Heart rate issues

Stuart1974 Registered Users Posts: 8
Master Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
Unless I have the watch so tight it looses heart rate signal all the timed or basic every day wearing there's 2 holes left. Riding and gym I'll tighten the strap by two holes. Any more and it's painfull. I've tried the right wrist and tried in slightly different places.
It's resting over black ink on tattoos on either hand but that shouldn't affect it.
I have pictures to back up my problem of either no heart rate or saying something like 90 bpm whilst my pulse is trying to burst out of my chest


  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,936
    Black ink tattoos will make a big difference as they are making the skin less translucent and causing the LEDs to fail. Unfortunately, there are some physical conditions that will negatively impact OHR including excess hair, skin tone and tattoos. Unless you have a place you can put it that is not tattooed this will likely be a continuing issue and it is not really the faculty of the watch. Have you tried wearing the watch on the inside of the wrist (which is possibly not tattooed)? It should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation as that will cause it to read low numbers. It should be snug but comfortable.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • Stuart1974
    Stuart1974 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Master Traveler
    To quote the manual I've just downloaded

    The performance of the heart rate sensor is not affected by skin type, body fat percentage or body hair. It IS however affected by how you wear the watch on your wrist and by whether you have warmed up or not.

    It's been intermittent since I bought it. The shop swapped my runner 2 cardio music for the 3 cardio today. Let's see what happens.
    They were going to test it for 24 hours in the shop but were unable to test it cycling of running or sleep patterns.

    Showed them all my data and the issues and this post. They were rather keen to mention that you were talking b"""""t about skin tone and such. Why make a watch and fail to mention half the population of the planet couldn't use it correctly. Also they my tats wouldn't be an issue.

    I am unable to mark it as a solution
  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,936
    Google tattoos and optical HR and you will see plenty of reports on it. here are just a few:

    From DCRainmaker's review of the latest Garmin (leading expert on sports tech):

    "And while tattoos and darker skin can be challenging for some sensors, I haven’t seen too many folks with issues there in Mio’s sensors either (but again, that’ll vary person to person)."

    From Garmin directly:

    "Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I would be happy to help. The optical heart rate sensor on your vivosmart HR uses light to penetrate your skin and estimate your heart rate. This allows you to get heart rate information without the need for an external sensor. To ensure best possible accuracy, follow the below guidelines.
    For best heart rate accuracy:
    • Ensure wrist is clean and dry
    • Ensure snug fit on wrist
    • Wear watch on outside of wrist, away from wrist bone
    Avoid wearing it over dark tattoos
    • Ensure green lights are functioning"

    Ray's review of the Apple watch:

    "Next, there’s certainly been lots of commotion in the mainstream media about how well the Apple Watch works on various skin tones and things like tattoos or hairier arms. The reality is that this is no different than other optical HR sensors. Some companies will add in secondary LED colors to add more breadth to their optical HR measurements. Yet others with just green-alone are able to do just as good.

    But ultimately, the non-click-bait headline is actually that Apple isn’t really any different than anyone else. For some people it’s just not going to work – no matter if their skin is white or black, or tattooed or not. There are plenty of reports of perfectly functioning Apple Watches with optical HR across a wide variety of skin tones (just as there are on other sensor companies)."

    Your store is welcome to have their opinion and ultimately it is hit or miss for some people based on a lot of factors and tattoos are a known factor (after all you are trying to pass light through skin, if that skin is dyed black logic says it is going to potentially struggle).
  • JerryTomTom
    JerryTomTom Registered Users Posts: 6
    Apprentice Seeker
    My Spark3 tells me my heart rate is about 40% higher than it really is. Constantly. Running my hardest, my heart rate is around 160, but it reads over 200 for my easy pace. It's useless.