Caldwell With The Throwback Chrono Connectivity For The iPhone

Caldwell dips their toe in the waters of smart phone (specifically iPhone connectivity):

Caldwell-Choronograph-iPhone

My first thought was “Wtf?  Are there a bunch of grandpas working at Caldwell?” LOL at wired connectivity and the fact it uses the audio jack.  Maybe that would have passed for acceptable back in 1997.  Oh wow if their app actually looks as bad in real life as it does in that screenshot that’s amazing too.  Caldwell has been around for a while though so I’m sure they are used to having money thrown at them due to the fact their stuff is sold in a bazillion (accurate figure) retail stores across the world.  I prefer when companies push the envelope and strive for the BEST possible product, but whatever works I guess.  I feel like donning a slick Zack Morris style outfit, grabbing a fly Kelly Kapowski and heading to the range and hooking this bad boy up to an iPhone inside a Motorola DynaTac-looking case just for kicks.  Shooting some Principal Belding targets no doubt.

There is no Android app yet, which isn’t surprising because companies generally seem to always do Apple first.  Last time I checked Android has steadily been gaining market share though, so I’m sure we’ll start to see apps quicker / sooner than before.  Side note, I placed my Google Nexus 5 order a few days ago (After the big launch day rush of course because I’m an idiot) and I should have it by the first week of December.  I still really like my Nexus 4, but I figure I’ll just sell it as soon as I have the Nexus 5.

Zack-Morris-PhoneThoughts?  You mad at this old-timey connectivity?  Does Caldwell rustle your jimmies in general?

6 COMMENTS

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Martin November 17, 2013 at 01:32 am

Yes and no. Using the standard 3.5mm jack is actually really smart if they have plans for an android app. It means not having to buy 100 different adapters when you get a new phone. The technology doesn’t require complex 2 way data transfer. There is plenty of demand for the android market and its nice when you don’t need to buy a completely different gadget depending on if you have an iPhone or an Android phone.

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derpmaster November 17, 2013 at 06:03 am

Electrically, this is a very intelligent way of doing things. Analog audio is pretty much universal, as Martin said. There are numerous robust ways to encode and transmit serial data over an audio line, and this application is extremely low bandwidth (their data is a series of numbers between 0-9999.) There is no need to jerk around with USB over device-specific connectors that go obsolete every 2 years (ahem, Apple) using this technique.

They don’t really rustle my jimmies that hard, but Caldwell (really Battenfeld Technologies Inc, Caldwell is just a sub-brand) is clearly a company run by a handful of 60 year old bearded men. Given their target audience (reloaders and hunters tend to also be 60 year old bearded men) I’m sure that they are getting along just fine. Based on the PDF of new products on their website, they seem to have a pretty firm grasp on how to produce products that shooters and reloaders will actually purchase, and the mechanical design of most of their products looks very professional. All of their electronics look fairly amateur hour in terms of industrial design, but do 60 year old bearded men care if their wind meter or chronograph has slick 2013-style industrial design? Probably not.

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Mason November 17, 2013 at 08:46 am

My jimmies remain unrustled.
I’d rather rely on that audio jack than some bluetooth or wifi thing. Seems more reliable, simple, and keeps costs down where the wireless stuff hardly offers anyadvantages here.

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one_calloused November 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Now if only the shot timer guys could make a decent timer that was both cheap and allowed you to upload all logged shots for a day into a computer at the end…

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Nate November 17, 2013 at 02:27 pm

Sell your Nexus 4-yeah right! More like send it to Rated RR to become tech fodder for Ryan’s Barrett.

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Backwoods Engineer November 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Electronics engineer here. No jimmies rustled here. As the derpmaster points out, this really is the easy way to do it electronically, and also more reliable than bluetooth or WiFi. Keep it simple, stupid. And they did. Bet it keeps the cost down, too, to not have some wireless chip and antenna in there.

Yeah, it looks a little ’70s. But so does my reloading press, and that works just fine. This will, too.

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