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Outdoor Retailer: Electronics

by Alicia MacLeay
January 27, 2009

Today we bring you more gear news and information from Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2009, this time in electronics.

Timex Expedition WS4
Call it an “adventure instrument,” wrist top computer, or watch, the WS4 is distinguished by its widescreen display (approximately 1 5/16"), which features altimeter (range: -1,312 to 29,520 feet), barometer (range: 300 to 1,100 mbar), thermometer (range: 14° to 122°F), and compass measurements. (The WS4 stands for wide screen, four functions.)

Developed with the help of alpinist Conrad Anker who tested it in the Himalayas, the WS4 easily toggles between functions, even with mitts on up high, is water resistant to 50 meters, has a chronograph, alarm, timer, and night-mode setting for low-light conditions, and is available with a rubber or elastic strap in six color combos.

Weight: 90 g
Display Dimensions: 38 mm x 25 mm
Case Dimensions: 50 mm x 40 mm

MSRP: $199.95
Limited availability starting February 2009, available worldwide in May.


Lowrance Sierra
The flagship of Lowrance’s new Endura line of GPS receivers, the Sierra has both a touch screen and keypad functionality. It features a high-resolution 2.7-inch color touch screen display, 3D digital compass and barometric altimeter, 4GB of internal memory, micro SD expansion slot supporting up to an additional 32GB of storage, and is fully waterproof to IPx7 standard (submersible)

Comes pre-loaded with Intermap’s Accuterra high-resolution topographic maps, extensive outdoor trail networks and Points of Interest, and NAVTEQ road network for the contiguous 48 states.

Weight: 5.8 oz (165 g) without two AA batteries
Dimensions: 5.1" x 2.3" x 1.1" (130 mm x 60 mm x 31 mm)

MSRP: $549
Available May 2009


ACR Electronics MicroFix 12
ACR’s newest personal locator beacon (PLB), the MicroFix 12 is supposed to be smaller and lighter, and will feature a new strobe light function. The one-button activated, emergency signaling device is intended for outdoor enthusiasts heading into remote areas.

It has a built-in LED strobe light to increase visibility to Search and Rescue, a 42-channel GPS engine (-144 dBm sensitivity) for faster acquisition, allows up to 12 long GPS acquisition tests, and boasts a more efficient design that uses less power, making it smaller and lighter.

MSRP: $650
Available: The MicroFix 12 has not yet been authorized as required by the Rules of the FCC.


SPOT Assist
This tool isn’t for the backcountry, but it might help get you to the trailhead. Like the original SPOT, SPOT Assist uses a GPS receiver to deliver location-based messaging, but this time help comes in the form of 24/7 roadside assistance.

Most features work the same as with regular SPOT: “Check In” lets contacts know where you are and that you’re okay. “Track Progress” sends and saves your location. “Alert 9-1-1” notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location. However, on SPOT Assist, “Help” notifies a national roadside response center or others (your choice) of your location for roadside towing, auto-accident assistance, tire repair, and other services, provided you’re on a paved road in the United States or Canada.

MSRP: $129
Available in the continental United States and Canada April 2009. Expected in other countries later in 2009.