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Thread: Communication during a swim workout.

  1. #1
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    Communication during a swim workout.

    OK - here's a tough problem but I'll ask it anyway.
    I occasionally need to be "on call" with my job. That means I have to be contactable via cell phone.
    So -- how can I be contacted if I'm swimming laps?
    I can park my cell phone on the pool deck with a towel covering it and then check it but that means I can't do an extended # of laps.
    => Is there any apparatus that would allow me to wear an earbud to let me know the phone on the pool deck is ringing so I can then immediately swim back to answer? Kinda like a "Bluetooth" ear receiver?

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    I poked into this question a bit, and what I found is not encouraging. The problem is that electromagnetic radiation does not propagate well through water, so unless you are very careful with frequencies, antennae, etc., water is, for all practical purposes, opaque.

    This link points to a surprisingly recent (2011) study on electromagnetic wave propagation in fresh water. Figure 4a, in particular, shows total attenuation as a function of frequency for a transmitter located in air, to a receiver located in shallow, fresh water, like what we'd have in a pool. The optimal frequency range for this kind of communication is 3-100 MHz. Bluetooth operates at 2.4 GHz; though this study didn't include frequencies that high, it's pretty obvious that attenuation at 2.4 GHz would be over 100 dB even at a depth of 1 meter.

    Undeterred, apparently a company called Brando tried to sell a Bluetooth headset called Wavetooth a couple of years ago, advertising it as the "1st waterproof bluetooth headset [that] can swim". According to one reviewer, "Bluetooth range limited to about 8 inches underwater", and according to another, "range [in air] is good, but the receiver has to be above water". Given the physics, those results aren't surprising. You can't order a Wavetooth from Brando right now; the website says it's out of stock.

    It may be possible to engineer a system like the one you're asking about, and maybe someone has done it, but I couldn't find it. I do not think Bluetooth frequencies would work; I'd look for something that operated in the range 3-100 MHz.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    Do you swim with a coach? If so, that might be your answer. Give the coach the cell phone.

  4. #4
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    If you do not have a coach, possibly the lifeguard would be willing to hold your phone and stop you if it rings.

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    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    Are you an iPhone user?

    If yes, you can get a scuba suit. (see here)

    http://www.appleiphoneschool.com/201...a-k-a-drisuit/

    Keep your phone right on deck and you'll never miss a text or phone message.
    Last edited by quicksilver; January 14th, 2013 at 01:09 PM.
    Excellence Is Never An Accident.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    I doubt that the pool would let the lifeguard hold & answer/get you when it rings.
    Sorry for letting you drown, I had to answer the phone !!!
    A zip baggie on deck is what I see lots of others do . If that of an important call is coming , only do 200's.

  7. #7

    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    I too have to be on-call. I use zip-lock bag at wall and check that it hasn't rang at every interval - I also have coach listen for it and stop me - and sometimes coach will keep in his pocket and stop me if it rings. Make sure zip-lock works - I have ruined one phone already with the humidity that worked into the bag...

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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    If you're more into the "high-tech" route, Glen Mills did a review of a "Lifeproof waterproof iPhone case" on GoSwim. His first entry on it (he later shows videos shot using an iPhone in the case) is at http://www.goswim.tv/entries/6363/li...hone-case.html. Maybe overkill unless you decide to swim with the phone on vibrate (assuming it would receive calls underwater, and I'll let others make the requisite jokes).

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    It sort of depends on how critical your "call" is! If you work in OB, you call the hospital & ask if anything is imminent, if not tell the nurses you will be out of commission for an hour (or whatever) & will call them as soon as you are done. (This is what I did/do.) Then you hand the phone to the lifeguard (who you are super friendly with & knows your occupation) and they blow the whistle for another super friendly guard to come get you if the phone rings from the hospital.
    If you have a different kind of call, like say, if someone calls off you have to go in, or the staffing needs another person, you call the office right before swimming & advise them of your swim & tell them you'll call them as soon as you're done!
    I would think this would work for ANYone - even an anesthesiologist who has to be able to be at the hospital in 20 minutes from the time they were called. Unless the pool is farther away than that. Good luck!

  10. #10
    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    If iPhone look into a LifeProof case. If in a shallow pool (<6 feet) you could put it on the bottom and hear or see it ringing. Nothing to do but pick it up and answer. It is a completely sealed case....no bags, etc to fight through. I love mine.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    Lifeproof case,if it really works, seems to be the best answer. Let us know if it works for you .

  12. #12
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    Re: Communication during a swim workout.

    Please don't ask the lifeguards to hold your phone. It will jeopardize patron safety and could cost the friendly lifeguard his or her job.
    If your phone works on the pool deck, put it in a zip lock bag or case and leave it in the gutter at the end of your lane. Do an open turn once in a while so you can see the phone. If it lights-up get out and answer it.
    If your phone doesn't work on the pool deck, call "work" before you go in to swim and leave the pool's front desk phone number. As you check in at the desk, tell them you are on call, and ask them to come get you if they get a call for you.

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