PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

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Kixram
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PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Kixram » October 13th, 2020, 9:22 am

As topic - I currently use the indoor rower with the PM3 monitor and I'm wondering if it's worth purchasing a PM5 instead, I've read that it has (had?) a few glitches but I'm not sure on the specifics or whether they have been resolved and also that the batteries run out a "lot faster", but just how often do they need replacing?

Overall I'm not sure if there's any real advantage to switching to the PM5? The main thing that made me ponder this is that the "official" smart phone mount doesn't sit well on the PM3 (presses buttons) and the more flexible, better designed one for the PM5 isn't compatible with the PM3 it seems

I'm also pretty used to using the log card and other than the "cannot be read" at times it's rather hassle free.

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Dangerscouse » October 13th, 2020, 10:16 am

I think the only differences are, the backlight & bluetooth but I'm possibly ignorant of other stuff. There are some glitches with the new firmware, but I don't think it's a big issue, nor is it every phone having an issue.

Battery life is really good. My erg is almost two years old, and my batteries are still on circa 77%
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Citroen » October 13th, 2020, 11:31 am

Kixram wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 9:22 am

Overall I'm not sure if there's any real advantage to switching to the PM5? The main thing that made me ponder this is that the "official" smart phone mount doesn't sit well on the PM3 (presses buttons) and the more flexible, better designed one for the PM5 isn't compatible with the PM3 it seems
The logcard is dead tech - nobody uses a 32KB I²C smart card now (yes there's really on 32768 bytes on there - which was good for about a year's worth of workouts).
The wired connection to your phone is dead.
The PM3 is ancient tech (it's at least 6 years old, could be 17 years old).

The PM5 is more reliable.
The BTLE connection to your phone is more reliable.
The backlight makes it easier to use.
The USB stick support supercedes the logcard in many ways.
The PM5 is compatible with all models of ergo.
Ergdata on your phone connected to a PM5 means your workouts are automatically uploaded to your C2 Logbook.

The choice of sticking with the ancient PM3 and waiting for it to fail or upgrading to a PM5 is a no-brainer (especially in the US where PM5s are very cheap).

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Kixram » October 13th, 2020, 11:57 am

Citroen wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 11:31 am
Kixram wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 9:22 am

Overall I'm not sure if there's any real advantage to switching to the PM5? The main thing that made me ponder this is that the "official" smart phone mount doesn't sit well on the PM3 (presses buttons) and the more flexible, better designed one for the PM5 isn't compatible with the PM3 it seems
The logcard is dead tech - nobody uses a 32KB I²C smart card now (yes there's really on 32768 bytes on there - which was good for about a year's worth of workouts).
The wired connection to your phone is dead.
The PM3 is ancient tech (it's at least 6 years old, could be 17 years old).

The PM5 is more reliable.
The BTLE connection to your phone is more reliable.
The backlight makes it easier to use.
The USB stick support supercedes the logcard in many ways.
The PM5 is compatible with all models of ergo.
Ergdata on your phone connected to a PM5 means your workouts are automatically uploaded to your C2 Logbook.

The choice of sticking with the ancient PM3 and waiting for it to fail or upgrading to a PM5 is a no-brainer (especially in the US where PM5s are very cheap).
I think you've sold me on it :)

Is there anything I would need to get as well as the PM5 monitor, any cables that don't come with it and such? I'd want to take the data from my logcard and connect that with new data storage (the c2 logbook you mentioned) if possible don't know what I'd need for that. Also where can I check that my phone is compatible? I've quite an old phone which is also due an upgrade but currently use a Samsung Android A3

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Citroen » October 13th, 2020, 12:21 pm

Get the retrofit kit and it's a ten minute job to swap the PM3 out for a new PM5.

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by mitchel674 » October 13th, 2020, 12:28 pm

I made the switch from PM3 to PM5 last year and couldn't be happier. I like to use ergdata, and the cable connecting my phone to the PM3 would often cut out in the middle of rows which was quite maddening. The $180 to upgrade to the PM5 has been well worth it to me. No log card to deal with, and I easily connect wirelessly to my iPhone for ergdata. The backlight is a nice bonus. I sold my PM3 for $90 which softened the blow.
55yo male, 6ft, 154lbs

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Rumpled » October 13th, 2020, 1:51 pm

I am also considering a PM3 to PM5 upgrade.
Do they fit on the same arm?
Or does the PM5 require a different one?

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Dangerscouse » October 13th, 2020, 2:18 pm

Kixram wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 11:57 am
Also where can I check that my phone is compatible? I've quite an old phone which is also due an upgrade but currently use a Samsung Android A3
I'm fairly sure that all Bluetooth phones are compatible. I have previously used a Samsung Galaxy S8, and I've currently got a Samsung A50
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:25; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

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Carl Watts
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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Carl Watts » October 13th, 2020, 2:33 pm

The PM5 is the way to go if you like to connect to anything external to the monitor.

