Jump to content

Should I buy Zbox


bhs
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think this has been discussed a lot but.... I really would like to hear from those who have Zbox. Are times consistent? Is it really similar to ZO? Cant afford a new or even a used ZO boat now but could afford to upgrade to SG Zbox. Currently running PP Classic and I get pretty consistent times but my buddy with a ZO boat doesn't wast to ski behind my 2000 CC 196 anymore because its not the same has his boat.... you know the story , so looking for some feedback.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@bhs will your buddy ski your boat equipped with z-box or only ZO? I've run my toughest pass (38 off) on all 3 speed control systems this season. Call me to go skiing and I'm there behind any one of 'em...especially behind a 2000 196...sweet wake. Good luck and do what you have to do to have ski partners cuz looking at buoys on flat water with no one to ski with sucks.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the pull of my boat with z-box. It is a very different feel than the SG mode that I run for my PP style skiers. We have a zero off boat at the lake and for me the z-box feels the same. Maybe your bud could try a z-box equipped boat and see what he thinks before you shell out cash. BTW @MlSkier makes a good point. Also I have found that PP SG boats with K++ makes it a little more z-box ish. Good luck, like @6balls said flat water no ski buddy sucks. Hi Dave.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been a long lasting debate. Honestly, a stargazer system equipped with ZBox is a nice pull. It is an economical solution to the ZO option on a newer boat. ESPECIALLY ON A 2000 NAUTIQUE!!!!!

 

I have buddies with a 1997, 1998, and 1999 Nautiques. They have ZBox on the 98 and 99. BOTH SKI GREAT! In fact, I think the GT-40 Engine gives a really firm pull.

 

I have a 2003 196 with Zbox. I ski the same number of balls behind a ZBox boat as I do a ZO boat. My practice average was about 3 ball @ 38' OFF. I have a Nautique 200 with ZO at a club I ski. My only complaint is that you kind of have to fudge the PULL TYPES. Meaning, I ski B2 on a ZBox boat and C1 on most ZO Boats. I have yet to really dial that part in, BUT I THINK IT FIXED ALL TIMING AN PULL ISSUES that stargazer alone had.

 

I wouldn't hesitate a minute with the upgrade. IT WAS THE 3rd BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE for my skiing! (#1 marry my wife, #2 buy a GOODE SKI, #3 ZBox upgrade.....)

I have a 2003 196 with Zbox. I ski the same number of balls

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a very short set up on one end, barely out of the water and you pull out for the gate. It does well settling as long as you drive it like a stargazer unit.

 

On the ski buddy, I ski with a guy who doesn't have any speed control. I do ski on his boat, but really hoping he does SG and ZBox this winter! We ski more on my boat............ SO, you could just work out a deal/agreement to do that with his boat as well, but I think ZBox will get him on your boat too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Zbox can be set up to feel and react exactly like Zero off.

Your 196 should feel just like a newer 196 with Zero off imho.

It Will never feel like a CC 200 though, but that is because the 200 is a larger Boat with better tracking and is less affected by a skiers load than a smaller Boat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I don't know if Zbox is exactly the same as ZO because while I've skied the same scores behind both of them I've never skied the different systems in back to back sets on the same lake. What I can say is that there is a definite benefit to practicing how you compete and Zbox is way closer to ZO than original stargazer or PP classic so I would make the switch so long as your ski buddy is willing to ski it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have held off on Zbox for a couple of years figuring it would get better. If it seems to be working with short setups given that you drive it like Stargazer which i have to do anyway I might give it a shot for next year. It is only a $500 investment I think given that I have Stargazer and the multi-line display.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have skied back to back sets on a 200 ZO and a 196 ZBox........ I normally feel if I were to close my eyes (heck, do that 1/2 the time anyways.....) I wouldn't be able to tell what boat I was behind (other than a 22 off pass bump being in different spots, but I haven't skied that pass in a year or so......)

 

It really is a non issue. If you have lots of cash or ability to upgrade to a ZO do it, if not, you have only one choice........... and it is a good choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I ski with a family sometimes who's 2 kids are ranked in the top 10 in the country and their son won Nationals this year. They ski exclusively behind 1994 MC w/ZBox. I feel a little difference but just go up a letter and I'm good to go. Buy it I think it would be worth the investment.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

 

Can you guys believe we are starting our 8th (EIGHTH!) season on ZO??!! Time flies.

 

it's been an interesting evolution:

Hand driving

Accuski/Perfect Pass

Perfect Pass evolution

Stargazer then Zbox

Zero Off

 

Zero off is like no other speed control system out there. It's highly sophisticated while actually dumbed down for our purposes.

 

Yes Zbox is more like ZO then anything else out there but it's only replicating a few factors that are the same. The gates are similiar but to train fully behind Zbox full time and then expect to perform behind ZO at the same high rate would be nearly impossible. ZO's water speed and gate factor are quite precise as are the load/energy management.

 

ZBox is good as a patch or work around for not having a ZO boat but it's not the same in the bigger picture.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have Z Box in our 06 Response, 340 Monsoon motor and it feels the same as ZO to me. I think the GPS timing is BS though as I drove OUT the gates the other day and it started timing so I kept it engaged just to see what would happen. Sure enough it beeped 269 metres down the river and came up with a 16.08 good time!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Churchy, the GPS timing does not actually detect when the boat is passing the boat guides and has no physical link to the guides or gates themselves. It only knows the GPS location of the gates to trigger the timing mechanism to start. Then, it uses the GPS speed measurement (which is very accurate) over many samples/intervals of elapsed time to calculate (again, very accurately) the distance traveled. When it determines you have traveled a specific slalom course distance (intermediate buoy-to-buoy or the full course length), it records the elapsed time at the moment you have achieved that distance.

