Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review
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Thread: Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Pen Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review

    ~After 24 hours of use
    Disclaimer: You will not find any pictures here! If you are looking for Rangeman pics, I believe that there are loads of threads with very descriptive pictures that will be way better than what is here. There is a giveaway or discount at the end!

    "Should I get it or not? Which model should I buy? How does the ~50mm diameter look on my wrist?" These are all some of the questions people ask when even considering the well known Rangeman. To be completely honest here, I wasn't looking at this model when I decided to get a new watch, in particular a G-Shock. When I first saw the model on the G-Shock website, I thought to myself:"That watch looks so bulky, so big and the protruding sensor stuff's kinda weird.", and I believe that you did too. After looking at the model for a while, especially looking at some more photos with the watch on wrists and/or it standalone, I liked it more. One huge problem with me and this particular watch (before buying) is that I was worries that it would not fit my incredibly thin hands, and wether it was suitable for a 13 year old (yes I'm that old). I have to say thanks to Knives and Lint for providing some good pics of a Rangeman on a 10 yo. hand, I have to say that was one main reason as to why I chose to get this awesome watch.

    Size & Design (for smaller wrists, skip if you have ~7"+ wrists, you won't find this really useful):
    Firstly, as I have mentioned it above, let's talk about the size. The holes are well adjusted and would pretty much fit any hand size on the slimmer side (dunno bout u larger people), I'm using the second to last hole right now. Having owned the first pebble watch, I didn't actually find the watch face nor the thickness to be too large or thick for me. The actual screen is actually quite small, with the borders being quite large. When I have the watch on, the top and bottom sides are kind of hanging over my wrist a bit, with about a 0.5-1cm clearing on both sides. You might be fine with those, but for those who aren't, this might not be the watch for you. For your information, I have approx. 6.2" wrists, but as people have said, it also depends on wether the wrist is flat or rounded. My wrist is quite flat, one way I did compare the size was with a 1:1 reference. I am not within the range of any good watch stores, thus decided to buy this online, which means that I couldn't really try it on before buying, the main way I compared the size was with a piece of tissue and a compass (the math drawing circle one). I measured out the right size on the compass (you should know how to) and basically trimmed out a circular piece of tissue (I found tissue easier to "trim"). I then just placed it on my wrist to test for the size and found it alright. Although the specs might show that the watch is thick, it it mostly just the overhanging bezel, and the watch doesn't really look that thick on my wrist. One thing that I was kind of annoyed with is how large the watch looked from the side (so you're facing light button and band), the watch looks like some futuristic watch thingy when viewed from that angle as the strap looks small compared to the body. (Do other owners have the same problem?) These are just some tips, it does matter what watches you have worn in the past, and how large the watches you have worn were. The best method is still to go to a shop and try one on.

    Atomic Timekeeping (Radio Sync):
    Personally, I live in Hong Kong, and although the watch came synced and ready to go when I unboxed it, I still did a manual sync just to be sure that it worked. At around 5pm that day, I attempted a sync with the Chinese towers. I have to admit, I was surprised at the signal strength. One side of our house is facing away from the transmitters but into the ocean, while the other side is facing towards the transmitters yet it was towards hills and mountains. I have tried to sync with both and they appear to be the same (I have only done 2 syncs). When manually syncing into the ocean, the signal strength was around L2 and L3 (at 5pm), constantly changing between them, this is actually quite good as it wasn't at night and Hong Kong is basically at the border of the Chinese signal range. At night, the watch synced automatically at 12pm (1st attempt) and it is displaying L3 for signal strength. Based on what I got, I'm wondering if it would be able to sometime get the signal down in Malaysia or Singapore (at night with maybe ~L1 signal) as my signal strengths were quite high despite the range.

