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Usage Manual

Version 3.2.6 (February 24, 2015) (Version 1 manual for Windows Phone 7)

Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015 Excellent Systems, Inc.



Our Goal 3

Overview.. 3

Monitoring. 4

Pieces History. 6

Data Capture and Reporting. 7

Training Plans. 7

Upload data to the cloud. 7

Settings. 7

Quick Start Guide. 8

The Windows Phone. 8

Attaching and Caring For Your Phone. 8

Accuracy and Precision. 8

Energy. 9

How to use your phone. 9

Privacy Policy. 9

Application Operations. 10

Main Menu. 10

Monitoring. 11

Displays. 11

Stopping. 11

Settings. 11

Name. 12

General 12

Screens. 13

Screen. 15

Fields. 15

Start/Stop. 15

Audio (option). 17

Free form message. 21

Catch. 21

Logs. 22

Start. 23

Map (option). 24

Training (option). 26

End Points (option). 30

Backup and Restore. 32

Add-on Options. 34

Pieces. 34

Map (option). 36

Map Drilldown. 37

Segments (Training Option). 38

Statistics. 39

Histogram.. 39

Logs. 39

Help. 40

File Formats. 40

Sessions. 40

Strokes. 41

Metrics. 42

Version History. 43



Our Goal

Our goal in supporting this application is to help you improve your rowing.  We appreciate your interest and usage of the application and hope that you will help us improve the application.  We always like to hear good things and would appreciate your taking a few seconds to provide your review of the application.  Even more importantly, we want to hear how the application can be improved.  If you see errors or features that should be improved PLEASE send us a mail message to our support email as shown in the About screen of the application.


RowExcel provides a wealth of information about your rowing Pieces and can help you win races by informing how many strokes and time remains in a race.  When we say tell, we mean it.  RowExcel can optionally speak any of the metrics about your Piece at points in the Piece your select.  RowExcel can be a literal race changer for you.

RowExcel uses the sensors of the Windows Phone to gather the data about the movement of a rowing shell.  This includes the stroke rate, boat location, distances travelled and speed.  The various metrics, up to 24 in this version, can be displayed on a dashboard of up to 10 screens which cycle as you specify.  Any of the metrics can also be, optionally, spoken in any installed voice at points and intervals desired.  The audio output eliminates the need to watch the screen and can allow multiple people to hear the announcements through the use of a Bluetooth speaker.

The most exciting feature of the application is the option Race Options.  This adds the concept of End Points.  You can mark the finish line of a race or piece and the application can report the remaining distance, time and strokes until you reach it, based on the location and recent boat movement.  These options provide a significant advantage in a race or other high performance situation.

The strokes are detected by observing the acceleration detected by the phone.  This detection depends on the phone being securely attached to the shell.  If the phone is not securely attached, it can shift on each stroke which will significantly reduce the accuracy of the stroke detection.  Each phone has different sensor sensitivity so the application provides settings to adjust how sensitive the application needs to be to get accurate stroke detection.

Any Windows Phone capable of running Windows Phone 8.0 or higher is adequate for this application.  The phone does not require a SIM card or connection to a cellular network to provide the monitoring features.  Racing prohibits having a phone capable of normal telephone connections so the SIM must be removed for racing.  The mapping and uploading features do require connection to the Internet but this can be accomplished via Wi-Fi.


The core of the application is the gathering of key metrics of the boat movements and calculating performance metrics.  These can be displayed on the Windows Phone display in a series of up to ten screens that can contain up to 6 metrics.  The screens can be displayed for a specific number of strokes, meters or seconds.  If installed, the Audio Option allows for a single metric to be spoken at intervals.  The Race Options adds the ability for the application to specify start and stop points for screen displays and audio announcements. The Training Plan Option allows your pieces to be set by preset segments of specified stroke pressure or rating with screen or audio announcements. 

The application supports a huge number of possible displays and announcements.  This can result in information overload but the application also provides the ability to specify and control when information is provided.  For example, the distance remaining can be displayed only when you are within a specified distance from the finish and the split can be stopped at the same time.


Below are the metrics that can be displayed or spoken.  Several of the metrics can be displayed for 3 different stroke intervals.  One interval is always the current stroke and the two others can be specified.

1.       Strokes per minute last stroke

2.       Strokes per minute last <M> strokes

3.       Strokes per minute last <N> strokes

4.       Run (meters) last stroke

5.       Run last <M> strokes

6.       Run last <N> strokes

7.       Meters per second last stroke

8.       Meters per second last <M> strokes

9.       Meters per second last <N> strokes

10.   mm:ss split (500M) last stroke

11.   mm:ss split (500M) last <M> strokes

12.   mm:ss split (500M) last <N> strokes

13.   Number of meters traveled this Piece

14.   Elapsed time in mm:ss this Piece

15.   Stroke Number

16.   Check ratio last stroke (maximum deceleration/max acceleration)

17.   Check ratio last <M> strokes

18.   Check ratio  last <N> strokes

19.   Time of day

20.   Seconds elapsed

21.   Meters remaining 1

22.   Time remaining 1

23.   Strokes remaining 1

24.   Seconds remaining 1

25.   Rate in segment2

26.   Run in segment2

27.   Speed in segment2

28.   Split in segment2

29.   Check ratio in segment2

30.   Strokes in segment2

31.   Strokes left in segment2

32.   Meters in segment2

33.   Meters left in segment2

34.   Seconds in segment2

35.   Seconds left in segment2

36.   Strokes in next segment2

37.   Meters in next segment2

38.   Seconds in next segment2

39.   Target rate in this segment2

40.   Target rate in next segment2

41.   Pressure in this segment2

42.   Pressure in next segment2

43.   Interval for next segment start announcement2

44.   Units for next segment start announcement2

45.   Interval for next segment2

46.   Units for next segment2

47.   Segment number2

1 – Requires Race Option
– Requires Training Option

Pieces History

You can specify which data, if any, is maintained for your rowing Pieces.  By default, a summary of every Piece of rowing is maintained.  This provides you with a very useful log of your rowing pieces.  You can see how many strokes, meters and time you have rowed and in which locales and boats.  If you pin the application to the Start menu the active tiles will display the information for various time periods.  The number of days since you last rowed is also displayed if it a day or more.  If you install and use the Training Plan option you can see a summary of the performance by stroke pressure, as well.

