martin 'hoff

Garmin Quatix 3/5 vs... ?

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My Garmin quatix (1st Gen) just died. What is good and current? Current Quatix 3 and 5 are nice but expensive.

Are there any nice wrist/handheld chartplotters? What I see from Garmin is old and cranky (78sc).

My use is short and long distance sailing/club racing, on a 2 handed cat or a weta, in Biscayne bay, full of shallows ... No additional Garmin gear to control...

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I race on a 28ft catamaran, harbour and coastal racing.

For a long time I used the garmin foretrex 301 or 401, it can do basic navigation, plus has a big screen and buttons you can use with gloves on. 

I tried the Vivoactive HR route running the raceqs app, great in principle as it can do pretty much everything a prostart can but for half the price. Its fatal flaw though is the touch screen on the watch is basically useless when it gets wet. 

I've gone back to the foretrex as its bulletproof, takes AAA batteries which can be replaced on the fly, i've ended up swimming with the thing, put it away wet for weeks at a time, basically abused the crap out if it and not had any problems at all.

The new version, the 601 looks good, slightly bigger screen, but same overall size and weight. I think you can also navigate to a bearing,  so in theory you could put in the (average) wind direction, and get VMG. Obviously it wont be absolutely accurate, but as a  

The newer garmin smart watches can load maps, but they are also big money. If ypu want useable charts you probably need to strap a smartphone to your wrist running navionics or something similar.

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I wrote software for the discontinued (so cheap) VivoactiveHR that does race navigation. It isn't a chart plotter, but you can enter marks through a web interface and get COG, DTG, VMG all related to that mark. It also does race starts and keeps a track of your course that shows up in Garmin Connect. 

Waypoint changes are done with buttons, so it works on the course when wet. 

It is free and open source.  Look for "Sailing" on their store. 

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I've got that app, but it crashes everytime during the countdown after 30s.

Have they really discontinued the VAHR? Still seems to be current on the garmin site but I'm not in the industry so you'll likely know more. Anyway, if true another reason not to go for it.

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16 minutes ago, Dead air said:

 

I've got that app, but it crashes everytime during the countdown after 30s.

 

This one?  https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/88a169bd-e109-4a9f-b090-0ca5d94a7b8c

I'm surprised to hear of your crash, if it is the same app I'd like to investigate.

VivoactiveHR was replaced with the Vivoactive3. It is a new UX with one button (vs two) and a round screen, which makes it nontrivial to make an app support both.  One button isn't great for on water use. 

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On 7/14/2018 at 9:26 PM, Alex W said:

I wrote software for the discontinued (so cheap) VivoactiveHR that does race navigation. It isn't a chart plotter, but you can enter marks through a web interface and get COG, DTG, VMG all related to that mark. It also does race starts and keeps a track of your course that shows up in Garmin Connect. 

Waypoint changes are done with buttons, so it works on the course when wet. 

It is free and open source.  Look for "Sailing" on their store. 

As a corollary to the conversation... my SO got me a Vivoactive 3, which should arrive soon. I like the look of 'Sailing' and I see it'll need some porting before it runs on Vivoactive 3.

Not sure how bad the touchscreen behaves when wet, whether some actions can be keyed on it, or tapping the button.

@Alex W what's the best way to sync up with you, get your thoughts on what'd be needed for a port? I checked the Monkey C and it's no worse than other languages/SDKs I've suffered, or inflicted upon fellow devs ;-)

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Martin: You can email me.  Put the punctuation in the obvious places on my Garmin Connect name, or send me a PM and I'll send you my address.  Help on a VA3 port would be great.

MonkeyC has some silliness that took a bit of working around, but is otherwise pretty harmless.

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Been using the Quatix 5 for 6 months now on both KB and Dinghies. Other than the fact it just crapped out and is getting warrantied, it has been great. I have connected to other GPS on the KB, but on the Dinghy I use it straight and mostly the preinstalled Garmin apps which seem to work pretty well. 

As a smartwatch its OK. Does not have touch or a mic so its not an apple watch level. But it keeps track of steps, heart, sleep etc. 

