC4 and the heart rate is reading just fine. I'll keep you posted on when I get the online english manual finished.
     
Loading...
Loading...