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  #1  
Old 05-13-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Talvi
Default Poolmate vs Pro vs Swim

I could really do with some input from anyone with experience of the Poolmates especially. For me, the prime issue is reliability. The rest is peripheral. So my question is: Are the Poolmates reliable?

After dreams of Ambits and Garmins, and hours scouring webpages and manuals, in the end I'm leaning towards getting the basic Poolmate! All I really need is to keep track of 1) laps, 2) times, and 3) rest periods. That's it. At the moment all aspects of my "stroke" are in a state of flux so fine analysis is futile. I'm not even interested in my SWOLF score. I know it's all over the place.

The cost between models is not really the issue. The Swim looks great, but in the end who cares, and it needs to use the web for the detailed stuff. I think the only issue for me is how accurately they keep track of the three key pieces of data: laps, times, rest periods.

Can anyone out there share their experiences of these three? (or any words of wisdom) I don't want the tail (the watch) to wag the dog (the practice), another advantage of the Poolmate, but only if it's reliable....
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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It depends on your average SPL. If its under 16 then I would recommend avoiding poolmate alltogether. If its 17 or above then its a great watch for the price.

My friends have them and they are accurate on laps and times and there is no stress with recharging as in Garmin.

It also has an easy to use start stop system for each session

Now the two things I don't like. I bought the poolmate pro a couple of years ago. If my SPL was under 15/16 then it didn't record the lap. I had a couple of emails with the CEO and designer and she said that it needed 8 cycles or 16SPL to register a new length. They hadn't really considered people would have a lower SPL.

the other problem I had with my poolmate pro and more emails with the designer is that if you upload data to the computer the clock stalls during the upload process. So upload once a week and your watch will be slow 15 minutes a month or so??? crazy.

Hope that helps.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Hope that helps.
Really does Andy, thanks. Perfect! :)

My SPL is (I think) around 18/19, but if I pushed off and then didn't count the first underwater stroke ... but maybe my SPL is too low at that and when I (finally?) get a rhythm it'll be higher. Suck it and see I think ... but I'd never have guessed about that design glitch!! Really appreciate the heads up.

BTW, do you use the hydro-tracker for open water or ..?

Last edited by Talvi : 05-14-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2013
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Talvi,

think Andy wrote the main arguments. 2ct more:
  • The PoolMate does not store every single rest, just the summarized pauses of a set. This does the Garmin Swim.
  • The Poolmate does not count individual lap times and SPL. They just averaged from stop to stop, this does the Garmin Swim.
  • From my point of view Garmin's need for data upload is terrible. And there's no possibility to correct or edit failed measurements. You just may decide to delete the set or live with wrong datas. (For restricted edit exists an extern tool not from Garmin....) That's staightforward possible with the PoolMate program.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
.. The PoolMate does not store every single rest, just the summarized pauses of a set.
.. The Poolmate does not count individual lap times and SPL .. just averaged from stop to stop
.. Garmin's need for data upload is terrible. That's staightforward possible with the PoolMate pro..
Thanks Werner, that's a big 2c worth! Good to know. I have an issue with being forced to upload to the web so the practical flaws in doing it with Garmin reinforce that. The PoolMate Pro uploads to a program on the PC I think, but for me, as I barely have enough left over concentration even to count my SPL, remembering which lap was which in a session would be impossible, so the summarized info and the basic PoolMate would do me fine. I''m imagining I could simply start a new session when I pause for any significant length of time. Thanks again :)
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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I read somewhere that the Finis Swimsense is "accellerometer based and thus dependent on the flip turn". As I understand that all the pool-use watches use the same technology I'm worried now that Poolmates might only count laps if you use a strong and fast reversal of direction?? My turns are pretty leisurely affairs. Do you think a Poolmate would still work??
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Old 05-14-2013
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Talvi,

no, flip turns are not necessary (too much O2-costs, never tried them...)

Regards,
Werner
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
no, flip turns are not necessary
Great Werner, thanks. Off to place the order :)
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2013
machelett machelett is offline
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I've owned the original Pool Mate, the Finis Swimsense and wasn't happy with those for various reasons, including design (I found the Pool Mate very ugly but at the time there was nothing else) and battery life (Swimsense). The Swimsense drove me crazy when trying to fit it in the cradle so it would stay there and charge - must have been the designer's first attempt at engineering something...
I finally ended up buying the Garmin Swim last October and have been a happy camper ever since. It only miscounts if I bump into another swimmer and have to stop. I'm still on the first battery.
It does however get the swim style wrong frequently, for example sometimes it'll think I swam breaststroke when it was freestyle. That's of no importance to me so it doesn't bother me.

BTW, you are not forced to upload your data to the Garmin website - there's a checkbox to disable this in the device configuration of the ANT agent. By default it's on. (I'm talking Windows here.)
There's a Garmin plugin for SportTracks that lets you import your swimming data and keep it locally. If you're desperate you can even modify the data if you're willing to fire up your XML or text editor.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2013
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machelett View Post
The Swimsense drove me crazy when trying to fit it in the cradle so it would stay there and charge ... I finally ended up buying the Garmin Swim last October and have been a happy camper ever since. It only miscounts if I bump into another swimmer and have to stop. I'm still on the first battery. It does however get the swim style wrong frequently ..

BTW, you are not forced to upload your data to the Garmin website - there's a checkbox to disable this in the device configuration of the ANT agent. By default it's on. (I'm talking Windows here.)
There's a Garmin plugin for SportTracks that lets you import your swimming data and keep it locally. If you're desperate you can even modify the data if you're willing to fire up your XML or text editor.
Great info machelett, and if my bright blue PoolMate wasn't en route (it's made it to the sort facility at Gatwick so far) I may well have changed my mind ! The Garmin is pretty enough to be worn everyday, then again, maybe pop-blue will become my rebellious equivalent of a red sports car! ;)

On balance though I'm happy (assuming I have the same experience with it as my friend Andy - I'll post back here maybe). For me there is a lot to be said for simplicity and something I can only refer to as "fit"... here's my story about that word fwiw:

Decades ago I finally got serious about playing bass guitar. I was really enjoying it, composing and recording odds and ends which got a good reception from friends and other musicians. Then, passing down Dean Street one day, I came across a Fender Precision with a Marshall set up in a shop. I got to it out try out. Wow! The sound truly blew me away. So I went hunting and found myself a beautiful pre-CBS Precision. That was the end of my guitar playing. Turning up to auditions with an instrument of such pedigree raised the expectations that other musicians had of me, not on account of the price of such a guitar (modest before the hyper-inflation of "collectibles" cut in), but of its quality and status (that its chipped paint and other signs of its eventful life only added to). I knew I fell way short. Though the issue existed no doubt far more in my head than in anyone else's, still it was a ball and chain, drawing my attention relentlessly away from any "mindful" practice. I still have the guitar. It's something of a reminder.

My bright blue PoolMate will be cheap and cheerful, more like wearing water wings than having a sports computer ... hopefully :)
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