What is the difference between Perfect Pass Digital Pro, Star Gaze, and Z box?
Originally posted by Eastie.
I'll see if I can answer these.
Perfect Pass Digital Pro is an older PP system. For slalom, it is rpm based system. That is, you run a timed pass in the course and it gives an rpm value for a particular speed. You add skier and crew weight to the equation and it adds rpm based on those values. It uses either a magnet sensor or a hand timer for timing and requires six magnets in the course for the former. It only makes two adjustments to the rpm---a ramp up in rpm based on 28% of skier weight to reach the baseline + skier and crew weight and an adjustment (a reduction I believe) at the 3 ball based on a second segment balance user input). Digital Pro is generally pretty reliable, but it is a "dumb" system.
Stargazer is a Pure GPS based system, that is, it continuously makes adjustments to an initial rpm baseline based on speed information it receives from a GPS antenna. The system traditionally required two magnets to determine where the course entry gates are. Thereafter, timing is based on a virtual slalom course. Version 8 does away with the need for magnets. Course entry gates are stored as waypoints. There are adjustments for how the system reacts at the gates, 1 ball, and 3 ball. Classic Perfect Pass, i.e., Digital Pro, remains an option in this system.
Stargazer with Zbox is intended to be a Zero Off emulator. It is an upgrade to SG, but the two can be purchased together. The zbox is a separate component that plugs in between the GPS antenna and the Master Module. It contains an accelerometer and causes the system to respond to the skier's pull. As a result, you can hear the engine rev/surge as the boat goes down the course. The system has ABC/123 settings in it just like zero off and the settings are intended to correspond with the same settings in ZO. Regular SG and Classic PP are included as options in the system. No magnets required. Zbox runs Software Version 8.0(z).
I currently have SG with Zbox and think it's great (I have had SG since the beginning and had DP before that. Times are consistent with SG/ZB within about 0.02 seconds ball to ball typically. Close enough for my amateur skiing.
All of the systems have trick and jump modes, too as well as wakeboard settings if you reset the system in WB mode. For Trick, if you have DP, you will need to use the Paddle Wheel to determine speed. In SG and SG/ZB, it uses the speed input from the GPS antenna. I never liked using the paddle wheel to determine speed. It never seemed to be too accurate on my boats. However, if you free ski in a river current, just remember that GPS does not determine speed over water. Accordingly, you will need to run in practice mode and remove a couple of mph to account for the current.