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Discussion Starter #1
... and how well does it work? I really like the idea of having a compass on a G-Shock but do they work reliably and well, from a car for example? I've heard they work better outside, 'in the wilderness'.
 

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MOST compasses aren't going to work in a car, surrounded by large chunks of metal -- and the compasses in G-Shocks are no exception. They work best when they're away from large pieces of metal (like cars and buildings) and away from electrical fields (as also found in buildings and cars.)

In the ancient days of paper maps (long before GPS and smartphones) there were relatively inexpensive "stick on" car compasses for dashboards that didn't work particularly well. There were also higher priced versions that allowed the car owner to turn a couple of small adjustment screws until the compass was properly adjusted to work inside that particular car's magnetic field -- but the compass had to be mounted TO the vehicle for it to work properly, since moving the compass a few feet across the dashboard could throw off those adjustments. When people sold their cars, if they took their compass out and put it in the new car, the compass had to be re-calibrated.

From every thread I've seen around here, most G-Shock compasses are RELATIVELY accurate outdoors and able to find "north" within a few degrees. That's probably okay if you're standing at a crossroads on a cloudy day, wondering which way is east, but they're NOT considered accurate enough for hard-core orienteering or if you need to to find an exact azimuth of 263 degrees.

Current Casio models with a compass include the G- and GW-9300 Mudman, the GW-9400 Rangeman, and virtually every Pro Trek or Pathfinder model. Pro Treks/Pathfinders also usually include altimeter, barometer and thermometer features as well. Pro Treks may not be QUITE as tough as G-Shocks, but they can probably handle 90% of the abuse and still function perfectly -- their minor Achilles' heel are usually metal bezels which will show signs of minor dings and scrapes that a resin G-Shock bezel wouldn't show.
 

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Current Casio models with a compass include the G- and GW-9300 Mudman, the GW-9400 Rangeman, and virtually every Pro Trek or Pathfinder model. Pro Treks/Pathfinders also usually include altimeter, barometer and thermometer features as well. Pro Treks may not be QUITE as tough as G-Shocks, but they can probably handle 90% of the abuse and still function perfectly -- their minor Achilles' heel are usually metal bezels which will show signs of minor dings and scrapes that a resin G-Shock bezel wouldn't show.
But on the other hand, all ProTrek/Pathfinder models I've seen use the full display diameter for the compass, rather than the little eye used on the G-Shocks. This makes the compass easier to read.
 

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No a compass will not work in a car IMO.

The best non G-Shock, Pathfinder, Pro Trek, Casio I've found is the SGW-100. It uses the outer ring for the compass pointer, has a tough as nails case, has mineral glass crystal, plus big digits, and 200m WR. The EL lights up the digits only and not the whole display so as not to mess up your night vision. It can be had in resin strap or fabric strap versions. There are even models now that use multi colored cases and negative lcds. All that for around $50.
P1050002.JPG
 

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No a compass will not work in a car IMO.

The best non G-Shock, Pathfinder, Pro Trek, Casio I've found is the SGW-100. It uses the outer ring for the compass pointer, has a tough as nails case, has mineral glass crystal, plus big digits, and 200m WR. The EL lights up the digits only and not the whole display so as not to mess up your night vision. It can be had in resin strap or fabric strap versions. There are even models now that use multi colored cases and negative lcds. All that for around $50.
View attachment 6746994
I have one of these with the green case and green fabric strap. The display is very crisp with a lot of contrast. It's probably among the best displays on any of my digital watches. I like the blue and green tinted areas too.
 

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But on the other hand, all ProTrek/Pathfinder models I've seen use the full display diameter for the compass, rather than the little eye used on the G-Shocks. This makes the compass easier to read.
I have several Pathfinders but zero G-Shocks with compasses, so I had no idea G's didn't use the whole display for that as well! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very nice Rocat -- very legible screen and only $47!

It has been out for a while. If I understand correctly, this remains your favorite Casio with a compass -- or are there Pathfinders/Pro Treks you prefer?

Thanks.
John

No a compass will not work in a car IMO.

The best non G-Shock, Pathfinder, Pro Trek, Casio I've found is the SGW-100. It uses the outer ring for the compass pointer, has a tough as nails case, has mineral glass crystal, plus big digits, and 200m WR. The EL lights up the digits only and not the whole display so as not to mess up your night vision. It can be had in resin strap or fabric strap versions. There are even models now that use multi colored cases and negative lcds. All that for around $50.
View attachment 6746994
 

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Very nice Rocat -- very legible screen and only $47!

It has been out for a while. If I understand correctly, this remains your favorite Casio with a compass -- or are there Pathfinders/Pro Treks you prefer?

Thanks.
John

My favorite is the PAG-80 (older sensors) that I added a fabric strap to replace the standard resin strap. The fabric strap is from a Japan only model.
PC300063.JPG P6140009.JPG

My next one is the standard PRG-270. Bottom right in picture.
P2260112.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
rocat, what is it about some of these older models that you like the most (e.g,. PAG-80, SGW-100)? Is it the fact that they're trimmer and less bulky, as well as reasonably priced? Regarding the compass function specifically, my understanding is that the newer models allow for 60 rather than 20 seconds of continuous compass use, as well as quicker initial response time.
 

