Polar S710 / altimeter

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Dot, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Has anyone with S710 evaluated the altimeter to see if it produces reasonable numbers - either known
    change in elevation or how much variation on a flat run or returning to same elevation as starting
    or that it indicates "up" when going up a hill? I've always wondered if there's an effect from heat
    of the wrist as one builds heat during a run
    - resulting in higher end elevation that starting. I would expect some noise - on the order of 10 ft
    or so, assuming a front isn't moving through.

    Someone once mentioned the 710 was larger than the other S series, I thought - but not sure if it's
    area or a little thicker or ...? I've got a 410 now, but am looking for higher frequency sampling,
    multiple data sets, better software (my 410 has the old proprietary, dead-end software), and
    altimeter. (not sure if the cycling features are useful on mt bike on trails) Is it correct that the
    610/710 download is generic format or can be easily exported??

    FWIW, I'm looking for something to monitor hill running - lot of small hills that add up over time.
    I've looked at the Suunto x6hrm, which definitely has lots of goodies (more than what I really need
    for present purposes, but would've loved it in Colorado), but a local group purchase from Polar
    would result in a cost for the 720 being about half that of the Suunto, assuming they gave me the
    right costs.

    Thanks.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
    Tags:


  2. Keith Stone

    Keith Stone Guest

    Dot <[email protected]#att.net> wrote in message news:<r%[email protected]>...
    > Has anyone with S710 evaluated the altimeter to see if it produces reasonable numbers - either
    > known change in elevation or how much variation on a flat run or returning to same elevation as
    > starting or that it indicates "up" when going up a hill?

    It's a barametric altimeter, so the the heat from your arm isn't an issue. Weather is, so if you
    really want to know actual altitude vs change in altitude you need to set the base altitude before
    each run or bike. I assume if a major front came through while you were running it would change
    things but I haven't seen that happen.

    Since I measure race courses I happen to have a lot of elevation charts around. From what I can see
    the 720 does a pretty good job of measuring elevation change.

    It is about twice as thick as my Polar Coach.

    Keith Stone Winston Salem, NC
     
  3. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Keith Stone wrote:

    Thanks, Keith. That's exactly what I wanted to know.

    > It's a barametric altimeter, so the the heat from your arm isn't an issue.

    What I was thinking is that since heat decreases air pressure (aka density altitude for
    flying), there might be some localized effect, but it's probably constant through a run or
    minimal effect at best.

    Thanks again.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  4. On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 09:16:07 GMT, Dot wrote:

    >Has anyone with S710 evaluated the altimeter to see if it produces reasonable numbers - either
    >known change in elevation or how much variation on a flat run or returning to same elevation as
    >starting or that it indicates "up" when going up a hill? I've always wondered if there's an effect
    >from heat of the wrist as one builds heat during a run
    >- resulting in higher end elevation that starting. I would expect some noise - on the order of 10
    > ft or so, assuming a front isn't moving through.
    >
    Since the altitude ranges from 3-4 feet (standing on the beach) to maybe 15 feet only a typical run,
    I can't help much. The atmospheric changes are greater than my altitude changes. Sooo, I can't help.
    The graphs are nice.
    :)

    Layne

    -------------------------------------------------------
    The rec.running report archives may be found at http://kinder.cis.unf.edu/rec.running
     
  5. Mark Strabel

    Mark Strabel Guest

    Hey Dot
    Up here in the Ak, we have alot of change with low pressure to high
    pressure. Some mornings when I wake up it reads -90ft then by noon it reads
    +120.
    such as the past couple of days with the high winds in the Valley.
    Mark Strabel
    "Layne Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 09:16:07 GMT, Dot wrote:
    >
    > >Has anyone with S710 evaluated the altimeter to see if it produces reasonable numbers - either
    > >known change in elevation or how much variation on a flat run or returning to same elevation as
    > >starting or that it indicates "up" when going up a hill? I've always wondered if there's an
    > >effect from heat of the wrist as one builds heat during a run
    > >- resulting in higher end elevation that starting. I would expect some noise - on the order of 10
    > > ft or so, assuming a front isn't moving
    through.
    > >
    > Since the altitude ranges from 3-4 feet (standing on the beach) to maybe
    15
    > feet only a typical run, I can't help much. The atmospheric changes are greater than my altitude
    > changes. Sooo, I can't help. The graphs are nice.
    > :)
    >
    > Layne
    >
    >
    >
    > -------------------------------------------------------
    > The rec.running report archives may be found at
    http://kinder.cis.unf.edu/rec.running
     
  6. Dot

    Dot Guest

    mark strabel wrote:

    Hi Mark,

    > Up here in the Ak, we have alot of change with low pressure to high pressure. Some mornings when I
    > wake up it reads -90ft then by noon it reads +120. such as the past couple of days with the high
    > winds in the Valley.

