Welcome

We hope you will get value from RowExcel. This is a Quick Start to help you to get started quickly with the application. This is available as Quick Start on the Help menu which is available by tapping on the question mark icon at the bottom right of the Main screen.

A more detailed Usage Guide is available on-line.  It may that a newer version of the Quick Start is available on-line, as well.  This version was created on October 26, 2014.

To return to the Start screen tap on the back arrow on the lower left of the phone.

Getting More Help

In addition to the guides available on the phone and the web we are very happy to help via email.   Send us a message to Support@ExcellentSystems.us with questions, suggestions or complaints. Many of the features of RowExcel have been suggested by other rowers.  We answer every message we receive promptly.

Your First Row

Most of us like to immediately try out new things and we have designed RowExcel to do that. The first thing to do is to place your phone in a waterproof case and attach it securely to the boat. The ideal location is on a wing rigger in the center of the boat but placing the phone on the floor of the boat at your heels works well, in most cases.

Tap here for instructions about how to Monitor a rowing piece

Quick Tips

Below is a list of things you might wish to do with RowExcel. Click on the item you wish to do for instructions to accomplish that step:


Monitor a rowing piece

Start RowExcel by tapping the Start button on the Main screen. If the word Start is not visible the phone may be in a poor position and you should adjust it to so that Start appears. If the Audio Option is installed you may receive announcements telling you to start rowing. The screen will show the initial values of zeroes for the first couple of strokes while the application determines stroke rates and boat direction.

RowExcel will display the screens and metrics you selected in the settings and, if the Audio Option is installed, will speak the specified announcements as the piece progresses.

When you finish a piece you should stop the monitoring by tapping on the stop icon Stop icon at the bottom of the screen right above the Windows icon, on most phones. This will take you back to the Main screen. The number of meters, strokes and time of all the rows in the current session is displayed. You can view details and summaries of all your pieces by tapping the pieces icon at the bottom of Main screen.

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Review completed pieces

By default, RowExcel records all the information it gathers from each rowing piece.  You can view this by tappnig the pieces icon, Pieces icon, on the bottom of the Main Screen.  This will take you to a screen that lists all the pieces you have recorded with the newest on top.  Each piece is represented by two lines.  The top line is the date and time the piece started.  The second line lists the number of meters, time rowed and number of strokes in the piece.  You can also slide the title of the screen to the left or right to see a summary of pieces rowed over periods of time.  This acts as rowing log

Tap on the top line of a piece to see more detail and options for that piece.  The screen always contains the start and stop times of the piece along with meters, time and strokes in the piece. The remainder of the screen has options to get more detail.  The options shown depend upon whether the data files associated with the piece are on the phone.  You can control which data is saved and for how long.   If the strokes data for the piece has been recorded then the following options exist:

Map

The Map option is a great way to view a piece to see the important metrics during the piece on an aerial map of the piece.  The Map allows you to see your performance throughout the piece.  You can change the way the map appears via the Map settings.  You can zoom in and out as well as moving the map view with your fingers.

There is a 'pin' on the mp at the end of the number of strokes ythat are defined in the Map settings.  Each pin contains the 500 meter split time, stroke rate, meters into the piece and the stroke number starting this set of strokes.  You can specify that the pins be colored to show diferences in the selected metric.  You can drill down into the stroke data by tapping on a pin.  This wil take you to a series of screens where you can view the various metrics for the group of strokes represented by the pin.  You can drag the title to view various metrics.  You can also move forward and backward in the piece by tapping on the prev and next icons at the bottom of the screen.

Statistics

The Statistics screens allow you to see the overall performance metrics the selected piece.  You can drag the title of the screen to move between metrics.  Each meteric is shown for the three stroke ranges selected when the piece occured.  For each the average, minimum, maximum and standard deviation are shown.   You can also see a rough histogram of the metrics by tapping on the hist icon at the bottom of the screen.