My main complaint is the quick change strap. One good pull and its off. So I bought a nylon strap, but it coves the HR sensor. Still have not found a secure strap that doesn't cover HR. 

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Alex W.,

   Your app plus the Garmin Vivoactive HR works brilliantly IMO. These are still available on Amazon for under $150. There are some features I would like to discuss, primarily the ability to ping a line and support for weather in different locations. I don't have time this summer to work those issues but may this winter.

I have a pile of dead Garmin Foretrex 101,201 and 301 units in a drawer. They were IP67 rated. The new ones are IPX7 rated, but if you read what that actually means on this page, I wouldn't take them on a boat: https://www.garmin.com/en-US/legal/waterrating

Basically on anything that actually gets wet they are useless, and my experience backs that up (again, dead pile). The Vivoactive HR is rated for 5ATM and constant use while swimming, so I'm crossing my fingers it holds up better. The smaller screen has some downsides of course but the sailing app is very user friendly and actually having some health data while sailing is pretty darn neat!

-Sam

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I have a Garmin Fenix 5, very happy with it. I believe the Quantix is a Fenix 3, although perhaps they upgraded it. The Sailing apps the Quantix runs are all available for the Fenix 3 and 5. The 3 is certainly less expensive than the 5 at this point, but the 5 is no longer brand new and when it's replaced, well the 3 will just be that much older.  

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George: There are Quantix 3 and Quantix 5 models that I think correspond to the Felix 3 and Felix 5.

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Fenix 3 quatix 3 are the same as are the 5s. Quatix has boating apps preinstalled Fenix does not. But quatix has all the Fenix apps installed. Quatix is natural metal on the face Fenix is black. Only differences.

Lots of complaints about both 3 series watches. Apps crash watch freezes etc. 5s seem to be pretty good. But the watch guy at REI says all smartwatches have a 20% failure rate so getting a bad one is pretty likely. Also cost doesn't seem to matter, REI warranties a similar amount of $1000 Sunto as the do $50 Fitbits.

Garmin replaced mine in about a week with a new, not refurbished, watch. Only complaint, none of the settings sync to a new watch, app sees it as a second watch and you have to start over.

 

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I uploaded a new version with VivoActive3 support.  Once someone tells me that it works I'll expand support to Fenix5 and Quantix5.

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How does the “burn time” feature work in the Quatix 5 ? I am curious if its calculated based on current approaching speed, or rather on target speed....guess this makes a ton of difference

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It uses current speed. Slow down the burn increases speed up it decreases. Its a bit conservative. I tried it out in my yard on foot. Pinged the two ends and walked to the end and approached as I would in the last 30s and followed its instructions. I was about 20' from the line at 0. 

Now it also doesn't ask you how long your boat is and where you are relative to the bow so had I been walking in a SC70 I would have been 50' over the line. I understand it pings the line based on the watch location so the wearer must get very close to the pin and boat and there is a safety factor. Just do not know what that is or where you find out. 

My boat forbids using it for that and I have tried on the keelboat with some success. (Both times they moved the pin after I pinged it (Argh) but at least it provided some feedback as to where we were relative to the time left

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On ‎8‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 9:13 AM, Locus said:

Fenix 3 quatix 3 are the same as are the 5s. Quatix has boating apps preinstalled Fenix does not. But quatix has all the Fenix apps installed. Quatix is natural metal on the face Fenix is black. Only differences.

Lots of complaints about both 3 series watches. Apps crash watch freezes etc. 5s seem to be pretty good. But the watch guy at REI says all smartwatches have a 20% failure rate so getting a bad one is pretty likely. Also cost doesn't seem to matter, REI warranties a similar amount of $1000 Sunto as the do $50 Fitbits.

Garmin replaced mine in about a week with a new, not refurbished, watch. Only complaint, none of the settings sync to a new watch, app sees it as a second watch and you have to start over.

