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View Full Version : Stargazer is Here!


BrianM
02-15-2008, 10:33 AM
FedEx man just knocked on my door and look what he brought. :dance: Thanks for the quick shipping Mike. :worthy:Should have it in the boat tonight and if the weather holds tomorrow morning I will give y'all a report on how it skis.

mcdoon
02-15-2008, 10:43 AM
Brian--Please give us the full report on cost, installation tricks, etc. when you're finished.

I've got an older PP installation and would gladly chuck it for something that performed better and was easier to use.

/edit/ Sorry, but I won't have any components to sell when I upgrade. My system is the "PP RPM Basic Cruise" and PP customer service tells me I'll be re-using everything I have but the two button dash control. Thanks for the asking though. Mike /edit/

BrianM
02-15-2008, 10:50 AM
One thing I notices is that the wire for the GPS antenna is only 6' long. This is going to limit the mounting location for many people depending on where the master module is. The manual says that the dash is fine through the windshield with a clear view of the sky. For my application the wire is long enough but if you wanted to route it to some place towards the rear of the boat or farther up on the bow that isn't going to be an option.

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 11:18 AM
From fedex.com, doesn't look like mine will be here until Monday. Wish I'd had it shipped to the house as our office is closed Monday. :(

As for the wire length, anyone who needs to can probably get an extension ordered from Perfect Pass. I've ordered one for my smart timer and it was reasonably priced and readily available.

BrianM
02-15-2008, 11:27 AM
The Stargazer manual is not up on PPs site yet. I had really wanted to read through about the changes. So I scanned the upgrade info slalom and wakeboard sections for anyone that is curious.

Hmm. The site is having problems. The PDF is small enough to post but I keep getting error messages. If anyone wants it PM me an email address and I'll shoot it to you.

shepherd
02-15-2008, 12:06 PM
I talked to my local shop yesterday about upgrading my boat to Stargazer. I'll also be interested to hear about your experience.

PM sent to you Brian.

oldriver
02-15-2008, 01:55 PM
hey all you future upgraders please remember us poor folks when it comes time to trash those old Master Modules.Lots of us wanting to build our own systems from your parts.
Thanks in advance

flipper
02-15-2008, 01:57 PM
hey all you future upgraders please remember us poor folks when it comes time to trash those old Master Modules.Lots of us wanting to build our own systems from your parts.
Thanks in advance

I'm with him!!!!

Sodar
02-15-2008, 01:59 PM
I am sure that their will be several more units coming up for sale in the very near future. I just sold mine and got someone into Wakeboard Pro PP for less than $600... a lot better than $1200 new!

bcampbe7
02-15-2008, 02:06 PM
What sort of connector is on the GPS puck?
I imagine it is some sort of PP proprietary connector but that puck looks identical to a Garmin GPS 18 puck. If it uses USB you can buy USB extension cables at Walmart pretty cheaply.

BrianM
02-15-2008, 03:17 PM
What sort of connector is on the GPS puck?
I imagine it is some sort of PP proprietary connector but that puck looks identical to a Garmin GPS 18 puck. If it uses USB you can buy USB extension cables at Walmart pretty cheaply.
The puck is a Garmin. Still says it right on the top. The plug is one of the little flat PP specific connectors.. You have to drill a 5/16 hole for the connector to fit through. I mounted my puck just in front of the glove box. The wire is small enough not to interfer with the lid closing. I then drilled the hole in the bottom corner of the glove box to get the wire through. Worked out great and I do not have a bunch of wire running across the dash or a hole in the dash itself. Depending on application you may be able to remove the entire dash pod and slip the wire through then reinstall but that would have been a ton of work. This looks super clean and was really easy to do.

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 04:40 PM
The puck is a Garmin. Still says it right on the top. The plug is one of the little flat PP specific connectors.. You have to drill a 5/16 hole for the connector to fit through. I mounted my puck just in front of the glove box. The wire is small enough not to interfer with the lid closing. I then drilled the hole in the bottom corner of the glove box to get the wire through. Worked out great and I do not have a bunch of wire running across the dash or a hole in the dash itself. Depending on application you may be able to remove the entire dash pod and slip the wire through then reinstall but that would have been a ton of work. This looks super clean and was really easy to do.

