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Garmin heart rate monitor problems
CREATED: 02/09/12 by ballstoncyclist REPLIES: 14
ballstoncyclist's ravatar ballstoncyclist    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 496
Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 8:12 AM

Has anyone had problems with the HR readings using the garmin 310 XT? The readings I'm getting are really inconsistent and just plain wrong. I've read the garmin forums and there doesn't seem to be a consistent recommendation: strap too loose, too tight, get electrodes wet first, etc, etc. I've tried them all and I'm still having problems.

See for example yesterday's easy workout on a treadmill. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/148194074

jbrez's ravatar jbrez    JOINED: 1/30/11    POSTS: 271
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 8:41 AM

How long have you had it?

You could always pick one up on amazon.com, try it out and see if the problem goes away and if not, return it. Swaptronics is one of the easiest troubleshooting methods when nothing else seems to be working.

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 983
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 8:55 AM

I had to replace mine late last year. It started freaking out giving very erratic readings (all over the place) with averages above 200 bpm and maxes around 240 bpm. I figured that was wrong. So I just chalked it up to the monitor strap finally dying. I know they do die out after a while. Salt corroding the electrodes, etc.

morunner66's ravatar morunner66    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 714
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 9:31 AM

I can't get my 405 to work either. Garmin makes everything way too complicated and then it doesn't work.

pmart15's ravatar pmart15    JOINED: 12/14/09    POSTS: 129
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 9:33 AM

I have had maybe 10 of those type spikes in 4+ years with the same heart rate monitor. It didn't seem to matter whether it was the 310XT, my new 210, or my old 50. All were within the first 7 minutes of working out. I might borrow someone's strap to see if yours is faulty.

sarahalow's ravatar sarahalow    JOINED: 10/14/09    POSTS: 29
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 9:52 AM

My 310xt's HRM was wonky at the beginning of workouts like yours from day 1; I finally tried replacing the battery and managed to fry it in the process. I got one of the "classic" Garmin HRMs to replace it and it has worked like a charm. They're not really any less comfortable than the "premium" HRM.

ballstoncyclist's ravatar ballstoncyclist    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 496
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 9:58 AM

Thanks all.

I've had it for a couple years, and I wear it for all my run and bike workouts.

I'm not too worry about the spikes at the beginning, that has happened many times but in the past the unit seems to stabilize. But now the spikes happen all the time. Here's another good example from a couple weeks ago.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/146238849

I'm gonna try replacing the battery and if that doesn't make it better (or I fry it) I'll just get a new one.

vkanders    JOINED: 7/4/11    POSTS: 45
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 10:46 AM

Are these problems recent, or long standing? If it is recent, it could be due to the cooler weather, which means we don't sweat as much, which causes connection issues. During my run warm up last night, my Garmin 305 told me that my heart rate was ranging between 130 and 175 (incorrect) with rapid oscillations. But once warmed up, I had sweat enough that the connections were fine. The easy solution is to wet the connections on the strap before putting it on; unfortunately for me, mine apparently dried out on the drive to the track.

courtr26's ravatar courtr26    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 117
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 10:46 AM

I'm so glad you posted about this Alejandro! I just got the 'new and improved' garmin soft strap and so far have had no luck with it! I did accidentally put my old strap in the dryer so that's why I ended up buying a new strap in the first place. I also just replaced the battery in the puck. I've done everything that the manual and forums say but the dang thing still won't read my HR. The weird thing is, that it worked during Ron's cycle class a few weeks ago but did the whole spike thing and went in and out. Then didn't work when I ran. I'm thinking I need to replace the puck. I'm assuming like someone else said, it might just be time to replace that too. If that doesn't work, I call mercy!

Courtney

mbaba's ravatar mbaba    JOINED: 2/1/12    POSTS: 5
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 10:49 AM

I’ve had similar problems with every HRM I’ve owned (Garmin, Polar, Timex). Not every day, but at least once a week, the instantaneous HR would show +/- 50% of actual. For example, running at steady pace I’m usually at 120 HR, but my HRM would often show 180, or 80. When I see this, I just shift the strap slightly (left or right), and wet the monitors with water if I have it. If it happens while racing, I just do the math, and calculate what the normal rate would be. Having the strap tighter seems to help. It happens more in cooler/drier conditions, when the straps dry out, and I’m not sweating much. I also use the instantaneous pace (or ¼ mile auto-lap pace) when running and power readings when biking as a sanity check.

pmart15's ravatar pmart15    JOINED: 12/14/09    POSTS: 129
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 10:52 AM

I do have the older hard plastic one, it's pretty tight. I even do the swim portion of tri's with it on and it just keep on truckin!

My old running partner bought the new one and had trouble with it. He stopped running shortly thereafter so be careful!

I do agree that it is more touchy in the cold. I ALWAYS get some moisture on the back before I head out to help with the connection.

jbauer    JOINED: 1/1/11    POSTS: 76
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/09/12 1:49 PM

One possibility that hasn't been mentioned yet is static electricity build-up while wearing the tech/quick dry/synthetic-type shirts. I've encountered this a few times, but it doesn't happen often enough that I feel the need to use an anti-static agent on my shirts.

As others have mentioned, I always wet the HRM contacts before putting it on. When it's cold out, I wear a tight shirt as a base layer, and this seems to stop the static electricity build-up.

If I don't have the base layer on and I notice it happening during a workout, I usually tuck a part of shirt under my HRM strap so that the shirt stops moving around and creating more static electricity around the HRM. Once the shirt gets a little sweaty, I untuck my shirt so I look like a normal person.

I haven't had to replace the battery yet. Hopefully doing so will solve this issue for you.

urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/10/12 12:17 PM

Its static messing with the band--you have a soft strap HR band right? I had the same problem, nothing to be done. I scrapped the soft strap and use the older, harder version, and haven't had a problem since. Not exactly a solution, but its a flaw in the product.

HappyRunner's ravatar HappyRunner    JOINED: 1/15/11    POSTS: 206
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/10/12 7:48 PM

The DC Rainmaker guy has you covered:

A solution to heart rate dropouts/spikes with Garmin HR Soft Straps

ballstoncyclist's ravatar ballstoncyclist    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 496
RE: Garmin heart rate monitor problems
POSTED: 2/11/12 6:06 AM

I think you mean http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/08/solution-to-heart-rate-dropoutsspikes.html

Thanks!!!!

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