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Old 01-17-08, 11:44 AM   #1
jwill911
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What's wrong with my HR monitor?

Polar CS200cad. I used to only see anomalies when riding into strong head winds and see my heart rate go to some ridiculous number like 220 for short periods. I can accept that is a electrode to skin contact issue.

But after resetting my odometer to zero for the new year I have seen my peak HR jump from a seldom seen 180 to 195. I don't think my heart can beat that fast. I'm 58 pretty fit did >5000 miles last year, but 195 I don't think so.

I have max. set to 180
65 = 117
85 = 153

Anyone else experienced this with a Polar HRM?
Or did I just drop 30 years off my age over night?
Hmmmm...
jw
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Old 01-17-08, 12:22 PM   #2
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HRMs are susceptible to electrical interference. Maybe you see this problem in the same places along your routes? HRMs can also suffer interference from such sources as wireless cylocomputers and bike headlights.
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Old 01-17-08, 01:00 PM   #3
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are you riding near powerlines ?

high tension powerlines will do that
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Old 01-17-08, 01:38 PM   #4
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Polar HRM issues that I've seen are mostly two things: inadequate moisture under the electrodes or jersey material. Riding when cool or descending will often trigger 220 readings. Jersey flapping is the other main source. Some jerseys are worse than others. That's just static electricity. But 195 readings? I don't get those.

The computer software usually, but not always, discards anomolous readings. Check your downloaded data and see if it reflects these readings.
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Old 01-17-08, 04:03 PM   #5
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supcom, edzo No power line issues, same route I usually take to work and never happened there before.

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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Polar HRM issues that I've seen are mostly two things: inadequate moisture under the electrodes or jersey material. Riding when cool or descending will often trigger 220 readings. Jersey flapping is the other main source. Some jerseys are worse than others. That's just static electricity. But 195 readings? I don't get those.

The computer software usually, but not always, discards anomolous readings. Check your downloaded data and see if it reflects these readings.
Yea as I mentioned in my original post I've seen the jump to ridiculous # and understand that. But this is different. On a usual climb I do twice a week to work, at the bottom where I would see 155-160 it went to 180 and stayed there or close then in the steeper sections I saw a sustained 185 or more and when I sprinted to the end hit 195 (impossible for me) and I've never hit 180 on this hill. Only South Park, Hiller and the upper wall on top of Mt. Diablo have been able to coax 180 out of me.

Maybe I'll contact Polar and get their take on it. I just thought someone here might have had that experience. Or maybe I should just reset it again and go from there, it is a computer.

Thanks,
jw

Last edited by jwill911; 01-17-08 at 04:04 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-17-08, 04:14 PM   #6
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And talk to a doctor. Sounds very much like it could be atrial fibrillation to me. Did you feel weaker at the high HR? I have two cycling friends with afib. Feeling weak may or may not happen. They both still ride just fine. If you drink coffee, quit and see if you still have the issue, or especially don't drink coffee before a ride.
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Old 01-20-08, 01:42 PM   #7
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Good Luck with Polar!!! Have been having same types of issues, either too high (220) or too low (00) or in between. I changed battery in strap sensor, sent my S725X back in a month ago after it developed the same issues you noted. This after almost a year of virtually perfect behavior. They sent it back saying no problem noted, same general observations as indicated here (sensor not wet enough, power line, lights, other interference). Although it's incrementally better than it was(not as frequently "dead" as before) it's still NOT right, pondering sending it back again. Anyone having a clue as to how to get a REAL HUMAN BEING at Polar to help with support / warranty issues PLEASE shout out.
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Old 01-21-08, 04:56 AM   #8
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Can't speak for temps in Alameda, but my Polar is pretty useless in the winter. How old is the transmitter? It's a long shot, but maybe its battery needs to be replaced.
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Old 01-21-08, 08:57 AM   #9
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you have a gerbil living in your chest who makes your heart beat faster than you think it can
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Old 01-21-08, 12:40 PM   #10
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I have a CS600 and had an issue with the HR a few months ago. I was doing some easy riding, recovery stuff, and noticed my HR would go from 90 to 200 instantly, back down then up again and all over the place for a few minutes. I wasn’t under or around any power lines, I know where they are I work for the utility, I was just taking a slow easy ride in the country. I started carrying a little hand held HRM that I put my finger tip on to read HR and it showed my rate at the 90-100 the Polar was showing before it went crazy. This went on for about a week or two and then it quit. The only thing different in my riding was I had just finished my season and was doing mostly recovery rides. I did some reading and found a spot that said sometimes the HRM strap will pick-up extra electrical signals from the body, since that is what it works with, such as breathing, chest wall muscle movement, etc. As sudden as it started doing it, it quit. I have no idea what caused it and haven’t seen it since. Try to do a manual HR reading, either neck or wrist, or carry a small HRM to check to make sure your HR is not in that high range, the one I carried is a Tanita 6102.
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Old 01-21-08, 12:54 PM   #11
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2 Questions for anyone with this issue:

1: When you are not using the transmitter, do you unhook one or both sides of the electrode belt from the transmitter?

