PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Maintenance, accessories, operation. Anything to do with making your erg work.
RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » April 28th, 2016, 6:49 pm

Just a few:
  • Light turns of to quickly and though it should be trivial to make it configurable no such option is implemented
    On almost every workout the PM5 messes up the USB Logbook and data is lost
    Deleting the USB key automatically wipes all registrations of lifetime meters etc even though the same user is restored on the key and unless the thing was coded by a monkey it should be able to cache the user
    No way of showing drag factor during workout
    Battery life shows 100% right up to a sudden drop to 70% which is followed by the message "Unable to store the USB logbook due to low power" or something like that
    The users are identified by their individual USB Logbooks
    Compatible USB keys are no longer produced for any other use than cheap chinese keyrings... I have the original C2 but it still crasches
I have stopped using it to log my training because the poor quality and off putting errors make so angry that I want to throw the thing out of the window. I have almost zero motivation left and I even resent using the Model D with PM4 at work beacause it reminds me of the disaster I have bougt.

I had my Model C with PM2+ for 14 years and I should never have bought the Model D with PM5 :x

If I can find a way to swap the PM5 with a PM4 I may keep the erg otherwise some poor sod will get it cheap.

e-Clair
Paddler
Posts: 36
Joined: December 12th, 2015, 8:22 pm
Location: Florida, USA

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by e-Clair » April 28th, 2016, 8:47 pm

If you have a bluetooth device compatible with ErgData it records your workouts fine.

Sadly, the user-configurable workouts (only five of them!) require the usb device to program. And the pm5 forgets them when batteries are replaced. Hopefully, ErgData will be updated to allow us to save favorite workouts. Then we can forget the usb plug ever existed.

User avatar
bisqeet
10k Poster
Posts: 1471
Joined: July 20th, 2015, 3:17 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by bisqeet » April 28th, 2016, 11:41 pm

There is a problem with usb memory sticks in the pm5.
I had several issues as well. In the end I didn't use one. No problems.
But then that's not a problem with rowpro, but the pm5 hardware.

Why they didn't upgrade this to something more powerful (raspi, Android, win embedded) was probably a mistake, but probably had compatibility as a main reason...
Dean
2017 Season: 196cm / 92kg : M49
Training Log - ʕʘ̅͜ʘ̅ʔ -Blog
~seven days without rowing makes one weak~

User avatar
Carl Watts
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3092
Joined: January 8th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Location: NEW ZEALAND

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by Carl Watts » April 29th, 2016, 12:24 am

Got a Model D with a PM4 and am in no hurry to downgrade.

Get yourself a late model PM4 made after 2008, its the best monitor made. Rock solid as a stand alone and with RowPro and the firmware updated to the latest version allows connection to ANT+ devices.

I think the PM5 is going to take a couple of hardware revisions to come right. The PM4 is not perfect and they could have done a few things different, but these are still not fixed in the PM5 either.

If your serious about your training and keeping an accurate Log, you simply cannot take some of the PM5 problems as it currently stands.

Said here a while ago that Concept 2 should develop a "Smart Tach". Get rid of the monitor totally and just remold that plastic tach housing to make it bigger and put in a Bluetooth tach and run the "Monitor" as an App on Android and Windows 10 and iOS. The monitor arm could just be used to hold your smartphone or tablet etc. Instantly you have a full colour display and the possibility of audio for vision impaired rowers. Sit on the rower, pair it with the smart tach, run the App and start rowing. Perhaps it will be called the the ST1.

This could be done to dramatically reduce the hardware requirements. I could toss the PM monitor and the PC and run the whole thing through my new Sony Android TV thats on the wall in front of the rower. Rowing in Full HD has to be the way to go.
Carl Watts.
Age:52 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

jag
1k Poster
Posts: 117
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 12:41 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by jag » April 29th, 2016, 1:07 pm

I assume you are running the latest firmware, if not you need to upgrade. Based on the reports of you and others, there seem to still be issues with USB sticks. If you are still seeing problems with USB with the latest firmware, then until this is fixed, the workaround is simple - DON'T USE USB STICKS.