From the ANT+ heart rate strap to ErgData to RowPro on the PC all at the same time on the PM5 its the only way to go.
Last edited by Carl Watts on October 13th, 2020, 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Citroen » October 13th, 2020, 2:34 pm

Rumpled wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 1:51 pm
I am also considering a PM3 to PM5 upgrade.
Do they fit on the same arm?
Or does the PM5 require a different one?
You may need to buy the retrofit kit - call Concept2 and ask. The retrokit supplies a new arm. With the arm for a PM2 you'd have to attack it with a Dremel.

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Nomath » October 13th, 2020, 4:58 pm

In September I have replaced my PM3 by a PM5. So far I have not discovered any significant advantages.

My PM3 had a connected Polar heart rate receiver. It instantly found the signal of the H10 chest sensor. Now I have to take care that I first connect the H10 to my Polar M460, which tracks and stores the heart rates every second. Only after that connection is made, I can start the PM5. The PM5 asks what HR sensor I want to connect to and it takes several push buttons and seconds to find it. Doing it the reverse way results in failure of the M460 to connect to the H10.

To upload the data of the workout to the Concept2 Log at my desktop, instead of connected the PM3 containing the logcard ('dead tech'), I now use an USB stick for data transfer. However, the data of my workout are not automatically stored on the USB stick. On most days I found that they are stored in the internal memory of the PM5. I have learned how to transfer the data from the PM5 internal memory to the USB stick, but it takes the nuisance of pressing several buttons. That 'dead tech' logcard served me for many years with no problems (each logcard is capable of storing about 600 workouts).

Maybe, in a few more weeks of learning to use, I might have formed a marginally different assessment, but so far I find the roughly $100 out-of-pocket (new PM5 cost minus PM3 resale) hardly justified.

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by MiddleAgeCRISIS » October 13th, 2020, 6:27 pm

Ive done it and its been super efficient in connecting to Android and my garmin watch. Ive not updated the firmware.

my batteries did run out quickly i thought but i am rowing 2 hours a day.

only subtlety is to tell the pm5 to connect to whatever machine you have.

i love the sync with the log book and strava

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Carl Watts » October 13th, 2020, 9:35 pm

It depends on your complete set-up as to whether you think the PM5 is better.

My PM5 is permanently plugged into a PC so there goes any problems with battery usage. You do not need a memory stick with this setup either, you use ErgData on your mobile phone as it is way better than anything else and easily synchronises in both directions from the PM5 to the PC and back again if you make any changes like the notes on the PC. ErgData also uploads your total stroke count and your Drag Factor for every row as well as decent resolution heartrate graph. Not sure what else most users would need when 90% of them cannot even be bothered to setup a set distance or a set time on the monitor to begin with.

You simply have to follow a set sequence on start up so it all works as it should and there are fewer and fewer issues with each new firmware release. V168 is sweet and the whole set-up is now stable with a decent i7 PC on Windows 10 and a decent video card. Really its no hassle at all to press a few buttons is it ? as long as it works.

The PM5 rocks, it took a few years to get it right but its now a great monitor. Also its very, very reliable and I'm not seeing any of them for repair work. In the years since its release I have seen maybe 3 of them in total, leaking batteries and a busted display not a single electronics related fault.

Concept 2 did an awesome job on the PM5.
Carl Watts.
Age:53 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Rumpled » October 14th, 2020, 7:12 pm

Citroen wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 2:34 pm
Rumpled wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 1:51 pm
I am also considering a PM3 to PM5 upgrade.
Do they fit on the same arm?
Or does the PM5 require a different one?
You may need to buy the retrofit kit - call Concept2 and ask. The retrokit supplies a new arm. With the arm for a PM2 you'd have to attack it with a Dremel.
My question was about PM3 to PM5 and you mention PM2.
Typo?

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Re: PM3 vs PM5 - Pros and cons?

Post by Citroen » October 14th, 2020, 8:34 pm

Rumpled wrote:
October 14th, 2020, 7:12 pm
Citroen wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 2:34 pm
Rumpled wrote:
October 13th, 2020, 1:51 pm
I am also considering a PM3 to PM5 upgrade.
Do they fit on the same arm?
Or does the PM5 require a different one?
You may need to buy the retrofit kit - call Concept2 and ask. The retrokit supplies a new arm. With the arm for a PM2 you'd have to attack it with a Dremel.
My question was about PM3 to PM5 and you mention PM2.
Typo?
The PM3 has the same external dimensions as a PM5.

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