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#1 Editor

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:18 AM

We thought we would let the community get involved with this. The folks from Velocitek will pop in to answer questions here.

We love innovative products and are stoked to introduce Velocitek as a new advertiser on Sailing Anarchy. Velocitek's flagship product, the S5, uses GPS signals combined with a user-defined wind vector to calculate upwind and downwind velocity made good (VMG) in real time. The results are displayed on an oversized sunlight readable LCD. The S5 was originally developed to give Rohan Veal (International Moth Class World Champion) an unfair advantage in the Moth development class. Unlike any other instrument, the S5 is money-back guaranteed to noticeably improve the upwind and downwind speed of your high-performance dinghy or sportboat. What do you guys think?

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#2 skiffboy

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:25 AM

So excuse my ignorance - you mount one of these little do-hikkies below your tacktic so you can see how fast your heading in the wrong direction?

sweet - sign me up scotty!

#3 Steve Adolph

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

illegal in 505. too bad. Ok for training though.

#4 Sparky

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:12 PM

Looks like a neat gadget. Could be useful in areas where the wind tends to be steady from one direction. If I am understanding the manual (on their web site) correctly it seems like it would be of less use in areas where the wind is always shifting large amounts. Like here for instance. We may sail half an upwind leg in a more or less steady breeze that shifts less than 10 degrees. The other half may well have much larger shifts. How would one reset the device to a new wind vector in a shift that lasts more than a short time? As it correctly references VMG to performance toward or away from the wind rather than a mark how would one use it in these shifty circumstances?

Would it work as a VMC display rather than VMG if you set the bottom and top marks locations as the references?

Or maybe I'be missed the point completely.

#5 redboat

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:20 PM

Agree, must be vmc.

How many marks or waypoints does it store?

Is data easy to enter?

How would you get data on a buoy dropped by a markboat 10 minutes prior to start?

#6 us7070

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:25 PM

Seems like a waste of money to me.

Firstly, anything this unit does can be done with most ordinary hand helds - all you need to do is set a waypoint far away in the direction of the true wind, then calculate VMG on that waypoint - it's equivalent to VMG on the wind if the waypoint is far enough away. You will also have all the benefits of the other functions of the GPS, and you might even have one already anyway.

Secondly, as has been pointed out, you really need to be able to handle wind shifts - any time you get lifted, it will look like vmg is increasing, and visa versa.

#7 redboat

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 12:30 PM

Duh, haven't hadenuf coffee yet.

You're right 7070. What does this provide that a handheld GPS wouldn't already offer other than a more viewable display?

#8 Platu 25

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:01 PM

What happens when you hit double digit speeds? Maybe it needs another digit.

Also, what is the actual size of this insturment?

I think it could be a good tool for its price.

#9 Emu

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:29 PM

Interesting concept, but it sure doesn't seem like they've worked out the details yet. From the manual, http://www.kasail.co...s/S5-manual.pdf, you have to ping two waypoints to establish the wind direction. I.e. ping your location, sail upwind 75 m, ping again. I can't picture that being easy, fast, or accurate.

The VMG display is just the projection of your velocity in that direction. If you could enter the wind direction directly, by scrolling a number until you get to the right compass heading, it might be simpler. Then you could account more easily for wind shifts, too.

Maybe it was simpler for the engineers to do it with pinging. :(

#10 DanM

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 01:52 PM

I don't get how this thing handles shifts. When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?

#11 us7070

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 02:12 PM

I don't get how this thing handles shifts. When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?


Apparently, it can't handle shifts, which is a serious drawback. Moreover, because it can't handle shifts, it can't do anything that nearly every handheld GPS out ther can do. What it does is calculate VMG in any direction chosen by the user. As I said above, you can do this with any GPS simply by setting a waypoint very very far away in whatever direction interests you, and displaying VMG on that waypoint.

When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?



What you're missing, is that VMG on a mark of the race course is a nearly useless piece of information in most windward/leeward racing. I see many people do exactly the same thing, without giving any thought to what the information means. VMG on a mark is not the same thing as VMG on the wind -even if the mark is directly upwind - and is not nearly as useful. You can't use it for evaluating performance in the way you can use VMG on the wind, nor is it very useful for tactical decisions. The problem is that VMG on the mark is constantly changing, even when your speed, heading and the wind direction don't change. About the only thing that's constant is that VMG on the mark=0 when it bears 90deg (ignoring leeway and current).

#12 DanM

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 02:58 PM


I don't get how this thing handles shifts. When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?


Apparently, it can't handle shifts, which is a serious drawback. Moreover, because it can't handle shifts, it can't do anything that nearly every handheld GPS out ther can do. What it does is calculate VMG in any direction chosen by the user. As I said above, you can do this with any GPS simply by setting a waypoint very very far away in whatever direction interests you, and displaying VMG on that waypoint.

When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?



What you're missing, is that VMG on a mark of the race course is a nearly useless piece of information in most windward/leeward racing. I see many people do exactly the same thing, without giving any thought to what the information means. VMG on a mark is not the same thing as VMG on the wind -even if the mark is directly upwind - and is not nearly as useful. You can't use it for evaluating performance in the way you can use VMG on the wind, nor is it very useful for tactical decisions. The problem is that VMG on the mark is constantly changing, even when your speed, heading and the wind direction don't change. About the only thing that's constant is that VMG on the mark=0 when it bears 90deg (ignoring leeway and current).