 

I have been shopping for a new watch and found this thread. According to Garmin, there are more than just software differences between the Fenix and Quatix. Different GPS sensors are used (Fenix also supports Europe's Galileo satellite positioning) and the Fenix has more memory (16GB versus 64MB). The additional memory allows you to download songs and cartography. Of course this comes at a cost. Garmin currently lists the Fenix 5+ at $550 USD while the Quatix 5 is $400.

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Looks like the Fenix got an update since I bought. 1 year ago all specs were exactly the same as was the price. European satellites might be a good thing, but the rest I question. You really need your phone to play music so extra storage not sure what to use for.

Looks like the new Fenix is called the plus and prices have come down dramatically. Both were $600 last year.

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10 minutes ago, Locus said:

Looks like the Fenix got an update since I bought. 1 year ago all specs were exactly the same as was the price. European satellites might be a good thing, but the rest I question. You really need your phone to play music so extra storage not sure what to use for.

Looks like the new Fenix is called the plus and prices have come down dramatically. Both were $600 last year.

I agree with value of the extra storage. Enhanced cartography might be nice, but it's a watch. How useful is a detailed chart on a dinky screen? Also, the prices I quoted are sale prices (cyber Monday or something like that). Right now I am leaning toward the vivactive 3 for $200USD. Anyone have experience with this model? As a software developer, among other things, it might be fun to develop some apps for this little thingy.

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Varan: The Saililng app that I wrote is open source, I'd love to have another person extending it with new functionality (start line pings would be the next obvious candidate).  I ported it to the VA3 a few months ago.  Here is the source: https://github.com/alexphredorg/ConnectIqSailingApp

The only downside of the VA3 from a sailing perspective is that a single button is a bit limiting and so you have to count on the touch screen which can be annoying to do with gloves.  This is a downgrade from the VAHR which had two physical buttons.

The watches are pretty easy to develop for once you get past the oddities in MonkeyC, especially built in limitations on data structures and number of variables (a bigger blocker than the size of the variables).

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I also question the value of a touch screen on my boat. Always have gloves on and watch is always wet. How does that interfere with touching.

I also really like the Garmin sailing app for Quatix and Fenix. Once you start the app its totally seamless. The timer syncs great both up and down. You get start time that rolls right into tracking. In the app you can get multiple data fields on 2 screens plus tack assist. I wish the sailing app had waypoints you could add beyond the start line. 

I have tried multiple other sailing apps and all are either direct copies with different graphics, or missing key features.

My only complaint about the watch is you cannot run two apps as at a time. So tides are offline while racing as is wind and navigation. If it could I would give it almost a perfect score for a watch dependent on a phone. 

Alex can the VA3 run multiple apps at the same time? What is battery life like. I talked to two people with apple watches (not the latest, 4 I think) and it cannot get through a day of racing while running the GPS apps etc. I can get two days of 6+ hours and still have 20% battery left +/-. 

Without the GPS running I get 12 days on a battery. 

On land I really like the phone notifications. They are greatly improved on the latest OS. I can answer the phone, transfer to the car, reply to texts with canned responses and push alarms to the phone from the watch. (Alarm is too quiet to wake me up) 

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I'm the guy with the VA3. Thank you @Alex W for the port! I had not seen your posts about it, will test and report back. As it happens, my significant other loved the look of the VA3, and grabbed it for herself claiming the VA3 wouldn't survive my rough handling. So I ended up getting a Fenix 5. 

I can still test the VA3 in sailing conditions, and report back. No worries.

Garmin's own sailing app on my Fenix 5 does not seem to have knots as a unit of measure. Maybe I just don't know how to wrangle it.

My Quatix version one I still love best, but it is half dead now. The Fenix 5 is great for all the other bells and whistles -- SMS/messages from the phone, etc, exercise, etc.

 

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Quatix/Fenix can DISPLAY knots, . (BTW someone told me the datastream is actually in Kilometers and the watch translates to knots for the display and the phone to MPH so it would be easy to correct for Garmin. So on the water you can see knots, but in the app you see MPH or KPH

I have requested Garmin add this to the app.

