Total Immersion Forums

Total Immersion Forums (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/index.php)
-   Freestyle (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=5)
-   -   Swim Computers (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7391)

aquascum 10-31-2014 04:28 PM

Swim Computers
 
Christmas is getting nearer...
I know that there is an old, long running thread about two different swim computers (Garmin and Poolmate, I think) but the search does not seem to work any more and I want to do research for my christmas wishlist...

What are the current experiences and opinions on swim computers?

Which ones are there in the first place? I'm aware of Poolmate and I suppose Garmin produces something for swimmers and I've seen a Polar ad about swimming metrics for the Polar V800...

Anyone keeping track of the shiny toys? ;)

sojomojo 11-01-2014 01:58 AM

Activity Trackers for Swimming
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aquascum (Post 49134)
Christmas is getting nearer...
I know that there is an old, long running thread about two different swim computers (Garmin and Poolmate, I think) but the search does not seem to work any more and I want to do research for my christmas wishlist...

What are the current experiences and opinions on swim computers?

Which ones are there in the first place? I'm aware of Poolmate and I suppose Garmin produces something for swimmers and I've seen a Polar ad about swimming metrics for the Polar V800...

Anyone keeping track of the shiny toys? ;)

In the last couple of years, the number of different wearable tracking devices for swimming and other physical activities have grown so rapidly that its hard to keep track of them all. I can't give a personal recommendation since Im wary of buying one since the turnover in wearable tracking devices appears to be high, i.e., soon after release, its quickly discontinued (too buggy) and available at deep discounts when new and improved ones (sometimes cheaper) are introduced.

http://www.bestfitnesstrackerreviews...-swimming.html

With the recent introduction of Apple Watch and similar wearable smart watches, developers will undoubtedly be making apps for swimming . . . but not before Christmas 2014.

Talvi 11-01-2014 08:55 AM

A search worked fine for me. Here's three threads I started on this a while ago in the Links and References forum:
http://totalimmersion.net/forum/show...ghlight=garmin
http://totalimmersion.net/forum/show...ghlight=garmin
http://totalimmersion.net/forum/show...ghlight=garmin

I use a Garmin 910XT. It's old, still avaiable, and as far as I'm aware there is still nothing better than it.

I find it very useful. With the v.3.0 firmware update (there may be newer updates but I have no reason to check) the watch works well for me. It counts laps accurately and, as far as I can tell, the strokes as well (I seem incapable of keeping count myself). The 910XT has an accurate GPS capability so is a multi-sport watch (it has ANT meaning you can connect it to external devices in gyms, running pods etc etc). Open Water performance is no brilliant for me but that's not a fault of the watch. Satellite signals don't penetrate water more than a few centimetres sot he watch can only get a fix when your arm is out of the water. I guess it doesn't work for breasstroke in OW. As I muck about, floating or treading water, it loses the signal for periods it isn't designed too and then takes a while to get a fix again, drawing a straight line between the two fixes it has. It recognises my stroke (freestyle) 100% of the time. The only exception is when I really vary the path of my UW stroke too "creatively". One the rare occasions I've done some breatsroke it recognized that.

The count of strokes is only for the arm the watch is on (obviously) which means it can be out by up to 2 strokes per length. Usually it will be within one stroke though. It depends if you always start the lengths using the same arm etc. I find that doubling the numbers gives me what I need. If your technique is good though (i.e you swim to within one or two strokes of a chosen spl) then that may not be good enough, but if you're that good you probably know your stroke count anway without a watch so all of this is irrelevant.

The downside is that more complex data e.g stroke rate, is simply time divided by strokes, irrespective of push off glide. Understandable but it makes this data ... different. It's still an indicator but it's not precise so can't give you your a TT tempo for a lap.

As for the competition: the Poolmate's main problem is that it needs about eight arm strokes to recognise a lap, meaning that if your spl gets down to 16 or below it doesn't work. The Poolmate pro though incorporates an underwater heart rate monitor, made possible by using a different frequency that works for short distances in water.