    Yea, the winds had quieted down by the time I did my long run tonight, fortunately. I did a
    short run Sunday, like a fool. I'm at the north end of town so when they say "stronger near the
    river" ... ;)

    You know when I was logging tonight's run, I got to thinking that I should pay more attention to the
    pressure changes when it's windy. Actually if altimeter only moved about 210 ft in a few hours,
    that's not too bad, but predictable given the pressure change. In colorado, our altimeter indicated
    we "climbed" almost 1000 ft while sitting eating lunch as the pressure changed. Decided it was time
    to retreat.

    Do you find the 710 altimeter adequate for accumulating elevation change across the hills in
    Crevasse Moraine - at least approximately? Or any other thoughts on how to do this? Most of the time
    I run at the farm, CMT, or north end of town, and just wanted to get an idea where I stand with
    respect to some other trails (Turnagain Arm, Lazy (usually repeats at base), Hatcher Pass, etc) that
    have more continuous up. I'm sure CMT are mole hills for you, but I am still very challenged by them
    :) and they're convenient.

    Thanks.

    I hope these winds weren't just getting warmed up for March.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  7. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Layne Wallace wrote:

    >
    > Since the altitude ranges from 3-4 feet (standing on the beach) to maybe 15 feet only a typical
    > run, I can't help much. The atmospheric changes are greater than my altitude changes. Sooo, I
    > can't help. The graphs are nice.
    > :)

    Great to see you posting again :) The important thing in this case is that the altimeter tracks the
    barometric pressure -that is, it climbs when a low comes in or stays relatively constant during the
    time of your run ;) I've held 2 GPS's stationary side by side and watched the locations jump all
    over the place. I wasn't sure if these altimeters might do the same thing or whether they're
    reasonably stable. It's a much simpler principle than GPS.

    As long as I've got you, though, I think you mentioned that you switched your bike data from the 710
    to a "real" bike computer, but I've forgotten why. I'm not sure if these cadence, power, etc
    features (I know it requires other hardware) are useful on a mt bike or not. I'm mainly thinking in
    terms of the 710 for the altimeter matched with hr, and the cycling stuff is sorta baggage for the
    time being.

    Thanks.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  8. >> Since the altitude ranges from 3-4 feet (standing on the beach) to maybe 15 feet only a typical
    >> run, I can't help much. The atmospheric changes are greater than my altitude changes. Sooo, I
    >> can't help. The graphs are nice.
    >> :)
    >
    >Great to see you posting again :) The important thing in this case is
    >
    Thanks. It's good to be back.

    >that the altimeter tracks the barometric pressure -that is, it climbs when a low comes in or stays
    >relatively constant during the time of your run ;) I've held 2 GPS's stationary side by side and
    >watched the locations jump all over the place. I wasn't sure if these altimeters might do the same
    >thing or whether they're reasonably stable. It's a much simpler principle than GPS.
    >
    The readings on my 710 varied quite a bit. I believe that Roger 2k had better luck with the accuracy
    on his. I finally decided that I could make better use of the memory and turned off the altitude
    (and temperature which was affected by my temp).

    >As long as I've got you, though, I think you mentioned that you switched your bike data from the
    >710 to a "real" bike computer, but I've forgotten why. I'm not sure if these cadence, power, etc
    >features (I know it requires other hardware) are useful on a mt bike or not. I'm mainly thinking in
    >terms of the 710 for the altimeter matched with hr, and the cycling stuff is sorta baggage for the
    >time being.
    >
    I'm sure that the reasons for me switching back to a "real" bike computer are personal problems on
    my part. My 710 tended to drop out at odd times. I wasn't technically savvy enough to adjust the
    sensors so that it didn't drop. Oddly enough, I've used wireless on other bikes with no problem at
    all (other than the occasional interference problem). I did get the cadence package (I like to be
    able to just look down and see my cadence instead of having to calculate it - yeah, lazy) and it
    tended to drop out, too. When I got it, I was looking forward to seeing cadence matched with speed
    (again, instead of calculating it) matched with HR since I tend to ride mostly flat routes. It
    wasn't as much fun, for me, as I expected. I've since gone to a wired bike computer with my HRM
    mounted on the handlebars and am pretty happy with the setup. (A DUH moment: I asked another rider
    if his 710 display was splotchy and he asked if my sunglasses were polarized. DUH!)

    I have no direct experience but I'd be surprised if cadence would help much on bike trails. The
    power package might be interesting but that's a bunch of money for "interesting." Also, the memory
    on the 710 (I don't know about the
    720) gets used up pretty quickly with all the bells and whistles turned on. The good news is when
    the memory is full, the 710 still shows the current poop on the display but doesn't save it (it
    doesn't overwrite the earlier data).