Ok, when I'm sailing downwind trying to figure if it pays to heat up or drive down, I glance at the VMG to the mark to help get a feel for which way to go. I usually chose wrong and sail into a hole anyways so it's a wash. Now if the box gave you VMG to the wind AND accounted for shifts, that would be cool.

#13 Steve Adolph

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 03:14 PM

* this thing needed 3 digits for sure
* should have been able to enter wind direction via compass heading
* should have buttons for up 5/down 5 degrees to manually enter windshift data

In a racing situation, you'd spend too much time manipulating the device to get meaningfull data I think, esp. in shifty puffy conditions. Head in the boat --bad. Pure boatspeed on the other hand is always good to know for tuning.

#14 Essex

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 03:32 PM

It says that at speeds below 10 knots it shows 10ths of a knot (n.n) then switches to nn

#15 Call Me Boomvang

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 03:51 PM

It looks cool, but I have never felt you could call shifts very well with GPS headings because of the dampening of the GPS data. This would affect the VMG calculation also, right? So how accurate is this data?

#16 chupacabra

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:06 PM

How many marks or waypoints does it store?

Is data easy to enter?

How would you get data on a buoy dropped by a markboat 10 minutes prior to start?


Asked similar questions of the manufacturer - never answered.
Plentiful enthusiastic responses to my easier questions.

So what are the answers? How is data entered and manipulated on the course? From what I can assess, looks too difficult to manipulate on the fly to be useful.

IMHO - Better products available elsewhere.

#17 SemiSalt

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:22 PM

It looks cool, but I have never felt you could call shifts very well with GPS headings because of the dampening of the GPS data. This would affect the VMG calculation also, right? So how accurate is this data?


Exactly.

My Garmin is several years old, and I understand that the antennas are much better now, but I know it extrapolates along when it misses the signal for gaps of up to a minute.

The problem, however, is fundemental. If you have an typical independent (sorry for the technical term from statistics) error in position of 10 feet (to use a round number for purposes of explanation), how far apart do two points have to be if you want the angle between them to approximate your course within 1 degree, or to approximate the distance traveled (and therefore speed) within 1%? You can do some better by collecting intermediate points, of course, but the problem remains.

#18 us7070

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:33 PM


It looks cool, but I have never felt you could call shifts very well with GPS headings because of the dampening of the GPS data. This would affect the VMG calculation also, right? So how accurate is this data?


Exactly.

My Garmin is several years old, and I understand that the antennas are much better now, but I know it extrapolates along when it misses the signal for gaps of up to a minute.

The problem, however, is fundemental. If you have an typical independent (sorry for the technical term from statistics) error in position of 10 feet (to use a round number for purposes of explanation), how far apart do two points have to be if you want the angle between them to approximate your course within 1 degree, or to approximate the distance traveled (and therefore speed) within 1%? You can do some better by collecting intermediate points, of course, but the problem remains.


It turns out that GPS receivers do not calculate speed using distance travelled between 2 points, and the time interval between those points.

GPS receivers measure speed instantaneously through the Doppler shift in the signal frequency. I'm pretty sure this measure of speed is generally considered to be more precise than the position information.

I do agree that in general GPS units aren't that good for evaluating the effect on speed of things like sail trim - it seems like the frequency of updating the speed, and/or the lag in displaying the speed means the info isn't displayed quickly enough. I alyways find that the boat knotmeter is much better for this, which is another probem for the velocitek.

#19 Platu 25

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 04:41 PM

Big difference between 10.0 and 10.9 knots

#20 vegavexity

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 05:17 PM


How many marks or waypoints does it store?

Is data easy to enter?

How would you get data on a buoy dropped by a markboat 10 minutes prior to start?


Asked similar questions of the manufacturer - never answered.
Plentiful enthusiastic responses to my easier questions.

So what are the answers? How is data entered and manipulated on the course? From what I can assess, looks too difficult to manipulate on the fly to be useful.

IMHO - Better products available elsewhere.



I'm looking for something like this. What products are better that you would suggest?

#21 vegavexity

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 05:21 PM



It looks cool, but I have never felt you could call shifts very well with GPS headings because of the dampening of the GPS data. This would affect the VMG calculation also, right? So how accurate is this data?






I do agree that in general GPS units aren't that good for evaluating the effect on speed of things like sail trim - it seems like the frequency of updating the speed, and/or the lag in displaying the speed means the info isn't displayed quickly enough. I alyways find that the boat knotmeter is much better for this, which is another probem for the velocitek.



Question for people @ Velocitek: What is the fequency of updating speed foor this unit? Is it fast enough to pick up changes in sail trim?

#22 Mark K

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 07:02 PM

I've seen one of these. It really is handy for SOG. If you calibrate your knotmeter
to match it in slack water, it continually reads out SOG, and you can quickly
identify a shift in current. The display is why it beats out a handheld for this, so
it has it's uses. Could really use 3 digit display. Most of us go upwind in the
single digits, though.