I monitored the TomTom multisport for about a year and from the forums it seemed to have massive problems. For open water, the Finis Tracker seems the best but then you get no data from it at the time. It's blind. You have to plug it into your pc at home to read the information. It's simpy a GPS device you strap on the back of your head. The Garmin Swim doesn't have a GPS function so i didn't consider it much. It's for pool swimming only and I couldn't see it offered anything more than the 910XT for that anyway. It's a bit cheaper though.

I don't use the social network side of the device as I want the information at the point of use to be as close to objective realtime feedback as I can get.

For all devices swimming is a remarkably difficult thing to track. Arm movements vary massively, in every plane and from micro-second to micro-second. GPS signals don't penetrate water. Accelerometers struggle to tell the difference between a rotating arm going in one direction and in another. In the end I'm impressed by the Garmin.

aquascum 11-01-2014 01:59 PM

side note
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49141)
A search worked fine for me. Here's three threads...

Not for me... this is what I get when I search for 'Garmin':

Talvi 11-01-2014 07:18 PM

Click Search, then click on Advanced search.

aquascum 11-01-2014 09:20 PM

That is what I get when I click search, I don't see an advanced search.

But I'm really more interested in swim computers... I'll have a look at Garmin, I can get down to 16 strokes when I go really, REALLY slow... but that's not normal... and I'd like to see my count at the end of a lane... or two lanes, turns, non-flipturns (I have two spinal disc herniations, no flipturns for me) must be recognised...

*goes prowling the interwebs again*

Talvi 11-01-2014 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquascum (Post 49160)
That is what I get when I click search, I don't see an advanced search...

1. Click on Search
2. At the bottom of the drop down box are the words Advanced Search
3. Click on them.

aquascum 11-01-2014 11:39 PM

I do not get a drop down box.

WFEGb 11-02-2014 12:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello aquasum,

have a look at the double arrowheads down... right side lower blue bar...

Best regards,
Werner

aquascum 11-02-2014 05:28 AM


Arrowheads?

jafaremraf 11-02-2014 10:37 AM

There is a different search function just for the forums.....look at the headers above the actual messages, in the section below where the search box you have been using is. I think you have been using the Seach box to search the site, not the forums!

WFEGb 11-02-2014 12:20 PM

Hello aquasum,

have a look at my appended Picture. I tried to mark the dobled arrow heads there...

Best regards,
Werner

PS: You're linking to ?orum with
http://totalimmersion.net/forum/index.php
??

aquascum 11-02-2014 01:22 PM

Thank you for the help guys, but... that doesn't work all that well either. I only get one 'Garmin thread' from an advanced search:



But nevermind!

Swim computers? Swim watches? Acttivity trackers? Lane counters? GPS tracker? Heartrate monitors?

WFEGb 11-02-2014 09:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hello aquasum,

don't know whats about, but search on "Garmin" shows seven threads in my search... Look at the appended screenshot...

Best regards,
Werner

Talvi 11-03-2014 09:37 AM

LoL

You're just going to nhave to play about with the buttons Aquascum!

First start reading ALL the information on the pages you are interacting with. For instance, our first exchange was because you didn't read the drop-down box first. You just entered something clicked Go.

So, READ the whole of the Advanced Seacrh page and familiarize yourself with it. THEN try DIFFERENT search terms. Get some experience of doing it and you'll quickly learn.

Werner got different results to you because his search was more specific. You just typed in Garmin and hit Go again! There's no fault with the system in this. All those threads you got have the word Garmin in them ... somewhere.

Work on the problem yourself a bit first. Try things out. Read and click on everything on the page you can find. See wat happens. If THEN you get a problem, cme back here and list out exactly and all the steps you carried out. We can then see what you did aand what you did wrong, but at the moment ... well

danm 11-03-2014 12:18 PM

I have the Garmin Swim, it's the only thing I ever had. It does what it says without issues. It doesn't have GPS but given the limitation of any GPS watch for swimming (no signal underwater) I am not sure how much of an advantage GPS in a swimming watch really is.
If you have any specific questions about it, just ask.