    Good luck, Layne

    -------------------------------------------------------
    The rec.running report archives may be found at http://kinder.cis.unf.edu/rec.running
     
  9. Dot

    Dot Guest

    Layne Wallace wrote:
    >
    >
    > The readings on my 710 varied quite a bit. I believe that Roger 2k had better luck with the
    > accuracy on his. I finally decided that I could make better use of the memory and turned off the
    > altitude (and temperature which was affected by my temp).

    Thanks. I'm hoping Mark will chime back in with his experiences since he's run some of the same
    areas I do.
    >

    >
    > I'm sure that the reasons for me switching back to a "real" bike computer are personal problems on
    > my part. My 710 tended to drop out at odd times. I wasn't technically savvy enough to adjust the
    > sensors so that it didn't drop.

    Actually, I think it was on the mt bike ng, that I saw some comments about the mt bike environment
    (lots of bouncing, mud, etc) that these thingies may not work very well either. Heck, I still
    haven't gotten around to mounting a computer on my bike. It's sitting there waiting for me to do it.

    > I have no direct experience but I'd be surprised if cadence would help much on bike trails. The
    > power package might be interesting but that's a bunch of money for "interesting."

    Right - it's really the power that's more interesting, but I'm not *that* interested in it because
    of the pricing. I kinda go by feel as to the best way to get up a hill - low gear / high cadence,
    higher gear / grind (sitting or standing). Most of my hills are big enough (for me) that low gear
    isn't really an option - I can't begin to spin that fast in some mud. And I definitely need more
    experience before I stand to get more power. But sometimes on the flats it would be nice to see the
    balance between gear/cadence and where the most power is for me. But some mysteries will remain
    unsolved ;)

    Also, the memory on the 710 (I don't know about the
    > 720)

    I tried comparing these on a web site the other day, and all I can figure out is the 720 has a steel
    frame (based on comment under picture)
    - the tables of features look identical as far as I can tell, but I don't think they included memory
    size. I'll see if I can find out for sure, esp. since the 720 is the only one on our price list.

    gets used up pretty quickly with all the bells and whistles turned on.

    I'm assuming you mean the cycling features also. If I'm just running with altimeter, would that be
    an issue - like how quick is "quick" to use up memory. One of the reasons I want to upgrade is to
    get more memory and get away from the limitations of the 410 - dead-end software (can't export data
    without Rube Goldberg setup), only 1 data set, and frequency of recording drops as the set gets
    longer - about 1 min after 1 hr, iirc - because of the limited memory. This is a mild issue with
    some of my drills.

    > The good news is when the memory is full, the 710 still shows the current poop on the display but
    > doesn't save it (it doesn't overwrite the earlier data).

    Hmmm, I hope it beeps or flashes a message, esp. if you haven't downloaded stuff yet :( For
    curiosity, what type and length of workout were you doing when you ran out of memory (or did you
    maybe have old workouts on there still that weren't needed). I'd like it to be able to hold 12+ hr
    of run/walk/crawl (although 3-5 hr of hike/run is the longest foreseen for awhile), but recording hr
    and altitude every 1 or 2 min or so rather than 3 sec (or whatever) is fine for that (those hills
    are bigger ;) ).

    My alternate route is getting 610 and Forerunner, but I'm not at all convinced the GPS approach is
    going to work for altitude on these trails. I lose signal with regular gps too much for mapping in
    certain locations, and that only needs 3 satellites rather than 4.

    Thanks.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  10. Mark Strabel

    Mark Strabel Guest

    DOt most of the time the altitude of CMT is "minimal" for the altitude watches. the largest climb
    there is about 100m (vertical) in height, with the majority right around 20m. For the most part now
    days I use a Garmin GPS and throw it into a pocket and that actually kept pretty good track of my
    altitude and my distance while running or biking. Even when running Lazy, Hatcher's or anything else
    I enjoy my GPS a little bit more, because of the added knowledge of distance, speed, elevation. I
    also use a Polor 610 to read my heart rate and combine it with some software that can mix both the
    GPS and Heart rate info.