Piece Map

If you have the stroke data maintained, the Piece Map feature will be available.  This shows a map of the rowing Piece with pins at a stroke interval specified.  Each pin displays the 500-meter split time, stroke rate, meters travelled in the selected interval and last stroke number for that map pin.   The pin colors can be set to indicate the relative performance difference in the Piece for rate, run or speed, if desired.  Tapping on a pin takes you to a screen providing details about that point in the Piece.  The drilldown shows all the major metrics in the same color doing so you can compare things like rate, run and split on a stroke by stroke basis in a Piece.

The map can be used even when there is no network connection if you download the map for the location when you do have a network connection.

Piece Statistics

If you have the strokes data maintained, you can also view statistics of each saved Piece.  The statistics show various values for a variety of metrics.  These values include average, minimum, maximum and standard deviation.  These are displayed for the three sets of stroke groups.

There is also a histogram for the single-stroke group showing the number of values in a range of values.  This shows the count, percentage and a crude histogram.  The values for each histogram range are on the left column for each row.  The highest cell contains all values over the highest value which is indicated with a > character to its right.  Every other value has a < character to the left indicating that the values in this row are less than this value and greater than the row above, if any.


This displays the stroke-rate statistics for the Piece for each stroke grouping.


This displays the distance, in meters, for each stroke grouping.


This displays the boat speed, in meters per second, for each stroke grouping.


This displays the split, in minutes and seconds to move 500 meters, for each stroke grouping.

Check Ratio

This displays the check ratio, which is highest deceleration divided by highest acceleration, for each stroke grouping.

Data Capture and Reporting

One of the most powerful features of the application is the various logs it can generate. There are three types of logs the application maintains:

1.       Piece – contains a summary of times, distance and strokes in each Piece.  This is a great way to track your rowing.  Each row in this file contains the content of the Note entered at the start of a Piece.

2.       Strokes – contains information about each stroke in a given Piece.  This is used for additions analysis and display within the application, including the Map and Statistics as described below.

3.       Metric – contains extensive sensor information gathered during the Piece.  This data is used during the operation of the monitoring of the rowing Piece and for the Replay option.  Recording this information can be useful if you wish to perform additional analysis using additional software.  For example, you may wish to upload the metrics file and load it into Excel for analysis.

Training Plans

The Training Plan option allows you to have the application provide you with training plan instructions and track your performance in each segment of the plan.  You can create and change the training plans, easily as described in this document.

Upload data to the cloud

Every data file used by the application can be uploaded to the Microsoft cloud.  This allows the data to be accessed by other analysis programs, such as Microsoft Excel.  The uploaded files will be placed in a folder named RowExcel in your OneDrive space.


The application provides a large number of settings to adjust its operation and features.  You have different sets of settings to accommodate rowing in different boats or situations.

Quick Start Guide

This manual – the one you are reading – has a companion document which is available in the application in the Help menu which can be accessed by tapping on the ? icon on the bottom right of the main screen.  Tap on Quick Start Guide on the help screen.

The Windows Phone

Attaching and Caring For Your Phone

While we're sure that you are good enough to not drop your device in the water or roll your boat, we do strongly recommend placing your very handy and useful Windows Phone in a protective, waterproof case.  We find the Dry Pak™ cases with lanyards to be very good but there are several other high quality products available.  

In order to obtain the highest accuracy the phone should be firmly attached to the boat with the display face facing up at all times.  We use Velcro on the back of the waterproof case and the wing rigger.  This gives a good view of the screen along with a solid and safe placement of the phone.  

The display can be either in the portrait (longest screen dimension vertical) or landscape (longest screen dimension horizontal) with the phone as flat and aligned squarely with the boat as possible.  The app assumes that the display faces either the stern or the bow.  The orientation of the phone determines the axis direction of the boat.

Accuracy and Precision

The application depends on the accelerometer sensor for the stroke rate and the GPS radio for position.  As mentioned above, the phone must be secured to the boat as firmly and securely as possible to obtain the best results.  If the phone slides, wobbles or jiggles as you row, the sensor results will be adversely affected.  The primary effect will be unreliable and inaccurate stroke rates.

The accuracy and precision of the data received is affected by the position and location of the phone.  The phone works best while either totally flat or totally vertical.  If the phone senses that it is in a less than ideal position it displays Poor position in place of Start on the main screen.    The text on the screen should be facing directly toward the bow or stern of the boat.  The phone works best when it has a clear line of sight to the sky so mounting on a rigger works well but good results have been seen with the phone securely on the floor of the boat.