Talvi 11-04-2014 02:53 PM

The GPS is ok over about 200m and if you don't stop for a breather. If you do stop then it gets confused because it loses the signal for such a long time. The GPS is great for skiing (running, cycling etc).

aquascum 11-04-2014 03:42 PM

Yes talvi, you are right, I don't come to this unwieldy forum to enjoy fiddling my way through microsettings. I used the big, obvious, prominently placed, seemingly ready-to-use search option, and was disappointed that I didn't get any result. So I mentioned that in my op. Shame on me.

Talvi 11-04-2014 03:52 PM

LoL. It's a pain but worth it and it actually takes less time. The search function has its limitations but it becomes more useful the more you interact here. Good luck with it and with your decision. Let's know what you choose in the end, and why.

machelett 11-07-2014 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49219)
The GPS is ok over about 200m and if you don't stop for a breather. If you do stop then it gets confused because it loses the signal for such a long time. The GPS is great for skiing (running, cycling etc).

I have to chime in here: GPS works great in open water if you put the GPS watch (or receiver pod, depending on your system) under you swim cap. I've tried it many times and the accuracy you get is at least on a par with running, most of the time even better because usually in open water you have no trees and other stuff blocking the line of sight to the satellites.

DC Rainmaker has a great article on GPS receiver placement for open water swimming.

Here's one of my swims around my favorite lake. I swam counterclockwise and you can even see how I had trouble for the first kilometer or so to swim a straight line. The little zigzag pattern is how I actually swam. When I realized I was off course, I changed direction and kept doing that quite a few times. You can even see where I loitered to look around (the "knotty" spots) later during the swim.

I used a Garmin Forerunner 310XT.


Danny 11-07-2014 05:28 PM

Machelett,

Wow, what a great picture! May I ask where that lake is, especially since you were swimming in mid April?

Also, how did you post the picture on this forum? Is it an attachment or did you use some other method? Is it a jpeg file? How big?

machelett 11-07-2014 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny (Post 49249)
Wow, what a great picture! May I ask where that lake is, especially since you were swimming in mid April?

It is the Baggersee Leopoldshafen in the southwest of Germany, very close to the Rhine.

I think it was my first outdoor swim of the year and even though we had a mild spring, I wouldn't have been able to handle it without a wetsuit. :)
The water was probably around 13/14 C, which translates to 55/57 F.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny (Post 49249)
Also, how did you post the picture on this forum? Is it an attachment or did you use some other method? Is it a jpeg file? How big?

I did not post the picture on the forum but merely linked to it and the forum software displays the linked picture. The picture itself is on Twitter's image site (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlLaup5CEAAQRB4.jpg:large).

When you compose a forum post, you can embed external pictures by clicking on the "Insert Image" icon (a rectangle with two mountains and a sun, just above your message). You will then be prompted for the URL of the picture. (You can get the URL of many pictures by right clicking on a picture in your Web browser and then selecting "Copy image URL" or something similar.) Simply paste a copied image URL and click "OK".
When you click on "Preview Post" afterwards, your linked/embedded picture should be displayed.

The size and format don't matter much but you shouldn't pick images that are too wide. I probably wouldn't go much beyond 1000 pixels because a large width has a negative influence on the layout of the thread, which gets stretched horizontally. People might have to start scrolling right and left to read posts, which can be quite annoying--and they'll blame you. :)

If the picture is not online anywhere but stored on your computer only, you can use a free service like tinypic.com. Upload the picture there and then you can link to it.

Danny 11-08-2014 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by machelett (Post 49251)
It is the Baggersee Leopoldshafen in the southwest of Germany, very close to the Rhine.

I think it was my first outdoor swim of the year and even though we had a mild spring, I wouldn't have been able to handle it without a wetsuit. :)
The water was probably around 13/14 C, which translates to 55/57 F.



