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Old 02-14-05, 06:26 AM   #1
keithc440
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HRM Signal

Just started using a Timex Ironman HRM this year and whilst it is excellent after about 20 minutes once I have got a bit of a sweat up, its readings are very erratic to non existant up until then. Anyone tried using anything other than water or saliva to moisten the electodes beforehand to improve the signal.
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Old 02-14-05, 08:02 AM   #2
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You can use ultrasound gel if you're having signal problems.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...s=hpc&n=507846
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Old 02-14-05, 12:35 PM   #3
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I went to a local medical supply store and bought two tubes of ECG gel. They use it for Cardiac Monitors etc... It cost about $4 a tube, doesn't stain and really improves the reception of your monitor.
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Old 02-14-05, 07:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithc440
Just started using a Timex Ironman HRM this year and whilst it is excellent after about 20 minutes once I have got a bit of a sweat up, its readings are very erratic to non existant up until then.
Does this only happen on a Timex?

I have a basic Polar and its signal has been great without using any special gels. I was planning on upgrading to a Timex Ironman, but if this is a known problem maybe I'll stick to a Polar. Does anyone know?
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Old 02-14-05, 10:11 PM   #5
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Well, Timex sucks. They have issues with their heart rate monitor signals, and they won't admit it, nor will they address the issues with their "upgrades". I have a lot of Timex, and I've dealt with them regularly until I got too frustrated to care anymore. I'm taking the loss and writing it off at tax time.

The best thing you can do is find a good, reliable company that has better monitors that actually work, and when they don't, they will address the issue and/or replace the watch.

(sorry... bitter).

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Old 02-15-05, 08:26 AM   #6
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Don't forget that hairy chests can make for poor contact. Time for a wax?

Oh, and KY is good too. Damn, KY and waxed chests in the same post. People will start to talk...
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Old 02-15-05, 08:26 AM   #7
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Koffee, What are the issues you've seen? I just got a 5C401 about 3 weeks ago. I notice that at rest, my rate isn't consistent but I'm not sure if that is normal. I have used average over 10 minutes rather than beat to beat. On the road, it seems to work but now you have me curious.
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Old 02-15-05, 09:27 AM   #8
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My CicloSport HAC4 works fine with just a few drops of water on each electrode. The only time it goes out is if my chest gets real cold and stops sweating and I'm pretty sure near some select power lines near the farms but not the ones near my house...

Don't get ripped-off on HRM conductive gel. Your basic EKG/ECG gel works just fine.
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Old 02-15-05, 11:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by khackney
Koffee, What are the issues you've seen? I just got a 5C401 about 3 weeks ago. I notice that at rest, my rate isn't consistent but I'm not sure if that is normal. I have used average over 10 minutes rather than beat to beat. On the road, it seems to work but now you have me curious.

Issues are about everything.... from the signal cutting in and out, to the watches arbitrarily catching other signals from people wearing Timex watches (supposed to be no cross talk since it's digital), to not catching a signal at all, to just completely stopping and not being able to get it to start up again... ever! And the one that has the gps sucks because it DOES NOT WORK just anyplace. I've tried to get that gps to work in different parts of the state, the country, and the world without any luck. They are just crap, really.

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Old 02-15-05, 02:21 PM   #10
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Thanks, I'll keep an eye on mine. I haven't ridden around anyone else with a Timex so no problem there. We have gone under some high voltage trasmission lines and I didn't have any problems. On my ride last Saturday I set the range to go off if I went above 90% and it worked fine.

With all of the hills and trees here I wouldn't try the GPS version. I wondered if they worked as advertised.

Is a changing heart rate at rest normal for all HRMs? When sitting on the couch mine will read something like 58-54-60-56-52-etc. These signals seem to calculate between each beat. That's why I use average.
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Old 02-15-05, 03:01 PM   #11
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KY works great. No need to pay more for basically the same thing.
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Old 02-15-05, 10:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by khackney
Thanks, I'll keep an eye on mine. I haven't ridden around anyone else with a Timex so no problem there. We have gone under some high voltage trasmission lines and I didn't have any problems. On my ride last Saturday I set the range to go off if I went above 90% and it worked fine.

With all of the hills and trees here I wouldn't try the GPS version. I wondered if they worked as advertised.

Is a changing heart rate at rest normal for all HRMs? When sitting on the couch mine will read something like 58-54-60-56-52-etc. These signals seem to calculate between each beat. That's why I use average.

GPS sucks. It doesn't work. Don't fall for that crap they have with their advertising gimmicks for their GPS.

What we are actually measuring when we're sitting on the couch is ambient heart rate. It does jump around a little while we're sitting. The only good thing about the Timex is that because it's digital, it gives us a faster read with changes in heart rate, so I would trust it more than the analog watches.

People tend to call what you described your "resting heart rate", and that's not what you're measuring. If you want to see what your resting heart rate is, throw your strap on at night and get a reading first thing when you wake up (preferably without an alarm clock to startle you out of sleep). That's resting heart rate.

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Old 02-16-05, 03:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
People tend to call what you described your "resting heart rate", and that's not what you're measuring.
You're exactly right. I haven't done a true resting heart rate measurement yet. I was curious to see what mine would be if I wasn't active. I'm due for a physical next month and wanted to see what my doctor might be seeing ahead of time.

I believe I can set the timer on my watch to count down for a period and then start the HRM. So I might measure my rate while sleeping as well as first waking.

I've also played around with the recovery timer which is pretty cool. It compares heart rate from when you start for 1 or 2 minutes depending on what you select. If I really push it up, it will drop 50 - 60 beats in one minute.
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