Someone else pointed out that "If you have a bluetooth device compatible with ErgData it records your workouts fine.". I'd like to add that I have never had any problem using the internal memory to store workouts - so you will get a reliable record of all your workouts by default if you don't plug in a USB stick. I am still using the batteries that shipped with the PM5 eight months ago and have not had to replace them. And the PM5 works great with every Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor I've tried it with.

The only complaint you made that I can identify with is the light going out quickly. But it turns back on as soon as you pull the handle and start rowing, so I don't really care.

lcantey
1k Poster
Posts: 120
Joined: January 20th, 2012, 2:45 pm
Location: Near Santa Cruz, CA

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by lcantey » April 29th, 2016, 1:32 pm

I know it's painful when the USB issues crop up and in general there are more problems than I'd like. I do think the benefits outweigh the limitations but look forward to improvements.

Tips:
1. Make sure you are up to date with your firmware.
2. After that if you still see regular USB issues try different USB sticks. The current draw is amazingly different between manufactures and even models.
3. Use a wall charger (any generic USB phone type) with USB cable to help with power draw.
4. Use ErgData if you can. Even when the PM5 gets wonky I still usually find the workout on ErgData and if not then in memory (or the stick).

I still get an occasional issue but haven't actually lost a workout since getting up to date.

RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » May 12th, 2016, 5:58 pm

Thanks for the replies :)
Just to make things clear: I am always using the latest "stable" firmware and has on a couple of occasions used beta-versions and submitted logs to C2.

As for the USB sticks: I have had some difficulty in finding USB sticks small enough and obsolete enough for the firmware to be compatible with filesystem etc. and as a result only use original C2 sticks. I am seriously considering going back to taking photos of the display and using the OCR-based registration I used on the PM2+ or "screenshotting" the ErgData app.

Why C2 hasn't just added a bluetooth connection and data-exchange format to the PM4 and put all the effort in switching to an iOS/Android interface is beyond my comprehension.

For the time being I have given up on using the PM5 for any serious registration and evaluation and only use my notes.

RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » May 12th, 2016, 6:07 pm

lcantey wrote: 4. Use ErgData if you can. Even when the PM5 gets wonky I still usually find the workout on ErgData and if not then in memory (or the stick).
Thank you for the hint: I need to look more into using the ErgData and how to get the data from that and to my beloved Excel analysis sheets :-)

lcantey
1k Poster
Posts: 120
Joined: January 20th, 2012, 2:45 pm
Location: Near Santa Cruz, CA

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by lcantey » May 12th, 2016, 6:09 pm

RowViking wrote:As for the USB sticks: I have had some difficulty in finding USB sticks small enough and obsolete enough for the firmware to be compatible with filesystem etc. and as a result only use original C2 sticks. I am seriously considering going back to taking photos of the display and using the OCR-based registration I used on the PM2+ or "screenshotting" the ErgData app.

Why C2 hasn't just added a bluetooth connection and data-exchange format to the PM4 and put all the effort in switching to an iOS/Android interface is beyond my comprehension.

For the time being I have given up on using the PM5 for any serious registration and evaluation and only use my notes.
I'm not sure why you would want to screenshot the ErgData app? If you are able to use bluetooth and ErgData then you don't need a USB stick at all. Just sync the workouts to the C2 log and all of that data is there and downloadable.

User avatar
Carl Watts
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3092
Joined: January 8th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Location: NEW ZEALAND

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by Carl Watts » May 12th, 2016, 7:39 pm

RowViking wrote:Thanks for the replies :)


Why C2 hasn't just added a bluetooth connection and data-exchange format to the PM4 and put all the effort in switching to an iOS/Android interface is beyond my comprehension.
The PM4 should have got Bluetooth in 2008 when they redesigned it. Instead they stuck with ANT which I understand is also a 2.4GHz system and as the whole wireless is a separate daughterboard which is screwed to the rear case it could have been a retrofit or I'm sure could have been designed with both ANT+ and Bluetooth. While ANT+ is great, it works fantastic with the Garmin chest straps, it was never taken up in the mobile phone or laptop market. By not using Bluetooth sooner has set back App developers nearly 10 years, which is a real shame because the likes of RowPro would now be huge with 10 times the number of users.