I did not post the picture on the forum but merely linked to it and the forum software displays the linked picture. The picture itself is on Twitter's image site (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlLaup5CEAAQRB4.jpg:large).

When you compose a forum post, you can embed external pictures by clicking on the "Insert Image" icon (a rectangle with two mountains and a sun, just above your message). You will then be prompted for the URL of the picture. (You can get the URL of many pictures by right clicking on a picture in your Web browser and then selecting "Copy image URL" or something similar.) Simply paste a copied image URL and click "OK".
When you click on "Preview Post" afterwards, your linked/embedded picture should be displayed.

The size and format don't matter much but you shouldn't pick images that are too wide. I probably wouldn't go much beyond 1000 pixels because a large width has a negative influence on the layout of the thread, which gets stretched horizontally. People might have to start scrolling right and left to read posts, which can be quite annoying--and they'll blame you. :)

If the picture is not online anywhere but stored on your computer only, you can use a free service like tinypic.com. Upload the picture there and then you can link to it.

Was it really that beautiful a day when you swam, or is that just the picture they use? In summer I love to swim in the lakes in Bavaria, but only when it warms up! The lakes in Michigan, USA, where I live, all have something in them I am allergic to, and my sinuses tend to swell up if I don't wear a nose clip. In Bavaria I have no problems at all. They claim that the water is almost drinking quality in their lakes.

Thanks for the tips about pictures.

machelett 11-08-2014 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny (Post 49260)
Was it really that beautiful a day when you swam, or is that just the picture they use?

I don't remember exactly how beautiful a day it was but it must have been pretty nice to get me out there in April. The aerial picture is not recent; I imported my route into Google Earth. You can see when the picture was taken when you look at the bottom. It says 1/1/2009 there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny (Post 49260)
In summer I love to swim in the lakes in Bavaria, but only when it warms up! The lakes in Michigan, USA, where I live, all have something in them I am allergic to, and my sinuses tend to swell up if I don't wear a nose clip. In Bavaria I have no problems at all. They claim that the water is almost drinking quality in their lakes.

Water quality in lakes and rivers is pretty good in Germany. I'm usually not a fan of bureaucracy but in this area German bureaucracy works. There are hefty fines for water pollution and lakes and rivers are monitored regularly regarding water quality. Near most lakes you'll find a pamphlet that contains the latest lab test results for that particular lake. Much of the time, the water is indeed almost drinkable although I would shy away from that because of the fish and snakes that live in it and the ducks and geese who use the lake as their toilet. ;)

I'm far from being an environmentalist but I think it is important to keep the environment clean and healthy because, well, we live in it. I cannot understand how in a country as developed as the US, people allow their bodies of water to become and remain so polluted. After all, it's not the 60's anymore...
I'll keep my fingers crossed that something changes and you get to swim in clean lakes in your country!

Danny 11-08-2014 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by machelett (Post 49264)

I'm far from being an environmentalist but I think it is important to keep the environment clean and healthy because, well, we live in it. I cannot understand how in a country as developed as the US, people allow their bodies of water to become and remain so polluted. After all, it's not the 60's anymore...
I'll keep my fingers crossed that something changes and you get to swim in clean lakes in your country!

In Michigan there are two main sources of water pollution. (1) The sewage systems in towns and cities are old and broken. Especially in heavy rains, they overflow and run into the lakes. There is no money available to fix them. (2) The use of fertilizer which washes of into the lakes.

This year, I think for the first time, an algae bloom in Toledo Ohio made drinking water in the city poisonous. The situation is obviously becoming critical. The US is a rich country, but our politics don't function very well. We seem to be in permanent gridlock.

Talvi 11-09-2014 09:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by machelett (Post 49248)
I have to chime in here: GPS works great in open water if you put the GPS watch (or receiver pod, depending on your system) under you swim cap. ..