My plan is to go the dash pod route. Fortunately, not a ton of work in my case. :)

Sodar
02-15-2008, 04:44 PM
6' is kind of rough. I need to figure out a spot that is not affected by my bimini. I think if I mounted near my glove boxe or my winsheild, all spots would be affected.

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 04:48 PM
I emailed Gary at PP about the bimini and he said it shouldn't be a problem through the windshield and under the bimini. I'll be testing it before I do anything permenant though.

Open bows can be rough when running things from one side to the other, which is why I had to get that extension cable for my smart timer a few years back.

BrianM
02-15-2008, 04:49 PM
6' is kind of rough. I need to figure out a spot that is not affected by my bimini. I think if I mounted near my glove boxe or my winsheild, all spots would be affected.

According to PP ou should be OK with the bimini.

Sodar
02-15-2008, 04:51 PM
According to PP ou should be OK with the bimini.

I emailed Gary at PP about the bimini and he said it shouldn't be a problem through the windshield and under the bimini. I'll be testing it before I do anything permenant though.

Open bows can be rough when running things from one side to the other, which is why I had to get that extension cable for my smart timer a few years back.

Really? I guess that makes sense though... I have used my handheld under the bimini and it has worked.

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 04:54 PM
Really? I guess that makes sense though... I have used my handheld under the bimini and it has worked.

My guess is that it may take a bit longer to lock on cold, but won't be a problem once it does. Once locked on, my Garmin street pilot will work in the recess under the dash of my Honda.

Farmer Ted
02-15-2008, 04:58 PM
6' is kind of rough. I need to figure out a spot that is not affected by my bimini. I think if I mounted near my glove boxe or my winsheild, all spots would be affected.


you should be ok under your bimini unless it's constructed entirley out of metal......

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 04:59 PM
you should be ok under your bimini unless it's constructed entirley out of metal......

Well, Sodar(ski) does have that tower with which to contend. :)

Farmer Ted
02-15-2008, 05:16 PM
Well, Sodar(ski) does have that tower with which to contend. :)



luckily his bimini top is not made of a web of copper wire that would shield the signal from the antenna

what are all you guys going to do if DOD introduces the error backinto the system?

BrianM
02-15-2008, 05:18 PM
what are all you guys going to do if DOD introduces the error backinto the system?
I have no idea. Now that I am connected to the mother ship I guess I would just say beam ne up Scotty!

André
02-15-2008, 05:26 PM
So you guys know for sure if you have to enter crew and skier weight for the Stargazer (hate the name...) unit to work properly?

Brian
Didn't you already had a larger display?

jimmer2880
02-15-2008, 05:37 PM
In my Jeep Wrangler (soft top), there was a difference between under the top and outside of the top. The GPS would still work, but took longer to lock on, and "seemed" to not be quite as quick to update position. It was very functional though. This was a Garman, GPS V (I believe, it wasn't mine).

However, I will say that I am very amazed at how good my TomTom is, even inside of parking garages (Ok - need to be within 50' of the side of the garage, but that is still pretty good).

My point is, If possible, I would try to locate the puck where it didn't have to shoot through the bimini. But, I also wouldn't worry about it too much if that's the best place for it.

BrianM
02-15-2008, 05:40 PM
So you guys know for sure if you have to enter crew and skier weight for the Stargazer (hate the name...) unit to work properly?

Brian
Didn't you already had a larger display?

I had to change to the multiline as I was just running 6.5n. One thing to note for you 95-97 owners is they changed the angle at which the little clamp bracket on the back of the gauge sits. With the new configuration you cannot get the gauge panel back in. It happens to line up in exactly they wrong spot. My old single line gauge was the exact opposite orientation and I had no problems. Fortunately the gauge fits in the hole extremly tight and had to be worked into the hole very carefull pushing really firmly. So I just went without the bracket across the back. I do not think I will have a problem with it coming loose. If so I am going to have to rig up a different kind of bracket on the back.

Stargazer does not need skier weight. They say for optimum performance especially in short setups that you do need to enter crew weight. Says it will run good times without but the gate may not be right. Sounds like crew weight isn't near as important. More than likely for my needs just set it at a number that is close and then not worry about the 50lb or so difference between different drivers and spotters.

