December 30, 2008

Location info on the Polar RS800cx

This is just a short note for the few people that are interested to see how the location information appear on the screen of the RS800cx during the exercise. As I wrote in my other articles here, here and here the RS800cx tracks location, but it does not display map or outline. It only shows the location coordinates as captured by the GPS unit and the number of satellites it has acquired (lower right corner). Below is the picture of the location screen.

Location info on RS800cx

You can access this screen from the pre-exercise or exercise pause screen. You get to the pre-exercise screen following ways:

  • Start from time screen and click the red start/lap button once. Wait for the unit to connect to the HR belt and then scroll to options and make sure the GPS is on. Switch on the G3 unit and wait for the watch and unit to start communicating. Once the connection is there and G3 acquires satellites the watch will display message 'Satellites found'. Now new option 'Location' appears in the menu. When you select it the above screen will appear.
  • Second way to get to this screen is from exercise mode. We assume that you exercise with GPS switched on and that the GPS unit communicates with the watch. Press the Stop button once to get to the pause screen. Then scroll down to the Location option and it will give you the location information.

It is fairly easy to use although it provides only basic location data. I do not really use this - well maybe except than to check whether the G3 has satellite connection and how many satellites it acquired. From Polar materials it is clear that the watch is not capable of navigation like the Garmin HRM units (Forerunner 305 / 405 or Edge 705) or X9i / X10 from Suunto. But that is not what it was designed for. I guess what it means is that if you seriously need navigation capabilities you may need to look at other unit or get a backup GPS navigation unit in your backpack. These days they put the GPS chips into pretty much everything. I have one in my cell phone, I have seen them in kids shoes and even pet collars.

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