The VMG stuff IMO is not really the main reason for having this. I
would just use it for a continual SOG display. It's just a feature.

It seemed very compact and rugged. About the size of a my wallet
BEFORE I bought a boat.

Comes with some of that super tough marine velco. If I owned one
I would stick that to the aft cabin wall next to the depth readout and
keep it off the mast.

It's niche is that it's the cheapest cockpit display of SOG
that's out there, I think.

#23 Velocitek

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 10:32 PM

Hello SA,

I'm Alec Stewart, the designer of the Velocitek S5. Thanks to everyone for all the interesting comments. I would like to speak to some of the main issues people have been discussing.

WIND SHIFTS:

Our testing has agreed with many of the more negative comments. It is inconvenient to reprogram the S5's wind direction vector on the fly. Our testing has also shown, however, that unless a wind shift exceeds 25 degrees the benefit of the device in optimizing VMG is not negatively impacted.

When the wind shifts the S5 will show a better VMG on the lifted tack (making the shift very clear) and the number displayed is no longer exactly the boat's VMG relative to the wind. However, trimming the boat to maximize the displayed VMG will still come very close to maximizing the boat's VMG relative to the wind. Our testers have found that it's very easy to use the S5's output to make trim adjustments because the output is updated every second, giving the crew a steady stream of easy to interpret feedback.

We have been getting nothing but extremely positive feedback on this feature from many credible sources ranging from world champions to weekend club racers. I would like to point out that the negative comments are coming exclusively from people who have never raced with an S5.

CAN’T MY GARMIN DO THIS ALREADY?

Sort of… The S5 calculates VMG based on the programmed wind DIRECTION. All other GPS devices on the market don’t actually calculate VMG, they calculate closing speed relative to a LOCATION. If you program a waypoint into your Garmin device that is very far (~50 miles) straight upwind of the race course, your closing speed relative to this waypoint will roughly approximate your VMG. Our approach is simpler, more intuitive and designed specifically for sailing.

The S5 also benefits from an oversized sunlight readable display. The numbers can be easily read from over 30 ft (10m) away. It is also 100% guaranteed to be waterproof. When we say this, we don’t mean that it’s “water resistant” to some slippery EU standard. We mean you can hold it up to 25 ft (8m) under salt water for as long as you like and it will not be damaged.

I hope these comments clear up some questions. Thanks again for all the discussion!

Alec





I don't get how this thing handles shifts. When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?


Apparently, it can't handle shifts, which is a serious drawback. Moreover, because it can't handle shifts, it can't do anything that nearly every handheld GPS out ther can do. What it does is calculate VMG in any direction chosen by the user. As I said above, you can do this with any GPS simply by setting a waypoint very very far away in whatever direction interests you, and displaying VMG on that waypoint.

When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?



What you're missing, is that VMG on a mark of the race course is a nearly useless piece of information in most windward/leeward racing. I see many people do exactly the same thing, without giving any thought to what the information means. VMG on a mark is not the same thing as VMG on the wind -even if the mark is directly upwind - and is not nearly as useful. You can't use it for evaluating performance in the way you can use VMG on the wind, nor is it very useful for tactical decisions. The problem is that VMG on the mark is constantly changing, even when your speed, heading and the wind direction don't change. About the only thing that's constant is that VMG on the mark=0 when it bears 90deg (ignoring leeway and current).



#24 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 10:57 PM

I can see where these units would be really handy on a catamaran, especially downwind under spinnaker. I came very close to purchasing one of these for my F-18 (Hobie Tiger), but pulled up short for two reasons:
  • It needs a third digit. Cats regularly go downwind in excess of 10 knots and as noted before, there is a big difference between 10 and 10.9 knots.
  • The ideal mount would be on the spin pole, just forward of the jib sheet turning blocks. While I'm certainly capable of fabricating a mount, I'd feel more comfortable if it came with a mount specifically for that.
The issue of setting it to a weather mark dropped in the water 10 minutes before the start is a problem, too. I'd rather not be hanging out at the WM when the class flag goes up.

#25 Clipper

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:13 PM

[*]It needs a third digit. Cats regularly go downwind in excess of 10 knots and as noted before, there is a big difference between 10 and 10.9 knots.


There isnot so much difference between 10.4 and 10 now is there? Or 10.5 and 11? Surely it would round to the nearest knot.

#26 bhyde

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:22 PM

nice idea, but why not use one of these http://revelsports.com/forerunner.asp
waterproof and pretty easy to read if you can put it 6" from your face. And bonus you can get one with a heart rate monitor that can measure just how much you are starting to lose it at mark roundings.

#27 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:26 PM



[*]It needs a third digit. Cats regularly go downwind in excess of 10 knots and as noted before, there is a big difference between 10 and 10.9 knots.


There isnot so much difference between 10.4 and 10 now is there? Or 10.5 and 11? Surely it would round to the nearest knot.


True, but it's the transition (9.9 - 10 - 11) that would take some getting used to. If your VMG was jumping between 9.9 and 11, it would drive me nuts. Especially since it would be in about 6 knots of wind, when you're cranky already from it being too light. :blink:

#28 Mark K

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:04 AM

Hello SA,

I'm Alec Stewart, the designer of the Velocitek S5. Thanks to everyone for all the interesting comments. I would like to speak to some of the main issues people have been discussing.