True, and the Finis Tracker is designed for that use specifically. It clips onto your goggles' strap, so no need for a hard lump under your cap. Then again with some ingenuity a watch could probably be strapped onto your goggles' strap too.

I believe that 910XT owners who swim the sort of distances you do (e.g Andyinnorway) have no problem with the GPS while using it on the wrist. It's just not really designed for folk like me.

Thanks for the TinyPic site.

p.s
I have to scroll on your picture! :D But it is pretty (and impressive)

machelett 11-09-2014 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49277)
True, and the Finis Tracker is designed for that use specifically. It clips onto your goggles' strap, so no need for a hard lump under your cap. Then again with some ingenuity a watch could probably be strapped onto your goggles' strap too.

Ah, I wasn't aware of the Finis Tracker. Nice! But since I'm equipped with a GPS watch already and on top of that I ordered the new Garmin 920XT, which will burn a large hole in my pocket, I couldn't justify the expense. :)
I have found that the "hard lump" isn't noticeable at all. I put the 310XT flush on the back of my head and after a minute I don't feel it at all.
It could probably be attached to the goggle strap somehow, for example by putting it in a sturdy plastic bag and running the goggle straps through holes in that bag. I don't worry about it, though, and just suck it up and put a cap on whenever I want to record the course; when the water is cold, I'm wearing one anyway.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49277)
I believe that 910XT owners who swim the sort of distances you do (e.g Andyinnorway) have no problem with the GPS while using it on the wrist. It's just not really designed for folk like me.

The difference lies in what you expect: The guys who wear the 910XT on the wrist are mainly interested in getting the distance right. The watch applies some clever algorithms to compensate for bad reception and determines the distance correctly.
I don't care about the distance so much because when it matters, like in a race, the distance is predetermined. I do, however, like to see where I couldn't navigate properly or where I wasn't able to swim straight. I also like that I can see how I was blown off course on a windy day and what normally would have been a relatively straight line becomes banana shaped. When wearing the watch on the wrist the recorded course gets too jagged and is useless without a lot of manual correction.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49277)
I have to scroll on your picture! :D But it is pretty (and impressive)

Sorry but it's not entirely my fault. :)
There was another picture in the thread already and I picked the size that would match it. Otherwise, I would have chosen a smaller format, 800 pixels wide, for example.

Talvi 11-09-2014 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by machelett (Post 49278)
.. the new Garmin 920XT....

Nooooo!

Any idea how it is an improvement on the 910?

machelett 11-09-2014 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49280)
Nooooo!

Any idea how it is an improvement on the 910?

Owners of the 910XT would probably have a hard time finding reasons to switch to the 920XT. It's easier for me because I own a 310XT and the Garmin Swim; I had deliberately left out the 910XT and waited for the 920XT because the 910XT didn't add enough features compared to my 310XT/Swim combo.

DC Rainmaker, once again, has a very thorough review of the 920XT and a comparison to other popular GPS watches, including the 910XT.

I guess current owners of the 910XT will only buy the 920XT if they have money to burn or can sell their current device and replace it with the new one.

The reasons why I'm getting it:
  • Acquires GPS within a few seconds by caching satellite positions
  • Lighter and smaller than the 310XT
  • Additional data for running efficiency, for example, vertical oscillation
  • Does not require a foot pod for cadence measurement
  • Better display
  • Metronome function

I hope that in a future update, Garmin enables pairing of the 920XT with heart rate monitors in pool mode, which currently is not supported.
I would then place a MIO LINK or some similar device right next to the 920XT and record heart rate, as well. That is not possible with 310XT (no pool swimming function) or the Garmin Swim (no pairing with heart rate sensors).

We'll see if Garmin makes that possible. That would be the icing on the cake. :)

Talvi 11-09-2014 09:48 PM

Thanks. The time it takes to acquire a sattelite is slow but you're right, not a lot that's tempting. I'll check the Rainmaker's comments though. I just wish mine would get the arithmetic right!

