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Garmin 530/Bontrager light pairing problems

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Garmin 530/Bontrager light pairing problems

Old 01-23-21, 03:31 PM
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force10
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Garmin 530/Bontrager light pairing problems

I'm having trouble maintaining a stable light network between my Edge 530 and Bontrager Ion Pro RT/Flare RT. Initially they paired up easily but ever since the 530 has failed to display battery life remaining in a reliable manner (an important reason I chose these lights). This persisted and occasionally it appeared as though battery readings for the headight would show up for the tailight and vice versa. Then the 530 would fail to illuminate one light or another (usually taillight) from time to time and show just a question mark in the sensor list as though it either had a dead battery or were not in range.

I spoke with a garmin rep about this and reset the tailight and briefly the problem disappeared but now has returned. I have tried removing both lights and re-pairing them but only the ION Pro headlight is "sensed" by the 530 - no length of searching time allows pairing of the Flare, even after several resets. The Flare operates independently fine, but sometimes will not operate at all if the 530 is powered up.

I spoke with a garmin rep again this afternoon who dismissed the problem as a bontrager problem. I would be more apt to accept this and pursue the matter with bontager if it werent for unreliable connections between the 530 and both my phone and garmin hrm. I should mention the 530 is a year old and the lights were new in October.

So.., has anyone else experienced something like this and managed to resolve it? I would love to hear how. Any thoughts on where the problem lies?
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Old 01-24-21, 12:32 PM
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I think it's one of those issues that might take a while to sort out. I don't think that originally the developers on either side, Garmin or the light manufacturer imagined the layers of lights connecting to one device that we are having now. Though you might only have one light on your bike that can be controlled through your Garmin, the programming code for doing it probably has gotten quite complex.

I see my son fussing sometimes with the lights on his bike. He has several different types that he is controlling. Mostly though, it seems to work for him. But we have been held up a few minutes starting our ride while he plays with them. It's not a big concern, I figure they'll get better eventually.
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Old 01-24-21, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I think it's one of those issues that might take a while to sort out. I don't think that originally the developers on either side, Garmin or the light manufacturer imagined the layers of lights connecting to one device that we are having now. Though you might only have one light on your bike that can be controlled through your Garmin, the programming code for doing it probably has gotten quite complex.

I see my son fussing sometimes with the lights on his bike. He has several different types that he is controlling. Mostly though, it seems to work for him. But we have been held up a few minutes starting our ride while he plays with them. It's not a big concern, I figure they'll get better eventually.
Perhaps you are correct. I have been grumbling through the quirks up until now. Hoping that a software update might fix the situation.

But now itís come to a point where I need to choose whether I want to have the light on or the computer and that doesnít sit well.
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Old 01-24-21, 04:42 PM
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I have found the ANT+ lights are more finicky then anything else. only my explore has been really reliable on lights. I find you need to turn off the garmin instead of using sleep. charge the light and garmin close at the same time helps. my 1030+ is really bad about this.
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Old 01-24-21, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I have found the ANT+ lights are more finicky then anything else. only my explore has been really reliable on lights. I find you need to turn off the garmin instead of using sleep. charge the light and garmin close at the same time helps. my 1030+ is really bad about this.
Hmm. Thatís bad news but good to know.
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Old 01-24-21, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
Hmm. Thatís bad news but good to know.
I have two sets of the bontrager flashing lights and their headlight and a garmon headlight. it just seems a light thing. well also the radar too it will disconnect a few seconds sometimes. I think when I had my garmin watch and I accidentally hooked it to the lights hey would disconnect often. but turning off the garmin seems the best solution instead of sleeping.
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Old 01-25-21, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
Perhaps you are correct. I have been grumbling through the quirks up until now. Hoping that a software update might fix the situation.

But now itís come to a point where I need to choose whether I want to have the light on or the computer and that doesnít sit well.


Or you could unpair everything and use the lights without connectivity.

Not what you want to hear, not what you paid for, either. But it doesn't seem like this whole "pairing" thing is bringing you much utility.
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Old 01-25-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post

Or you could unpair everything and use the lights without connectivity.

Not what you want to hear, not what you paid for, either. But it doesn't seem like this whole "pairing" thing is bringing you much utility.
You're right. That is the correct alternative. And what Ive been hoping to avoid.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:07 PM
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Did this ever get resolved?
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Old 06-17-22, 01:18 PM
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dont separate your lights and garmin charge them at the same time. this I have found is critical to keep them working well together.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Did this ever get resolved?
Resolution was to unpair the lights from the head unit.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:52 PM
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Sorry. Not what I was hoping to hear.
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Old 06-18-22, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
I have been grumbling through the quirks up until now. Hoping that a software update might fix the situation.
It has been my experience that Garmin is not the best at software. I've liked all of my Garmin hardware, but the software has always had issue. If I recall, when reading what some of the 530 updates I've had were supposed to fix, sensor connectivity was among them but I don't know that it has fixed anything.

