Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SPEEDPUCK


Introducing the latest innovation from the folks at Velocitek; the Speedpuck. For those not familiar with Velocitek they currently offer the SC-1. The Speedpuck is basically a slimmed down version. It will give you speed, heading & a graphical wind shift indicator (the little bars on the top of the display). You give up some of the fancy extras you can get in the SC-1 like distance to line and VMG in favor of a smaller, easier to operate unit. I wouldn't exactly say it fits in the palm of your hand, but the picture on the right gives a pretty good idea of the size. There's only the one button on the unit; hold it down to turn it on/off and push it to change from speed to heading mode. There have definitely been some KISS principles applied to the design here - and I think the result is pretty sweet.

The unit is powered by 3 AA batteries accessed by unscrewing the back of the unit. The USB connection is also accessed in the same way. The guts of the unit are sealed off in a separate compartment to ensure watertight operation - see below. Just like the SC-1 you can connect the Speedpuck to your computer via the USB port and download the GSP file. You can then view your GPS track in a suitable viewer. It also has a recall for maximum speed for....well, it's pretty much just good for trying to impress your friends.

These GPS speed displays have come a long way in the past few years - when they started it was pretty much just about some Moth guys bragging about how fast they went but now they're a replacement for your old compass and much more. For those who really want the nifty features found in the SC-1 like that handy distance to line function (being OCS becomes the computer's fault instead of the bowman) then this probably isn't the unit for you. For the guys who just want to know which way we're going and how fast we're getting there, the Speedpuck is perfect. The smaller size and single, easy to use button are perfect for getting the data you really need, when you need it.

At $339 the Speedpuck isn't exactly stocking stuffer material - but it's pretty cheap even compared to other digital compasses and even some old school compasses. We're pre-ordering some and expect to have them before Christmas. I don't know how many "some" will be yet and supplies will be limited until after the Holidays but keep an eye out for more information to come on these.

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