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Locus: The start timer on my app sounds like it works the same way.  I haven't seen the Garmin app since I don't have a Fenix 5 (it's out of my budget).  We use it for the start sequence on the boat, then sync the much more annoying Raymarine timer with it.

My app also does tides, wind, race timer and race navigation (with all of the waypoints for Puget Sound racing in by default) in one app, so you don't need to switch apps.  The VA3 can't switch apps either.  Anyone can make their own custom map with waypoints, so people have done this for a number of geographic areas.  You place them on a chart using caltopo and tell my app the caltopo ID and it pulls down waypoints from there.  Here is the one that I made for Puget Sound: https://caltopo.com/m/GRU6

I started doing a port to the Fenix5, but didn't have time to think about how the app would work with zero touch. 

The VA3/VAHR also get texts to the watch.  I don't have a ton of experience with it (I only wear the watch when sailing or cycling) and always turn it off because I don't like to be distracted while doing either of those things.  I doubt that Garmin did a different implementation of this across the devices.

I just built the app for myself and find it very useful for STYC Monday night racing.  It's nice seeing others use it, but I just give it (and the source) away.

alex

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Alex

How does your app transfer data to the Connect? Or do you download the GPX and just manually insert it to your software of choice? I really like the ability to review our track on the connect app and share it with the rest of the crew. Being able to track speed course with the lift knock feature on the app is helpful. Especially with the buoy races. Tracked and analyzed all 8 last weekend with my son. Nice to have the fitness overlay as well, though I question its accuracy, at least I can see some benefit. 

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2 hours ago, Alex W said:

Locus: The start timer on my app sounds like it works the same way.  I haven't seen the Garmin app since I don't have a Fenix 5 (it's out of my budget).  We use it for the start sequence on the boat, then sync the much more annoying Raymarine timer with it.

My app also does tides, wind, race timer and race navigation (with all of the waypoints for Puget Sound racing in by default) in one app, so you don't need to switch apps.  The VA3 can't switch apps either.  Anyone can make their own custom map with waypoints, so people have done this for a number of geographic areas.  You place them on a chart using caltopo and tell my app the caltopo ID and it pulls down waypoints from there.  Here is the one that I made for Puget Sound: https://caltopo.com/m/GRU6

I started doing a port to the Fenix5, but didn't have time to think about how the app would work with zero touch. 

The VA3/VAHR also get texts to the watch.  I don't have a ton of experience with it (I only wear the watch when sailing or cycling) and always turn it off because I don't like to be distracted while doing either of those things.  I doubt that Garmin did a different implementation of this across the devices.

I just built the app for myself and find it very useful for STYC Monday night racing.  It's nice seeing others use it, but I just give it (and the source) away.

alex

It would be nice if the watch did everything. You know sail trim VMG mast bend. LOL. Tides and wind forecast would be nice, but I just check them before I start the race app. Waypoints would be good for distance races, and if yours does that it might be a good for distance racing app. The stock seems sufficient for buoy racing. PLUS I am not really supposed to be looking at it on the 505. I do turn off the GPS data fields on the watch when racing, just have heading to try and match the tack-tic 

1 hour ago, Alex W said:

Yes, it syncs directly to Connect.  Here is a spring beach Monday night:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2827034923

I don't have a lift knock feature.  That and pinging the start line would both be helpful to have.

Can you control which data fields the watch sends to connect? Mine looks very different then yours. 

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I don't really get to control what is sent to connect very much.  The APIs for third party apps are pretty restricted.  "Sailing" isn't even really a supported activity and it shows up as Other.

We mostly race my boat in STYC races which use gov't marks, and so the watch has become our main navigation since we don't have a plotter on deck and it's faster than using the iPad.  It is mostly helpful when trying to get the layline to spring beach.  I only look at it periodically to get bearing to waypoint, and use the tides feature before a race if I forgot to check them on my phone.  I almost never use the winds feature when on the water, NOAA's data is too old.

