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The Tactical ARES Digital Skydiving Altimeter!
The ARES was originally manufactured for tactical skydiving applications, but many of the added features are desired by sport skydivers as the ARES does everything the VISO II+ does plus more!
The ARES™ is a digital faced visual altimeter for those military skydivers who prefer a digital display over a traditional analog display. ARES™ is packed with features and is the perfect visual solution for military skydivers. ARES™ can be set to display ALTITUDE or VERTICAL SPEED.
LB designed the ARES™ to be extremely easy to use and packed with features. The large number LCD screen is easy to recognize and read when the jumper is in freefall or under canopy. LB’s attention to detail with the variety of accessories allows military jumpers to personalize and customize to fit their mounting needs.
Note: The ARES comes with a Viso II+ Velcro Hand Mount in black. All other mounts are available separately. An ARES-Specific Camo Wrist/Arm Elastic Mount is available from ChutingStar, plus the ARES also fits in all existing VISO mounts.
FEATURES & FUNCTIONS:
- Quick Take-Off/Landing Zone Altitude Offset
- Quick Reset to ground zero
- Quick Access to back light
- HD High Contrast LCD Screen
- 1mm Thicker, beefier case & 1mm thicker lens than the VISO II
- Updated hardware components with a faster processor than the VISO II
- Wider LCD viewing angle than the VISO II
- Fits in existing VISO mounts. Camo ARES specific mount with protective, raised Lens Guard.
- Rugged rubberized coating.
- Electro-luminescent back light for night jumping can remain ON for several hours.
- Automatic calibration to local elevation on LCD screen for easy & intuitive operation and information review.
- Logbook with playback of altitude/speed profile for the last jump.
- Operational at sub-zero temperatures.
- Stores up to 10 minutes of profile data for last jump.
- Displays Alti-Meter or Speed-Meter details from exit to landing.
- Records and displays jump information about the last 200 jumps including exit altitude, deployment altitude, freefall time, max speed in freefall and max speed under canopy.
- Choice of readings in feet or meters as well as MPH or KMH.
- Actual Dimensions: 2 3/16” x 1 5/8” x 7/16” [56 x 41 x 13.5 mm]
- Long lasting, easy to find batteries
- Larsen & Brusgaard recommends: 2- RENATA CR-2325, 3 Volt batteries
- Water resistant.
The manufacturer makes several optional accessories for the VISO II+ & ARES, with the most popular being the Elastic Wrist Strap. Hand Straps, Wrist Straps, Chest Mounts, Protektors, Batteries and Sew-On/Spare Pockets are also available separately.
A specially designed Sew-On Pocket can be put on the ARES ™ to make it easier to attach to a glove, altimeter pillow, NAV board or jumpsuit and is a separate accessory. LB also offers an elastic arm mount with our molded pocket for secure arm mounting. The LB ARES™ Elastic Mount is available in camo colors and features a raised Lens Guard for great screen protection.
Check out the SOLO II™, OPTIMA II™, QUATTRO™, PROTRACK™ audible altimeters from LB and add an audible solution for the military jumper’s overall altitude awareness and redundancy.
The manufacturer, Larsen & Brusgaard, is known worldwide for their superior customer service and accurate altimeters. The Ares is Manufacturer P/N 20545.
Detail InformationColorBlackAlarm TypeNo AlarmsAnalog/DigitalDigitalAudibleNoBattery TypeCR2325Data LogDetailed altitude information about the last jump along with a daily jump counter. The unit's electronic logbook stores information about the last 200 jumps.Downloadable InfoNoFeet or MetersSettings for Feet and MetersFunctionAltimeter onlyProtective Case AvailableYesReplaceable LensNoSaveable ProfilesNoVisualYesVisual PortNoWater ResistantYesWearabilityExterior helmet mount available, Handmount, WristmountNight Jump GlowYesSizeNo
ReviewsAdd your review
Customer Reviews 3 item(s)
- Practically same as Viso unless if you frequently land somewhere other than takeoff area.
