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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Prospect Hill?

in: CleverSky; CleverSky > 2024-03-02

Mar 3, 2024 5:31 AM # 
Looks like Beech Hill. I'm still hoping to get out there. Do you remember which controls didn't have streamers? I don't like using o-range.
Mar 3, 2024 1:22 PM # 
You are correct (and I have corrected the error). I think I saw no streamers at 5, 6, 7, and 13. In the spreadsheet, Jim P says he didn't find one at 9, but I'm pretty sure I did. I think the others were all there, but I don't remember for sure about 11 and 12.

What do you dislike about O-Range?
Mar 3, 2024 3:35 PM # 
You didn't ask me, but O-Range is useless to me because it doesn't run on my Polar watch (which I am very happy with). And I don't generally like carrying my thousand-dollar phone, which I treasure maybe even more than Peter treasures his kneecap. But stubborn as I am, the old dog finally decided to try the new trick and use UsynligO.

What got me to do it was taking the grandsons (2.5 and 6) out to Prospect Hill. (We managed to do half the short course, then a) it got dark and b) the 6 year old slipped on the ice that was still there at the time and gashed his face.) For orienteering to have much appeal to the little kids, it sure helps to have a reward when you get to the control.

The best reward is the orange and white flag (heck finding that flag when I go around a knoll is still a thrill to this old man after 49 years of doing this), with preferably a beeping electronic gadget, although a pin punch will do.

The QR code "controls", that NEOC (Mark O and Jim P?) came up with, will do in a pinch, gives a kid something to do and gives audiovisual feedback. That's actually what first* got me to take the phone orienteering (I figured that going at a walk was little risk for the phone). Although I did have to amend the protocol, the kids can do the scan-to-punch but *I* carry the phone between controls--after Arthur ran off with it on one leg and promptly dropped it. Luckily it's pretty tough, and didn't land on a rock like Peter's kneecap.

I have done a course with the kids where streamers were the only feedbacck; that's barely better than nothing for them (fine with me, as with Phil).

So for the outing with the kids at Prospect Hill, I loaded up UsynligO and it was pretty successful on that trial. Thanks to Jon C's updating and georeferencing so many of the NEOC maps, it went off at each control without having to hunt around. So I took the phone and UsynligO a couple of days later when I did the longer course at Prospect Hill on my own (the day that NEOCers got together for dinner afterwards). And it again worked just fine.

*Actually I think the first time I took the phone was in a rogaine where it was required to carry a phone for emergency use. Oh, and there was a California rogaine that used MapRun, which also worked pretty well. In a rogaine, the phone is pretty safely secured in a backpack. Then lately I have starting carrying the phone when going out alone, especially if the weather is cold or wet, or if it is an especially long and remote run/hike, just to increase the chance of getting help if I should have an accident out there. E. Every single time I go out in the woods (except at organized events where my failure to return would be promptly noted), I let somebody (usually Betsy, occasionally one of my children) know where I am going, when I expect to be back, and a "panic hour" which is the time to make a call to the authorities. But if I expect to be on the course or hike for hours (plus a pretty generous margin before the panic hour so that crying wolf doesn't occur), then it could be quite a long while before rescuers might find me with (say) my broken leg, by which time I'd be hypothermic or dead in the winter. No guarantees the phone would work in such a situation but it's at least a point in my favor.
Mar 3, 2024 4:16 PM # 
I also prefer not to carry my phone, and I can completely appreciate your point about there being a positive aspect to having something to find. In the case of these winter training things where streamers need to be out there for weeks and there's not anybody checking up on them, O-Range seems to work great, since I do have a Garmin watch. In the case of the Willard Brook course, they didn't even put streamers out in the first place, but it does provide a training exercise suitable for advanced orienteers. If the streamers are there, it just means I'm doing a regular course but don't need to push the split button on my watch.
Mar 3, 2024 10:35 PM # 
The first and second/last time I tried o-range the signal wasn't loud enough in the proper frequency for my failing ears (the second time I attached my watch onto the front of my Camelbak, so it was much closer than on my wrist, but still hard to hear). I can hear the UsynligO tones just fine if I turn my phone's volume up; I carry the phone in a small waist pack.
Mar 3, 2024 11:04 PM # 
I don't hear the tone so much as I feel the vibration.
Mar 4, 2024 12:28 AM # 
I've been using an old phone with Usynligo loaded on it that I carry in an armband. Just have to download the event onto the phone while at home, then the built-in GPS does the rest at the start and on the course - no need to be connected to a cell service.
I do normally carry my active phone with me as well, but tend to keep that more safely tucked away.
Mar 4, 2024 2:45 AM # 
It's nice to have confirmation if there are no streamers (or flags). So it's worth using one of the apps in that case. But I've found it often goes off before I've gotten to (or seen) the feature, which is annoying; and sometimes it doesn't go off even though I'm at the feature, which is also annoying. So if there are streamers (or flags), I would rather not use the apps.

As for o-range vs UsynligO. I've had trouble getting the o-range courses on my watch, and have only successfully used that once. So the last couple of times I've used UsynligO, which has an easy interface and a loud tone. I carry my phone in my fit belt, which I don't much notice.
Mar 4, 2024 3:51 AM # 
Loading O-Range is not intuitive, though if you've done it recently it's not so bad. If it's been a bunch of months, it's like starting over. I should write up some cribnotes.
Mar 4, 2024 7:23 PM # 
No streamers at 5,6, 7, yes one at 9....and just as a note to the map, I am pretty sure 2 is not correctly placed on the map....and the feature for 3 is non existent, have no idea what the mapper thought was there (that would be me).
I am content to have streamers, I have trained many times with nothing hung....good practice as you must be very precise about getting to the feature.

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