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Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying an ABC(T) watch in the future, but I accidentally came accross this article, which states "there are so many inconsistencies and accuracy variances with ABC watches".
So my question to you is: how accurate are they? And with they I mean watches like the Rangeman (or Pro Trek, but this is a G-Shock subforum I believe).
I like the idea of having a watch with a built-in thermometer. Does anyone have compared the thermometer with another ("professional") thermometer and do they differ?

Kind regards,

tonyhenderson
 

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Welcome to the forum.

As the article states and we answer questions like yours regularly, the ABC watch is to be used for a back up.

The thermometer is accurate once off the wrist for 20 minutes or so. Most will strap the watch to their back packs.

Casio has accurate compass function on the their ABC watch's.

The altitude is determined by the barometer. So when the weather changes so does you altitude, even when you do not move. Casio's do not have MSL lock. This lack of MSL causes a few otherwise Casio diehards to look elsewhere for an ABC. However, when the altitude is set at the beginning of a hike then it will be accurate for that hike.

The Barometer is good for trends and being able to determine weather changes.

Others here have better/more experience using these in the field.

Member Hiker, I believe is in the mountains a lot and uses them. He may chime in in a day or two depending if he is hiking or not.

The older Pathfinders/ProTreks have accurate sensors they are just a little slower to calculate. Those use Version 2 sensors.

The G-Shock GW-9400 Rangeman, ProTrek PRW-3000, PRW-3500, PRG-270 use V3 sensors (faster, uses less energy, and will read the sensors longer than V2. That being stated. The V2 are still very good
 

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There are several interesting and passionate threads on the topic, but here's my opinion: the altimeter function on Casio's is terrible for getting your exact altitude, but excellent for telling you elevation change during your hike / run / ski / etc. I love my prg-270. uploadfromtaptalk1429150190577.jpg
 

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I have owned both the Suunto Core (in various models) and the Casio ABC watch (PRG270) and used them in hiking and up on mountains. I mentioned my experiences taking the Casio with me here https://www.watchuseek.com/f296/three-months-travelling-protrek-prg270-pic-heavy-1308290.html instead of the Suunto. I posted the reasons for my choice there, and they are very similar to the reasons mentioned in the article from your link.

I quite like the thermometer on my PRG270, and have calibrated it with a more accurate probe sensor thermometer, and it is still very closely synced to it. I calibrated it to the Suunto I have as well, and both seem to be reporting the correct temperature - the Casio shows temps to one decimal place, the Suunto rounds to nearest degree. I haven't calibrated it since, (almost 10 months ago) and it still corresponds with the probe sensor. But you need it to be off wrist for accurate temperature. I usually wear it on my backpack sternum strap when hiking, but if it is raining I have worn it on the outside of my rain jacket, and have found that in cooler climates my body heat doesn't transmit out through my midlayer and rain jacket to affect the temperature reading greatly. Also direct sunlight tends to increase the temperature reading significantly - like leaving the Casio on a window sill to charge up, it will report a higher than actual temperature.

For me the A (altimeter) functions work well if it is calibrated accordingly, and you understand that it is affected by weather and temperature changes. If it is a calm day the lower pressure while ascending on a hike registers as an accurate increase in elevation on the watch. I've set my GPS to record barometer chart as well as the GPS elevation (with barometric altimeter turned off), and have compared that with manual records of the barometer readings reported by the Suunto Core, and both were close. I haven't done the same with my Casio as yet, but should do that on my next hike if I remember.