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Which is interesting, because their app sends lots of data (Way more than one needs) and very different from what gets sent from walking biking etc. What is really weird is the activity shows up as King County Sail but the activity type is Other. The other weird thing is the elevation. I typically gain and lose more than 100f in every race. @TB I gained 177 feet and lost 154 feet. Max elevation was 322 min was 351. Should have been in single digits based on tides. I just ignore it

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3 hours ago, Locus said:

Quatix/Fenix can DISPLAY knots, . (BTW someone told me the datastream is actually in Kilometers and the watch translates to knots for the display and the phone to MPH so it would be easy to correct for Garmin. So on the water you can see knots, but in the app you see MPH or KPH

I have requested Garmin add this to the app.

How do you configure Fenix to display knots? 

The track is stored as a series of points+time internally, so no speed is stored. It's calculated at display time.

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I hate shopping so I just bought a Samsung Gear Sport ($180 USD from Samsung.com). In addition to touch, it also has buttons and dial interface, plus more sensors than Garmin, including voice input. I'm thinking the dial interface might be useful in a sail racing app. The watch has a built in water mode that disables the touch interface, keeps the watch always on, etc.

I also downloaded the Tizen extension for VS2017, along with their SDK and emulators so I can begin working on a racing app to take advantage of these features. Should be fun. Might take a while as work is fairly hectic now, but I will let you know how it goes.

Cheers,

 

Edit: Alex W, I will look at your app, thanks. Anything I write that is useful, I will commit to GitHub.

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23 minutes ago, martin.langhoff said:

How do you configure Fenix to display knots? 

The track is stored as a series of points+time internally, so no speed is stored. It's calculated at display time.

Click sail race- settings- units- in and ft

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I just got the Samsung Galaxy Watch as a black Friday impulse buy add-on to my new phone. Didn't realize it wasn't WearOS until I got it. Can't find a countdown timer that looks like it would function ok as a start timer. Anyone able to point towards a Tizen timer that would work at least as well as an ironman?

Are the developer tools easy enough for a non-coder idiot to be able to modify a watch template?

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One of the Tizen samples is a countdown timer. Pretty basic though. For fun, I am working on a race timer with sync, time to burn, etc. Don't know when I will finish it. Just started learning the Tizen APIs and development environment. I will not have access to a Tizen device until xmas, so I have only used the emulator. Fairly straight foward once you figure out what to search for. There is so much in their APIs.

Their .NET plug-in for VS2017 works well if you are into C#. The device I ordered comes with Tizen 3.0. C# requires 4.0 which comes with the Galaxy watch (which wifey is getting for xmas... shhhhh). Hence, my app is a native app written in C++ v11. Ran into a major problem with their native VS2017 plugin, so I am now using the eclipse IDE that you can download from tizen.org. That works well. 

We should probably take this discussion to a different thread. I am happy to share experiences and code. 

Cheers 

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Thanks, I'll have a look at the tizen tools and see if I run out of attention span before I run out of understanding. Will do a new thread if I get that far.

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I have a Quatix 5, the racing app is quite useful on it's own and pretty accurate relative to our boat's B&G Z3 instruments on the boat. The next challenge is to try to connect the two...they don't recognize each other via bluetooth or ANT+. Has anyone had any luck with this? If we had Garmin instruments and autopilot, it should be able to connect, feed data to the phone and control the autopilot. Would be great to get that going.

I can connect to the boat's audio system and my phone at the same time and control the music which is pretty great for cruising.

I believe the Quatix 5 has stronger glass than the Fenix 5 as well

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30 minutes ago, CordRipper said:

I have a Quatix 5, the racing app is quite useful on it's own and pretty accurate relative to our boat's B&G Z3 instruments on the boat. The next challenge is to try to connect the two...they don't recognize each other via bluetooth or ANT+. Has anyone had any luck with this? If we had Garmin instruments and autopilot, it should be able to connect, feed data to the phone and control the autopilot. Would be great to get that going.

I can connect to the boat's audio system and my phone at the same time and control the music which is pretty great for cruising.

I believe the Quatix 5 has stronger glass than the Fenix 5 as well

AFAIK you can only connect to Garmin equipment using ANT+ I have connected to a virge and my handheld GPS using ANT but nothing else. It even wont connect to my PC via Bluetooth, has to be USB. 