Upl Strokes

This option allows you to upload the strokes data file to the Microsoft cloud, currently called OneDrive.  You can then use this file in tools such as Microsoft Excel to perform analysis.

Del Strokes

This option allows you to manually delete the strokes data file.  Doing this will mean that none of the options in this section will be available. 

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Access settings

RowExcel is extrememly flexible and versital, largely due to the numer of settings it allows you to adjust.  This document describes how you can adjust many of the settings to accomplish your goals.  To access the settings you tap the Settings icon, Setting icon, on the Main screen.  To save any changes you make to the current settings you must tap on Save icon, Save icon, at the bottom of the settings screens.

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Save my settings

RowExcel supports an unlimited number of named settings. One of the most useful things to do is to create various named settings for each type of piece you take.  This allows you to specify screens, announcements (if the Audio option has been installed), End Points (if the Race option is installed) as well as many other settings.  You may also wish to create a new setting file if you are going to make significant changes to the current settings.  This can save you from losing some valuable settings.To save the current

To save the current settings to a different name go to the setings screen and enter the New Name on the Name panel of the Setting screen.  Tap on the save (check mark) icon at the bottom of the screen.  This will copy all the settings to the new settings and make that the currently used settings.

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Use saved settings

You can very quickly change the currently selected and active settings.  Just tap on the name next to Setting Name: to get a list of all the available settings on your phone. If you tap on one of the names listed it will be selected as the currently used settings; there is no need for using the Save icon.  If you see the list but do not wish to change the settings after getting the list you can just tap the Back arrow button at the lower left of the phone.

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Change the number of strokes in groups

RowExcel gathers rowing performance metrics, such as stroke rate, split and run, for 2 groups of strokes in addition to the last stroke.  You can specify the size of these stroke groups from the General panel of the settings screen.  Tap on the number you wish to change to get a list of available group sizes.  Tap on the one you desire to make the change.   If you do not wish to change the settings after getting the list you can just tap the Back arrow button at the lower left of the phone.

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Display drift speed

RowExcel determines your boat speed by using GPS.  If you are rowing in moving water or in notable wind conditions there will be effects on your relative speed through the water.  RowExcel offers the ability to detect the 'drift' speed.  You can chose to have the boat speed and/or 500 meter split displayed on the Main menu.  Go to he General panel of the settings screen.  If you wish to display one or both of these alues in place of "Start" on the Main menu place a check mark next to the settings at the bottom of the screen.

The speed is measured in meters per second and the split is the time in hours, minutes and seconds it would take to go 500 meters at the current 'drift' speed.  This information is added at the end of the Note value so you have it for future reference when you review your performance.

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Change what is displayed on the screens

You can specify what is displayed by the RowExcel from the Screens panel of the settings screen. Drag the title of the setting screen until you reach the Screens panel.  There are ten possible screens available for display.  This seems a huge number of screens at first glance but RowExcel allows you to specify start and stop conditions for each screen, if you have installed the Race option.  It may be that you want to see rate and split in the start and middle of a piece and strokes remaining in the last few hundred meters.

The ten possible screens are listed in the order they will appear.  Each screen has a title that is displayed at the top of the screen when displayed during a monitored piece.  If the screen has not been defined in any way the title column of the setting screen will be "- unused -."  If the screen has been defined the interval will be displayed to the right of the title.  If any start or stop conditions have been defined then "Strt/Stp" will appear to the right of the interval. 

Tap on the title of a screen to make changes to it.  The main panel will have the title of the screen number being changed.  You can enter any text you wish into the Title field.  The title is only used to describe the general contents of the scrren and will appear at the top of the screen when it is displayed while the piece is being monitored.  You can specify the interval for the screen to remain visible before the next screen become active.  You can specify the units to be Seconds, Strokes or Meters by tapping on the circle to the right of each label.  Tap on the number to the right ot the Interval and enter the number you wish to enter. 