André
02-15-2008, 05:44 PM
When will you water test?
Hurry before Doug gets his !!!
Seriously looking at some RS 1 boots...:cool:

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 05:45 PM
luckily his bimini top is not made of a web of copper wire that would shield the signal from the antenna

what are all you guys going to do if DOD introduces the error backinto the system?

Digital Pro is still an option in this system if I recall correctly. Even with error, it can still adjust for speed, albeit not quite as frequently, right? Stargazer uses magnets to detect the entrance gates.

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 05:49 PM
When will you water test?
Hurry before Doug gets his !!!
Seriously looking at some RS 1 boots...:cool:

I've called FedEx and will pick mine up on Monday rather than have it delivered to the office. Brian will beat me to it, but I have Monday off, so I'll probably install it and go for a ride if the weather isn't as terrible as predicted.

BrianM
02-15-2008, 05:56 PM
When will you water test?
Hurry before Doug gets his !!!
Seriously looking at some RS 1 boots...:cool:
Weather is looking like I am going to be able to get a couple of sets in behind it tomorrow. Will report back. I am not expecting it to feel much if any different behind the boat. Ease of use already looks to be much better.

Now there is also a practice mode where you can change the slalom speeds in .1 mph increments. Before you had to go in and change baselines or mess with crew weight to try and get it to run in between speeds.

shepherd
02-15-2008, 06:06 PM
Now there is also a practice mode where you can change the slalom speeds in .1 mph increments. Before you had to go in and change baselines or mess with crew weight to try and get it to run in between speeds.

that's a nice feature

BrianM
02-15-2008, 06:08 PM
that's a nice feature

Yes it is. So now there are 3 slalom modes programmed in

GPS Slalom
GPS Practice
Classic Digital Pro (same as 6.5ng)

Chas
02-15-2008, 06:31 PM
Stargazer uses magnets to detect the entrance gates.

Could you expand on that please?

Thnx

east tx skier
02-15-2008, 06:51 PM
No expert here. That should've said magnet sensor to determine entry gate position. Perfect pass has traditionally used magnets at the gates, 3, gates position (or gates, 1, 3, gates; or all ball). The new system uses one magnet at the entry gates (2 total) to determine when the boat has entered the course. It uses GPS to plot the rest of the course for use in all ball timing, total course time, falls, etc.

So the advantage with the new system is that you don't need as many magnets in the course. But in the context I used it here, if there's error in the GPS, PP still knows it has entered the course. Doesn't necessarily help with the times though. Speed isn't adjusted too regularly based on GPS input though. So if there is inaccuracy in position (by adding error back into the signal), I don't know how it would affect the speed holding in SG.

jimmer2880
02-15-2008, 07:16 PM
.....
what are all you guys going to do if DOD introduces the error backinto the system?

If that happens, I'm putting the boat away, and bringing the guns out. I'd have to think that there would be too much heck to pay if they would introduce error unless the world was on fire.

shepherd
02-15-2008, 11:30 PM
If that happens, I'm putting the boat away, and bringing the guns out. I'd have to think that there would be too much heck to pay if they would introduce error unless the world was on fire.

That's what I was thinking. They wouldn't dare. :cool:

6ballsisall
02-15-2008, 11:33 PM
What is this "error" you speak of that the DOD can do???

jimmer2880
02-16-2008, 06:59 AM
What is this "error" you speak of that the DOD can do???

Basically, the DOD has the ability to add an "error level" to the GPS Sat's that will only allow your GPS devices to be accurate to within 50 feet. From what I understand, when the GPS Sat's were originally orbited, they had that turned on. But, since the mid-90's, they turned it off. That is basically, so that other organizations (terrorists, other countries) can't use our technology to attack us.

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 12:09 PM
Could you expand on that please?

Thnx

To add to East tx skier's answer, the system is also programmed to react in a very specific manner at the entry gate all the way to #1. The magnet is there to make sure of the accuracy of the entrance gate. With other the ''other system'', since all it does is is keep a constant speed not caring too much where you are in the course, accuracy of the entry gate is not as crucial.