    Sensor (Mudman GW-9300 or Rangeman GW-9400?):
    Let's combine both of those into one part as those are the main differences between them. Not owning a Mudman myself, I don't actually know how it's like, but I throughout my research (yes I did research, it was a "costly" buy), I have found 2 main differences: sensors and design. As people have said, the Mudman somehow looks like a hockey puck strapped onto the wrist, owning a genuine (ice) hockey puck myself, i do find that true on certain extents. I'm sure the exact size specs and pictures can help you a lot here. Another general thing to note is the screen shapes. OK, now on to the sensors. One thing to note is I have actually picked the Mudman before I got this one, I contacted the online store and said I wanted to change (from Navy GW Atomic Mudman to this Rangeman) cause they were the same size and same price and the Rangeman seemed a bit better. On to the sensors, out of all 3 ABC, I have only found myself using the compass previously thus first picking the Mudman, and none of the others. Firstly, the whole name ABC is actually deceiving, the Rangeman only has 3 sensors (instead of 4 ABC/T): Baro, Comp and Temp (BC/T). The altitude is calculated based on the changes in the air pressure, so I didn't really find myself using that a lot. The barometer is really useful for predicting weathers, although I have not really tried that yet, I do find the graph very useful. One slight issue I had was that Hong Kong is hilly, when travelling to higher places, the graph kind of resets and only shows the new data points. When staying at the same altitude, the readings can be really useful. The compass is a bit slow but still is very useful when mapping directions, the exact readings are really beneficial and informative. As for the Sunset/Sunrise, I do find it potentially more useful than moon graphs (there's a lunar calendar for that). I do highly suggest that if you were to use the sunset/sunrise feature, do change the coordinates as a bit off means a few minutes off.

    Display (Only concerning Neg. Display):
    As my model is the negative display model, I will only be reviewing the negative display. The negative display works quite well and allows you to read the time. As for specific baro readings (on graph), those can be a bit blurry in low light situations. Note that the only potential case where you would be using the sensors is outside, which would be find in the sunlight (with no glare). In the dark, the pm indicators are a bit hard to see, otherwise, the time is quite easy to read and interpret. The circular seconds counter is also very useful when telling the time. Otherwise, I think that's about it for the display.

    Other Features:
    I'll put this in bullet points. If anybody wants to know more about a specific topic, I'll add more!
    Carbon Fiber Strap - Might be more durable, don't really know. It is good eye-candy and definitely a +.
    Dual Timekeeping - I don't know how to do this in timekeeping mode, but the way now is to go into world time more where both times are displayed.
    Light - Working like a charm, I'm not really bothered with the visible light on the left side.
    Auto EL - Have not tried so don't really know, want to save more battery.
    Record and Recall - Might be useful at times. Good graphical indicator on which record is currently being viewed.
    Buttons: Easy to use and press. Turns in their spot so kinda good (I guess).
    Battery and Solar charging - Came to me at "High", didn't decrease yet so seems good.

    The Seller (+Giveaway/Discount!) :
    I bought the watch from Shopping In Japan .NET (Shopping In Japan .NET | Shopping-In-Japan at eBay) and they were great even after I cancelled my first order of the Mudman. The EMS Shipment was quick and arrived in just under 2 full days (possibly ~4 + customs in the US). Here comes the good part, they gave me a 20$ gift card for instant reduction to the final purchase price, I was wondering if anybody wanted to buy stuff from them so I could give it away as it expires this December cause tbh I plan on using this watch through high school as my only watch (and as a beater). If anybody is interested, feel free to contact me!

    For those haters out there (cause of mah age):
    I decided to write this to educate people on the watch and possibly give them some insight on wether they should buy it or not. As to why I'm even here, why not? I came to find out more about watches and it seems like this group is quite nice. And to those who think I'm wasting time doing this, I didn't take long on the review (natural fast writer) and this'll save more time for others than it actually took me.

    If any of you have any questions about the watch, feel free to ask here and I'll try to respond. Other people, also feel free to respond to this! I might post periodical updates later on when I have used it for a longer period. That's about it for today! Have a nice day everybody!

    P.S. If there are any typos, just point them out! Also sry for the wordy review, there are other reviews if u are those that get sick just looking at lots of words.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Re: Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review

    Thanks for the review! I'm impressed by your knowledge and very nice communications skills. I just ordered my Rangemaster and your insights helped me confirm the decision. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your updates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Re: Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review

    Just a small update after a whole week of use!
    The atomic synchronising is working pretty perfectly, syncing with 3 bars at 12:02 every night (unless I place my watch down after midnight). Battery still always at high, didn't need to manually charge it or place it under sunlight. The quick start stopwatch function is really unique and from what I know it's the only G that has that function. Baro graphs are working quite well, but when changing altitudes it tends to reset. As for the size and weight, it seems all fine and what not, it is kind of hard to wear when typing or even balance on the table, the best way would be to lean it onto something. Sunset/rise working pretty well, compass is kind of laggy but is accurate to the 1 or 2 degrees. I didn't set up magnetic declination yet so that should be something to look out for.

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  5. #4
    Member ccm123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Reviewing the Jack of All Trades! - Rangeman GW9400 (BJ-1JF) Extensive Review

    Great review!
    If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one. ~Cavett Robert

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