Monday, October 7, 2013

Evanston: a speeding sofa; seamless

        While I am looking forward to using a sextant again, a positive review in PRACTICAL SAILOR and an unexpected payment for photographs used with one of my articles--photographers make the big bucks--resulted in my buying what will be the fifth GPS unit aboard GANNET, a Garmin Quatix watch.  The others are three Garmin handhelds and my iPad.  And if Apple ever gets the retina iPad mini into production, there will probably be a sixth.
        I’ve only had the Quatix a few days--and didn’t notice until I saw this photograph that I’ve already knocked some of the finish off the case--and  have only used it indoors or while riding in a car.  
        Naturally it needs a view of the sky to locate satellites, but once locked on manages to keep the signal until I stay far away from a window for several minutes .  
        In addition to providing position, the Quatix does a great many other things--actually too many--including being a remote for some Garmin autopilots and a display for NMEA 2000 instruments.  Managing all these functions with only four buttons--the fifth controls only the light--makes for a complex owner’s manual.
        For myself, the ability to see COG and SOG when in GANNET’s Great Cabin or at night on deck without having to shine a flashlight on the Velocitek, track to a waypoint, and the built in three axis compass which so far seems to remain accurate whatever the angle of my wrist, are most important.
        The SOG agreed with the speedometer in Carol’s car and the location is accurate, though the altitude is not.  Evanston is about 600’ above sea level.  I’m going to wait until I’m at sea level to make any necessary adjustments.
        All the GPS units I’ve ever owned tend to show erratic speed when stationary, but smooth out when underway.  The Quatix sometimes shows me making two or three knots while sitting on the sofa.
        It is a big watch and heavier than any of my others, but not uncomfortable on the wrist.
        The battery is said to last for up to six weeks in time mode and about sixteen hours when GPS is activated.  Naturally it comes with one more proprietary charging cord.         


        My transition from Evanston to San Diego would be seamless--the high temperature forecast for Wednesday in both places is a pleasant 68ºF/20ºC--were it not that there is a 50% chance of rain--in San Diego!