The strokes are determined by detecting the acceleration detected by the phone.  The acceleration of the phone should match the acceleration of the boat, of course.  The acceleration of the boat is driven by the forces on the boat, obviously.  The most desirable force is the one from the leverage of the oars and the force of the leverage will result in a forward, hopefully significant, forward acceleration.  There is a lag between the point of pulling on the oar handle and the resulting acceleration.  Different rowing styles will affect the actual force and, therefore, acceleration curves.  In crewed boats lack of ideal timing amongst the rowers can result in a 'confused' set of force and acceleration curves.  In addition to the propulsion forces of the oars there are other forces that affect the boat.  These include the movement of the bodies in the shell and wind or wave actions.  Any variations of these various forces can cause the accuracy of the stroke detection to be reduced.  You can adjust the Catch settings to best match the accelerations.  The settings for best results will vary based on the boat, crew and phone unit.

So, the accuracy of the actual stroke detection depends on many factors.

The distance and, therefore, speed metrics are determined by the phone location which uses the GPS radio for the most precise location information.  The most precise GPS position is within a couple of meters.  Given that the typical rowing shell moves approximately 10 meters on each stroke one doesn't have to be a mathematical genius to realize that the positional accuracy is 80% at best on a single stroke.  That means the distance and speed metrics for the most recent stroke are quite probably off by 20% or more.  The good news is that these positional inaccuracies tend to cancel themselves over time.  The positional accuracy in ten (10) strokes becomes very close to 99%.

We discourage using any of the metrics based on a single stroke for any other purpose than to calibrate the Catch settings.  Generally, the speed- and distance-based metrics for a single-stroke are only useful for entertainment and calibration purposes.  The default settings for the application is to collect the metrics for the most recent 5- and 10-stroke intervals in order to have more accurate metrics.


Energy and pain management are keys to success in rowing but that's not what this section is all about.  This section discusses the fact that the RowExcel application uses a significant amount of energy from your phone.  This is caused by having the display on continuously and the use of the GPS radio.  It is important to be aware that the battery drain is very high while using the application.  The typical Windows Phone has enough battery capacity to run the application for 3 to 4 hours.  If your rowing is longer than that you might want to reconsider your overtraining regimen.

How to use your phone

Virtually everyone has one or more ‘smart phones’ and most operate in similar ways.  If you are not familiar with the way Windows Phone works you can get online, obviously.  One place is here.   Key hardware buttons on the phone itself are the power and volume buttons.  You should learn how to use these.

Privacy Policy

The application uses the GPS-sensor to determine the data about your physical location on the planet.  This data consists of the longitude and latitude coordinates.  This data is stored locally in the, optional, log files.  If you choose to upload these files to the cloud, the location data could be seen by others.  This application never collects your personal or device information and never shares the data collected with anyone.

Application Operations

Main Menu


The main and monitor screens both work in portrait and landscape modes.  The image above is an image of the Main Menu with the yellow arrows showing the major parts of the screen and phone:

1.       The Start button itself.  Tapping this will start the rowing monitor.  As discussed below, the word Start may not be displayed based on settings you select or the phone’s orientation or stability.

2.       If you have selected Training Plan then the name is displayed next to the Note: on the screen.

3.       A free form text which you can enter before you start a piece to describe the piece

4.       A summary of the rowing performed during this session of the application running.  It lists the number of pieces, meters, strokes and time rowed.

5.       The name of the settings in use and, if the Race Option is installed, the End Point for this piece.

6.       Application icon buttons to access other features in the application.  These are described in detail below.

7.       Windows Phone buttons.  The magnifying glass brings up a search form which is not useful in most cases for this application.  The center button takes you to the Windows Start menu and the arrow button takes you back one screen.  If You are on the main menu pressing the arrow key will exit the application

The main menu allows you to access the other options with the start of monitoring being the most notable.  You can enter any text you wish to be logged for a Piece in the Note field and start monitoring by tapping the Start button.    If the phone is not flat or vertical enough for ideal performance the Start text will be replaced by Poor Position.  Not Stable is displayed if the phone is moving significantly.   The phone may still be able to properly detect boat movements but ideal results are unlikely if either of these messages appear   If you select either of the drift options on the General screen in the settings then the Start button will only show the drift information.

The Note is useful for remembering the nature of the Piece, such as the boat type and planned operations.  The text you enter here is saved in the Piece history and displayed when you view Piece history.

The summary of all pieces, if any, rowed during the current execution of the application is displayed below the Note text.  If you have specified an End Point for your Piece the name is displayed below.

You can click on any of the icons on the bottom or side of the screen to access the other options.


You start the rowing monitor by tapping the Start button on the main screen.  If you have specified a start sequence in the Settings the audio will provide the start commands.  The application determines the orientation of the boat so there may be a slight delay before information is displayed in the display screens.

The display will show the screens as specified by you in the settings.  The Catch indicator, the red C, appears to indicate the start of a catch.  It may appear slightly after the oars actually start the catch as the phone only detects the acceleration forces on the boat itself.  


The screens will display the metrics defined in the settings and rotate through the screens as you have specified in the settings.


Tap the   menu button on the screen.  This will return the display to Main Menu.  The statistics for the Piece just rowed will be added to the current summary so that the total distance and time rowed during the application’s run is displayed below the Note.


Tap the   menu button on the screen to access the Settings screens.

If you make any changes in one of the settings screens you must click on the   button on the bottom the screen.


You can have any number of named settings so that you can have settings for multiple situations.  The initial setting is named Default.  

The currently selected setting name is listed in the Setting Name.  You can see all the available settings by tapping on the name.  Tap on one of the listed names to select it.

You can copy the current settings to a new setting by entering the new name in the New Name box.  You are creating a file so you should avoid using strange special characters.

The check box to indicate to Disable Location Service is provided as a privacy requirement from our friends at Microsoft.  Checking this will disable determining the phone location.  This means that the Monitor feature of the application cannot operate but the other options will still operate.  Clear this checkbox if you wish to monitor your rowing.