WIND SHIFTS:

Our testing has agreed with many of the more negative comments. It is inconvenient to reprogram the S5's wind direction vector on the fly. Our testing has also shown, however, that unless a wind shift exceeds 25 degrees the benefit of the device in optimizing VMG is not negatively impacted.

When the wind shifts the S5 will show a better VMG on the lifted tack (making the shift very clear) and the number displayed is no longer exactly the boat's VMG relative to the wind. However, trimming the boat to maximize the displayed VMG will still come very close to maximizing the boat's VMG relative to the wind. Our testers have found that it's very easy to use the S5's output to make trim adjustments because the output is updated every second, giving the crew a steady stream of easy to interpret feedback.

We have been getting nothing but extremely positive feedback on this feature from many credible sources ranging from world champions to weekend club racers. I would like to point out that the negative comments are coming exclusively from people who have never raced with an S5.

CAN’T MY GARMIN DO THIS ALREADY?

Sort of… The S5 calculates VMG based on the programmed wind DIRECTION. All other GPS devices on the market don’t actually calculate VMG, they calculate closing speed relative to a LOCATION. If you program a waypoint into your Garmin device that is very far (~50 miles) straight upwind of the race course, your closing speed relative to this waypoint will roughly approximate your VMG. Our approach is simpler, more intuitive and designed specifically for sailing.

The S5 also benefits from an oversized sunlight readable display. The numbers can be easily read from over 30 ft (10m) away. It is also 100% guaranteed to be waterproof. When we say this, we don’t mean that it’s “water resistant” to some slippery EU standard. We mean you can hold it up to 25 ft (8m) under salt water for as long as you like and it will not be damaged.

I hope these comments clear up some questions. Thanks again for all the discussion!

Alec






I don't get how this thing handles shifts. When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?


Apparently, it can't handle shifts, which is a serious drawback. Moreover, because it can't handle shifts, it can't do anything that nearly every handheld GPS out ther can do. What it does is calculate VMG in any direction chosen by the user. As I said above, you can do this with any GPS simply by setting a waypoint very very far away in whatever direction interests you, and displaying VMG on that waypoint.

When I race on my home lake that uses fixed marks, I just put the waypoints of the marks in my handheld Garmin and it gives me all I need to know and then some. What am I missing here?



What you're missing, is that VMG on a mark of the race course is a nearly useless piece of information in most windward/leeward racing. I see many people do exactly the same thing, without giving any thought to what the information means. VMG on a mark is not the same thing as VMG on the wind -even if the mark is directly upwind - and is not nearly as useful. You can't use it for evaluating performance in the way you can use VMG on the wind, nor is it very useful for tactical decisions. The problem is that VMG on the mark is constantly changing, even when your speed, heading and the wind direction don't change. About the only thing that's constant is that VMG on the mark=0 when it bears 90deg (ignoring leeway and current).



You did a very good job with the case. It looks like you could hit it with a hammer,
exactly what all instruments on sailboats should be like.
I like the simplicity. Idiot proof electronics are perfect for people like me.

Look into a double digit display to expand your likely market. It
shouldn't cost too much, hopefully.

If you want to expand your line,
you could construct a compass that was of the same general
philosophy, just numbers. I don't need the bloody thing to tell
me if I am lifted or headed, I can figure that out. Make it bullit proof, cheap,
and make it easy to replace the battery.

Best of luck.

#29 Velocitek

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:22 AM

I can see where these units would be really handy on a catamaran, especially downwind under spinnaker. I came very close to purchasing one of these for my F-18 (Hobie Tiger), but pulled up short for two reasons:

  • It needs a third digit. Cats regularly go downwind in excess of 10 knots and as noted before, there is a big difference between 10 and 10.9 knots.
  • The ideal mount would be on the spin pole, just forward of the jib sheet turning blocks. While I'm certainly capable of fabricating a mount, I'd feel more comfortable if it came with a mount specifically for that.
The issue of setting it to a weather mark dropped in the water 10 minutes before the start is a problem, too. I'd rather not be hanging out at the WM when the class flag goes up.


On the subject of the third digit, I beg you, please try the thing before deciding this is a problem. Our foiler Moth poster child Rohan Veal insisted on having a third digit until he actually sailed with the thing. It turns out that when you're sailing that fast on anything but absolutely flat water, fractions of a knot are lost in the noise. The big simple display makes the most relevant information available at a glance.

Also, we're about to add a spin pole mount to our website. You can see a photo of these mounts at http://www.proust-sa....php?cPath=1_32 (they're already for sale in France). As a matter of fact, HobieAnarchy, if you send me an email at stewart@velocitekspeed.com, I'll give you one of our samples for free when you order an S5.

#30 Editor

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:33 AM

Hopefully US 7070 will weigh in with his comments again.

#31 Clipper

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:03 AM

I like the idea of the thing. I sail a Hobie 16 and mostly the racing is around the same set marks on the river. I could see it being great if I could set in more then one direction to see the VMG to marks other than the 'windward' mark. But even use purely as a speedo looks like it woud be useful.

