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Settings for the Varia RTL510 - on/off/standby?

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Settings for the Varia RTL510 - on/off/standby?

Old 03-19-20, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
I know. My recollection though (haven't ridden and tried this out to verify yet) is that each time the Varia gets a hit on traffic behind, the head unit beeps, and the backlight goes on. A more trafficked area can mean your head unit's backlight is on a lot more than with the varia not running. I'm going to try a lower brightness on the backlight, and also reduce my backlight timeout setting to 15 seconds (had it at 1 minute).
Ohhhh. Really? It overrides the backlight setting on the head unit? That's pretty dumb, but that's also seems like a stretch for that to be the primary cause for the drastic drain that people are seeing.
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Old 03-19-20, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
I know. My recollection though (haven't ridden and tried this out to verify yet) is that each time the Varia gets a hit on traffic behind, the head unit beeps, and the backlight goes on. A more trafficked area can mean your head unit's backlight is on a lot more than with the varia not running. I'm going to try a lower brightness on the backlight, and also reduce my backlight timeout setting to 15 seconds (had it at 1 minute).
Yeah, I read that somewhere too. As I am doing a lot of riding on urban streets, the 520 is going off all the time. Hence the backlighting. I am interested to hear how the change in settings works for you. I think my 520 has a timeout of 15 seconds. I did lower the brightness to 60% but doesn't seem to have had any effect.
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Old 03-19-20, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies
Yeah, I read that somewhere too. As I am doing a lot of riding on urban streets, the 520 is going off all the time. Hence the backlighting. I am interested to hear how the change in settings works for you. I think my 520 has a timeout of 15 seconds. I did lower the brightness to 60% but doesn't seem to have had any effect.
We'll see -- I've always been at 60% brightness, so I'll try 30%.. of course the other variable that I came across is how active the radar is. If it's constantly on and tracking, as would be expected in an urban environment, the battery wear has to be a lot higher than more remotely trafficked routes.
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Old 03-20-20, 07:53 AM
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To check on the battery drain on the 520, I went for a ride last night and purposely left the Varia at home. The result?

3+ hr ride, 25% batter drain (in other words 75% battery life left on the 520)

Now compare this to a ride I did previously with the Varia:

2.5hr ride. 39% battery drain (in others words 61% battery life left on the 520)

Interested to see how you make out. Cheers.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:16 PM
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I have been seeing a higher rate of drain on my 520 for the last few months. I dont have a varia, but i think that the battery in the head unit has started to degrade. FWIW, I could JUST barely make it 10 hours on the 520 at Eroica CA last year, with no back light at all, and i used a USB power stick at rest stops. bought a 520 for me and a 530 for the Mrs, now we are all happy!
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Old 03-25-20, 12:32 PM
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Sy Reene Have you managed to get out for any rides with the updated screen timeouts? Any updates? Hope all is well.
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Old 05-06-20, 08:24 AM
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Just to post a quick update on this.

I changed the settings on my 520 so that the display brightness was down to 0%. With those settings, the Varia is draining approximately 1% battery life from my Garmin 520 for every 2k.

Cheers.
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Old 05-06-20, 10:36 AM
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I’m finding that my Garmin 530 head unit outlasts the radar. It’s about 1.5 charges of the Varia for every 1 charge of the head unit.
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Old 05-06-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
I’m finding that my Garmin 530 head unit outlasts the radar. It’s about 1.5 charges of the Varia for every 1 charge of the head unit.
I’m seeing similar, if not a better, with my 1030, which is not surprising given the size of battery in the 1030.
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Old 05-06-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tntyz
When riding primarily indoors I turn it off. When most of my rides are outdoors I will put it to sleep instead of turning it off.
​​​​​​I think I'm gonna leave mine on indoors, my cat has the crazies.
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Old 05-06-20, 12:07 PM
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How do I know if my Garmin supports light control? (It's a Fenix 6X.) Is there some functionality I can check for?
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Old 05-06-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How do I know if my Garmin supports light control? (It's a Fenix 6X.) Is there some functionality I can check for?
From the manual -

Situational Awareness
Your fēnix device can be used with the Varia Vision™ device,
Varia™ smart bike lights, and rearview radar to improve
situational awareness. See the owner's manual for your Varia
device for more information.

NOTE: You may need to update the fēnix software before
pairing Varia devices
Sounds like it's fully compatible.
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Old 05-06-20, 12:42 PM
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The watch beeps and vibrates when there's a car behind me, even shows me the diagram, but this "light network" stuff is new to me. Standby sounds handy especially if it lasts as long as people have mentioned in here. (How does it know to wake up?)