2: Do you wash the electrode belt in the washing machine?
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Old 01-21-08, 01:09 PM   #12
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I use the Polar WearLink transmitter W.I.N.D., I have a CS600/power. I unhook the transmitter completely from the belt, rinse it off it the sink and then dry it. I take the belt into the shower with me, rinse it and then let it air dry.
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Old 01-21-08, 10:56 PM   #13
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Your WIND transmitter really shouldn't pick up any outside interference.

Although you say its working fine now, if the issue does occur again try swapping out the battery in the Wearlink. Also throw the electrode belt in the washing machine on a light cycle in a laundry bag if you have one.

Always make sure you are running the electrodes under the water before each use, pay attention to the inside of the female ends of the strap, any corrosion clean it out.
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Old 01-22-08, 01:22 AM   #14
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With the W.I.N.D. transmitter I’ve never had problems with outside interference. I’ve ridden under 70kv all the way to 500kv lines and never had any problem like I did with the older transmitters. I did swap the battery and still had the problem. As sudden as the problem started, it disappeared. Haven’t had any problems in months.
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Old 01-22-08, 10:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjzoller View Post
2 Questions for anyone with this issue:

1: When you are not using the transmitter, do you unhook one or both sides of the electrode belt from the transmitter?

2: Do you wash the electrode belt in the washing machine?
Further epanding on this thought, I was getting some wonky readings or none at all with my coded soft transmitter belt.

The fix for me was to take a polishing brush on a dremel tool and clean the snaps and snap sockets to get all my built up body salts and muck that had built up on them off. Those contacts get corroded not unlike what you see on the terminals on your cars battery. Once i got those all polished up, it went back to working trouble free. I've since added this as a normal maintaince procedure.
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Old 01-22-08, 03:54 PM   #16
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I have the same problem when the wind is really blowing. Also if you have a wireless computer, that will throw it off as well.
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Old 01-22-08, 08:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
And talk to a doctor. Sounds very much like it could be atrial fibrillation to me. Did you feel weaker at the high HR? I have two cycling friends with afib. Feeling weak may or may not happen. They both still ride just fine. If you drink coffee, quit and see if you still have the issue, or especially don't drink coffee before a ride.
I think this is good advice. I had some wierd sudden changes in HR, so got my MD to order a Holter monitor, which I wore while exercising to rule out anything of a malignant nature. Very easy to do.
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Old 01-23-08, 02:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjzoller View Post
2 Questions for anyone with this issue:

1: When you are not using the transmitter, do you unhook one or both sides of the electrode belt from the transmitter?

2: Do you wash the electrode belt in the washing machine?
Not after each use but fairly often I wash the strap in the sink with a mild dose of washing liquid (my wife uses unscented All) and hang to dry.

But I haven't changed the battery since new ~ 1 year 3 months I'm going to do that.

I always run the the electrode contact surface under water before each use.

And it sounds like cleaning the snaps on the transmitter would not be a bad idea as well.
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Old 01-23-08, 06:16 PM   #19
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Really pay attention to cleaning the transmitter strap. Change the battery also.

You should see some of the transmitters we get back because they are "Defective". Some are honestly corroded so bad the sweat has actually ate away at the plastic. And the smell, turns my stomach just thinking about it. And these people wonder why they are not functioning.

Clean Clean Clean. Heres a suggestion I see people do a lot, buy another electrode belt(not the whole transmitter) and while you are using one - throw the other in the wash and hang dry it. And just switch back and forth every week or so. I have been on the same 2 electrode belts for about 4 years.
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Old 02-07-08, 12:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwill911 View Post
Polar CS200cad. I used to only see anomalies when riding into strong head winds and see my heart rate go to some ridiculous number like 220 for short periods. I can accept that is a electrode to skin contact issue.

But after resetting my odometer to zero for the new year I have seen my peak HR jump from a seldom seen 180 to 195. I don't think my heart can beat that fast. I'm 58 pretty fit did >5000 miles last year, but 195 I don't think so.

I have max. set to 180
65 = 117
85 = 153

Anyone else experienced this with a Polar HRM?
Or did I just drop 30 years off my age over night?
Hmmmm...
jw
The resolution to my HRM anomalies was a good cleaning of the contact snaps and replacement of both the WearLink (CR2025) battery and the CS200cad (CR2032) battery. This mornings 26 mile commute including a couple of good climbs confirmed my heart and my HRM are working normally. My max HR this morning was 175 which falls in line with what I used to see on this climb prior to the problem and matches my RPE. I measured the voltage on each old battery and they were still close to 3.0 volts, both new ones were 3.33 volts. Cheap fix.

jw
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