You must click on the   button on the bottom the screen to select a new setting name.


The General settings screen allows you to indicate several values that control various aspects of information display.   The top line allows you to specify how many strokes will be included in each of the stroke-group.  The stroke-groups used for stroke rate, distance, split, speed and check ratio.  Click on the number shown and select the desired value from the list shown.  

Screen Orientation indicates which way the text should appear on the monitoring screens.  The screen image to the left is portrait orientation where the longer dimension of the phone is up and down with the text aligned with the shorter dimension.  Landscape orientation has the text aligned with the longer dimension as when the phone has been rotated 90 degrees.  The default setting is Auto which means the display and travel orientation is determined by the actual orientation of the phone itself.  This setting is adequate for most phones but some phones are very sensitive to phone orientation.  If your phone seems to change orientation very easily you may wish to click the Portrait or Landscape button.

Phone Orientation indicates whether the phone is lying flat or is standing vertically.

The display should be facing forward toward a rower or the coxswain.   The default is Auto which causes the application to use the acceleration forces to calculate the direction of travel.  You can indicate that the display is facing the Coxswain or Rower to indicate the direction of travel.  Changing the Facing setting to Coxswain or Rower often provides more reliable stroke detection, sooner.

You can have the phone detect the movement of the boat while on the main screen.  Tap on the Speed and/or Split options under Show Drift on Main Screen if you want these displayed in the Start button on the main screen.  The speed is shown as meters per second and split is the time to move 500 meters.  The value displayed in the button will added to the end of the Note so you can see the drift metrics when reviewing pieces.




You can control and specify the way each of the ten possible screens behaves.  The Screens panel shows the ten available screens:

·         Title displayed on the screen

·         Interval or duration for the screen

·         Whether the screen has start/stop conditions or is shown only at segment changes

Each screen is displayed for the specified number of seconds, strokes or meters indicated in the Interval before the next screen in order is displayed unless there is a start or stop set for the screen.  An Interval of zero (0) causes the screen to not be displayed. If the Training Option is installed then the Segment Only checkbox is available.  Tapping on this means that this screen only shown when a training plan segment start or end announcement is scheduled.


Click the button corresponding to the screen you wish to modify.  You can enter the Title to be displayed at the top of the screen when the screen is displayed in the monitoring operation.  Tap on the button next to the measurement you wish. Click next to Seconds, Strokes or Meters and enter a value for the Interval.  Slide to the fields panel to indicate the metrics you wish displayed in each of the 6 possible fields.   Tap on the metric name or <blank> to get a list of the available metrics for any fields you wish to have data displayed.  The screen only changes at the catch of a stroke even if the interval units are Seconds or Meters.


Each screen can contain up to 6 fields to be displayed.  The fields are displayed differently based on whether the phone is in portrait or landscape as shown below:
















The screens are formatted to show either 1, 2 or 6 fields.  If you wish to display less than 6 metrics use the fields at the top of the fields settings screen.  Click on each field and select the desired metric from the list shown.


The start/stop is only available if the Race Options has been installed.  You can specify that this screen is only displayed when certain conditions, based on any of the available metrics, are met.  You can specify a start, stop or both conditions.  For example, if you wish to display a screen for body of a race so you could select the Meters this piece metric as the Metric to Start Screen as GT 250 and Meters remaining as the Metric to Stop Screen as LT 250.


If you make any changes in one of the screens settings, you must click on the   button on the bottom the screen before leaving the screen.


Audio (option)


Audio announcements are an option which can be installed from within the application.  There may be a cost for installing the option.  Once installed there are 10 possible announcements which can be provided by the application.  The announcements are similar to Screens in that they can only be made at the catch of a stroke and only one announcement per stroke is given.  Unlike Screens the announcements the Interval is the time between that announcement being made.  The announcements are evaluated in the order on the list so that if the top announcement has an interval that is small it may be spoken even if one further down the list is past its desired announcement point.  For that reason placing routine announcements later in the list is good to avoid from hiding other announcements.  Place the most critical or important announcements at the top of the list.

The list shows all the defined announcements showing the metric to be spoken, the speaking interval and whether there is a start/stop setting for it.  The Start/Stop intervals are only available if the Race Options has been installed.  Tap on the announcement you wish to modify to bring up the main panel.  You can turn off the audio announcements by tapping on the No Audio checkbox.  Tap on the Bluetooth checkbox if you are using a Bluetooth speaker that goes into power saving mode and misses the first part of announcements.  Using this option causes the application to precede each announcement with the stroke number if there has been a delay between announcements.

The main screen provides the basic information about the desired announcement.  The Metric Spoken can be selected from the list of available metrics.  Tap on the Speak Description checkbox if you wish to have the description of the metric spoken at every occurrence of this announcement.  The description adds significant time which usually results in the announcement requiring 2 or more stroke cycles.  The description can be useful if you have many announcements that might have similar metric values.  Use of multiple voices can help distinguish metrics and eliminate the need for the description.  Tap on the Repeat Metric checkbox if you wish to have the value of the metric to be repeated.  Repeating the value can help in understanding the value.

Tap on the name of the Voice to see a list of installed voices on your phone.  You can install additional voices from the speech option in the Windows Phone SETTINGS menus.  The text is not translated if you use other languages but the numbers will be in the language selected. You can select Current as the voice name if you wish the voice to be the one most recently selected.  If you select a voice that is not installed on the phone at the time, the current voice will be used.

Tap on the Test button to have the description of the action to be taken to be spoken. 