According to the comparison sheet between Ares and Viso II+, there are 3 differences:
1. Quick access to altitude offset (used when landing/takeoff area have different altitudes)
2. Quick reset to ground zero
3. Quick access to backlight
1 & 2 are convenient if you often change between DZ's with different offsets.
#3 is simply outdated info. The Viso II+ has the same procedure (holding the down button) for backlight and takes 2s, according to the manual, while the Ares takes 3s.
The Ares doesn't have it's own manual, instead using the Viso manual plus the "quick command guide" you see in the item description. So for the price difference from a Viso, you get shortcuts to offset control. The only time this feature is useful is when landing somewhere higher/lower than where you got on the plane. So beware if you are considering paying the premium over a Viso.
Also, if you get the camo elastic wrist mount, there's a good chance it'll say Viso on it instead of Ares, and it would cover up the altimeter's Ares logo. Noteworthy if you were expecting to tell the models apart from the wrist mounts' labels. It seems their quality control can't track these details.
About the altimeter itself (which probably applies to both Viso and Ares), the response time can sometimes be delayed. Mine says 0ft during takeoff and all of a sudden jumps to 300+ft. A bigger deal is showing 0 Max Freefall Speed on a hop & pop, 10+ seconds before pulling. It would be interesting to know my speed coming down the hill.
For the core function of being an altimeter, it does the job. Double digits + 1 decimal above 1k ft, 3 digits below 1000. Updates fast enough and the logs are nice to dump into a spreadsheet and track freefall time more precisely.
Overall, the product line seems long in the tooth. A few features I would look for nowadays that are already offered elsewhere:
- USB charging, imagine charging it in your car/pocket the morning of if the battery is ever low, and never having to change batteries.
- automatic data transfer, either by USB or some type of wireless comms.
- better UI that doesn't require ever breaking out the manual. With L&B, you need to check the manual on how to turn it off (I just did it yesterday and forgot already, it's a long sequence).
- more modern screen that does not have fixed digits like a 90's handheld electronic game
Quality Durability Price
- Quality digital altimeter with BIG number display
Really nice to see nice big numbers instead of tiny numbers or an analog dial. Comes with a wrist/finger strap that does fine to hold it. Fits in my Kiss helmet altimeter slots, but I have another altimeter with audible.
Menu takes some time to remember how to navigate, and can be a little annoying, but I've found most are since there are a lack of input buttons.
Quality Durability Price
- Great features, accurate, and "Skydiver Airspeed" is a great bonus
I just got my Ares, so I have only made 9 jumps with it so far.
Daily jump count, last jump playback, and the logger all work really well. I didn't think I'd care about the playback, but it's actually pretty useful. Using the playback mode allowed me to find my average canopy decent speed, which can then be used to calculate your forward speed give your glide ratio. And of course, having a logger with exit and deployment altitude data really handy on busy jump days. And speaking of airspeed, the SAS (skydiver airspeed) concept is great. It allows everyone to compare their speeds in a meaningful way by converting from true airspeed to airspeed adjusted to a fixed reference pressure/temperature.
Not as good as I'd like stuff:
The screen is small, and the digital display, while readable, seems a little outdated by today's standards. Also, the buttons are on the wrong side -- right-handed users have to reach over the screen to press them which is awkward. Furthermore, the quirky L&B navigation system, which I'm used to from my Quattro, makes retrieving logged data a pain. The navigation isn't a huge issue with the Quattro because it's not a logger. With the Ares (and Viso), it is cumbersome, and often one wrong press or waiting a second too long on a screen, will cause you to exit whatever area you were in. And then you're back to the "Perform ACCESS" step, then some clicking, then hold again, then click some more, and then you go back to filling out your logbook.
I would recommend the Ares (or the L&B Viso) digital altimeter/logger based solely on its technical features. It's commonly used, so if you forget how to navigate to whatever configuration or information you're looking for, chances are someone at your DZ can help you. I'm also in favour of SAS being *the* airspeed system for skydiving. Navigation gets easier with practice, and I don't think the clumsy user interface design is a big enough issue to make me switch to a different brand, but I am only giving the Ares 4 stars for quality because of it.
Quality Durability Price
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