Has anyone used the garmin GPS wristwatches for dinghy sailing beofre. seems like it would be a bit difficult to glance at your wrist at speed, and not sure on the waterproofness of the thing?

#32 rohan veal

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 05:40 AM

hi guys,

I was using the S3 for about 6 months and used it all the time. such a simple and bullet proof design and massive number displays unlike anything else out there. i also expressed my concerns to alec from velocitek about displaying three digits and he changed the design as so you have the option to display in X.X or XX units on loading.

however i found when you are going over 10 knots, the speed is constantly changing and displaying in decimals is too much information anyway, and there is just no need. i now only use it in double digit figures and means that i can just look at a glance to see if i am on the money or not.

a few months ago, alec sent me over an S5 to test and once again had my doubts about programming it on the water and the data output, however i now use VMG all the time when racing. it is easy to plug in the bottom mark position before the start, and most of the time i don't even put in the windward position until i get to the top mark for the first time, which is usually in front of all those 'slow' 14 footers i race against at black rock ;-)

once around, the numbers tell me everything i need to know, upwind and downwind. i couldn't believe how much variation in VMG there was, especially upwind if i cracked off a bit looking for speed, or came up for height and drop off some speed. when in marginial or gusty conditions, it is even more useful.

if the wind shifts, you can easily plug in the new windward position to help with your upwind VMG, but i usually don't bother as you can still see if your numbers are good or not.

If i am not racing, i use the speedo mode to see how fast i can go on a nice reach (so far i have only clocked 22.9 knots not like those POMS who have been clocking high 24's!!!) i think i just need some flatter water and some decent wind for a change??? or maybe they are using GPS units that are not as accurate? ;-)

in summary - if you are on a fast dinghy or sports boat, i reakon these S5's will really impress you, plus you can brag to all your mates about who was the fastest on the day (if you are in speedo mode that is). the biggest advantage over any other GPS tho is the display. it can't be beaten!

cheers

rohan

BTW - i don't get paid by velocitek if you are wondering.

#33 Teaky

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:03 AM

Sweet.

But I think our Tack-Tick unit already does the calculation. Could be wrong, I've not read the booklet yet.

#34 GybeSet®

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:24 AM

I don't need the bloody thing to tell
me if I am lifted or headed.

You might (not necessarily) be missing a point, e.g. downwind on boats that sail larger angles.

I you are from a skiff or tornado picking large angles and lifts/knocks downwind effectively may be second nature, but for the vast majority of bods from more 'normal' A to B boats this is definitely not the case.

For ppl entering the Assym. 'quick' (tacking downW.) world from other areas this new mousetrap would be a bonus.

Downwind tacking is not intuitive for most, or AS intuitive as Upwind.

Angle choice is waayyy larger than upwind, and you can't use the "sheeted on telltale" balanced groove to put you in the ballpark like upwind,
nor can you see the next mark as a reference to pick knocks/lifts, it's behind the sails.

I am saying this in the context of the fleet majority, not the dudes and pros at the 'sharp end' of the fleet who demonstratably have it sussed.

In this area it will be very useful combined with a sanity check/glance under the boom,

No ????? discuss !
.
.

#35 Clipper

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:32 AM

in summary - if you are on a fast dinghy or sports boat, i reakon these S5's will really impress you, plus you can brag to all your mates about who was the fastest on the day (if you are in speedo mode that is). the biggest advantage over any other GPS tho is the display. it can't be beaten!

cheers

rohan

BTW - i don't get paid by velocitek if you are wondering.


Thanks for the informed opinion Rohan.

If being used in the VMG mode, does it not record the max speed of the day?

#36 Phil

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 06:53 AM

Just one question.

With all the technology,keeping your head in the boat.How much time do you spend with your head out of the boat looking at whats happenning around you?Wind, water, other boats,ferries and the like.

Whilst I can see a market,would RV have time to look at it whilst sailing on Sydney Harbour V Black Rock?Two or three man crew,sure.Laser maybe?

#37 Velocitek

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:09 AM



in summary - if you are on a fast dinghy or sports boat, i reakon these S5's will really impress you, plus you can brag to all your mates about who was the fastest on the day (if you are in speedo mode that is). the biggest advantage over any other GPS tho is the display. it can't be beaten!

cheers

rohan

BTW - i don't get paid by velocitek if you are wondering.


Thanks for the informed opinion Rohan.

If being used in the VMG mode, does it not record the max speed of the day?


When you're in VMG mode the device still looks at the raw speed data and holds on to your max speed and your best 10 second average speed. These values, as well as the wind vector are stored in non-volatile EEPROM memory so you can turn the device on and off or change the batteries without losing them.

Alec

#38 rohan veal

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 08:10 AM

Whilst I can see a market,would RV have time to look at it whilst sailing on Sydney Harbour V Black Rock?Two or three man crew,sure.Laser maybe?


i used it quite a lot on sydney harbour at SIRs without any dramas... but as i mentioned before, i only need a quick glance at it, unlike the other devices where you need to refocus your eyes to see what is going on.