The Interval can be a number of Seconds, Strokes or Meters.  This is the time between the point at which this announcement will be made.  Announcements only occur at the catch of a stroke and only one is triggered per stroke.  The interval can be from the start of the piece and then repeating at that same interval or it can be from another announcement.  Linking one announcement to another allows you to be sure you get announcements at the same relative points you desire.  If an announcement is linked to another announcement the number of the predecessor announcement is displayed on the list of announcements next to the interval.  Announcements have a priority.  If you have Training Plan announcements they will proceed other announcements and can alter the effective interval of normal announcements.

If the Race Options has been installed the start/stop options will be available.  This allows you to indicate when the announcement should appear based on a comparison of the value of the selected metrics.  A typical use of this is to begin announcements of the Strokes Remaining if the Meters remaining metric is less than 300.

Free form message

In addition to being able to have any of the metrics announced, RowExcel provides a Free form message which is a text message which is text you provide.  This allows you have the desired  text spoken at the points you wish.  Free form messages are quite powerful in that you can have metrics embedded into the message by entering a metric key into the text you enter.   The available metrics depend on the options installed and are listed at the bottom of the screen.  The metric numbers are enclosed inside the angle brackets as shown above.

Audio announcements can take some time and it is common that a single announcement can take the time of several strokes.  Some care should be taken to be sure that there are not so many announcements that the application is constantly talking.  Not only can this provide more information than is useful but it can cause the announcements to be delayed by some significant time which can make them useless in addition to being annoying.  Training Plan segment announcements have priority to the standard, metric based, announcements.  If a standard announcement would be spoken at the same time as a segment based announcement, the standard announcement will be delayed so that the segment based announcement will occur at the correct point in the segment.  This can cause the standard announcement being delayed by several strokes or even skipped if it had an interval based on another standard announcement.


You can change how the stroke catches are detected by changing the options on the Catch screen.  The two settings are on a percentage of a predefined range so you can adjust from 0 to 100% of that range.  Tap on the setting to see a list of the percentages in 5% increments.

The Catch Accel sets the amount of acceleration change required before a catch is detected.  If it appears that catches are being lost then you should lower this setting.

The Catch Latch sets the amount of lag allowed to indicate a catch.  The initial setting is normally sufficient but, if a significant number of suspect strokes appear on the high side, it can be adjusted downward.


You can indicate whether each type of log is recorded and whether they are purged as well as the length of time they are kept on your phone.  

Click next to each of the three log types to indicate whether it should be recorded.  The Record pieces causes the log of each Piece to be maintained.  This can be useful to act as a log of all your rowing.  Record strokes (map) stores information about every stroke taken in each Piece.  This provides the data used to generate the map.  Record metric details records a data file for each Piece which includes a large amount of sensor data.  This can be uploaded and analyzed, if desired.  Tap the Auto purge checkbox if you wish to have each of the logs purged at the number of days in age specified.



The Start panel provides a way to have the application to provide up to 3 announcements for a race start.  This requires that both the Audio and Race Options have been installed.

This feature can be useful even if not using it for having practice starts.  Having the first announcement spoken provides a confirmation that the monitoring is starting.  There are delays available for the second and third announcements.  The delay is a random number of seconds between the Min (s) and Max (s) values selected.  If the Max (s) value is less than or equal to the Min (s) value then the delay is exactly the seconds specified for the Min (s).

You can specify the text to be spoken in each of the announcements.  You can specify which of the installed voices on your phone are to be used to make any of the announcements.  Leaving it as Current means that whichever voice was last used will be used.

Map (option)

The Map settings allow you to control and specify how the map option displayed from the Pieces screen appears.   This is a separate option to the application and can be installed from this screen.

The map shows the path taken in the selected Piece with a pin on the map for each set of strokes.  Tap on the number next to Strokes/Pin to indicate the number of strokes to be represented by each pin.  Each pin contains the split time, stroke rate, elapsed meters and stroke number for the last stroke represented by the pin.   If the Training option has been installed the By segments checkbox will be available.  Checking the By segments checkbox will result in the pins on the displayed map to show the final stroke of each segment of the training plan in use, if any.

These settings can also be changed from the actual Map view from the piece details by tapping on the setting icon on the map screen.  Any changes made there will not be saved beyond the current session unless you come to the settings screen and tap on the save icon.

You can have the pins set to colors indicating the relative ranking of each pin stroke group by tapping on the Rate, Run or Split checkbox.  The colors are determined by the variation within the strokes in the Piece based on the metric chosen, if any.  Moreover, you have control of the granularity within the population.  The higher the granularity the fewer pins that will be in the average category and be colored black.  The statistical standard deviation is the basis for the determination of the five colors applied to the pins:




Highest values


Higher than average




Lower than average


Lowest values


Training (option)


The Training option provides a very flexible way to direct and track your rowing training.  Once the option has been installed the Training panel in the Settings system will be available.  Several simple training plans are provided as examples when you install the option.  Each training plan includes any number of segments.  Each segment has a duration which can be any number of strokes, seconds or meters.  Each segment in the plan is directed by the application in sequence.  As shown on the first screen, you can specify a segment number to be used after the last segment is completed.  If the Repeat at segment # value is set to zero then only one pass through the selected Training Plan is performed.

You can select from any of the existing Training Plans on your phone by tapping on the displayed Training Plan Name.  You can change the selected Training Plan by tapping on the Edit button.  You can delete the selected Training Plan by tapping the Delete button and accepting the confirmation that follows.  You can create a new Training Plan by tapping on the Add button.

