Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Garmin FR210 behaving badly

Get back to work!
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

After two years of stellar service, my Garmin FR210 has started to exhibit some bad behavior. I bought this watch because it provided basic GPS metrics, elevation data and wireless syncing with my heart rate monitor. Like all GPS systems, the distance accuracy wasn't 100%, but after a while I understood the margin of error and mentally corrected for it. There are things I still don't like about the watch, such as the weird way it connects to a PC for data uploads, but overall it has been a great resource and a good value.

The bad behavior started on January 1st, with my first run of the year. I was a couple of miles into the Hangover Fun Run at Eisenhower Park, when I looked at the watch only to see that it wasn't recording time or distance. I decided to let it go and just use the event clock to record my time. I figured that I must have neglected to fully push the start button and was paying the price for that inattention.

Since then, I've run five more times. On three of those runs I've noticed that the timer stopped recording after I'd initially started it. It doesn't happen every time, but it forces me to pay careful attention to the watch on every run. I don't know why this would suddenly happen. I checked the FR210 forum on Garmin Connect but haven't seen anyone else with the same complaint.

It would be a shame to have to replace this watch because I've come to rely on it to capture all my metrics, including a map of where I'd run. I still have my FR60 that works fine, but it lacks GPS so I'd need to return to using the foot pad. If I did that, I'd lose the mapping but would gain cadence, something I miss since switching from the 60 to the 210. I could always use an app on my smartphone to do the mapping since I carry the phone on every run. It's worth thinking about. But I'd rather have the FR210 working as it should.

6 comments:

  1. Magellan Switch! Forget the extra money for the Switch Up.
    The temperature is usually not accurate. The magellan also does mapping! The website is great, uploading is simple. I sent my Garmin back because of not acquiring signal after about 25 runs.
    The cheapest route is the smartphone- and now that I have an iPhone, runMeter is pretty cool.

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  2. I used to run with an iPhone but I didn't like the weight. Satellite acquisition time was very long, that is, when I could even get a signal. I also found the iPhone's accuracy to be less than the FR 210. I now have a light Android phone so I could try that using Endomodo or RunKeeper.

    I don't know much about the Switch but I'll look into it. I really want simple though. I don't care about support for multi-sports or built-in training features. I just need pace, distance, heart rate, splits and elevation, plus an easy process to upload data.

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  3. I tried Endomodo and RunKeeper on my Android phone, and had a hard time with the GPS dropping out. MapMyRun was the most consistant player, although still free, they want to charge extra for other things, probably stuff you're not interested in anyway. I was on the Sprint network with the android, if that's of any help.

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  4. Thanks. I'm going to give it another try with the smartphone. I think at this point I've used every tracking app out there. Since an app is only as good as the GPS sampling facilitated by the phone, most of these apps provide similar results.

    The downside to using the phone is that I keep in in my SPIbelt so I have no info available to me during the run. I used to carry the phone in an armband but ultimately gave that up. I still have hope that the Garmin will work reliably again.

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  5. I didn't like it on my arm. I couldn't see it. I use this and love it. You can see me holding it in all my pics.
    http://hbtune.com/

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  6. I think a handheld carrier would be easier to use. Certainly better to look at the display. I'm not too big on carrying anything in my hands though. But that's a good option to consider. Thanks.

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Comments are most welcome!

 

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