BTW you probably know this but the reason the Garmins don't connect in water is because of the frequency they use. The Poolmate Pro uses a different frequency that works in water and it has with a heart monitor (belt). Just to throw that in your mix. It can't deliver on any other of your requirements though, bit it's cheap. You could have one on each wrist! :D

machelett 11-09-2014 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Talvi (Post 49295)
BTW you probably know this but the reason the Garmins don't connect in water is because of the frequency they use. The Poolmate Pro uses a different frequency that works in water and it has with a heart monitor (belt). Just to throw that in your mix. It can't deliver on any other of your requirements though, bit it's cheap. You could have one on each wrist! :D

I'm aware of the general problem. That's why the solution would include the MIO LINK, which is worn around the wrist. Put right next to the Garmin on the same wrist, there simply isn't enough water between the two to attenuate the signal so that the Garmin cannot pick it up.

I've tried heart rate belts for swimming and they don't stay in place if I'm not wearing some kind of suit that covers the upper body. And then with a belt, there indeed the problem you mentioned comes up because a couple of feet of water between the transmitter and the receiver will indeed kill the signal.
I think Wahoo even has a belt that works independent of any device but still the slipping-off-the-chest problem remains.

And about the Poolmate: I don't like the design. ;)
I had the original one when there was nothing else around and was happy to replace it with, first, the Swimsense and finally the Garmin Swim.

Polish TI fan 11-21-2014 08:26 AM

Hi Guys,

Having read this tread and also many reviews on the web, I purchased Garmin Swim and had my first session in the pool with it yesterday.

While the count of lengths, distance, no. intervals etc. seems to be coming out OK, the stroke count seems to fail. I am doing 12-14 stokes swimming TI freestyle, but the watch counts 9 or 10...? It's given me 9 strokes average and in Garmin Connect I can see it even counted 7no. strokes for some lengths, which really can't be true.

Do you have any experiences in this matter? Is it that the watch is designed to count the old freestyle strokes, not TI's? I mean, that it somehow does not recognise the patient hand movement, for instance, and so miscounts strokes?

I would be grateful for your comments.

Thanks.

machelett 11-21-2014 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polish TI fan (Post 49471)
Hi Guys,

Having read this tread and also many reviews on the web, I purchased Garmin Swim and had my first session in the pool with it yesterday.

While the count of lengths, distance, no. intervals etc. seems to be coming out OK, the stroke count seems to fail. I am doing 12-14 stokes swimming TI freestyle, but the watch counts 9 or 10...? It's given me 9 strokes average and in Garmin Connect I can see it even counted 7no. strokes for some lengths, which really can't be true.

Do you have any experiences in this matter? Is it that the watch is designed to count the old freestyle strokes, not TI's? I mean, that it somehow does not recognise the patient hand movement, for instance, and so miscounts strokes?

I would be grateful for your comments.

Thanks.

You may be surprised but the "7" that you mentioned is what you were looking for. :)

You have to think about what exactly the watch can detect. Since you wear it on one wrist only, it cannot sense the motions of the other arm. Therefore, it will only count the strokes of one arm. This is fine for fly or breaststroke. For freestyle, obviously, you have to multiply the number by 2.
Unfortunately, that is still not an accurate number because it highly depends on which arm you start stroking with and with which arm you end the lap.
So, let's imagine you Garmin Swim is on the left wrist and let's assume you need 5 strokes to finish a lap.

1st lap, start with left arm: Left-Right-Left-Right-Left
2nd lap, start with right arm: Right-Left-Right-Left-Right

The first gives you 3 strokes with the wrist the Garmin Swim is on, the second 2.
If you double that to account for your other arm, your resulting stroke count will either be 4 or 6, even though you swam with 5 strokes at all times.

And any other involuntary arm movements, maybe during turns or before you press the pause button, may be counted as a stroke as well.

What can you do about that? You could try to always start swimming with the same hand. Be careful not to wiggle your hand before you pause and execute all intended movements with authority.