When performing an Add or Edit operation the second screen above appears.  You must enter a valid name for the Name.  Any existing segments are listed in order.  You can choose a segment by tapping on it.  Add a new segment by tapping the add seg icon at the bottom of the screen.  The new segment will be added below the currently selected segment and the segments below it will be renumbered.  If no segment is selected then using the add seg option adds the segment to the end.  You can change the values for a selected segment tapping on the edit seg icon.  You can delete a segment by tapping on the del seg icon and confirming the delete operation.  If you delete a segment then all segments that follow it are renumbered.

You must provide the minimum duration value.  You can also enter a maximum duration for the segment which is greater than or equal to the minimum value.  If the maximum value is larger than the minimum the application randomly generates a duration value between the minimum and maximum values each time that segment is to be rowed.  You can indicate whether the duration is to be measured by strokes, seconds or meters by tapping on the appropriate checkbox.  Tap on the Pressure value to select the level of pressure to be applied in this segment.

You must tap on the save icon at the bottom of the Training Plan screen to save any changes made to the Training Plan or any of the segments.  You need to click on the save icon for each segment you change as well the training plan save icon to save any of the segments changed.

You can have the Training Plan repeat throughout the piece or be followed just one time.  You can also specify which segment is to be used when repeating from the last segment.  This allows you to define a Training Plan that has one or more warmup segments at the start and then repeat the active segments for the remainder of the piece.

When a Training Plan is in use in a rowing piece the metrics collected follow the segments in the plan.  The application can display a number of training plan and segment information in addition to the other metrics supported by the application.  Information can be provided in conjunction with the Start and End of each segment as shown in the imaged above.  The communication to the rower is via screen display and audio announcements, if the Audio option has been installed.  The segment Start information is always provided in a specific number of strokes prior to the start of the next segment, except when starting a piece when the start information is provided as soon as the Start button is tapped.  The number of strokes is calculated based on other metrics if the segment duration is not in strokes.  The End information is provided in an interval of strokes, seconds or meters from the end.

 The text spoken for the Start and End audio announcements defaults to what is shown in the images above.  As you see there are rather strange constructs in the message consisting of numbers inside of angle brackets.  This is the same techo-geek logic used in the FreeForm audio messages where the number inside the angle bracket represents a metric number.  You can see a list of available metrics including the number associated by tapping on the Tap for list of metrics box.  You can have the code for any of the listed metrics to the end of the message by tapping on the metric name in the list.

You can specify the name of the voice to be used for the start and end announcements for each segment.  The list of installed voices is display along with Current, which is the voice name if you wish the voice to be the one most recently selected.  If you select a voice that is not installed on the phone at the time, the current voice will be used.

You can have the performance in each segment displayed on the Map, if that option has been installed.  As described in the Map settings you can have the pins on the map be at the end of each segment rather than by a number of strokes.  The segment marking will occur only if a Training Plan was specified for a piece and the By segments checkbox is checked.

End Points (option)


End Points define the intended finish of a Piece.  This feature is a part of the Race Options.  End Points can be defined by a number of meters, strokes or seconds as well as being a geographic feature.  You can add as many End Points as you wish as well as deleting or changing them.  If any of the End Points have a geographic value then you must tap on the Load End Points button to load all the End Points.  This causes the application to determine the current phone location.  The End Points are displayed in the approximate distance from your current location as shown in the middle screen above.  Geographic based End Points, Here or Finish Line contains the latitude and longitude of the feature.   You can either manually enter the numbers directly or tap the Mark Here button under the point being captured.  When entering the second point for a Finish Line the application reports the meters between the first and second point.

A key point is that the phone measures the distance to the End Point to the phone and not the bow of the boat.  Even in a 1x the distance from the phone in the cockpit to the bow is a few meters.   You can enter the distance between the bow ball the phone location on the settings screen. 

Backup and Restore

You can back-up your settings to your OneDrive cloud storage area and restore them back to your phone as shown in the screen images below.


Tap on the ellipses (…) on the bottom of the Settings screen to get the backup and restore menu.  The backup and restore copies all the setting files from your phone to the Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage and back, if desired.  You must Sign In to your OneDrive account before you can initiate the transfer operation.  The transfer operations can take some time and there is a progress indicator at the top of the screen showing that the transfer is occurring.  The Cancel button will be replaced by the Back button once the transfer is complete.  The piece history file, Sessions.CSV, and the core application settings, __ApplicationSettings, are always copied to and from the phone.  You can have the files replaced as current on the Restore operation by tapping to place a check mark next to them on the Restore screen.   The files on OneDrive are in a folder named RowExcel/Settings.

Add-on Options

RowExcel includes a number of optional add-on products that can be very useful.  Not everyone requires these so they are optional.  Most have a small cost for installation.  The options can be installed from the various settings screens as well as from a special screen available from the main settings screen.  Tap on the add-on options item when you have tapped on the … on the main settings screen.  This will show you a list of all available add-on options and indicate which have already been installed.  Tap on the Install button next to any option you wish to install.

The All option allows you to purchase all present and future add-on options at a significantly reduced price.


 Tap the   button to display the Pieces screen.  


This shows you all the rowing pieces with the most recent on top of the list.  The summary of previous summaries by period of interest is available in the summary pivot of the screen.

 Tap on the Piece of interest to see a summary of that Piece.  This includes the note, if any, added to the Piece before the Start button was pressed.  The date, start and end times are shown.  The distance in meters, the minutes rowed and number of strokes is also shown.  The number of 'suspect strokes' are listed after the number of strokes.  A 'suspect stroke' is one that is detected at a rate significantly different than the current rate.  If the current stroke is more than 50% higher than the current rating it is a high suspect and if lower than 50% it is a low suspect stroke.  The suspect strokes are shown as a fraction format of HIGH/LOW.

