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Does a Decent Ant+ HRM Strap Exist?

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Does a Decent Ant+ HRM Strap Exist?

Old 10-01-20, 04:34 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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Does a Decent Ant+ HRM Strap Exist?

I have at least 2 (I think there is a third somewhere) perfectly functional Garmin Ant+ HRM straps, each with a dead battery. I cannot get the screws out of the backside of any of them and I own 2 different jewelers screwdriver sets, plus a couple of random itty-bitty screwdrivers.

A while back I bought a Wahoo Tickr HRM strap that worked fine for a while, and changing batteries was a breeze. It is now completely dead.

Is there something out there that both works and is 'battery changeable?".

dave
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Old 10-01-20, 07:48 PM
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Wahoo offers (used to offer?) replacement straps for their HRM. I could have saved $20 if I'd known that before I replaced mine...

Edited to add: a very nice young lady at the Walmart watch desk was able to unscrew a Garmin HRM for me once. Make it clear you're not going to ask for a new unit if it screws up, you just don't want to throw the old one out yet. I bought the screwdriver set she got it open with, and couldn't open it the next time the battery died.
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Old 10-01-20, 07:56 PM
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The HRM chest straps I typically use are not ANT+, they are an older electronic standard than that. Takes a large coin in a slot in the round battery cover to turn it.

I have a Garmin ANT+ strap, a cheaper version, that also has a round cover that uses a coin in a slot. I looked on Ebay for a photo of a Garmin like mine, this one looks like it.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-HRM1...P/264883811312

In one of the photos it shows the back side of it, there is a round battery cover, a coin fits in that slot to turn it.

I am not recommending that particular Ebay listing, I only looked at it for a listing that has a photo to refer to.

I often replace my own watch batteries. I find it is easier to get the screws out if I put some grease on the screw threads before I screw them in. So, if you can ever get the screws out, you might try grease on the threads before you re-assemble.
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Old 10-01-20, 08:12 PM
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I use this screwdriver to change the battery in Garmin strap. It has the tiny philips head drivers need for the screws. Works great and cheaper than a new strap.

Philips - Slotted Screwdriver Set

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Old 10-01-20, 08:54 PM
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No problems with my Wahoo Tickr. It's about 18 months old, used every ride and almost every day including for walks. I've replaced the battery a couple of times. No problems with sweat induced leaks or corrosion on the Tickr device. The double stick tape that holds the sensors to the elastic strap are coming loose but I can probably fix that. I wash the strap once in awhile when it looks frosty from dried salty sweat.

Some battery compartments are sealed better than others. On some devices the O-rings are a bit fragile or difficult to replace properly in the baffled slots. No problems with my Tickr though.

I see some aftermarket replacement straps that are supposedly compatible with Wahoo, Garmin and other HR monitors. I might try one.

My only complaint about chest mounted HRMs is having to tug the strap up after it slides down. Or snugging it down so tight it digs into my ribs. But the sensor doesn't seem to care about positioning, as long as it's somewhere on the chest. It could probably work with the adhesives and goop used by hospitals to secure heart monitor electrodes.
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Old 10-02-20, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The HRM chest straps I typically use are not ANT+, they are an older electronic standard than that. Takes a large coin in a slot in the round battery cover to turn it.

I have a Garmin ANT+ strap, a cheaper version, that also has a round cover that uses a coin in a slot. I looked on Ebay for a photo of a Garmin like mine, this one looks like it.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Garmin-HRM1...P/264883811312

In one of the photos it shows the back side of it, there is a round battery cover, a coin fits in that slot to turn it.

I am not recommending that particular Ebay listing, I only looked at it for a listing that has a photo to refer to.

I often replace my own watch batteries. I find it is easier to get the screws out if I put some grease on the screw threads before I screw them in. So, if you can ever get the screws out, you might try grease on the threads before you re-assemble.
That is very useful. It tells me to search for HRM1G in order to find the old version of the Garmins. Thanks! dave
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Old 10-02-20, 12:50 PM
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I bought a 4iiii HRM in order to get my Ant+ PM to talk to Zwift through my iPad. (It acts as an Ant+ to BLE bridge). It's been excellent.

https://4iiii.com/viiiiva-heart-rate-monitor/

And I should mention that the battery cover opens with a coin.

