Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Suunto Ambit?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Jul 3, 2013
Anyone here have a Suunto Ambit? How has it worked out for you?

It seems like it would be great, but the battery life leaves something to be desired (what if you are out for more than 2 days?). How fast does it actually go through the battery? If GPS is disabled, do you still have full altimeter functionality?

FLAG
By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Jul 3, 2013
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the ...
I have one. If you are out for much more than two days with the GPS running the whole time on the 60s interval, it will die. For what it's worth, mine lasts longer than advertised when running at 1s intervals. The altimeter uses barometric pressure and not the GPS.

FLAG
By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Jul 3, 2013
So battery life will be (much?) better when using only as an altimeter/watch/compass, right?

More broadly, how do you like it? Would you recommend?

Thanks so much.

FLAG
By Brian Abram
From Columbia, SC
Jul 3, 2013
Brian Abram, leading pitch 2 of Dinkus Dog on the ...
If you are not running the GPS, it lasts weeks. Maybe more than a month. I'm not sure because I haven't gone that long before running the GPS and then recharging it.

Using the altimeter and compass often will probably drain the battery life a bit, but nothing like the GPS. The barometer seems to be as accurate as any I've used. The values it gives wind up being really really close to the reference values I'll see on a topo.

I really like it. The online interface is pretty slick once you get it figured out. It is worth it to go in and set up custom display modes depending on your activities and the information you actually care about seeing.

FLAG
By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2013
I've got one as well. I've been using it for both training (tracking distances, altitude gains/losses, etc.) as well as getting GPS tracks for mountaineering outings and expeditions that I later use to geotag photos. It's not perfect, but I'm glad I have it.

A few notes on the GPS, though. First, the accuracy can be pretty bad in steep terrain. According to my Ambit, I completed a 70 mile roundtrip on Longs Peak the other day (actual distance more like 13 miles). If you look at the track, you can see it bouncing around quite a lot and, unfortunately, the calculations count this sensor error as movement. Suunto has already discussed a max speed setting that may help here (if I'm hiking, I probably can't cover a mile in a minute). Ultimately, though, I believe the receive sensitivity is simply worse than a standalone GPS. My Garmin handheld runs circles around the Ambit in terms of accuracy. Unfortunately the accuracy only gets worse with layers, too. I tend to keep mine close to the outside, so this isn't a major problem. If you throw a jacket over it, though, the accuracy seems to get worse.

And yeah, the altimeter is just that, an altimeter. Provided you calibrate it regularly, it delivers very accurate results. Supposedly there is a storm alert, but I've never heard it (although I've admittedly never been out before a big storm with it).

Like all such watches, the thermometer is completely worthless, offering some average of your body temp through the layers underneath and the ambient. For the life of me, I don't understand why they bother.

I, too, have been pleasantly surprised with the battery life. As Brian said, though, if you're using the GPS feature for more than a day or two, you need to worry about recharging, though. I've been using the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus kit to charge both this and other devices and that has worked great.

BTW, they just came out with the Ambit2 as well as the Ambit2S, which ditches the barometer. Assuming you require a barometer, the Ambit2S is off the table. There are a couple differences between the original Ambit and the Ambit2, though. The big improvement as I understand it is that it uses GPS data to correct the altimeter. The Ambit will gladly tell you that you're thousands of feet away from GPS altitude if that's what the barometer indicates (due to bad calibration). Beyond that, the Ambit2 has more power (CPU and RAM) and there's some indication that Suunto will neglect the Ambit as time goes on and they release new software with new features. The GPS chipset and antenna appear to be the same, though, so I wouldn't expect any major improvements there.

FLAG
By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2013
Oh yeah, and to answer your specific altimeter question, the altimeter is always on. You need to help it a bit, though. Basically you need to tell it if you want it to assume changes are atmospheric (altitude constant) or altitude. Provided you use and calibrate it properly, though, it works quite well.

The compass technically has to be activated in order to use, but this is easy and you can do it anytime (either during an "activity" or in normal watch mode). Like Brian, I assume activating the compass will drain additional battery but nothing like the GPS.

I do believe the GPS could potentially save your ass, too, provided you can get a good fix. It's easy to mark waypoints on the fly and then you can later navigate to them (basically just an arrow and distance). I try to make a point to mark camps and critical routing points on the ascent. I haven't had to do it yet, but I feel like this gives me some insurance against getting stuck in low vis.

FLAG
By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Jul 6, 2013
This is all really helpful. Thanks very much for the responses.

FLAG
By Mark Pilate
Jul 11, 2013
Wfscot -- don't be too quick to dismiss the accuracy of that GPS! To me, that 70 miles is confirmation of what it feels like after a round trip on Long's

FLAG
 


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.