 

In your case, it apparently interpreted your throttle up through the exit gate as an event to trigger the timer to start. And, it correctly recorded the amount of time for the boat to travel the length of a course.

 

The only thing it didn't do correctly was realize you actually were driving away from the course. GPS speed measurement is not conducted along an expected specific vector, just a differential calculation of distance between two GPS locations measured at each interval/sample of elapsed time.

 

Theoretically, you could go through the starting gate and drive the boat around each turn buoy as it would be for the skier. The ZO would beep at various locations signaling buoy times when the boat had traveled that respective additive distance over its various vectors. Then, after the 269 meters, it would beep again for an "end course" time. The final beep would be well short of the actual exit gates due to the zig-zag pattern through the course consuming more distance than a straight path.

 

I would also think the engine response of the boat would be interesting as it tried to maintain that constant speed as you drove around the turn buoys. It would be quite a ride and worth the video if you do it.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Churchy ZBox doesn't care what direction you are traveling (up lake, down lake, cross course, etc...) it just cares that it has moved past the "track mark" to trigger the timer. So think of it this way, there isn't an exit gate...... JUST TWO ENTRANCE GATES. That is why it will grab one headed out the course, like if you have a guy fall mid course, you pull em up and head back out of the course, and it triggers the timer on the way out the "entrance gate"...........

 

This is a tad frustrating sometimes, especially since the boat wants to do MACH 1 around a turn island if you are spinning the guy. You just have to get off the set point.

 

It is something I thought they would address in the newest revision, but I guess in the end, it really isn't a big deal. Hasn't caused me any headaches yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@ USAski1 I have a carb boat and Z box. I've not had any problems, but setup is crucial. GOODEskier has some valid points in another post about setup, although I never had to put the back ground setting quite as high as him. I skied on the same settings at Chet's on a new CC as I do at home. They feel very close, but I'm only 143 lb and into deep 38.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did the go though the gates at an angle that puts me outside the 2 ball and what do you know it beeped at were it should if I had a course running that way. So it does just use the start point of the course only. BTW perfect time too (PP stargazer with Z-box) Just confirming comments above.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I have the Z-box on my 1997 Nautique with EFI GT-40. In the spring I updated the software to the new Revision R. This added the + Plus setting to mimic ZO. Previously it took some time to dial in the system, most notably was an issue where the system would run out of tolerance around 3 ball. With the new software this is no longer and issue. With this latest revision the short setup issue has been eliminated. The beep comes on almost instantaneously. I also noticed the system was more intuitive to the driver when hand driving if you spin at the end of your course. I train behind a 2008 196 with ZO and 200 with ZO. With the new software the pull is very similiar behind all 3 boats. If you are having problems with the new Revision R, I would first make sure your antenna puck view to the sky is not obstructed. Second, I would have the antenna puck checked to make sure is is good. Garmin did have issues with a few batches.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
@DanE I am about to do some testing of version 8.05 software on some outboards and inboards. This and possibly an earlier version or two includes the plus setting. The early versions including 8.00 had problems with short setups. I'm not sure when it was fixed but hopefully I'll get to see this weekend. I have various versions to upgrade including I think 8.00 and 8.02 so ill check before and after behaviours. If you have an early version 8.0.x I'm sure it will be worth upgrading for the nominal fee. Greg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@GregHind & others,

What is the most current revision?

Was watching our times yesterday & some are very spot on & others

up to .04 hot at the start. I know I can put some of that down to bad setup

but yesterday I was looking for areas of improvement.

 

Need rain, as our short setup is now a bit shorter due to falling water levels.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
@phil2360 what version do you have now. I'll be able to report on 8.0.5 Monday. I think that version is available now I'm just testing some other stuff. Phil since your in Australia I may be able to supply the software to you express post overnight. Let me know what you have now. Greg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I am still not sold. I run a 2002 Malibu Response which is a throttle cable boat and we have a short setup. I run Stargazer and have it working so the times are fine. I would love to have effective ZO emulation but I don't want to mess up my system.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@Chef23, one of the skiers in our club has a 2001 Malibu Response LX with ZBox. He posts here also. I have skied it many times and think it pulls great. I don't think you'd mess up your system. Record your current tuned settings and software versions, etc. Then, even if you are dissatisfied, just put the old stuff back and sell the ZBox emulator on Ski-It-Again. You may also find that you like it and it works better. Since you have SG already, you have a very reasonable upgrade to try it.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Chef23 Guys at PP will take it back if you don't like it anyways. Only reason you wouldn't like it....... is if you are used to PP StarGazer and PP Classic and find skiing ZO harder. It is the real deal with "unforgiving" pulls (as my buddies that don't ski speed control say).

 

Honestly, if you ski ZO you'll love this and wonder why you waited.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@GOODESkier I am not worried about finding skiing ZO harder. I ski close to the same in tournaments behind ZO as I do in practice behind my boat. My practice PB is behind ZO not PP so I am not concerned about that. I just want it to work on a short setup and not have to mess with it all the time.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@GregHind,

 

Current running 8.0.02. Upgraded to that in January this year.

Would be great if you can do something with express posting me an update.

could certainly have it on it's way back to you with a day or 2 & would be happy to

cover Express Post cost on both directions.

 

Thanks

 

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...