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rocat, what is it about some of these older models that you like the most (e.g,. PAG-80, SGW-100)? Is it the fact that they're trimmer and less bulky, as well as reasonably priced? Regarding the compass function specifically, my understanding is that the newer models allow for 60 rather than 20 seconds of continuous compass use, as well as quicker initial response time.
People love different models for all kinds of reasons. A lot of people at this forum absolutely adore the "classic square" G-Shocks, which probably puzzles many Casio engineers and salespeople all over the world as Casio makes newer and shinier models.

One of the nicest things about the SGW-100 (which I don't own) is that it's EXTREMELY affordable compared to most G-Shocks that feature a compass and compared to every Pro Trek/Pathfinder. From pictures on this forum, it also appears to be smaller than most offerings from the "outdoorsy" Pro Trek line.

One of the nice things about the PAG-80 (I own the solar/atomic version) is that it has an ENORMOUS display and it's easy to tell time at a glance. Rocat's fabric strap is also evidence that a lot of older Casios are more "customizable" because there are other, similar models that feature interchangeable parts.

However, the PAG-80 is NOT "trimmer and less bulky" when compared to other watches! Casio has apparently made an effort to make some of their newer Pro Treks slimmer and smaller in size, because some of their earliest ones don't fit that well under shirt or jacket sleeves. The PAG-80 looks enormous on paper, with some of the largest dimensions on Casio's website, but as often happens that's because of the way Casio measures their watches -- but even measured normally it's still a big watch! (I like mine a lot, but have trouble wearing it with some winter coat sleeves.)

paw 1100 v mtg 900 v gw 5600j.jpg

PAW-1100 left (uses same case as PAG-80), MTG-900 middle, "normal" sized square GW-5600J right.

60 seconds of compass functionality also sounds good on paper, but does anybody actually NEED that much time to take a compass reading?! Casio is understandably proud of the fact that their new version 3.0 sensors are more accurate, faster, and use less battery power, but a full minute is a long time to be staring at a compass, especially when it's an electronic one and there's no need to wait for a mechanical needle to stop swinging back and forth.
 

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I have several Pathfinders but zero G-Shocks with compasses, so I had no idea G's didn't use the whole display for that as well! :)
I like the compass on my PAW-2000, which has the duplex display. This Casio picture is Photoshopped to give higher than normal contrast, but you get the idea.





This gives a better representation of what it really looks like:

 

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rocat, what is it about some of these older models that you like the most (e.g,. PAG-80, SGW-100)? Is it the fact that they're trimmer and less bulky, as well as reasonably priced? Regarding the compass function specifically, my understanding is that the newer models allow for 60 rather than 20 seconds of continuous compass use, as well as quicker initial response time.


The looks are the main reason for the PAG-80. It's a massive watch but wears great due to strap. Yes, the newer V.3 sensors are more efficient and will stay in mode longer. But as far as accuracy, there is no difference.
 

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Yes, the newer V.3 sensors are more efficient and will stay in mode longer. But as far as accuracy, there is no difference.
The V.3 sensors also have better precision (smaller measurement unit) in the altimeter mode compared to the V.2 sensors (1 m/5 ft versus 5 m/20 ft). The barometer precision is the same (1 hPa/0.05 inHg), even though the altimeter reading is based on the same pressure sensor as the barometer reading.
 

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Let's not forget about some other models that have compasses like the Gulfmaster, Mudmaster, and others not normally thought of maybe as having a compass such as the GW-A1100 Aviator...

The cool thing (to me) about ana-digi models like the Gulfmaster and Mudmaster is that in compass mode, the second hand becomes the compass pointer, and the little digital window shows direction, and degrees. (such as "WSW 240") I think that's pretty cool!! Even though, I personally have not used my compasses on those watches since I have not needed it. ;-)
 
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Let's not forget about some other models that have compasses like the Gulfmaster, Mudmaster, and others not normally thought of maybe as having a compass such as the GW-A1100 Aviator...

The cool thing (to me) about ana-digi models like the Gulfmaster and Mudmaster is that in compass mode, the second hand becomes the compass pointer, and the little digital window shows direction, and degrees. (such as "WSW 240") I think that's pretty cool!! Even though, I personally have not used my compasses on those watches since I have not needed it. ;-)
Yes, the compass on the ana-digi Gulfmaster, Mudmaster and PRW-6000 is more useful than the compass on an all-analog Casio, because it simultaneously shows both north and the direction the watch is pointed, as you indicated.
 

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Some good ideas here.

To venture out to other makes...can anybody compare the Casio offerings to the Suunto (maybe Core?) offerings?
I am looking for an ABC watch for outdoor use. While Suunto has a large market share, I really love the build of my old Mudman.
 
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