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Should I buy my son Gen 4 or Gen 5 stackmat timer?

BTFoxxx

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Hi, both myself and my son have got into speedcubing. He can solve it sub 40 and is working towards getting to sub 30 and further as he learns. He’s asked Santa for a stackmat timer for Christmas. What timers are being used at the moment in competitions? I was thinking about buying the G5 since it’s the latest version. However is he likely to then have to use a G4 in a competition? Would that be off putting? Or does it not really matter? Since he’s never had a timer he doesn’t have anything to compare to. He’s obviously seen the G4 being used in lots of the videos out there. He’s aware of the G5. He doesn’t know which to ask for in his letter and I need to get my order in with Santa asap!!
Thanks

ps my first post, sorry if in the wrong area
 

OreKehStrah

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Hi, both myself and my son have got into speedcubing. He can solve it sub 40 and is working towards getting to sub 30 and further as he learns. He’s asked Santa for a stackmat timer for Christmas. What timers are being used at the moment in competitions? I was thinking about buying the G5 since it’s the latest version. However is he likely to then have to use a G4 in a competition? Would that be off putting? Or does it not really matter? Since he’s never had a timer he doesn’t have anything to compare to. He’s obviously seen the G4 being used in lots of the videos out there. He’s aware of the G5. He doesn’t know which to ask for in his letter and I need to get my order in with Santa asap!!
Thanks

ps my first post, sorry if in the wrong area
Either is totally fine! The G4s are more common in comp settings since they've been around for a few years but the G5s work the same way. It may be more difficult to find a G4 at cubestores unless it's like bundled with a mat or something compared to the G5. If you find one is cheaper than the other, that probably is your best option!
 
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Hi, both myself and my son have got into speedcubing. He can solve it sub 40 and is working towards getting to sub 30 and further as he learns. He’s asked Santa for a stackmat timer for Christmas. What timers are being used at the moment in competitions? I was thinking about buying the G5 since it’s the latest version. However is he likely to then have to use a G4 in a competition? Would that be off putting? Or does it not really matter? Since he’s never had a timer he doesn’t have anything to compare to. He’s obviously seen the G4 being used in lots of the videos out there. He’s aware of the G5. He doesn’t know which to ask for in his letter and I need to get my order in with Santa asap!!
Thanks

ps my first post, sorry if in the wrong area
I would recommend G5 if you are going to go to competitions since G5 timers will be the only timer allowed in WCA competitions starting in 2023. Also, G5 Timers have extra features than G4. Other than that, there isn't really much of a difference, so I would just get whichever is cheaper.
 

UncleFrank

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Get the G5. It fixes some problems the G4 has.
The problems with the G4 don't happen to everyone, but they happen enough, and in competitions, too, that fixes for them have made it into WCA regulations where they're referred to as "common incidents".

The G4 power and reset buttons can easily be accidentally hit when simply trying to stop the timer, thereby resetting it or powering it off, resulting in a DNF. The fix is to tape or glue a rubber o-ring around the buttons or use a 3D printed part to protect them (I have links, if anyone wants them). One is by Speedstacks, the maker of the timer, so even they know about the problem.
G5 fixes that. Power and reset buttons are just a little bit harder to press, and you have to hold them down for a fraction of a second. No more accidents.

Another G4 problem is that the batteries can sometimes come loose inside the battery compartment and cause the timer to power off and/or reset. Fix is to fold a small piece of paper and stick it inside the battery compartment, between the batteries and the compartment door, to hold the batteries firmly in place, "padding" the batteries.
G5 fixes that, battery compartment door is tighter and firmly keeps the batteries in place.

Another G4 problem is where the cord plugs in if you want to use it with a display or with your computer. It's very, very easy to knock the cord out.
G5 fixes that, cord plugs in inside a slot under the timer now and can't be accidentally unplugged.

One thing with G4 that's not as much of a problem, but can still be inconvenient/annoying, is that the timer just sits on the buttons on the mat and slides sideways to hold it in place. It can still be accidentally slid sideways and knocked off the buttons. The G5 fixes that by actually snapping onto the buttons on the mat and requires effort to unsnap it.

Can't use a G5 on a G4 mat, only a G5 mat will work with a G5 timer. The G5 and G4 buttons on the mat are slightly different size and slightly different distance apart.

