Spark 3 (dis)charging and download problems

Andrew Cooke
Andrew Cooke Registered Users Posts: 3
Apprentice Traveler
edited January 24 in TomTom Sports
I'm using my spark 3 for day hikes, often following a GPX map. I think I've shut off everything unnecessary but I often run out of battery (9ish hrs?).

To get around this I borrowed a USB battery pack to give the watch a charge when I stop, but this is failing, the charge display comes up briefly, then goes back to the time display. I've tried 2 different packs with the same result, should this work? Is there a specific type of pack I should be looking for?

Next, on a recent walk in the rain the battery went flat really quickly, I suspect the backlight was coming on, I'd like to be able to switch this off permanently, is this possible?

Balls of string.. I've not had chance to test the new 'pause' function yet, without it I get a ball of string on the route map when stopped with poor GPS (nice bonus 3km to make up for the missing end of trails...) I'm hoping that that the pause uses the accelerometer not the GPS to decide that I've stopped.

Finally, I use my watch with a PC, but often there is no internet where I camp, how to I backup my files from the watch? The app just tells me that I have no internet.

Comments

  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,935
    Superuser
    9 hours on GPS only is about right, the max is 11 under ideal conditions and using trails will reduce that as the screen is constantly refreshing.

    You cannot charge it while using it. When the watch senses a change in power state it resets, so if you plug it in mid-activity it will reset. If you start it plugged into a power bank and leave it in the whole time, letting the bank run out and naturally switch to watch battery it will not reset. However, the trick is getting the cradle to not come loose the entire time (which will cause a reset), which is likely if it is in a pack. You also will not be able to wear it nor will you get HR. You could try taping it or something possibly, but I would practice it ahead of time. You're better off using multiple devices and joining the files together afterwards. You will still have two entries in MySports but you can upload the joined file to anywhere else you log your activities, like Strava.

    You cannot turn the backlight off permanently, but if you keep it covered by a sleeve it might help.

    Pause uses GPS and while hiking I would not recommend using it. If you are climbing steep hills it may detect you as stopped as you are covering vertical distance, not horizontal distance.

    You cannot sync the watch without Internet or back it up. It will hold up to 100 hours of data so you are unlikely to run out of storage space after a few days.

    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.
  • Andrew Cooke
    Andrew Cooke Registered Users Posts: 3
    Apprentice Traveler
    Thanks tfarabaugh, that's cleared up most of my concerns.

    I don't mind if my hike ends up in 2 parts, that's better than not having the end, and more importantly losing the trail. So I can easily stop the tracking to charge the watch during a break, the problem I have is neither of the battery banks I've tried will charge the watch. What should I be looking for in a suitable battery bank? I'm not sure if the watch is stopping the charge because it doesn't like the battery, or if the battery is stopping the charge because the watch draws so little current.

    With regards to covering with a sleeve, it was covered, I suspect the damp sleeve was upsetting the capacitive sensor, it would be great it be able to turn that feature off. Is there maybe some clear tape I can put on the screen to stop the capacitive sensor working?

    100 hrs of data is good, so I agree it should be plenty, but the requirement for internet is crazy, I can go weeks without being able to connect.

    Based on your recommendation I'll turn PAUSE back off, I guess I'll have to live with the balls of string, or at least try to remember to pause manually.
  • tfarabaugh
    tfarabaugh Posts: 16,935
    Superuser
    I don't know why the battery bank would not charge the watch, I have not had this issue. Is it a 1 or 2 amp charger?
  • Andrew Cooke
    Andrew Cooke Registered Users Posts: 3
    Apprentice Traveler
    I couldn't tell you, I borrowed them both and they've gone back. I suspect the watch draws so little current charging that the automatic switch on circuitry in the batteries switches off, I'll see if I can find a simpler manual one to try.