Other than that, I can only suggest that for the laps where you need to know your stroke count reliably, you use the traditional method and count them yourself.
That'll also give you an indication over time how far off your watch tends to be and you can take that into account and subtract 2, 3 or whatever from your calculated stroke count for a better guesstimate.

Sorry that I can't give you any feedback that is more comforting . :)

Polish TI fan 11-21-2014 12:09 PM

Many thanks, Machelett.

Yes, all in all this is not so critical a factor that it would spoil my swim at all. I can always count myself from time to time, as you say, I've no problem with that.

But for an argument sake, I would point out that:

1. Garmin Swim promotional video suggests it counts every stoke (each hand movement) - watch the video at http://sites.garmin.com/en-US/swim/ - look at 0:54 sec. of the movie and text displayed.
2. I thought this piece of kit was so clever that it would double the count itself...
3. I would have thought, the watch would actually add odd strokes when involuntary movements, not reduce them...
4. Doubling 9no. strokes up gives me 18 strokes, while I was doing 14... [edit: for a lap (2x lengths) I would have 28 strokes.., again not 18]
5. No one complained before, so I thought it had to be my problem. Does your watch count correctly? Does any other watch (forerunner?) count correctly?

As I said, it should not be a huge problem to me, though I will still try to figure out what's going on during my next swims.

Many thanks.

machelett 11-21-2014 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polish TI fan (Post 49476)
But for an argument sake, I would point out that:

1. Garmin Swim promotional video suggests it counts every stoke (each hand movement) - watch the video at http://sites.garmin.com/en-US/swim/ - look at 0:54 sec. of the movie and text displayed.
2. I thought this piece of kit was so clever that it would double the count itself...
3. I would have thought, the watch would actually add odd strokes when involuntary movements, not reduce them...
4. Doubling 9no. strokes up gives me 18 strokes, while I was doing 14... [edit: for a lap (2x lengths) I would have 28 strokes.., again not 18]
5. No one complained before, so I thought it had to be my problem. Does your watch count correctly? Does any other watch (forerunner?) count correctly?

Sure, I like getting to the bottom of things. I embrace every opportunity to look at things from a different perspective to find out whether I'm wrong or if I got it right. :)

First off, when I said "lap", in fact I meant "length". I fell into that common trap once again so I'll try to be more precise in the future. The Garmin Swim has no notion of a "lap" as in going down the pool and coming back. All it knows are individual lengths.

1. That part of the video is an idealized/artistic representation; some people might call it bogus. That's simply not how it works and Garmin should worry about being sued over false claims. ;)
There is no immediate display and how should the watch be able to count the other hand's stroke? If it were sensitive enough, it would count every bump in the road so to speak.
2. You have to be aware of the fact that not every length is freestyle. It might be fly or whatever else. The watch tries to guess the stroke type but gets it wrong quite often. Doubling the number based on that unreliable guess would aggravate the problem, for example, when you were actually swimming breaststroke and suddenly saw an outrageously high stroke count.
3. You assumption is correct.
4. It determines the strokes per length. So for one length you have 2 x 9 = 18, which makes it 36 for two lengths.
5. Correctness lies in the eye of the beholder in this case. I realize that there are technological limitations and therefore I'm aware that it tells me what movements it registered and not necessarily what I think it should tell me.
I'm not aware of any swim watch that uses a vastly different counting algorithm. The Forerunner series basically runs a similar software and you'll get the same results there.
I've been informed that my new 920XT is in the mail so I'll be able to compare that. From what I have read, I don't expect anything different when it comes to the stroke count.

I have noticed that the variation in stroke count gets smaller when I swim at tempo. It seems that the watch has more trouble distinguishing and interpreting slow, flowing, movements than fast and crisp ones.
For me, stroke count isn't anything that I closely monitor. I'll check from time to time but normally I'm indifferent. Sometimes, however, on a particularly good or bad day, I'll notice afterwards when looking at the average that it is significantly higher or lower than usual. So let's say that an "8" would be my normal average and suddenly it is "7" or "9".
That simply serves to confirm what I already felt, that it was a great day or a crap day, respectively. :)

Polish TI fan 11-21-2014 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by machelett (Post 49477)
4. It determines the strokes per length. So for one length you have 2 x 9 = 18, which makes it 36 for two lengths.