    Mark "Dot" <[email protected]#att.net> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > Layne Wallace wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > The readings on my 710 varied quite a bit. I believe that Roger 2k had
    better
    > > luck with the accuracy on his. I finally decided that I could make
    better use
    > > of the memory and turned off the altitude (and temperature which was
    affected
    > > by my temp).
    >
    > Thanks. I'm hoping Mark will chime back in with his experiences since he's run some of the same
    > areas I do.
    > >
    >
    > >
    > > I'm sure that the reasons for me switching back to a "real" bike
    computer are
    > > personal problems on my part. My 710 tended to drop out at odd times. I wasn't technically savvy
    > > enough to adjust the sensors so that it didn't
    drop.
    >
    > Actually, I think it was on the mt bike ng, that I saw some comments about the mt bike
    > environment (lots of bouncing, mud, etc) that these thingies may not work very well either. Heck,
    > I still haven't gotten around to mounting a computer on my bike. It's sitting there waiting for
    > me to do it.
    >
    >
    > > I have no direct experience but I'd be surprised if cadence would help
    much
    > > on bike trails. The power package might be interesting but that's a
    bunch of
    > > money for "interesting."
    >
    > Right - it's really the power that's more interesting, but I'm not *that* interested in it because
    > of the pricing. I kinda go by feel as to the best way to get up a hill - low gear / high cadence,
    > higher gear / grind (sitting or standing). Most of my hills are big enough (for me) that low gear
    > isn't really an option - I can't begin to spin that fast in some mud. And I definitely need more
    > experience before I stand to get more power. But sometimes on the flats it would be nice to see
    > the balance between gear/cadence and where the most power is for me. But some mysteries will
    > remain unsolved ;)
    >
    >
    > Also, the memory on the 710 (I don't know about the
    > > 720)
    >
    > I tried comparing these on a web site the other day, and all I can figure out is the 720 has a
    > steel frame (based on comment under picture)
    > - the tables of features look identical as far as I can tell, but I don't think they included
    > memory size. I'll see if I can find out for sure, esp. since the 720 is the only one on our
    > price list.
    >
    > gets used up pretty quickly with all the bells and whistles turned on.
    >
    > I'm assuming you mean the cycling features also. If I'm just running with altimeter, would that be
    > an issue - like how quick is "quick" to use up memory. One of the reasons I want to upgrade is to
    > get more memory and get away from the limitations of the 410 - dead-end software (can't export
    > data without Rube Goldberg setup), only 1 data set, and frequency of recording drops as the set
    > gets longer - about 1 min after 1 hr, iirc - because of the limited memory. This is a mild issue
    > with some of my drills.
    >
    >
    > > The good news is when the memory is full, the 710 still shows the
    current
    > > poop on the display but doesn't save it (it doesn't overwrite the
    earlier
    > > data).
    >
    > Hmmm, I hope it beeps or flashes a message, esp. if you haven't downloaded stuff yet :( For
    > curiosity, what type and length of workout were you doing when you ran out of memory (or did you
    > maybe have old workouts on there still that weren't needed). I'd like it to be able to hold 12+ hr
    > of run/walk/crawl (although 3-5 hr of hike/run is the longest foreseen for awhile), but recording
    > hr and altitude every 1 or 2 min or so rather than 3 sec (or whatever) is fine for that (those
    > hills are bigger ;) ).
    >
    > My alternate route is getting 610 and Forerunner, but I'm not at all convinced the GPS approach is
    > going to work for altitude on these trails. I lose signal with regular gps too much for mapping in
    > certain locations, and that only needs 3 satellites rather than 4.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Dot
    >
    > --
    > "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  11. Dot

    Dot Guest

    mark strabel wrote:
    > DOt most of the time the altitude of CMT is "minimal" for the altitude watches. the largest climb
    > there is about 100m (vertical) in height, with the majority right around 20m.

    You just made me feel better :) I've been guesstimating them at 10-20m vertical and didn't think
    anything was over 30m, and I think I've hit all the hills in CMT and the farm, but not Kepler
    Bradley. Yea, it's that minimalistic, but very real, aspect that's had me stumped.

    For the most part now days I use a Garmin GPS
    > and throw it into a pocket and that actually kept pretty good track of my altitude and my distance
    > while running or biking.

    WHich model? I've used 12XL and Etrex Vista (barometric altimeter on Vista, both use patch antenna,
    which I recognize isn't the best) and have lost the signal a fair amt in certain areas, esp near
    start area of
    CMT. Although I have gotten good traces on other days in different areas. I mount it on top my
    camelbak to get the best sky visibility. The lost reception is why I was leaning toward
    barometric altimeter.

    > Even when running Lazy, Hatcher's or anything else I enjoy my GPS a little bit more, because of
    > the added knowledge of distance, speed, elevation. I also use a Polor 610 to read my heart rate
    > and combine it with some software that can mix both the GPS and Heart rate info.

    What software is this? That's been one of my frustrations with the Vista is that I haven't figured
    out how to easily get a decent elevation profile out of it, let alone match my hr with it.

    Thanks for your help. I'm really glad you decided to stop by about now :)

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  12. Dot

    Dot Guest

    mark strabel wrote:

    > I enjoy my GPS a little bit more, because of the added knowledge of distance, speed, elevation.

    What I should have asked last night: Is that because you
    (1) get better elevation data with the gps compared to 710 or
    (2) want the distance, speed, and elevation data?

    Have you used both gps and 710 on the same run to be able to compare?

    Thanks.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
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