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  #31  
Old 11-09-2014
machelett machelett is offline
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Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
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.
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  #32  
Old 11-21-2014
Polish TI fan Polish TI fan is offline
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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.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2014
machelett machelett is offline
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Originally Posted by Polish TI fan View Post
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 . :)
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2014
Polish TI fan Polish TI fan is offline
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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.

Last edited by Polish TI fan : 11-21-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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  #35  
Old 11-21-2014
machelett machelett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polish TI fan View Post
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. :)

Last edited by machelett : 11-21-2014 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #36  
Old 11-21-2014
Polish TI fan Polish TI fan is offline
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Originally Posted by machelett View Post
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!
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2014
machelett machelett is offline
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Originally Posted by Polish TI fan View Post
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!

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Originally Posted by Polish TI fan View Post
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! :)
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  #38  
Old 11-21-2014
Polish TI fan Polish TI fan is offline
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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!
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  #39  
Old 11-21-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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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
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  #40  
Old 11-21-2014
machelett machelett is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
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. :)
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