I'm not going to criticize the move to Android, this is a great step, I can get rid of the PC and just go direct into my Sony smart TV. The PM5 should be able to wirelessly link to the TV and the RowPro software should be an Android App. This is the ultimate set-up that both Concept 2 and Digital rowing should be working towards.

Totally wireless would mean I could wheel the rower out onto the driveway in the summer for the fresh air and watch the TV through the window and still row online !!!!
Carl Watts.
Age:52 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » May 13th, 2016, 7:04 pm

[quote="
lcantey wrote: I'm not sure why you would want to screenshot the ErgData app? If you are able to use bluetooth and ErgData then you don't need a USB stick at all. Just sync the workouts to the C2 log and all of that data is there and downloadable.
Only because of a lot of crashes leaving no data uploaded to C2 and the session corrupted. With the PM2+ I used a now sadly obsolete scripted solution taking a series of relatively low res digital photo of the display and via ocr pulling the numbers and inserting them in an excelsheet. Same solution as used monthly on my water, heating and electricity meters :mrgreen:

It has been a while since the last ErgData crash so I will give it another try.

User avatar
Carl Watts
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3092
Joined: January 8th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Location: NEW ZEALAND

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by Carl Watts » May 14th, 2016, 2:51 am

RowViking wrote:[quote="
lcantey wrote: I'm not sure why you would want to screenshot the ErgData app? If you are able to use bluetooth and ErgData then you don't need a USB stick at all. Just sync the workouts to the C2 log and all of that data is there and downloadable.
Only because of a lot of crashes leaving no data uploaded to C2 and the session corrupted. With the PM2+ I used a now sadly obsolete scripted solution taking a series of relatively low res digital photo of the display and via ocr pulling the numbers and inserting them in an excelsheet. Same solution as used monthly on my water, heating and electricity meters :mrgreen:

It has been a while since the last ErgData crash so I will give it another try.
The PM2+ still connects to Digital Rowings RowPro so you then have the RowPro LogBook.

You need a serial port on the PC to connect it to or else a decent serial to USB adapter like the Keyspan one and it works perfectly.

I would check your PM2+ is at least the Rev 2.1 version, this is printed inside the battery compartment. I did get an earlier version in for repair and couldn't get this to connect to RowPro. My first monitor was a PM2+ (Rev 2.1) and I pushed Digital rowing at the time to get it working correctly as there was all sorts of crashing reported as "Noise in the comm's" which was rubbish, it needed work on the software and it now works perfectly.
Carl Watts.
Age:52 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » May 14th, 2016, 6:13 pm

jag wrote:I assume you are running the latest firmware, if not you need to upgrade. Based on the reports of you and others, there seem to still be issues with USB sticks. If you are still seeing problems with USB with the latest firmware, then until this is fixed, the workaround is simple - DON'T USE USB STICKS.
That doesn't fix anything as the only way to separate workouts between the three people using using my C2 and export the workouts to Excel is by using one personal USB stick per user.

User avatar
Citroen
SpamTeam
Posts: 5736
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 3:28 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by Citroen » May 16th, 2016, 1:32 am

Have you called your local Concept2 office or dealership? They are usually extremely responsive to customer's problems.
It's probably a better idea than ranting on here.

RowViking
Paddler
Posts: 13
Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:24 pm

Re: PM5 is an immature product with lots of disappointments

Post by RowViking » July 17th, 2016, 7:49 pm

Citroen wrote:Have you called your local Concept2 office or dealership? They are usually extremely responsive to customer's problems.
It's probably a better idea than ranting on here.
Not much luck with that which is why I went here in the first place. They just replied quoting the C2 page disclaimers...

To C2 praise one of the annoyances of the PM5 when using intervals has been solved and it now functions as described (and as the PM2+ and PM4 did).

Anyway now the frame lock is giving problems too by developing a serious play... That I am taking to the local C2 office ;-)
If the Model D's do the same down at the club the trainers will not be too pleased.

Post Reply