Doesn't matter that the G5 has 4 touch pads, because you put it into 2 pad mode and ignore the thumb pads. The thumb pads are only for cup stackers. WCA even shows how to completely disable 4 pad functionality, so the G5 can't accidentally be started in 4 pad mode. (I have a link to it, if anyone wants it.)
 

abunickabhi

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G5 is the latest stackmat, you should go ahead with that.

IMO, getting a simpler timer from Qiyi or MoYu would be better as Stackmat timers are waaay to overpriced. The electronics inside is quite simple for it to be sooo overpriced tbh.
 

Burrito

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Either is totally fine! The G4s are more common in comp settings since they've been around for a few years but the G5s work the same way. It may be more difficult to find a G4 at cubestores unless it's like bundled with a mat or something compared to the G5. If you find one is cheaper than the other, that probably is your best option!
All the comps I’ve been to have had gen5 timers. I like the gen5 more, but it can be preference.
 

Burrito

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Get the G5. It fixes some problems the G4 has.
The problems with the G4 don't happen to everyone, but they happen enough, and in competitions, too, that fixes for them have made it into WCA regulations where they're referred to as "common incidents".

The G4 power and reset buttons can easily be accidentally hit when simply trying to stop the timer, thereby resetting it or powering it off, resulting in a DNF. The fix is to tape or glue a rubber o-ring around the buttons or use a 3D printed part to protect them (I have links, if anyone wants them). One is by Speedstacks, the maker of the timer, so even they know about the problem.
G5 fixes that. Power and reset buttons are just a little bit harder to press, and you have to hold them down for a fraction of a second. No more accidents.

Another G4 problem is that the batteries can sometimes come loose inside the battery compartment and cause the timer to power off and/or reset. Fix is to fold a small piece of paper and stick it inside the battery compartment, between the batteries and the compartment door, to hold the batteries firmly in place, "padding" the batteries.
G5 fixes that, battery compartment door is tighter and firmly keeps the batteries in place.

Another G4 problem is where the cord plugs in if you want to use it with a display or with your computer. It's very, very easy to knock the cord out.
G5 fixes that, cord plugs in inside a slot under the timer now and can't be accidentally unplugged.

One thing with G4 that's not as much of a problem, but can still be inconvenient/annoying, is that the timer just sits on the buttons on the mat and slides sideways to hold it in place. It can still be accidentally slid sideways and knocked off the buttons. The G5 fixes that by actually snapping onto the buttons on the mat and requires effort to unsnap it.

Can't use a G5 on a G4 mat, only a G5 mat will work with a G5 timer. The G5 and G4 buttons on the mat are slightly different size and slightly different distance apart.

Doesn't matter that the G5 has 4 touch pads, because you put it into 2 pad mode and ignore the thumb pads. The thumb pads are only for cup stackers. WCA even shows how to completely disable 4 pad functionality, so the G5 can't accidentally be started in 4 pad mode. (I have a link to it, if anyone wants it.)
May I have the link? :)
 

UncleFrank

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May 9, 2022
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May I have the link? :)

Links for o-rings and 3D button protectors:
O-ring example (cubicle sells a pair for 99 cents, or just buy some from a hardware store)
https://www.speedstacks.com/stackers/free-stuff/
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2814887
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2814903

and link to disable 4-pad functionality:
 
Last edited:

UncleFrank

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Anthonycube

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By the way I love in Ireland and we use g4 timers in competitions. It doesn't really matter what timer you get as they mostly the same. I have a g4 myself. Maybe just get the g5 because it does prevent timer resets, but that rarely ever happens anyway. I've had my timer for more than a year and I might have gotten one or two timer resets (with a lot of solves).
 
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Is this true?

I don't think so. If it were, the regulations would say something about it, but they don't -
https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/regulations/#7f
and tons of people would be up in arms all over the WCA forums, because there are just way way too many older timers still in use and it'd be way, way too expensive to suddenly require all new timers.
@Anthonycube and @UncleFrank ,

Sorry! I remember seeing that I year ago, however, I think they changed it. Even though you can use either timer, G5 will probably be used in big competitions like championships and it is much more better than g4 in my opinion.
 
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