Last edited by caloso; 10-02-20 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 10-02-20, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
That is very useful. It tells me to search for HRM1G in order to find the old version of the Garmins. Thanks! dave
I used to put a layer of electrical tape over the round battery cover as a redundancy in case the seal was poor, but quit doing that and still no sweat got in. But, you have a history of moisture killing your chest straps, so you might want to consider putting a layer of electrical tape over the top of the battery cover, it can't hurt.

You said you were looking for a strap, not a complete HRM. But as a side note, I started using these Sigma HRMs a couple years ago. Not ANT+. They are cheap and they do all I want them to do, when i am exerting hard i want to see the number and that is all I want out of it. I have three, mount one on each of the three bikes I ride most often. Very happy with them.
https://www.sigmasport.com/en/produk...d-series/id-go
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Old 10-03-20, 03:19 PM
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I've been using the same Wahoo Tickr head unit and strap since 2014. My wife has been using hers since around 2016. Never had an issue with either of them. Mine gets used almost every day.
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Old 10-03-20, 05:06 PM
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A quick comment on the tools suggestion. Three times now I have gone to a hardware store and bought something that was suggested by someone that would work for me. After the 3rd failure I promised myself I would not do that a fourth time.

For no reason this morning I took the (new) battery out of the Tickr (maybe to again experience how easy that is) and I did want to see if I could see any sign of water intrusion (I did not). On putting the battery back in just for grins, the Wahoo came to life (at least those little blue and red lights started to flash).

Two hours later I went for a ride - Wahoo Tickr was absolutely dead (less than a year old, BTW). And after the ride a battery change did not help.

I am now trying to decide if I care - I have a power meter so HR is more just a curiosity thing. And I am tired of buying stuff just to satisfy my curiosity (3 tools/toolsets and 4 HRM straps).

dave
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Old 10-03-20, 06:24 PM
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Did you check the battery with a multimeter? I always do when I replace batteries in any device to make sure it is really just the battery and it usually is. Also, take a pencil eraser to the contacts when you change the battery. Or use Deoxit. The parts inside are pretty difficult to break and it is always the battery. I have vacuum tube audio gear and the thing that is always the problem is the tube socket, not the tube. The contacts oxidize.
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Old 10-03-20, 06:50 PM
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I have tried 3 batteries, so probably not that. But a contact problem would make sense - thx. dave
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Old 10-04-20, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I have tried 3 batteries, so probably not that. But a contact problem would make sense - thx. dave
I have an electronic device that uses the common CR2032 Li coin battery. And I have learned over the years that when I replace the battery that I need to clean the battery contacts in the device, sometimes there appears to be a bit of corrosion on the metal. Often just scraping the part of the contact that touches the battery with a piece of metal or an emery board is sufficient.

And once I mailed a wrist watch to the manufacturer on a warranty claim. Watch refused to work after i swapped batteries. The manufacturer responded that it needed a new battery (I know mine had well over 3 volts, my battery was good) and they said that the battery contacts needed cleaning, cleaning the contacts was not covered under warranty, and if I wanted my watch back I had to pay a service charge and shipping charge. In other words, one more example of cleaning the battery contacts in the device.
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Old 10-04-20, 07:15 AM
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I went back out to the garage this morning to play with this thing one more time. First I put it on and it came to life instantly! But there is some kind of an issue here so I pulled the battery and cleaned the contacts with a pencil eraser and put the battery back in. Now the device was dead. But I noticed that the + contact is a little 'metal paddle' on the side of the CR2032 and it did not push very tightly on the battery itself. So I pulled it out a tad to create more pressure - device is still dead. BTW, when I encounter this problem I am careful to wet the chest contacts. In fact the only time it worked was the only time that I didn't wet those contacts - hmmmmmm.

I also dug my old VOM out of a drawer in the garage and the battery was a solid 3.3V.

I actually thought that this might work. Will probably ride HRM free for a while and see how much I care.

dave
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Old 10-04-20, 10:59 PM
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I'm surprised that didn't work. Maybe an internal connection broke.
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Old 10-04-20, 11:28 PM
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Did you try all the suggestions from Wahoo? https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/...What-Can-I-Do-

Resetting the Tickr worked for me once when I had an issue after swapping the battery. Otherwise trouble-free for over 2 years.
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Old 10-05-20, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Did you try all the suggestions from Wahoo? https://support.wahoofitness.com/hc/...What-Can-I-Do-

Resetting the Tickr worked for me once when I had an issue after swapping the battery. Otherwise trouble-free for over 2 years.
I was able to induce a couple of blue flashes after the battery flip, but that is all. dave
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Old 10-05-20, 08:34 AM
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Wahoo HRM work great. You need to get in the habit of rinsing the strap and unit around the contact points with fresh water after every ride or your sweat will damage it over time.