The summary panel shows the summary of rowing pieces in various time frames.  This is a great way to track how many meters you are rowing.  The optional pressure panel shows a summary of performance by stroke pressure and time periods.  The stroke pressures are only tracked for pieces rowed in a Training Plan which is an option to RowExcel.

Strokes and a Metrics log files can be created for each Piece as described in the section above.  If the Strokes data file for the selected Piece exists, you can then view a Map of the row as well as some Statistics of the various metrics captured.  These options are described below.

You can Delete or Upload either the Strokes or Metrics file, if they exist, by tapping on the appropriate button.

Map (option)

Tapping on the Map button displays a map of the row taken in the Piece.  There are pins placed on the map at the interval of strokes specified for the map in the Display panel of the Settings screen as described above.  Each pin includes the split (minutes and seconds to row 500 meters), stroke rate, distance, in meters, rowed in the stroke interval and the last stroke number associated with the map pin.  If you have installed the Race Options and have geo-based End Points in the vicinity of the Piece displayed the End Points will be displayed.  As described above you can have the pins on the map color coded to indicate relative performance within the Piece.

You can change the various settings controlling the map display by tapping on the settings icon at the bottom of the screen.  Any changes made from the map screen are not saved after the current session unless you go to the main settings screen and use the save option.  In order to see the map using the changed settings tap on the settings icon again to return to the map.

If you have installed the Training option, there were training segments in the piece and the By segments checkbox was set in the Setting then the map pins will be for the end of each segment.

Map Drilldown

You can tap on the pins on the map to drilldown to the stroke metrics for that point in the Piece.  The metrics available include:

1.       Summary – Rate, Run and Split

2.       Rates – Strokes per minute

3.       Distances – Meters per stroke range

4.       Speed – Meters per second

5.       Split – minutes and seconds for 500 meters

6.       Check Ratio – Maximum deceleration divided by maximum acceleration

Select the metric of choice by tapping or swiping on the heading of the screen.

Each of these is shown for the three stroke intervals being measured in the Piece.    The first and second intervals are those set in the Display Settings as described above.  The third interval is the count of strokes up to the point shown or selected.   The intervals begin at the stroke number shown at the bottom of the screen and include the stroke intervals preceding it as show in the left column.  You can move forward and backward in the Piece by tapping on the Next or Prev icons on the screen.  This will move the stroke forward or backward by the top interval.  The stroke number and the time it was recorded is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

The statistics are displayed in a table with the 3 rows for the stroke groups and 5 columns:

1.       Str – The stroke interval size

2.       Avg – The average for the metric

3.       Min – The minimum value measured

4.       Max – The maximum value measured

5.       Dev – The standard deviation of the metric

Segments (Training Option)


There will be an option to view the segment summary if you have installed the Training Option and the piece being viewed had a training plan associated with it.  The screen displays the summary of the piece with each segment listed in a scrolled area. Each line starts with the segment number in the form seg.cnt where seg is the segment number from the training plan screen and cnt is the count of the times this segment has been performed in this piece.    Each line includes the segment number, meters in that instance of the segment, strokes, the stroke rate average, split and average run.  Each of the last three metrics have a colored border in the same colors as used in the map pin colors where blue shows the best performance and red the worst.


Tapping the Statistics button displays a screen containing the statistical summary of the metrics in the Piece.   These are the same metrics displayed in the map drilldown described just above.  The statistics are for the entire Piece.  The stroke intervals shown are data gather for each of the stroke intervals monitored. 


In addition of the statistics described above there is also a crude histogram for each metric.  You can switch between the statistics and histogram display by tapping on the   button.  The histogram has 7 rows of counts per metric value range and 4 columns:

1.       Val – The value range.  The first 6 lines show the metrics that are below the value shown.  The last line shows metrics that are above the value shown.

2.       Cnt – The count of metrics found in this range

3.       % - The percentage of the total found in this range

The histogram shows the metrics for 1-stroke-goup metrics.  This group is used since the values are the ones that vary the most.


Clicking on the   button displays a list of the various log and other data files on the phone.  You can view, upload and delete each file listed.  You can also purge the log files using the purge option by tapping the   button.

You can click on the filename to view the file.  If the file is a comma separated values (.CSV) file the first 1,000 rows will be displayed in a table.  Other files are shown completely as text.  You can use normal gestures on the screen to move around in the display and change the text size.

You can upload a file to your Microsoft cloud area by tapping the   button.  You need to provide your login credentials and allow access to your area to complete the upload.

You can delete the file by tapping the   button.  A confirmation screen will appear to verify the operation.


You can view the Usage Guide, which is this document, by tapping the   button.  You can navigate within the document using normal Windows Phone gestures. You can also tap on the topics in the table of contents at the top to

Tapping on the   at the bottom of the Usage Guide brings up the About screen which shows information about the installed application including an easy way to access support information as well as making a review of it.  We appreciate any and all feedback.  Our goal is making your rowing better.

Thanks for using our work!

File Formats

RowExcel generates three types of data files using a comma separated values (CSV) file structure.  These are suitable for use as input to various other applications, such as Microsoft Excel.


Assuming the Record pieces checkbox, in the Logs Settings, is checked then each rowing piece is recorded to the Sessions.CSV file. The sessions file contains one row of data for each rowing piece tracked by the application. This file is kept in the root directory on the phone.  This file is saved into the Settings directory on the phone and uploaded to the cloud on a Backup and brought back on a Restore.  If the Replace/Restore Piece History checkbox is checked on a restore then the file is copied from the cloud to the root.