With PPass, years of R&D and programming went into the programing of the system to make it react the same way as the best and softest boat drivers in the world would. The boat's entry gate speed and adjustment to the skier's pull is crucial to the skier's succes at ball one. Perfect Pass is programmed amazingly well to do that. All that Star Gazer is gonna do now is make the system much more accurate and take away the pain of skier weight and all of those things.

My opinion, CC is gonna regret big time having gone exclusively to ZO without waiting for PPass's answer. They're bragging about it, but I think they just stuck a foot in their mouth. We'll see. I havn't skied ZO, but apparently, just by the sound of the engine, you can tell it's a harder system to ski behind. But since I haven't tried it... who am I to talk?

Anyway, TT boats will have the two systems, so we'll know quickly enough. ;)

CarlosCabanas
02-16-2008, 12:19 PM
If the TT boats have two systems wouldn't they be fighting each other or have one system that was reacting faster rendering the other useless??

Farmer Ted
02-16-2008, 12:25 PM
If the TT boats have two systems wouldn't they be fighting each other or have one system that was reacting faster rendering the other useless??


I would imagine that one system would be in either Standby mode or used as a timing back up while the other system is controlling the engine

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 12:29 PM
I think it's more like: you turn one off while using the other one. But we'll see...

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 12:32 PM
Hey Carlos... how was the wedding? Honeymoon? We wanna see some pics:cool:

Congrats, by the way!

east tx skier
02-16-2008, 12:56 PM
To add to East tx skier's answer, the system is also programmed to react in a very specific manner at the entry gate all the way to #1. The magnet is there to make sure of the accuracy of the entrance gate. With other the ''other system'', since all it does is is keep a constant speed not caring too much where you are in the course, accuracy of the entry gate is not as crucial.

With PPass, years of R&D and programming went into the programing of the system to make it react the same way as the best and softest boat drivers in the world would. The boat's entry gate speed and adjustment to the skier's pull is crucial to the skier's succes at ball one. Perfect Pass is programmed amazingly well to do that. All that Star Gazer is gonna do now is make the system much more accurate and take away the pain of skier weight and all of those things.

My opinion, CC is gonna regret big time having gone exclusively to ZO without waiting for PPass's answer. They're bragging about it, but I think they just stuck a foot in their mouth. We'll see. I havn't skied ZO, but apparently, just by the sound of the engine, you can tell it's a harder system to ski behind. But since I haven't tried it... who am I to talk?

Anyway, TT boats will have the two systems, so we'll know quickly enough. ;)


Correct, at the gates, 6.5 ramps up rpms by a factor of 28% of skier weight that is held off initially. In the past, it has also reduced rpms at the 3 ball by the SSB (second segment balance) based on a preprogrammed variable by the user. I don't think SSB seems necessary in SG, but the ramp up at the gate seems like it would still be there since they have gone to the trouble of keeping an entry gate magnet. If it was necessary for timing, I'd think they'd go ahead and set it up to use an exit gate mag, too.

As far as I know, it will still run fine even on courses that have a traditional magnet setup, whichever setup it is.

CarlosCabanas
02-16-2008, 01:18 PM
Hey Carlos... how was the wedding? Honeymoon? We wanna see some pics:cool:

Congrats, by the way!


Thead Jack


Here's a picture for you!! The wedding was great!:D Didn't really go on a honeymoon cause we are already in Paradise!!:D

Carlos

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 01:35 PM
Holly macaroni! Paradise you say? You really look like you're in paradise. Looks very good man. Congrats again.

Your right: sorry for the thread jack. Let's get back to the real topic!

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 02:18 PM
Sorry, sorry. Thread jack again, but I just visited Carlos' home web page. I know where I'm taking my next vacation. Even if it's the wrong boat.;)

BrianM
02-16-2008, 02:22 PM
Got it out on the water today. Took about 5-10 minutes for it to aquire the signal first time. After that shutting the boat down and then restarting after switching skiers was locked on right away. I forgot to bring my manual this time out and managed to get the system stuck in GPS Slalom Calibration mode and couldn't figure out how to get it out. I skied it in that mode but think that the pull was off because of it.

Unfortunately I have to say that all of the menus are still totally archaic and not intuitive at all. I am sure once I get it setup and in the proper mode it will be much easier but going into the setup menus and sub menus is still totally confusing.