Another thing to try if you are just not getting it paired, It may be connecting to your phone in the background preventing it from pairing properly with zwift or your head unit. Close all your apps on your phone and restart it. That usually solves pairing problems....or keep your phone shut off until it is paired to whatever you are trying to pair it with.

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Old 10-05-20, 09:00 AM
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FWIW, I am a very high sweat generation biker (as much as 4 pounds of water per hour on the hottest days that I ride). After the second failure to get into the battery compartment of a Garmin HRM strap, I became pretty religious about rinsing off my HRM strap. I don't know if the suggestion of a layer of electrical tape would have helped or not - maybe.

In my case there isn't a failure to pair - it is a failure to send out a signal. Multiple devices (only one of which is actually paired to my Wahoo at this point) just do not see it. And no blue or red LED's, of course.

dave
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Old 10-05-20, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
FWIW, I am a very high sweat generation biker (as much as 4 pounds of water per hour on the hottest days that I ride). After the second failure to get into the battery compartment of a Garmin HRM strap, I became pretty religious about rinsing off my HRM strap. I don't know if the suggestion of a layer of electrical tape would have helped or not - maybe.

In my case there isn't a failure to pair - it is a failure to send out a signal. Multiple devices (only one of which is actually paired to my Wahoo at this point) just do not see it. And no blue or red LED's, of course.

dave
In retrospect, my 'rinsing' of the Garmins was probably less effective than I might imagine. I would unclip one end of the actual sensor device and give that a quick rinse, then click it back onto the strap which (rinse or not) is probably soaked with sweat. Next time (if there is one, I will probably leave the sensor off the strap unless I am wearing it. The Wahoo does not have this issue, BTW.

dave
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Old 10-05-20, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I was able to induce a couple of blue flashes after the battery flip, but that is all. dave
Just making sure, but you know that the Tickr only flashes a few times even when it's working, right?
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Old 10-06-20, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Just making sure, but you know that the Tickr only flashes a few times even when it's working, right?
Yes, and the double handful of blue flashes after a reset (which actually shorts out the battery terminals) or just sitting for a long time seems reproducable. It does not generate a heart rate (however it is pairable if your bike computer is on and in range during that short period of time). dave
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Old 10-06-20, 08:27 AM
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This is getting kind of interesting. For no particular reason I put the device back on (been sitting in the garage for an hour or so). And I got the expected blue flashes and also got the unexpected red flashes (heart rate). So I paired it with my Edge1030 and got a heart rate but it looked really wrong - 151 bpm. There is always the chance that my once or twice a year tachycardia had flared up. I sat down in a chair and relaxed for a few minutes and the bpm dropped to 122 (still looks very wrong). So I put a pulse oximeter on my finger and got 49 bpm, which is well within the expected range.

Fun and games with your Wahoo Tickr - who knew.

dave

ps. Somewhere late in this process I did scrub with a brush the chest contact points (as opposed to washing with a rag). This might have been a factor in suddenly getting a pulse rate (as wrong as it was).
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Old 10-06-20, 08:54 AM
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Pads need to be conductive for accurate bpm, so that means they need to be moist/wet. Not sure if that is why you had unusually high bpm, but that's exactly what happens when people put on the monitor "dry" and when you look at their strava you can see unrealistically high numbers until they start sweating...at which time the bpms become accurate.
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Old 10-06-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Pads need to be conductive for accurate bpm, so that means they need to be moist/wet. Not sure if that is why you had unusually high bpm, but that's exactly what happens when people put on the monitor "dry" and when you look at their strava you can see unrealistically high numbers until they start sweating...at which time the bpms become accurate.
That is interesting to know - I have never seen that in my data. But who knows what is going on and when it actually started.

However, I do somewhat regularly see the following. Note the sudden ups and downs in HR noted with the arrows. This was an August ride so by 15 minutes I was quite wet. Yellow is power and this is a constantly rolling terrain ride. I had not been seeing this on every ride, but certainly 10% of them or more.

dave
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