 The top row contains the column heading as shown in the table below:

Column Name



Unique time stamp for this piece


Date of this piece

Start Time

Start time of this piece

End Time

End time of this piece

Elapsed (Sec)

Elapsed time in seconds of the piece


Number of meters in the piece


Number of strokes in the piece

Start Latitude

Starting latitude in degrees

Start Longitude

Starting longitude in degrees

End Latitude

Ending latitude in degrees

End Longitude

Ending longitude in degrees

Str Susp Low

Number of suspected low rate strokes

Str Susp High

Number of suspected high rate strokes

Strt Alt

Starting altitude in meters

End Alt

Ending altitude in meters


The name of the Settings in use


The note text entered from the Main screen plus the boat speed at Start, if selected


Training Plan name in use, if any

The following 4 metrics repeat for all known Training Plan segment pressures

Pressure %

The integer value for the stroke pressure rowed, based on the training plan

Number of strokes

The number of strokes taken in this piece at this pressure


The number of meters traveled at this stroke pressure


The number of seconds spent at this stroke pressure


There is a unique file created for the strokes taken in each piece if the Record strokes checkbox, in the Logs Settings, is checked.  The file is named using the piece timestamp and placed in the Strokes folder of the application.  These files are purged on the scheduled defined in the Logs setting screen.  You can upload the file to the cloud to the RowExcel\Strokes folder from the Piece history screen.

Column Name



Stroke number


Time of day at the catch


Elapsed seconds into the piece at the catch


Elapsed meters


Stroke rate for the last stroke


Stroke rate for the last M strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for M)


Stroke rate for the last N strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for N)


Run, in meters, for the last stroke


Run, in meters, for the last M strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for M)


Run, in meters, for the last N strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for N)


Speed, in meters per second, for the last stroke


Speed, in meters per second, for the last M strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for M)


Speed, in meters per second, for the last N strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for N)


Acceleration, in G, for the phone's X axis


Acceleration, in G, for the phone's Y axis


Acceleration, in G, for the phone's Z axis


Composite acceleration, in G, for this stroke


Phone pitch, in degrees


Phone roll in degrees


Phone yaw in degrees


Longitude in degrees


Latitude in degrees


Altitude in meters


Catch indicator, 0.3 indicates nonsuspect catch and -0.3 indicates suspected incorrect catch point detected


Composite standard deviation for recent catches, depending on settings


Maximum deacceleration in this stroke


Maximum acceleration in this stroke


Sum of deacceleration in this stroke


Sum of  deacceleration in this stroke


Check ratio (deaccleration divided by accleration) for this stroke


Check ratio (deaccleration divided by accleration) for last M strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for M)


Check ratio (deaccleration divided by accleration) for last N strokes (column heading will reflect the setting for N)


Training plan segment number in use, if any


Rate in strokes per minute for this segment


Run in meters for this segment


Speed in meters per second for this segment


Check ratio for this segment



There is a unique file created for the metrics collected in each piece if the Record strokes checkbox, in the Logs Settings, is checked.  The file is named using the piece timestamp and placed in the Strokes folder of the application.  These files are purged on the scheduled defined in the Logs setting screen.  You can upload the file to the cloud to the RowExcel\Metrics folder from the Piece history screen.  These files can be quite large and contain a significant amount of data that is only useful if you wish to see detailed boat movement.  These files can be useful for seeing the acceleration, for instance.

Column Name



Index of this capture, starting with zero


Time of capture


Stroke index, starting with -1


Elapsed meters in piece


Current strokes per meter


Catch indicator: 0 - catch scan active; -0.1 catch latched; 0.3 catch detected; -0.3 suspected bad catch


Elapsed seconds in piece


Composite acceleration in G


Change in composite acceleration in G


Rate of change in composite acceleration


Limit in change of accleration


Running average of composite acceleration


Current X axis acceleration in G


Current Y axis acceleration in G


Current Z axis acceleration in G


Composite acceleration in G


Composite acceleration limit in G


Running average of X axis acceleration in G


Running average of Y axis acceleration in G


Running average of Z axis acceleration in G


Running average of composite acceleration in G


Standard deviation of X axis acceleration


Standard deviation of Y axis acceleration


Standard deviation of Z axis acceleration


Standard deviation of composite acceleration


Phone pitch in degrees


Phone roll in degrees


Phone yaw in degrees


Longitude in degrees


Latitude in degrees


Axis in use

Version History





December 15, 2014

Add stroke pressure summary and segment summary data description for the sessions file


November 7, 2014

Add segment count to segment display so that the segment is shown as seg-cnt where seg is the training plan segment number and cnt is the number of times that segment has been performed in the current piece


October 30, 2014

Add voice name selection to the Start sequence


October 16, 2014

Add Segment summary and ability to specify Current voice as the name


October 5, 2014

Add file format descriptions


September 1, 2014

Update for V3.0.0 to add Training Plan support and other changes


July 3, 2014

Add settings backup and restore


June 18, 2014

Add OneDrive subfolders, drift speed, audio interval predecessor linkage, Quick Start Guide and other refinements


May 1, 2014

Add Audio and Race Options; Add capability for having the phone in a vertical position


January 7, 2014

Version for Windows Phone 8; Support for spoken metric output; Use Nokia Here Maps


November 4, 2013

Add YYYMMDD_SettingsChanges.htm for logging settings changes; Add altitude data collection and logging; Limit display of CSV files to 200 lines


September 17, 2013

Correct incorrect behavior of changing setting name and tighten catch detection ranges

(Note that the percentages on the Catch Setting screen will change from the previous version but the underlying values will remain the same)


August 30, 2013

Initial public release