Drag the title to go to the fields panel to specify which metrics will be displayed on the screen.  There are six possible positions on the screen for display of metrics.  RowExcel can display a screen that contains one, two or six metrics on one screen.  If you wish to have only one or two meterics displayed then enter them on the top one or two positions on the screen, leaving all the rest as "<blank>."  Tap on the metric in each position you wish to change.  This will display a list of the metrics available for display.  You can drag the list up and down to see them all.  "<blank> means this position will not be displayed.  Tap on the metric you wish displayed in this position or tap on the back arrow at the lower left of the screen to not make a change.

If you have installed he Race option there is a start/stop panel that allows you to specify conditions to start or stop the display of this screen.  Tap on the metric name in the start or stop position to see a list of available metrics.  Tap on the one you wish to use.  Tap on the circle to the left of GT if you wish the value of the selected metric to be Greater Than the Value or the circle to the left of LT if you wish it to be Less Than.  Tap on the number next to Value to supply the value to be used as the comparison against the selected metric value.

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Change what is displayed on the maps

The map is a great way to review the performance of a piece.  The map shows the path taken and places a 'pin' containing summary information for the specified group of strokes.  You can specify what is displayed on the map by RowExcel from the Map panel of the settings screen.

You can also change the map settings by tapping on the setings icon on the bottom of the map.  Changing the settings from here are not saved after the current session unless you also go to the main settings screen. To return to viewing the map after making changes on the map settings screen tap on the settings icon again.  Tapping on the Windows back arrow will exit the map.

Tap on the number in the box to the right of the Strokes/Pin label and select the number of strokes you wish for each pin on the map.Tap on the square to the right of Include End Points to make a check if you wish geographically based End Points shown on the map.  If there are geographically based End Points near the path of the piece, such as finish or start lines, they will be shown on the map.

You can indicate differences in performance in a piece by indicating that you wish the color of the pin to indicate how the selected metric is relative to the average of that metric in the piece.  Tap on the circle next to Rate, Run or Split if you wish to have the pins colored by that metric.  Tap on the circle next to Low, Medium or High to indicate how sensitive the grandularity you wish.  The higher the grandularity the more the metric must be away from average to get a color.

The colors for the pins and their meaning is:

Color Meaning
Blue Much greater than average
Green Greater than average
Black Average
Amber Less than average
Red Much less than average

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Change what information is stored

You can specify what data is recorded and long long it is maintained by RowExcel from the Log panel of the settings screen.

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Change catch sensitivity

You can specify how sensitive the catch detection is from the Catch panel of the settings screen.  It is uncommon to make changes as the default settings work in most situations.  The most common reason to change the values on this panel is when dealing with a novice crew where the boat acceleration is not uniform from poor timing on catch or recovery.  The program can occasionally miss strokes when the power application goes from high to low intensity such as going from full power to paddle.

The Catch Accel % is an approximate amount of differential acceleration required to signal that the catch has occured.  This number should be lowered if strokes are being missed by the application and raised if extra strokes are being claimed.

The Catch Latch % is an approximate amount of duration at the start of a possible catch during which a catch can be detected.  This number should be increased if strokes are being missed and changing the  Catch Accel % was not effective.

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Change what is announced at the start (optional)

You can specify what is announced at the start of a piece from the Start panel of the settings screen.  This is only available if both the Race option and Audio option are installed.  There are three possible audio announcements spoken, in order, when you press the Start button.

You can indicate whether each announcement is spoken by tapping on the square under Say It? to the left of each announcement.  You can change the text for the announcement for each of the announcements by tapping on the announcement text.  There are possible delays for the second and third announcements.  You can select a minimum and maximum number of seconds for each of these announcements.  If you make the Min and Max values for an announcement then RowExcel will randomly pick a time between the values for the announcement,

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Change announcements (optional)

You can specify what is displayed on the map by RowExcel from the Map panel of the settings screen.

There are ten possible announcements available for display.  This seems a huge number at first glance but RowExcel allows you to specify start and stop conditions for each screen, if you have installed the Race option.  It may be that you want to hear rate and split in the start and middle of a piece and strokes remaining in the last few hundred meters.

