Ramble On

Friday, December 27, 2013

Tech-watch Geek, Jr.

Back in April 2013, my beloved Casio Pathfinder watch died.  I wrote about it in this post:  http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2013/04/tech-watch-geek-my-casio-pathfinder.html

That post highlights the lowest and highest altitude recordings I’d made on the watch:
The highest altimeter reading was in Yosemite in 2010: 2,315 meters, or 7,200 feet, without adjusting for barometric pressure.  The lowest reading was (negative) 150 meters, taken in Death Valley in 2011.  Again, with no adjustment for barometric pressure, that translates to (negative) 465 feet.

On a whim, I asked Santa to bring me a new one this year, and he did.  The new watch is another in the 240 series, similar to the one pictured in the Amazon ad in the right column – very much like the old one – only this one has some upgrades, including “”Tough Solar” (I always suspected that the battery dying had something to do with the old one breaking down on me), and a better water resistance (to 10 bars – not just hand washing, filling water bottles in a stream, or righting your ditched canoe).

Now, I got my first Casio Pathfinder from Santa as well, back in 2009.  I did some analysis of a number of what I call “tech-watches” – watches that included features like altimeters, barometers, thermometers, stopwatches, and alarms – including the Casio, Suunto, Timex, and Tissot offerings.  I’ve been a fan of Casio watches for the ease of use for a long time, so I settled on it for that reason – and also because of this Amazon review of the Pathfinder by Bart Barnack:

"My first [Casio Pathfinder] lasted through 3 assignments in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Half the team wore this watch and the other half the Suunto Vector. Most of us owned both. I found the Casio Pathfinder easier to use. The only issue I had with my watch is sometimes it went into conflict and went through all the modes and would not stop until the batteries were removed. I was the only one that had this issue. We worked in extreme environments, and the watch took a beating:  sand storms; attacks of all types; crashes; high heat 125-130 degrees; and cold below zero for long periods. All the features were a great asset to all of us. We often compared data with our other instruments like GPS and other sensors we had. The watch was close. The large dial is a plus in the field.”

Incidentally, the original post with that review can be found here:  http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2009/12/tech-watch-geek-maybe-winner.html

I never put that first Pathfinder to the kind of test that Bart did, but I suppose that all of the hikes and trips I took it on did serve up some abuse.   And now I have the new one – I’m looking forward to where and when I will set the new records with it.

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