FWIW, I had initial problems with pairing the same Bontrager light combo as you to my 530. The first time I paired them I had an issue I don't recall what was, and I unpaired them to try it again. The secondI paired them introduced more issues, but the overall functionality seemed to be better so I left it alone. The headlight died on a ride even though it was fully charged and Trek replaced it under warranty and when I paired it, there was some other minor issue. I've not heard anything about charging together in close proximity or turning off the Garmin instead of letting it sleep. But I eventually found I preferred to not let the Garmin turn on the lights anyway. I ride in early mornings, daylight and late nights and found it easier to just manually select the mode I want or even if I want them on if I'm riding a multi-use path. They are really good at making me visible it seems as I have had people tell me they saw me riding and noticed the lights well before they noticed a bike and visibility was my top priority.

Off topic but related to software issues is that before I had my 530, I paired these lights to my Forerunner. Often when wearing my Forerunner the lights would come on when I opened my garage door. I removed the forerunner to stop this but then it would return. When I looked at the paired sensors on the Forerunner, the lights were paired again. After having this happen several times, I reset the watch to factory defaults only to have it happen again.
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Old 06-18-22, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Sorry. Not what I was hoping to hear.
Yeah, it wasnít as advertised but the only feature that I was truly interested in was being able to check the battery status on the computer.

I arrive home from a ride with a dead light pretty frequently.
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Old 06-18-22, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
Yeah, it wasnít as advertised but the only feature that I was truly interested in was being able to check the battery status on the computer.

I arrive home from a ride with a dead light pretty frequently.
So now that I have necro-posted this thread back to life, let me mention what is going on for me:

I have a Gen 1 rectangular light/radar. It worked (almost always) flawlessly with my Edge 25, Edge 130 and now Edge 530. It has two connections, one for the radar, and one for the "network" light in the radar.

I later added a HR monitor in the form of a broadcast signal from a Garmin Venu 2 watch.

Everything still worked fine.

A few days ago I upgraded to the RT515 radar/tail light. I deleted the Gen1 radar/light from my Edge 530, and then added in my RT515.

The radar's light is immediately recognized, but the radar itself is hit or miss, at best.

It might be a red herring, but I think I figured out that as long as the Edge is searching for my HR monitor, it fails to recognize, or perhaps even to look for, the radar. As soon as I turned on HR broadcast, everything worked.

So if by chance you have some other ANT+ device, try deleting it, adding the light network, and then restore the other ANT+ device.
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Old 06-18-22, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
So now that I have necro-posted this thread back to life, let me mention what is going on for me:

I have a Gen 1 rectangular light/radar. It worked (almost always) flawlessly with my Edge 25, Edge 130 and now Edge 530. It has two connections, one for the radar, and one for the "network" light in the radar.

I later added a HR monitor in the form of a broadcast signal from a Garmin Venu 2 watch.

Everything still worked fine.

A few days ago I upgraded to the RT515 radar/tail light. I deleted the Gen1 radar/light from my Edge 530, and then added in my RT515.

The radar's light is immediately recognized, but the radar itself is hit or miss, at best.

It might be a red herring, but I think I figured out that as long as the Edge is searching for my HR monitor, it fails to recognize, or perhaps even to look for, the radar. As soon as I turned on HR broadcast, everything worked.

So if by chance you have some other ANT+ device, try deleting it, adding the light network, and then restore the other ANT+ device.
Unpair the HR monitor, fire up the computer & RT515 fully, let it sync as if you're going to normally ride (maybe even just go for that ride!). Once the ride is over, shut it all down. Repower the computer up as well as the RT515 fully. Now pair the HR monitor. If that doesn't resolve your issue, I would contact Garmin.
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Old 06-18-22, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Unpair the HR monitor, fire up the computer & RT515 fully, let it sync as if you're going to normally ride (maybe even just go for that ride!). Once the ride is over, shut it all down. Repower the computer up as well as the RT515 fully. Now pair the HR monitor. If that doesn't resolve your issue, I would contact Garmin.
Before reading this, I did much the same thing, except deleted the HR monitor and then added it back in, and verified it no longer "gets in teh way" of the radar binding.

So for anyone reading this having similar issues, please try the following:

(1) Delete all lights, monitors, and other ANT+ devices.
(2) Add back and bind the radar/tail light first.
(3) Then add back and bind whatever else you have.
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Old 06-18-22, 09:43 PM
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I almost bought a Bontrager headlight today at REI, but decided not to push my luck.
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Old 06-27-22, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I almost bought a Bontrager headlight today at REI, but decided not to push my luck.
I bought one yesterday; after test-riding a $9K bike I felt guilty.

So far, so good. Very nice form factor and it joined the light network with no drama.
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Old 06-27-22, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I bought one yesterday; after test-riding a $9K bike I felt guilty.

So far, so good. Very nice form factor and it joined the light network with no drama.
I had a couple worked well then would not connect. the garmin light worked well but was a bear to remove.
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Old 06-27-22, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I had a couple worked well then would not connect. the garmin light worked well but was a bear to remove.
It is far too soon to declare victory, and they have a 30 day return policy, and I now have at least some idea how to force it to work, so we shall see. I really do like the form factor.
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Old 06-27-22, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
It is far too soon to declare victory, and they have a 30 day return policy, and I now have at least some idea how to force it to work, so we shall see. I really do like the form factor.
it took a few times sometimes to get it working. the info about the light can be delayed in showing same with the radar.
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