BTW - from my experiences, i reakon you need more concentration sailing a foiler moth at black rock on a rough day than u do on sydney harbour. sailing in short 1-2m chop is not easy in any boat, but i still find the S5 useful, especially upwind. i probably don't even look at it downwind when the wind get over 18 knots up on the bay, as usually it is usually hang on for the ride and sail for the flattest water.


When you're in VMG mode the device still looks at the raw speed data and holds on to your max speed and your best 10 second average speed. These values, as well as the wind vector are stored in non-volatile EEPROM memory so you can turn the device on and off or change the batteries without losing them.

Alec


that's good then! i didn't even know that. ;-)

#39 us7070

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:01 PM

Hopefully US 7070 will weigh in with his comments again.


I'm not sure exactly which comment you want me to respond to.

I suspect it is my comment w.r.t. the problem of VMG on a mark, vs. VMG on the wind. Velocitek has it right in this regard - he is calculating VMG on the wind, which is very useful information.

I was responding to a post in which someone mentions putting the location of marks of the course into their GPS - while there may be reasons to do this, calculating VMG generally isn't one of them. VMG on the mark is (in my view) not usually a useful piece of information in normal windward/leeward racing. The main reason I bring it up, is that many people are confused about the difference, or aren't aware that there is a difference. As a sometime-navigator, I have seen much confusion over this - often there are half a dozen GPS's on the boat with everyone shouting out a different VMG.

Again, Velocitek's device reports VMG on the wind, which is the useful quantity.

My main point was that (nearly) any handheld gps can do as good a job as the Velocitek at reporting VMG w.r.t. the wind. All you need to do is set a waypoint very far away in the direction of the true wind, and set your gps to navigate to that waypoint - the VMG to that waypoint will very closely approximate VMG w.r.t. true wind, until the wind shifts. One way to handle this, is to pre-load your gps with with a circular distribution of waypoints far far away from your racing area - say every 5 degrees, every 2 degrees, whatever. Name them 0d, 5d, 10d etc. Now, it is a simple matter to navigate to a different waypoint if the wind shifts, and you will always have VMG w.r.t the wind. You only have to put these waypoints in once -as long as you don't change your sailing area.

I do agree that the Velocitek seems to have a large display that is better than any handheld for reading from a distance.

My other point wat that I always find that (on a boat with instruments) a knot meter is better for VMG analysis than a gps. What you really want is VMG on the wind, obtained using the knotmeter speed, and the masthead anemometer. But, sometimes the repeaters are giving VMG on the windward or leeward mark - a much less useful piece of information, and a source of great confusion.

On a boat without instruments, you have to use a gps, either in the manner I described, or something like the Velocitek.

Before I get flamed, there are times when VMG on the destination (a mark) is useful - mostly in distance racing, not in round-the-cans racing. Obviosuly the VMG and CMG info from the gps should be used to determine current velocity.

#40 Essex

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 02:45 PM

Well I just ordered one because....
$250 vs a GPS (presumably handheld) at $??
I got thru last season using my handheld GPS - problem was way too many features and buttons and small display, even with three on a boat seemed that some one had always been screwing around with it and had to page thru lots of other garbage just to get back to speed & heading (sometimes just because the unit got a kick during a gybe).
Teaky referred to his TackTick having same capability - so happens I was considering a Sailmaster package when this came along - way different ballpark on cost & capabilities (not to mention 3 thru hulls).
l may yet go that way but at this price point and simplicity of function, this product just earned a trial.

uhh make that 2 thru hulls

#41 overdraft

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 04:39 PM

I don't want a through hull so I've got a speedmate knotmeter, but the impeller fouls too quickly. For the price I might try this just to get a knotmeter on the boat that works reliably!

#42 Pete M

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 05:16 PM

thanks for commenting Rohan.

When I first read about it on the front page I didn’t get it, and dismissed it. After reading this thread, I’m now interested. When sailing on the skiffs one of my questions is VMG upwind, and especially when sailing alone. Could at least be a good “practice partner”.

#43 Mark K

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 05:39 PM

I don't need the bloody thing to tell
me if I am lifted or headed.

You MAY(not necessarily) be missing the point, e.g. downwind on boats that sail larger angles.

I you are from a skiff or tornado picking large angles and lifts/knocks downwind effectively may be second nature, but for the vast majority of bods from more 'normal' A to B boats this is definitely not the case.

For ppl entering the Assym. 'quick' (tacking downW.) world from other areas this new mousetrap would be a bonus.

Downwind tacking is not intuitive for most, or AS intuitive as Upwind.

Angle choice is waayyy larger than upwind, and you can't use the "sheeted on telltale" balanced groove to put you in the ballpark like upwind,
nor can you see the next mark as a reference to pick knocks/lifts, it's behind the sails.

I am saying this in the context of the fleet majority, not the dudes and pros at the 'sharp end' of the fleet who demonstratably have it sussed.

In this area it will be very useful combined with a sanity check/glance under the boom,

No ????? discuss !
.
.



No arguement here. I have sailed multis and skiffs as well as keel boats and
agree that DW VMG is sometimes difficult to get right. The header/lift
feature on most compasses isn't very usefull downwind unless
the wind velocity is very steady, however. Apparent wind
swings and all.