The ten possible announcements are listed in priority order.   The list is scanned each stroke and the first announcement in the list that is 'due' is spoken.  Announcements are made only at the start of a stroke and only one announcement per stroke is made.   Each announcement is either to speak the value of a metric or is a Free form message, discussed below.  The list on the End Points screen has three columns.  The first column is the metric to be spoken, the text of a Free form message or "- unused -" if the announcement will not be spoken.   The second column is the repeat interval for the announcement in strokes, seconds or meters.  If the interval is connected to another announcement, the number of the predecessor announcement is shown.  The third column is  "Strt/Stp" if any start or stop conditions have been defined.

At the bottom of the screen are two options.  Tap to place a check mark in the box to the left of No Audio if you wish no audio announcements to be made.  The Bluetooth button is there for using Bluetooth speakers that go to 'sleep' after a few seconds of no activity.  Tapping to add the check to the left of Bluetooth causes the stroke number to be spoken at the beginning of every announcement.  This is normally indented to 'wake up' tthese particaulr types of remote speakers but it can be handy if you like the stroke number spoken on each announcement.

Tap on the title of an announcement to make changes to it.  This screen allows you to select the metric to be spoken to to indicate that it is a Free form message.  Tap on the box under Metric Spoken to see the list of available options.  You can scroll up and doen the list and tap on the item you wish to have spoken to select it.  Free form message is usually the last option in the list and it is time to explain what it means.  A Free form message is a message that will speak only the text you enter rather than speaking the value of a metric.  You can embed metric values in the message by embedding the metric number inside angle brackets, <>. 

You can have the metric description spoken before the metric value by tapping in the box to the left of Speak Description to have a check mark appear.  This helps identify what is spoken but, of course, increases the time taken for the announcement.  You can have the metric value repeated by placing a check mark in the box to the left of Repeat Value.  This increases the time of the announcement slightly but can help in understanding the value spoken.

Tap on the voice shown in the Voice box to see a list of available voices on your phone.  You can install additional voices to your phone via the phone settings.  Tap on the voice you wish to be used to speak this announcement.  You can tap on the Test button to hear how the voice sounds and what the options to be used are.

Drag the screen title to interval to specify the repeat interval for this announcement.  Select Seconds, Strokes or Meters as the units by tapping on the circle to the right of the type desired.  Tap on the number shown next to Repeat Interval and enter the number of units after which you wish this announcement to be repeated.  By default the interval is from the start of the current piece and then repeating from this announcement.  You can also make the interval follow another announcement.  Tap on the box below After Audio: which says Start of Piece.  Tap on any listed announcement to have this announcement follow it by the specified interval.   Doing this causes the current announcement only occur after the selected predecessor announcement.  The announcement will become a candidate to be spoken after this interval expires.  It may be blocked by other announcements which can increase the actual interval.

The main panel will have the title of the screen number being changed.  You can enter any text you wish into the Title field.  The title is only used to describe the general contents of the scrren and will appear at the top of the screen when it is displayed while the piece is being monitored.  You can specify the interval for the screen to remain visible before the next screen become active.  You can specify the units to be Seconds, Strokes or Meters by tapping on the circle to the right of each label.  Tap on the number to the right ot the Interval and enter the number you wish to enter. 

If you have installed he Race option there is a start/stop panel that allows you to specify conditions to start or stop the display of this screen.  Tap on the metric name in the start or stop position to see a list of available metrics.  Tap on the one you wish to use.  Tap on the circle to the left of GT if you wish the value of the selected metric to be Greater Than the Value or the circle to the left of LT if you wish it to be Less Than.  Tap on the number next to Value to supply the value to be used as the comparison against the selected metric value.

The final pane on the screens is the freeform panel.  This allows you to enter the text to be spoken in a Free form message.  Tap on the message box and type the words you wish spoken as a part of this announcement.  You can enter the number of any metrics listed on the bottom of the screen and have these spoken at that point in the message.  The metric must be enclosed inside angle brackets as shown on the bottom of the screen. 