Stay tuned for more....................

Benny Boy
02-16-2008, 02:31 PM
I was really hoping for a more user friendly menu. Personnally, I play in it every day, so it doesn't bother me too much, but I hate to hear that some people are gonna struggle with it again. Hope you have more positive feedback next time you try it.

Are you going to ski again this afternoon youuuuuuu...luuucky you?

j2nh
02-16-2008, 05:25 PM
Basically, the DOD has the ability to add an "error level" to the GPS Sat's that will only allow your GPS devices to be accurate to within 50 feet. From what I understand, when the GPS Sat's were originally orbited, they had that turned on. But, since the mid-90's, they turned it off. That is basically, so that other organizations (terrorists, other countries) can't use our technology to attack us.

Shouldn't make a difference even if DOD decided to turn the error back on. GPS speed is measured by the Doppler shift in the GPS radio signals and thus is an independent function of the location fix.

I was hoping for a more intuitive menu as well.

BrianM
02-16-2008, 06:39 PM
I was hoping for a more intuitive menu as well. For lack of a better word the menus suck! I will learn it just like I learned 6.5 but it is far from intuitive. Push ^ for some stuff v for other stuff but not always the same stuff. About the only thing that is constant is on/off is just that and menu moves the cursor/highlight. How about a simple Enter Button??

The one thing that really gets me is that now that there is no skier weight etc. the most important things in practice or a tournament would be course times and speed. Course times are simple, finish the pass and press ^ to see all buoy times on one page so that is a good thing. Speed on the other hand you have to press the menu button 3 times before you can change the speed. IMHO that should be the second thing you go to. Times just press up then change a skier menu once and then select speed. But no. The first press of the menu button selects the mode the second press gets you all of the secondary menu options and finally the third press gets you to be able to change the speed.

Oh and one other thing. There is still KX at least for the no DBW boats. The default is - but you can also choose + or ++. I guess this is similar to the A, B, C settings in Zero Off.

I am going to reserve final judgement until after I really get to ski it a few times but as of right now I would say upgrade if you have anything less than 6.5n. Upgrading 6.5n (which is what I did) is probably worth it but the change is not dramatic. If you have 6.5ng I would say stick with what you have for now and maybe next year they will clean up the menus some. But then again people have been asking for that forever from PP and it hasn't happened yet.

TX.X-30 fan
02-16-2008, 07:21 PM
Ok here's a stupid question, is it that hard to maintain the correct speed through the course with just throttle adjustments???? I do love the pp wakeboard pro its great for weedend wakeboard warriors. Far from perfect though as far as exact speed contol goes.

BrianM
02-16-2008, 11:03 PM
Ok here's a stupid question, is it that hard to maintain the correct speed through the course with just throttle adjustments???? I.
In a word YES!

TX.X-30 fan
02-17-2008, 11:16 AM
In a word YES!




Thanks Brian for that in-depth answer!! :D :D

BrianM
02-17-2008, 11:38 AM
Thanks Brian for that in-depth answer!! :D :D
Ok fine. Yes it is extremely hard for the average driver to maintain a good constant speed through the course. A steady pull is extremely critical in slalom. The pull across the wake can really slow the boat down and then the release at the ball can cause the boat to speed up a lot. Without a steady speed the boat can really work against the skier and make it very hard to run a pass. A bad driver throttling the boat at the wrong time could also lead to nasty falls.

Now a really good expert 'hand' driver can pull an extremely nice pass but that is such a small percentage of people. With PP you have eliminated the throttle aspect of the equasion and all they have to do is keep the boat in the middle of the course. Keeping a straight line is a challenge in itself so being able to just focus on boat path makes it much easier on the drivers and gives the skier a much better chance at getting a consistent pull.

stuartmcnair
02-17-2008, 03:03 PM
why don't they make a system that has a USB port so you could hook in a laptop for all configuration and information exchanges. Seems to me that would be a pretty simple thing to do.

TX.X-30 fan
02-17-2008, 04:08 PM
Now that was a great explanation Brian, I understand what your saying. I hope you get the new gadget fine tuned, and thanks for the slalom driving stuff.