I sail with a blank horizon alot, so I am always checking the compass.
I am so used to keeping the numbers in my head, that I don't
use the head/lift feature on any of the gizmos I encounter.
If omitting that stuff makes the unit cheaper and perhaps
a bit more reliable, all the better.

I am addicted to digital compass displays, however. When
I have to keep track of the angles in a float compass it
gives me a headache now. This guy should be able to make
a simple compass for a 1/4 the tictack price if he can build
a GPS for $250. I suspect he could make it a wee bit longer
lasting and rugged, too.

Just personal preference, no saying it should be that way for everyone.

#44 peejay

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:05 PM

BTW - i don't get paid by velocitek if you are wondering.

Velocitek are listed as sponsors on www.rohanveal.com

#45 Velocitek

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 07:19 PM


BTW - i don't get paid by velocitek if you are wondering.

Velocitek are listed as sponsors on www.rohanveal.com


We lend him prototypes before they are available to the general public. Nothing else. If the stuff didn't help him sail faster, there would be nothing in it for him.

#46 rohan veal

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:37 AM

When sailing on the skiffs one of my questions is VMG upwind, and especially when sailing alone. Could at least be a good “practice partner”.


that is exactly what i use it for.

#47 BIAM

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:43 AM

the man has credentials.........

#48 Steve Adolph

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 03:00 AM

To Velocitek-
My experience developing tech products has been to not tell the customer what they need. Rather it is to listen to them and give them what they want. If you had feedback that people wanted a third digit you should have done it even if it turned out to be not necessary. Why? Because they want it. IMHO.

#49 Pete M

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 03:12 AM

steve - It might have been a cost thing – another digit would add 50% frontal area and volume too. The existing S3 speed only unit for the windsurfers was already 2 digit and the S5 VMG unit is in the same package

#50 Velocitek

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 06:47 AM

To Velocitek-
My experience developing tech products has been to not tell the customer what they need. Rather it is to listen to them and give them what they want. If you had feedback that people wanted a third digit you should have done it even if it turned out to be not necessary. Why? Because they want it. IMHO.


I think you're right. From a marketing perspective, it would have been better to go with three digits. From a performance perspective, I think two was the right choice.

Hopefully the performance of our products on the water will win over the skeptics.

#51 NeverIn

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 08:42 PM

I don't want a through hull so I've got a speedmate knotmeter, but the impeller fouls too quickly. For the price I might try this just to get a knotmeter on the boat that works reliably!


Bad experience with speedmate me too.

#52 sailher

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 02:20 PM

I don't want a through hull so I've got a speedmate knotmeter, but the impeller fouls too quickly. For the price I might try this just to get a knotmeter on the boat that works reliably!

The resolutions of my through hull is .01 kts. The Velocitek has a resolution of .2 knots!. I think the unit will work great for boats that are fast, such as foil boats, cats, boards. I don't think it will work as well as traditional keelboats running 10kts or under for 95% of the time. For them the 10.50 to 11.49 kts is a massive advantage in speed taking considerable work to acheive. A moth can change 1kt is a blick of an eye. Two separate beasts.

That said, I'd love to see one in use. Over time I suspect the product will evolve and I'd love to see it kick tackticks butt in the price, usability, and customer support areas.

#53 Velocitek

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 10:04 PM


I don't want a through hull so I've got a speedmate knotmeter, but the impeller fouls too quickly. For the price I might try this just to get a knotmeter on the boat that works reliably!

The resolutions of my through hull is .01 kts. The Velocitek has a resolution of .2 knots!. I think the unit will work great for boats that are fast, such as foil boats, cats, boards. I don't think it will work as well as traditional keelboats running 10kts or under for 95% of the time. For them the 10.50 to 11.49 kts is a massive advantage in speed taking considerable work to acheive. A moth can change 1kt is a blick of an eye. Two separate beasts.

That said, I'd love to see one in use. Over time I suspect the product will evolve and I'd love to see it kick tackticks butt in the price, usability, and customer support areas.


I basically agree with what you are saying. I would just like to clarify one point. Resolution and accuracy are two different things. Your through hull sensor has .01 knot resolution but it is quite unlikely that the device is accurate to a hundredth of a knot.

Just because the readout shows you a very precise number doesn't mean the device's accuracy matches its precision. For example, we could add three more decimal places to our display and show random numbers on them. We could then boast 0.0001 knot resolution but our device wouldn't be any more accurate as a result.

#54 Pete M

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 04:41 PM

Got out for a couple of days practice this weekend on the I14 – also finally got the velocitek thingy to work in the VMG mode.

Used it in the ~10 kt breeze with cross direction swell & chop. Found it useful for immediate feedback upwind in the waves and working some wave steering - boat handling techniques, as well as downwind now and again where, when it got lighter, we made better VMG going one wire and soaking low in the waves vs. going two wire and having to heat up to get over the top of the waves. The feedback seemed useful, as we don’t have a training partner in my area.