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Change end points (optional)

You can update the End Points maintained by RowExcel from the end point panel of the settings screen.   End points are available if the Race option is installed.  They can be based on seconds, strokes, meters or on geographic points.  You can add, edit or delete End Points on the screen.  If there are geographic End Points defined then you will need to press the Load End Points button in order to see the current End Points.  This may take a few seconds.

Once the end points have been loaded they will be in approximate distance from your current location.  Tap on the value under Finishes to get the list of current end points.  The list consists of the name of each end point and the approximate number of meters from the current location.  Tap on the name of an end point to select it.

Tap on the Add button to add a new end point.  Tap on the Edit button to edit the current end point and tap on Delete to delete the current end point.  There will be a confirmation prompt if you tap on Delete.

If you use Add or Edit you have the option to specify the name of the end point, its type and the information used to define it.  The Type can be None if this end point has no end.  Meters, Strokes and Seconds specify that te end point will be reached when the specified number of that unit is reached.  The number of units is shown on the bottom of the screen and you should enter the value desired. 

Here and Finish Line are geographically defined end points.  These consist of the latitude and longitude of either a single point (Here) or two points at either end of a finish line.  If you have obtained the latitude and longitude values from some source you can enter them into the appropiate fiends on the bottom of the screen.  If you do not have these values you can have the phone find them by taking the phone to the points and tap on the Mark Here button for the appropiate values.   This will dteremine the current location and load the values into the proper places.  Since a finish line has two points you will need to move from one point to the other end of the finish line.  You can save the value of the first point, move to the other end of the finish line and use the Edit option and the Mark Here for Point 2.  If you cannot mark the finish line in a boat you can do it from land, assuming you are able to get to bother sides of the finish line on land.

A minor but important point to appreciate is that the distance computed to a geographic end point is from the phone itself and not the bow ball.  You can enter the distance between the bow ball the phone location on the settings screen.

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Use Training Plans (optional)

The Training Plan option allows you to have RowExcel to provide instruction and reporting of segments in training plans,  If you install this option several example training plans are added and you can add more or change the ones provided.  Each training plpan contains any number of sequential segments.  Each segment has a duration and stroke pressure.  The duration can be a number of strokes, seconds or meters.  The start and end of each segment can provide information via a specific display screen and/or via audio announcements, if the Audio option has been installed.

Details about how to update and control the Training Plans are in the online user guide.

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Upload data to the Microsoft cloud

You can upload virtually any file used by RowExcel to yhe Microsoft OneDrive cloud.  The most common files to upload are the data files for each piece, especially the strokes file.  This steps to begin this process are described in the Review completed pieces section of this document.  You can also upload any file by tapping on the logs icon, Logs icon, from the Main screen.  This will display all the files created and used by the application.  You can tap on the name of a file to see its contents, upload it or delete it.  The display may be limited to the first few hundred lines, if it is large.  Take care in deleting files, especially those in the settings folder.

Uploading to the OneDrive cloud requires that you use a Microsoft account associated with a OneDrive account.  You will be prompted for the email address and password.  If this is your first connection from RowExcel there will be a confirmation page presented.  After you successfully sign on you can tap on the Upload button to start the upload.  The upload shows progress which will depend on the file size and network speed, of course.  You can optyionally Sign Out if you wish. If you do not perform a Sign Out you will be automatically connected to your OneDrive each time you access the upload screen. 

The files uploaded to your OneDrive cloud will be placed in a folder structure based at a top level folder named RowExcel.  Sub folders are created for files in the phone subfolders shown below.

Folder Usage
Settings Used to store the settings and related control files used interanally by RowExcel.  We will implement the ability to restore or upload the files from this folder back to your phone in a possible future release of RowExcel.
Strokes Used to store the strokes CSV files which are used by RowExcel for statistical and map information.  These files can be used for more analysis by Excel or other applications.
Metrics Used to store the detailed metrics CSV files.  These are not used on the phone application but can be used for detailed analysis in Excel or other tools.
TrainingPlans Used to store the files that define the training plans defined.

