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Casio PAW1200-8V Pathfinder Atomic Solar Triple Sensor image
 
(based on 2 ratings)
Brand: Casio
Located in: Add-on Gear, Compasses
Review Snapshot®
Avg. Customer Rating:
 
5 stars
(based on 2 reviews)

[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

 
A Precise Timepiece. NICE!
By YettiVerified Reviewer from Great Falls, VA on 2/17/2009
Pros:
Accurate, Atomic Clock Synched, Long Battery Life, Reliable Performance, Simple Controls, Solar Charged, Strong Construction
Cons:
Alarm Tone Low, LCD Contrast
Best Uses:
Backcountry Camping, Campgrounds
Describe Yourself:
Gearhead, Outdoor Enthusiast
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Casio Casio PAW1200-8V Pathfinder Atomic Solar Triple Sensor:

After spending a month researching the top 3 altimeter brands, I decided to go with the Casio Pathfinder PAW1200-8V. The 2 primary factors were the solar powered battery charger and the atomic clock time synch.Having owned a number of digital watches, one of big issues is battery replacement. Depending on how actively you use your digital watch features, you usually have to replace the battery every couple of years. For fear of damaging the rubber seal, I usually end up taking my watch in. So, I often end up taking the watch to a watch / jewelry store. Not too economical or eco friendly. With the new solar powered Casio Pathfinders, hopefully the intervals will be every 5 to 7 years. The other nice feature is the atomic clock. You do need to keep your watch in close proximity to a window to receive a strong signal. Per the Casio literature, the watch is accurate to within 15 seconds annually. So, you don't really need to synch up with an atomic clock every day. Nonetheless, a nice feature.The PAW1200 comes with a hefty user manual. Don't lose it! You are going to need it to learn how to adjust / set a dozen or so primary functions. Also if you're not a big outdoor enthusiast or weather buff, you're going to need to brush up on things like inches of mercury (inHG) versus hectopascal (hHg). And why we have LOW pressure fronts vs. HIGH pressure fronts. More important, how to read the various measurements and gauges on the watch as it relates to changes in atmospheric pressure. Keep in mind that the watch measures altitude based on atmospheric pressure. So, you have calibrate your watch based on where you are as it relates to current air pressure. For instance if you know your altitude is 300 ft. and you are heading out on a hike or climb, check your watch. See if your altitude is at the reference point. If not, you can easily adjust your altitude. The bottom line is, your altitude reading on the Casio Pathfinder will change depending on the air pressure (density). If you have a HIGH pressure front, both your altitude and barometric pressure will rise. Conversely, your altitude reading will drop when a LOW pressure front moves in. So, will your altitude reading. This is consistent with other reviews I have seen with altimeter watches. You don't need to adjust the barometer. Calibrated at the factory. I did change my units from hectopascal to inHG. The watch does a good job mapping 24 hour trends. Just remember that pressure rises (air is heavier) with a HIGH front. Conversely pressure drops (air is actually less dense with moisture) with a LOW front. For instance a normal HIGH pressure front measured at sea level is 29.92 inHG. Anything less than normal, denotes LOW front moving in. A general rule, for every 1,000 ft. rise in altitude (up to 18,000 ft.) barometric pressure drops 1 inHG.I am not sure if you could use the compass as a substitute for your GPS / built in compass or your regular charting compass. At least not for extensive backcountry hiking. Why? You need to keep the watch absolutely level and away from any magnetic fields (motors, metal, objects, etc.) to get a precise reading. However, it provides another data point to validate your heading. I did do several bidirectional calibrations per user manual. I also set my 12 o'clock north heading to TRUE NORTH vs. the default MAGNETIC NORTH. I looked up the declination for my primary zip code (home waypoint). Remember, as with your altitude, to be precise you need to calibrate (rather adjust) your compass based on your environment. Also don't forget to look up your declination before you start charting your hike/climb. I am in the northern portion of Virginia, so my declination is 10 degrees west. So, I have to subtract 10 degrees from my MAGNETIC NORTH bezel angle. You can find your zip code declination by visiting the National Geophysical Data Center's website [@]Although, you have 5 daily alarms, they are globally set to ON or OFF 7 days a week. A weekend or weekday version would be nice. So, don't forget to turn your default morning alarm setting OFF before the weekend. I wish little stuff like that would work like the basic digital timepieces. I remember Nike has a digital timepiece that would even let you set each alarm by individual day of the week. Hopefully the next release of the Casio Pathfinder will have 5 daily alarms that are individually customizable by each day of the week (for instance you could set it by weekday, weekend, or individual day). The alarm is not as audible as some of my old digital watches. Thus far, I have found only one default tone. For a watch this size, the alarm should be a bit louder.Although, you can set the calendar by either the date (...like MON) or the date (...2-17), a one line with all would be nice (...MON 2-17-09). Little details I guess. The center LCD display characters are big enough for someone into bifocals. However, the off center display characters (none primary) could be a bit bigger. Again, with a watch this size, I am not sure why the characters are not bigger all around.I like the case housing design. It does not look anything like the traditional Casio G-Shock. The integrated rubber watch band (on PAW1200-8V, -1V, -3V) makes the watch look more oval than round. A bit like the Suunto. The control buttons are flush and don't stick out like dials on a radio.When you get the watch, don't forget to set your Home Zone (city that reflects your time zone) and give your watch a good solar charge; if the seller has not done this prior to shipping the watch. I set mine by the window for a couple hours, and have not seen the charge indicator drop from the MAX position for past week. NOT BAD! NICE. Again, the watch also keeps track of the last time it received an atomic clock signal. You have the option of turning the atomic receiver to AUTOMATIC or OFF. The latter would be how all other digital watches work; once a year you manually set your time.In general, I very pleased with the watch. Lots to learn with respect to physics of atmospheric changes. I just wish the LCD contrast was better. The characters are in black against a light olive background. It would be nice if it were against a white background. Remember the face of the watch is your solar pane.I purchased my watch from Sunny Sports via [...]. I highly recommend this seller (as on 2/15/09). Best price at the time [...]. The watch came in a nice carrying case and hefty user manual. The watch was already set for my time zone and successful atomic clock synch recently.YettiGreat Falls, VA

[1 of 1 customers found this review helpful]

 
Nice
By ajmVerified Purchaser from charlotte, NC on 1/7/2009
Pros:
Accurate, Easy To Set Up, Long Battery Life, Reliable Performance, Simple Controls, Strong Construction, Waterproof
Best Uses:
Backcountry Camping, Road Trips
Describe Yourself:
Outdoor Enthusiast
Bottom Line:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Comments about Casio Casio PAW1200-8V Pathfinder Atomic Solar Triple Sensor:

Hiking

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