Re: Ciclosport HACtronic HAC4 and USB Software bundle



K

Kinky Cowboy

Guest
On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 07:34:49 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>Polar, which generally makes decent units, is rapidly losing its position as
>market leader to Garmin. Once you play with the Edge 305, you'll have a
>tough time being happy with just about anything else. True, there's no
>optional power reading, but the optional power gadget for the Polar is
>expensive (about $350), difficult to set up correctly and not in the same
>league as units like the PowerTap.
>


I like the look of the Edge 305, but I have a couple if issues:
My Polar S720 is still working, so no excuse to upgrade!
I can see why Garmin keep the RS232 interface, for compatibility with
legacy devices, but they should add built in USB too, not charge 25%
of the price of the unit for a USB-Serial converter (that's a UK
complaint; US packages seem to include the cable, although it
obviously just pushes the package price up). For me, IRDA would be
even better as I have it built in to my laptop (I chose my laptop to
go with my Polar, not the other way around), and for everybody else
WiFi would be better still; you could download your data without even
taking the unit off the bike.
Battery life looks short; you couldn't have a decent weekend's riding
without an intermediate charge.
As far as I can see, the 305 doesn't use GPS for altitude; one of the
annoyances with the Polar barometric altimeter is that it needs to be
corrected pretty much every day, and it could still have a substantial
error by he end of a day's riding. Having it autocalibrated via GPS
would be cool.
It really needs a power measuring function to be a complete package;
if they could combine Garmin's GPS expertise with a receiver for the
Powertap wireless hub, we'd really have something

I think I'll wait for the next generation

Kinky Cowboy*

*Batteries not included
May contain traces of nuts
Your milage may vary
 
M

Mike Jacoubowsky

Guest
>>Polar, which generally makes decent units, is rapidly losing its position
>>as
>>market leader to Garmin. Once you play with the Edge 305, you'll have a
>>tough time being happy with just about anything else. True, there's no
>>optional power reading, but the optional power gadget for the Polar is
>>expensive (about $350), difficult to set up correctly and not in the same
>>league as units like the PowerTap.
>>

>
> I like the look of the Edge 305, but I have a couple if issues:
> My Polar S720 is still working, so no excuse to upgrade!
> I can see why Garmin keep the RS232 interface, for compatibility with
> legacy devices, but they should add built in USB too, not charge 25%
> of the price of the unit for a USB-Serial converter (that's a UK
> complaint; US packages seem to include the cable, although it
> obviously just pushes the package price up).


I believe you meant to say that Ciclomaster has the serial RS232 interface;
the native (and only) interface for the Garmin is USB. In the US, the
distributor stopped bringing in HAC4s with serial interfaces quite some time
ago; for the last two years or so, they've shipped with the USB-to-serial
converter as part of the package at the same price. No extra charge.

> For me, IRDA would be
> even better as I have it built in to my laptop (I chose my laptop to
> go with my Polar, not the other way around), and for everybody else
> WiFi would be better still; you could download your data without even
> taking the unit off the bike.
> Battery life looks short; you couldn't have a decent weekend's riding
> without an intermediate charge.


Battery life for the Edge 305 is about 11 hours, maybe 12. The low-battery
warning comes on way earlier than it should. There are gadgets out there now
that will charge or power the unit on-the-fly using standard AA batteries.

> As far as I can see, the 305 doesn't use GPS for altitude; one of the
> annoyances with the Polar barometric altimeter is that it needs to be
> corrected pretty much every day, and it could still have a substantial
> error by he end of a day's riding. Having it autocalibrated via GPS
> would be cool.


The Edge 305 is, to an extent, self-correcting for altitude. Not quite sure
how it does it, but after about 20-30 minutes, it invariably nails the
correct altitude. Somehow.

> It really needs a power measuring function to be a complete package;
> if they could combine Garmin's GPS expertise with a receiver for the
> Powertap wireless hub, we'd really have something


Something pretty darned expensive!!! But definitely fun to use.

> I think I'll wait for the next generation


That can keep you out of the game forever. Which for some might be fine. But
presently there's a pretty good amount of function for a reasonable cost in
the existing toys available. Enough that a lot of the people who were
previously waiting, are now buying.

--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA
 
K

Kinky Cowboy

Guest
On Sat, 17 Feb 2007 22:50:15 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>>
>> I like the look of the Edge 305, but I have a couple if issues:
>> My Polar S720 is still working, so no excuse to upgrade!
>> I can see why Garmin keep the RS232 interface, for compatibility with
>> legacy devices, but they should add built in USB too, not charge 25%
>> of the price of the unit for a USB-Serial converter (that's a UK
>> complaint; US packages seem to include the cable, although it
>> obviously just pushes the package price up).

>
>I believe you meant to say that Ciclomaster has the serial RS232 interface;
>the native (and only) interface for the Garmin is USB.


On reflection, it seems you're right. Just wasn't clear from the shop
I was looking at. They effectively had the RS232-USB cable listed as
"you may also be interested in..." alongside the 305

>> Battery life looks short; you couldn't have a decent weekend's riding
>> without an intermediate charge.

>
>Battery life for the Edge 305 is about 11 hours, maybe 12. The low-battery
>warning comes on way earlier than it should. There are gadgets out there now
>that will charge or power the unit on-the-fly using standard AA batteries.


That may be true, but I've logged 200h + on my Polar on the original
battery. I know it's not a fair comparison, but it would still be nice
to keep recharges down to once a week (like my Nokia) not once a day
(like my Moto SLVR)

Does it charge from the USB cable? That would at least mean one less
power adaptor if you took it on vacation with a laptop

>
>> It really needs a power measuring function to be a complete package;
>> if they could combine Garmin's GPS expertise with a receiver for the
>> Powertap wireless hub, we'd really have something

>
>Something pretty darned expensive!!! But definitely fun to use.
>
>> I think I'll wait for the next generation

>
>That can keep you out of the game forever.


At the moment, the 305 looks like a nice toy, but it won't add any
real utility to my cycling. If I didn't already have the Polar, it
would be a no brainer - the Garmin does more, in a neater and lighter
package, and the stem mount alone makes the extra GBP50 worth paying
given what a pain it is to get the Polar onto a TT bike where you can
see it and it can 'see' both the HR transmitter and the speed
transmitter.

As I've already blown this year's toys budget on a new Koga Full Pro
Track, the whole discussion is a bit academic anyway :)

Kinky Cowboy*

*Batteries not included
May contain traces of nuts
Your milage may vary