You can also perform backup and restore with the cloud of the various settings and session summary information by tapping on the ... at the bottom of the settings screen.

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Add-on Options

There are a number of optional add-on options available for use with RowExcel.  You can install them from the various points in the settings screen.  You can see which options you have installed by tapping on Add-on Options after tapping the ... at the bottom of the settings screen.  You can also install any of the options from this screen.  Most of these options cost a small amount of money.  The All option provides a way to purchase all the current and future add-on options at a cost lower than the total cost of all the options.

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The Main Screen

The Main screen appears when you start RowExcel and it allows you to navigate within the features of the application. Below is a sample of the Main page after one piece has been completed in the current rowing session:

Main screen

This image is in what is called landscape mode where the phone is with the longest dimension in the horizontal. RowExcel works in both landscape and portrait for rowing monitoring.

There are 6 sections in the Main page described here as noted by the numbers in or near the yellow arrows:

1 - Start Button

As you have probably already guessed, the Start button starts the monitoring of a rowing piece. The ideal condition is when the Start button says “Start” which indicates that the application senses that the phone is stable and in a good position to detect boat motion. If the button says “Poor position” the phone is either not flat or vertical enough for best results. If the button says “Not stable” the phone is moving up and down or to the sides. Tapping the button will start the monitoring and begin the piece, regardless of what is on the button. The messages about position and stability are just warnings that the best results might not be obtained.  If you select the Show Drift on Main Screen in the General Settings then the information you select, boat speed and/or split, will appear in place of the words.

2 - Note

The note is a way for you to have a description of the piece that is about to be rowed. You can tap on this field and enter any descriptive text about the piece before tapping on the Start button. The note is saved with the piece information and displayed when you review the pieces.

3 - Pieces summary

The pieces summary lists the summary of pieces, if any, rowed during this session of RowExcel. It acts as a way to track your most recent rowing activity. You can see more detailed summary information through the Sessions button.

4 - Settings

The settings line displays the name of the currently selected setting in use. If you have installed the optional Race option the End point selected is also shown.

5 - App buttons

There are four App buttons that take to you support and setup features of RowExcel.

Settings Takes you to the settings pages that allow you to make a wide range of changes to the way RowExcel operates.
Pieces Takes you to a screen that shows the pieces you have completed with the most recent on top. You can drag the list up and down. Tap on a session time to see more details, including a map of the row with performance information.

You can drag the title of the screen to see a summary of all rows by indicated periods of time. This acts as a log of your distance and time.
Logs Takes you to a list of all the files used and generated by RowExcel. You can view any file by tapping on its name. You can upload any of the files to the Microsoft cloud or delete it. Deleting files can cause you to lose information so be careful out there.
Help Takes you to a menu that provides a variety of information about RowExcel, including this and other usage documentation.

6 - Windows buttons

The Windows Phone buttons are on every Windows Phone, usually as a part of the phone itself. There are three buttons on the bottom of the physical phone (on the right of the image above) and three buttons on the side of the phone (not pictured above).

Button Location Usage
Volume Side Top Increases and decreases the speaker volume.
Power Side middle Turns on the phone, if off, or clears the display, if on, with a sible push.  Push and hold for 20 seconds or so when on to turn the phone off, completely.
Camera Side bottom Pressing and holding takes you to the camera application.  Pressing when in camera takes a photo.  This button is not used with RowExcel.
Back Bottom left Takes you back one screen in an application, if not on the main page.  If on the main page of an application it causes the application to exit and return you to the Windows Start screen.  You can see all running applications by tapping and holding the back arrow.  You can then select another running application, if desired. 
Windows Bottom center Takes you to the indows Start screen and leaves the current application running.
Search Bottom Right This button brings up a seach screen and leaves the current application running.

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