Some Velocitek observations:
1. There is a bit of a damping delay – couple of seconds maybe.
2. Never did get the upwind – downwind points right. The machine always read different from left to right, however the relative high number was what we were looking for, so it seemed to work ok.
3. It reset all by itself once, I think a line may have been touching a button – so I guess we need to use the locking feature. Not too big of a problem in the steady wind direction of So Cal.
4. Polarized glasses are a problem with seeing the display, but not much you can do about that save going to std lenses.
5. We McGuivered up a system to tack the display from side to side on the mast for better visibility. Actually worked ok – if I was as handy as Trevor B it would do it automatically.

Actually a good couple of days – did a bunch of stop - start drills too. It always takes longer than you think to get up to full speed – even in a skiff.

#55 RosieII

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 03:03 AM

[quote name='rohan veal' date='Apr 25 2006, 09:40 PM' post='715571']
hi guys,

I was using the S3 for about 6 months and used it all the time. such a simple and bullet proof design and massive number displays unlike anything else out there. i also expressed my concerns to alec from velocitek about displaying three digits and he changed the design as so you have the option to display in X.X or XX units on loading.

We rarely go over the 10 kt mark on our 28ft cruiser/racer. Will the X.X option be any benefit to picking shifts with our windward/leeward races? At the moment we just use a speedo and gimbled compass.

#56 Velocitek

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 06:28 AM

[quote name='RosieII' date='Jul 31 2006, 08:03 PM' post='820378']
[quote name='rohan veal' date='Apr 25 2006, 09:40 PM' post='715571']
hi guys,

I was using the S3 for about 6 months and used it all the time. such a simple and bullet proof design and massive number displays unlike anything else out there. i also expressed my concerns to alec from velocitek about displaying three digits and he changed the design as so you have the option to display in X.X or XX units on loading.

We rarely go over the 10 kt mark on our 28ft cruiser/racer. Will the X.X option be any benefit to picking shifts with our windward/leeward races? At the moment we just use a speedo and gimbled compass.
[/quote]

In its current form the S5 has 0.1 knot resolution when your speed is under 10kts. Over 10 kts the resolution is 1 knot. This works out because as you go faster the random "noise" in your boatspeed from chop and swell gets bigger. Our testing has shown pretty conclusively that trying to keep track of tenths of a knot when you're over 10 knots is of very little value as boatspeed tends to bounce around at fairly high frequency in a 0.5 to 1 knot band.

#57 RosieII

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 12:19 AM

[quote name='Velocitek' date='Jul 31 2006, 10:28 PM' post='820529']
[quote name='RosieII' date='Jul 31 2006, 08:03 PM' post='820378']
[quote name='rohan veal' date='Apr 25 2006, 09:40 PM' post='715571']
hi guys,

I was using the S3 for about 6 months and used it all the time. such a simple and bullet proof design and massive number displays unlike anything else out there. i also expressed my concerns to alec from velocitek about displaying three digits and he changed the design as so you have the option to display in X.X or XX units on loading.

We rarely go over the 10 kt mark on our 28ft cruiser/racer. Will the X.X option be any benefit to picking shifts with our windward/leeward races? At the moment we just use a speedo and gimbled compass.
[/quote]

In its current form the S5 has 0.1 knot resolution when your speed is under 10kts. Over 10 kts the resolution is 1 knot. This works out because as you go faster the random "noise" in your boatspeed from chop and swell gets bigger. Our testing has shown pretty conclusively that trying to keep track of tenths of a knot when you're over 10 knots is of very little value as boatspeed tends to bounce around at fairly high frequency in a 0.5 to 1 knot band.
[/quote]

Sorry about not phrasing the question properly. I'll try again will the S5 be of any benefit to me in picking windshifts on our slow boat (average 5kts) when we race windward/leeward courses?

#58 Velocitek

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:44 PM

[quote name='RosieII' date='Aug 1 2006, 05:19 PM' post='821461']
[quote name='Velocitek' date='Jul 31 2006, 10:28 PM' post='820529']
[quote name='RosieII' date='Jul 31 2006, 08:03 PM' post='820378']
[quote name='rohan veal' date='Apr 25 2006, 09:40 PM' post='715571']
hi guys,

I was using the S3 for about 6 months and used it all the time. such a simple and bullet proof design and massive number displays unlike anything else out there. i also expressed my concerns to alec from velocitek about displaying three digits and he changed the design as so you have the option to display in X.X or XX units on loading.

We rarely go over the 10 kt mark on our 28ft cruiser/racer. Will the X.X option be any benefit to picking shifts with our windward/leeward races? At the moment we just use a speedo and gimbled compass.
[/quote]

In its current form the S5 has 0.1 knot resolution when your speed is under 10kts. Over 10 kts the resolution is 1 knot. This works out because as you go faster the random "noise" in your boatspeed from chop and swell gets bigger. Our testing has shown pretty conclusively that trying to keep track of tenths of a knot when you're over 10 knots is of very little value as boatspeed tends to bounce around at fairly high frequency in a 0.5 to 1 knot band.
[/quote]

Sorry about not phrasing the question properly. I'll try again will the S5 be of any benefit to me in picking windshifts on our slow boat (average 5kts) when we race windward/leeward courses?
[/quote]

Sorry for not answering your question properly the first time. At a boatspeed of 5 knots the S5 will be quite effective. Below 3 knots it starts to be less useful. Thanks for your interest.




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