The B (Barometer) function again works well, when you recognize that the Altimeter reported from the above is derived from the barometer through a mathematical relationship. I tend to use the B function more when walking that the A function as a guide to the weather. Of course if on mountains, you need to be aware of the corresponding normal barometric pressure for the elevation you are at for you to understand what is happening with the weather. So as an example, if I am at 8000' (2438m) elevation the absolute atmospheric pressure should be around 753hPa (22.2inHg / 564mmHg). Then while I am this altitude, and the watch says 750hPa, it is not because the weather is turning, but because I am at this altitude. But if the watch shows <700hPa while I am at this altitude, it could be a sign that the weather is turning. You also have to be aware of pressure changes caused by windy conditions and your physical location when taking the readings. I made a small excel chart of air pressure/elevation based on the mathematical formula. A similar chart is shown here Air Pressure and Altitude above Sea Level

For the C (compass) function, I've found it to be mostly accurate. I haven't used it for navigation while hiking (I use my real compass and GPS for that) but have found it handy traveling in new cities when I have a tourist map and I need to quickly see which direction I'm facing. There have been some glitches on my PRG270 compass though. I noticed it was pointing in the incorrect direction while I was traveling and had to try re calibrate it. I can't reproduce the error, and it has seemed to be functioning correctly since.
 

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Hopefully this isn't so old I'm offending anyone. At least it's first page.

Accuracy and immediacy of a reading with an ABC watch seems to be the #1 concern of recent buyers on the reviews hosted by vendors. With a temperature function, many consumers seem to think an electronic sensor should come calibrated to show air temperature regardless of how it's worn. Give it some thought - any thermometer worn close to the skin won't show air temperature. It will reflect being in constant proximity to 85 degrees of surface body heat. Insulate it under winter clothing and it will be even further divorced from exposure to air temps. Expose it to direct sun and it will be hotter than the air - hood temps of a black painted car can exceed 130 degrees and that is the point of solar heating.

You can test it yourself - take a thermometer from indoors or out and place it next to the other. Even a simple mechanical thermometer - spring, mercury, or red alcohol will take some time to acclimate. The only device I'm familiar that can deliver a quick reading would be an IR temp gun - and they only work on solid objects, not air.

Compasses are another item of some discussion. In orienteering, precision is a must, but if you are land navigating with a map, the compass is used to give a cardinal direction to observe a terrain feature visible above the nearby vegetation. You travel to it - as the ground can be rough and even dangerous, constantly observing a compass needle may be difficult if not impossible. If the task requires that level of intensity, it may be necessary to pair up with an observer and guide using a normal compass.

A combination instrument will always create a balance of compromises - in this case, the primary purpose of the device is to tell time, which they do in wide variety of accurate and different ways. Adding more functions means adding more points of conflict. A temp sensor impedes the structural integrity of a Dive rating meant to withstand high pressure, a compass will be affected by other ferrous metal objects in close proximity. Certain grades of stainless are magnetic. At the price points of some popular watches, some features are almost unreasonably present now - ten years ago it was nearly impossible to offer the performance at twice their current street price.

Take it all with a grain of salt and enjoy them for what they are - you do get what you pay for to some degree, but after a certain point watches sell on their reputation more than performance. Therefore, it always comes down to Caveat Emptor - let the buyer be aware.
 

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No question the older models worked. The immediacy issue is one I've been reading of late, tho.

It was the same with the early Bushnell GPS budget units. People were expecting them to instantly display a direction and distance from the last way point - indoors - at all times. The notion that the unit had to triangulate two weak satellite signals from 10,000 miles up was never explained.

I have anecdotally observed that the number of complaints seem to go up as the price goes down. I believe there is more demographics to that than a difference in the actual performance.
 

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thermometer is actually quiet useful if you know how to use it.as do other features.
after all barometer fluctuations are related to various weather conditions to expect later.having baro/thermo data plus compass / altimeter for orienteering in a watch is big plus.and with build and durability of protreks if price is not too high than I guess everyone must have one abc watch atleast....
solar pathfinders with atomic time are so convenient..never need battery replacement or time setting.this alone justifies their price pint to some degree atleast.

as for veion 2 and 3 sensors.I find little diference between two if any.if i get data one second faster in vers 3 than is not a big deal for me.but bit longer battery life is a plus I guess.accuracy wise I found no difference.
 

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Battery life is also big factor to schoise an ABC watch.If you can activity and extreem sports will take any watch model,with battery or rechargeble.If you go to long travel or stay long time in wild places its better shoise an Casio Tough Solar,never needs power sources and batteryes.
 
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