I forgot how useful this is. There still isn't much traffic here. I'm riding further out into the lane where the pavement is better and has less debris.
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Old 05-06-20, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
The watch beeps and vibrates when there's a car behind me, even shows me the diagram, but this "light network" stuff is new to me. Standby sounds handy especially if it lasts as long as people have mentioned in here. (How does it know to wake up?)

I forgot how useful this is. There still isn't much traffic here. I'm riding further out into the lane where the pavement is better and has less debris.
When connecting to my friend's 530 (I think), the Varia showed up under both the Light and the Radar categories. IIRC, it had to be connected as a light first and as a radar unit second.
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Old 05-06-20, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
How do I know if my Garmin supports light control? (It's a Fenix 6X.) Is there some functionality I can check for?
If I remember correctly, on the newer edge series of devices, it pairs both as a radar and a light automatically as soon as you pair it. On the older devices, the ant+ light profile has to be added manually.

If you only see radar under sensors menu, I’d recommend trying to add it as light. On the edge devices, you access the light controls by swiping down and activating the widgets (not sure on 530, since it doesn’t have a touch screen). If there’s a similar “widget” access on the F6X, I’d expect it to be there hopefully.
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Old 05-07-20, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies
For those of you who own the Garmin Varia RTL510, I have a question for you. Ok, maybe two questions.

In my reading of the manual, there are basically two on/off settings.
  1. The unit is totally off
  2. The unit is in stand-by mode, waiting to pair/connect with the head unit. The light is off and by all appearances the unit is 'off'.
My questions are:
  1. Am I correct in my understanding of the on/off settings? If so,
  2. What off mode do you keep the unit in? If the unit is in sleep-mode, do you notice significant battery drain between uses?
Thank you.
yes, significant battery drain.
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Old 05-08-20, 06:47 AM
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My Wahoo lasts longer than my Varia. Also found that the Varia doesn't last in full on mode for long rides (5+ hours), so for longer rides I switch to daytime blink mode and haven't had any issues.
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Old 05-08-20, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kissTheApex
If I remember correctly, on the newer edge series of devices, it pairs both as a radar and a light automatically as soon as you pair it. On the older devices, the ant+ light profile has to be added manually.

If you only see radar under sensors menu, I’d recommend trying to add it as light. On the edge devices, you access the light controls by swiping down and activating the widgets (not sure on 530, since it doesn’t have a touch screen). If there’s a similar “widget” access on the F6X, I’d expect it to be there hopefully.
I got it paired, left it in standby, and my watch wakes it up immediately. In fact if I even go in to edit the data pages for cycling, the radar wakes up in my living room.

What are widgets for an Edge? Asking out of curiosity. The watches are a different paradigm, they're meant to be worn full time, for me widgets are something that only exist outside the context of an activity.
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Old 05-08-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I got it paired, left it in standby, and my watch wakes it up immediately. In fact if I even go in to edit the data pages for cycling, the radar wakes up in my living room.

What are widgets for an Edge? Asking out of curiosity. The watches are a different paradigm, they're meant to be worn full time, for me widgets are something that only exist outside the context of an activity.
I called them widgets, like the watch steps, hr, weather widgets. Instead of the “down” button on the watch, on touch screen edge computers, they appear when you down swipe from the top of screen.
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Old 05-08-20, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I got it paired, left it in standby, and my watch wakes it up immediately. In fact if I even go in to edit the data pages for cycling, the radar wakes up in my living room.
I forgot to mention the first part.

on edge units, you have two options, a) wake radar when “head unit” is started, b) wake radar when “start” button is pressed. What you’re describing definitely looks like the first option. In fact, if you’re in an “indoor” profile (aka gps off), start button wake option doesn’t work either.
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Old 05-30-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies
Just to post a quick update on this.

I changed the settings on my 520 so that the display brightness was down to 0%. With those settings, the Varia is draining approximately 1% battery life from my Garmin 520 for every 2k.

Cheers.
Sorry for delay circling back to this.. Ran 520 at 20% backlight with Varia on 2:50 ride. Garmin at roughly 50% afterwards.
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Old 05-30-20, 07:09 PM
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This seems like a good place. What widget or data screen is good to control the tail light? I have the Bontrager 1030. The light control widget worked. Then I got the Bontrager headlight. Switched to the Bontrager light controller worked for a bit but the stopped. And when the screen shows the tail light just shuts off. Any suggestions.
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