Aaaah, hang on! So if I'm doing 14, and the watch counts 2x 9 = 18, then it actually does add odd strokes, not reduces them :) That would make more sense, wouldn't it?!

Many thanks for your explanations. Can't wait to hit the pool in the morning. Will see how it goes. All the best!

machelett 11-21-2014 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polish TI fan (Post 49478)
Aaaah, hang on! So if I'm doing 14, and the watch counts 2x 9 = 18, then it actually does add odd strokes, not reduces them :) That would make more sense, wouldn't it?!

Exactly!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Polish TI fan (Post 49478)
Many thanks for your explanations. Can't wait to hit the pool in the morning. Will see how it goes. All the best!

You're welcome. Have fun! :)

Polish TI fan 11-21-2014 01:47 PM

The more I think about, the more I feel it has something to do with my return at the wall and hand movement during that. It is not underwater return and I also did tend to look at the display a few times to see if it counts lengths properly yesterday. The pool was also quite crowded yesterday which didn't help. So it must have all added up to the equasion.
Many thanks again!

WFEGb 11-21-2014 02:07 PM

Hello machelett,

Quote:

There is no immediate display and how should the watch be able to count the other hand's stroke? If it were sensitive enough, it would count every bump in the road so to speak.
This is possible. They just need some small acceleration sensors (one for updown and one for forward backward, best a third for left right.) Then the software has to analyse these movements and fit it to the right stroke and count. Should be no big problem to find the actual half strokes, our strokes. Think for now all swim watches just have one of these sensors in and try to predict from cyclic movements and longer pauses (push offs).

Would wish this from the manufacturers, but it seems good enough to sell enough of the actual watches.

Best regards,
Werner

machelett 11-21-2014 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WFEGb (Post 49481)
This is possible. They just need some small acceleration sensors (one for updown and one for forward backward, best a third for left right.) Then the software has to analyse these movements and fit it to the right stroke and count. Should be no big problem to find the actual half strokes, our strokes. Think for now all swim watches just have one of these sensors in and try to predict from cyclic movements and longer pauses (push offs).

Would wish this from the manufacturers, but it seems good enough to sell enough of the actual watches.

Werner, you're probably right when you say it's possible but I doubt it is practical at this point.

I don't think the number of sensors is the problem. With the rise of smart phones, volume has gone up and prices have come down. As far as I know, all those that you mentioned come bundled up in a small package that can easily be integrated in a watch; acceleration sensors and gyroscopic sensors are sufficiently cheap not to be a decisive cost factor in a lifestyle device like the Garmin Swim. I don't know what kinds of sensors the Garmin Swim includes but my guess is that there are more than it can actually make use of.

The problem, I think, lies in the sample rate and--predominantly--the analysis of the data: Not everyone's movements are as clearly distinguishable as those of a world class swimmer. The target group for swim watches mostly consists of triathletes and fitness swimmers. Those usually showcase stroke patterns that are less than optimal and hard to distinguish for such a little device.

You have to take into account that the battery lasts over a year on the Garmin Swim. If you put in the computational power and memory that is required to provide decisions based on heuristics and statistics, which might give you the desired reliability of the analysis, you'd run the battery dry in one session and the CPU heat would burn your arm in spite of the surrounding water. ;)

With limited computational resources and the need to work on the least common denominator in terms of stroke mechanics, I think the manufacturers are doing a pretty good job. They're not lazy, stupid, or greedy; the required low power technology simply isn't available yet at a price anyone but the military would want to pay.
Give it 10 or 15 more years and the chips implanted into your forearms, powered by your movement, will provide all that data live on your contact lense display while you're swimming. :)


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:57 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.