I'm about sick of computers. My Pace Makers have been unreliable and expensive P.O.S.'s. The electrical connections are a bad joke.
I think I'm just going back to the good old watch and mechanical odometer. Works 98% as well and much cheaper & more reliable.
That said I would probably get a watchdog if I had to do over again.
Your right about the elec connectors on the Pacemaker being worthless. I took mine and cut them off and soldered them together. Now they work fine.
The P3 itself has been trouble free for 3 years since I bought it.
My next comp will probably be the checkmate.
I used a watch and roll chart for the first 10 years of enduros. I bought a used ico pro comp last year and have been happy with it. imo it has all you need, it tell you wether your early or late, it has the autcal, which adusts your wheel size to match the course milage. and it tells you when the next possible is. I only paid $100 for mine since it was used, a new one lists for 274.95 on their website.
I did send mine in over the winter. the buttons where not working good anymore. They fixed it up, threw in a bunch of extra connectors and sent it back very quickly for under $100.
I do know one guy who bought a new p3, it went out at his first race last year. he is still waiting for a replacement from Hoess. so, based on that I wouldn't buy one of those
I have used all the computers, Pacemaker, ICO ProComp and Checkmate, and am now using the Watchdog. I am very impressed with both the Watchdog's construction and logic. For the price, it is the best value for someone who wants a serious timekeeper. For example it is assembled with heavier insulated wire and heavier duty connectors than either the ICO or Pacmaker. Its battery is advertized to last 5000 hours, and with a year and a half's use on mine it is still strong. (I ride at least once a week for between four and five hours plus race all the Dist 36 enduros so there are a few hours on the battery.) Compare this to the battery life on the others. It has large digits which are easy to read at race pace. It is very easy to program, and the buttons on the control don't wear your thumb or fingers out. The screens provide for a very logical analysis of your race position and in works well as an odometer.
The Checkmate is indeed a good unit, and one that is used by the majority of top Dist 36 riders, but it costs more and doesn't necessarily give any more info than the Watchdog.
This is of course my opinion, and there are arguments on the other side of the ledger which I believe you'll hear
I've heard that...though, the Checkmate is the EASIEST to program of them all...all I have to do is pull up next to my buddy who rides A Senior, and zap the program into mine..never need to program at all :-)
but other than the checkmate, I have heard good things on the watchdog.