I thought ANT was Garmin proprietary. Didn't know B&G also used it. 

Quantix and Fenix both have tempered or sapphire depending on which version you bought. 

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I recently upgraded my Fenix 5 to the Fenix 5+ with the sapphire glass. It runs all the Quantix apps. Ant+ is implemented in fitness equipment not made by Garmin, so I suppose it could be in other equipment as well.

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You need Garmin's NMEA to ANT gateway for any system, including Garmin's. It is about $100-150. 

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ANT was developed in 2003 for bike power meters. The ANT+ spec was owned by Dynastream. Dynastream was purchased by Garmin in late 2006. There's an alliance of dozens of manufacturers and a certification process for ANT+ compatible devices. I believe Nordic is the only manufacturer licensed to build protocol engines, they have a couple of SOCs with ANT+ capabilities..

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On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 11:00 PM, Alex W said:

You need Garmin's NMEA to ANT gateway for any system, including Garmin's. It is about $100-150. 

If you are thinking about the GNT10 NMEA2000 transceiver, it is basic ANT and is compatible only with the original Quatrix. Quatrix 3 & 5 are ANT+ and are listed compatible with GNX Wind instrument and a lot of GPSMAP model, not the GNT10.

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Correction from GOGO Gadjet, beta app on Connect IQ for Quatrix 5 to work with the GNT10. Some Fenix 5 model also.

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On 9/23/2018 at 2:09 PM, Alex W said:

I uploaded a new version with VivoActive3 support.  Once someone tells me that it works I'll expand support to Fenix5 and Quantix5.

My VivoActiveHR died (waterproofing failed), so I bought a Garmin Forerunner 645.

This means my Sailing app now runs on all of the modern round Garmin watches with 5 buttons, like the Forerunner x45, Fenix 5 series, Quanitx 5, and others.

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/88a169bd-e109-4a9f-b090-0ca5d94a7b8c

Still free and open source (though I need to push the latest changes that support these watches to github).

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Quatrix 5 questions here...

At the end of a race i have to exit the race page to save and restart the timer.  it takes alot of button pushes and if were doing short courses the RC will start the sequence as the last boat crosses the line.  Is there a shortcut im missing to restart my timer and a new race?

If a few boats are using the watches where is the best place to reply the data as a group?

Thanks!

 

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Fretz

No no shortcut to that. Has not been an issue so far for me using the watch for over two years now.

For sharing you could use the Garmin app. If all those boats are "friends" you should be able to see all of them by default on everyone's phone/PC

Or you could save the GPX files and upload them to Race'qs by Quantum and playback there

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Quatix 5 issue:  Up/Menu button no longer responsive.  Has anyone dealt with Garmin on repair's?  The watch is less than a year old and I have reached out to their support via email but no response yet.  All of the other buttons function fine.  

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I have done it twice, once under warranty and once not. Process was the same. You have to call them sit on hold for a while then talk to someone who will walk you through some obvious steps then recommend a warranty or paid swap for a new or refurbished watch. If you want it fast you authorize 300 on your CC and it comes in 1-2 days. Send your old one back and get a credit (Full if its still under warranty) Or send your watch and wait for the new one round trip. 

My latest ~2yo was using battery at a rapid pace <4 days) and the barometer/altimeter stopped working. So for $150  I got a refurbished one. Seems fine and way cheaper than the new Q6. Overall got the new one in 2 days shipped the old back the next day, got a credit after a week. 

My original stopped charging after 4 months and the process was the same just with full credit, and they actually sent a whole new watch, box and all. 

 

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Locus, thank you.  I actually did it thru Garmin's "Chat" feature and it was relatively painless.  Did the $300 exchange just so I wasn't waiting around for the deliveries.  The replacement is a refurb so hopefully it works as promised.  

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My original warranty was also slated to be a refurb, but ended up with a brand new watch. Probably because the !5 was pretty new then, might not have had refurbs to send? 

The one I got two weeks ago was refurb. Seems to work fine. Hey maybe you will get my old watch refurbbed? LOL 

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