Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

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Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby Ross » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:04 am

My Garmin Edge 500 with standard HR strap has been reading low the last couple of rides, reading is about 60-80 BPM when climbing 5% hill in big chainring, should be up around 150-160 BPM I estimate. This happened once before and I tightened the strap which fixed the problem, I tried that and nothing changed. I'm thinking maybe the battery has gone flat in chest strap?
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by BNA » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:30 am

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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby snortin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:30 am

Ross,
I had problems with my (premium) heart rate strap. I found that if i spun the strap around it fixed the issues.
See attached links for troubleshooting of the heart rate strap (and photo of how i now wear the strap).

TROUBLESHOOT http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/04/troubleshooting-your-heart-rate.html
PHOTO https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=7fbe9726d82fc6d8&id=7FBE9726D82FC6D8%21696#cid=7FBE9726D82FC6D8&id=7
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby hannos » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:34 am

Ensuring the contacts on your skin are damp might help too.
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby Ross » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:25 pm

I run the strap under the tap before I put it on so it's well damp!
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby biker jk » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:33 pm

Ross wrote:I run the strap under the tap before I put it on so it's well damp!


You just need to wet the two conductors. Running it under the tap risks getting water into the transmitter (the plastic Garmin badge).
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby greyhoundtom » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:41 pm

I still think it's better to use a small dollop of a water based gel such as the K Y variety on each contact point instead of water, as it provides a better electrical contact, particularly if you have a hairy chest.
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby Rex » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:14 am

I just use my tongue.
I haven't washed the strap in 12 months of ownership so hopefully I'm not slowly knocking myself off!
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Re: Garmin 500 HR reading low & sometimes not at all

Postby warthog1 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:44 am

2) Synthetic shirts (quick dry/tech shirts): While all of us love not being suffocated in cotton shirts, an unfortunate side effect is that those synthetic shirts (normally called quick dry or ‘tech’ shirts) produce additional static electricity buildup that messes with the readings. This is most common when your skin and air are both rather dry, and very little moisture is present. In almost all cases, simply applying moisture will immediately resolve this issue. You can try rubbing the strap or your shirt with an antistatic agent – the ANT+ folks recommend simply a bounce dryer sheet, as that can help in some cases. As a side note, some of the Polar straps actually have an antistatic component built into them that helps to alleviate this problem to some degree.

From that DC rainmaker link above.
This is my issue I'm guessing. My premium strap has started playing up now that I am not wearing an undershirt between it and the synthetic jerseys I wear. It reads particularly high when the jersey is flapping in the wind.
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