Posted on: 2011-08-28 11:24:00 -0400
A few weeks ago, my PACT Club Timer III gave up the ghost after many years of service. Their lifetime warranty turned out to be a discount on a new timer, which I learned after they cashed my $15 check for return shipping. This left a bad taste in my mouth, and I decided to take my business elsewhere.
I ended up buying a Pocket Pro II and gave it its first range workout yesterday. There are some areas where I like it more than the PACT and others where I prefer the PACT.
Pocket Pro II advantages:
- A spring-loaded clip that holds the timer very securely. The Club Timer III uses a metal loop and sometimes falls off when running.
- A configurable min/max start delay when set to random. The Club Timer III has a fixed but sensible range.
- A loud starting beep easily heard through ear plugs. It’s loud enough to require putting tape over the buzzer during indoor dry-fire practice. I’ve missed the Club Timer III’s beep when other people are shooting in nearby bays.
- Easily adjustable sensitivity for screening out shots from other people shooting nearby. Adjusting the sensitivity on the Club Timer III involves opening the device and adjusting a potentiometer.
- Tunable echo rejection so echoes from one shot don’t register as additional ones. The Club Timer III occasionally hiccups in this regard.
- A backlit display. The Club Timer III relies on ambient light.
- A dot-matrix display configurable for different modes of operation. The user can choose between three modes. The first shows the current shot time in large numbers. The second shows the shot count, shot time, first shot time, split time, date/time, and battery status. The third looks like the second but replaces the current shot time with a calculated rounds per minute. The Club Timer III uses a larger segmented display that’s locked into a single well-implemented mode.
Club Timer III advantages:
- A large, well thought out display that shows the shot count, shot time, first shot time, and split. It’s easier to read than the Pocket Pro II’s display in good light because the four key values are spaced out across a larger display.
- A quicker interface for setting par times. On the Pocket Pro II, pushing "up" and "down" adjusts the time by 0.1 s. On the Club Timer III, the hundredths of a second start blinking, and "up" and "down" adjust that digit. Pressing “review” then jumps to tenths of a second, and so on. Perhaps it’s a lack of practice with the Pocket Pro II, but this approach seems more sensible to me.
The two timers operate quite differently with regards to configuration. The Pocket Pro II has menu up/down buttons that take the user into the menu system from the time display. The set up/down buttons then adjust each function, with common ones like delay/instant start and par time located at the top. Configuring the Club Timer III involves holding down one of the buttons for a second or two. The user then chooses between an instant and random start. Next, the uses chooses whether or not to have a part time. If so, the user then enters the par time. Changing any one of these options requires walking through the procedure again. It works better in practice than it sounds.
I don&rsquo:t think that a shooter will go wrong with either timer, but I’m slightly preferring the Pocket Pro II at this point.
Note that the instructions of the Pocket Pro II say: "Press the SET UP and SET DOWN buttons simultaneously to reset the Par Time to zero". This is only half correct. Nothing will happen if you press them simultaneously. You have to press one button slightly before the other.