TomTom heart rate strap query with Spark — TomTom Community

TomTom heart rate strap query with Spark

AvtarAvtar Posts: 13 [Outstanding Explorer]
Hi, I just purchased and started using TomTom external HRM as the performance of the inbuilt HRM was not satisfactory for my strength workouts (although it works well for running and cycling activities). I just have few queries to get most out of this device -

1. Do I always need to unbuckle the sensor and strap when not in use because I have not seen any button on the sensor to switch it off when not in use?
2. Do I always need to wet the contacts before starting any activity? Yesterday I went for a run, I put on the strap at my home with wet contacts and checked for pairing, my tomtom spark cardio (version 1) was pairing accurately and displaying me the HR reading. Then with the strap on my chest i took the 10 mins ride on my motorcycle to reach the running track. When i was about to start the run, the watch didn't displayed the heart rate. I again tried to wet the contacts with saliva (which I really hated but there was no water availability) But I ended up running without the external HRM and felt quite disappointing !!
3. Can I pair the heart rate strap with my iPhone, in case some day I am using Nike Plus running app or strava for a change (which I usually don't do but I am planning to use strava for more in-depth running analytics )
Avtar

Comments

  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 15,769 Superusers
    1) The strap will shut off automatically when it does not get a signal after a period of time. I personally just unsnap it and wipe it off after I am done.
    2) You should always wet the contacts (I use ECG gel I got on Amazon for about $5 - one tube will last years). The straps work based on electrical conductivity and it needs the liquid to make a better connection. Saliva is actually better than water as it is more viscous and has salts in it as well, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. It is likely that in the time it took you to get there the strap dried off or the watch timed out waiting for a reading.
    3) It is a standard BT strap so it will pair with any BT enabled device, but be aware it is a one-to-one relationship so pairing with the phone will break the pairing with the watch and you will need to pair it again. Also, if you pair it with the phone it will likely steal the signal the next time you try to pair with the watch if it is in range, so you should probably have the phone forget it before going back to the watch.

    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.
  • AvtarAvtar Posts: 13 [Outstanding Explorer]
    tfarabaugh wrote:
    1) The strap will shut off automatically when it does not get a signal after a period of time. I personally just unsnap it and wipe it off after I am done.
    2) You should always wet the contacts (I use ECG gel I got on Amazon for about $5 - one tube will last years). The straps work based on electrical conductivity and it needs the liquid to make a better connection. Saliva is actually better than water as it is more viscous and has salts in it as well, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. It is likely that in the time it took you to get there the strap dried off or the watch timed out waiting for a reading.
    3) It is a standard BT strap so it will pair with any BT enabled device, but be aware it is a one-to-one relationship so pairing with the phone will break the pairing with the watch and you will need to pair it again. Also, if you pair it with the phone it will likely steal the signal the next time you try to pair with the watch if it is in range, so you should probably have the phone forget it before going back to the watch.

    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.

    Hi tfarabaugh,
    Thanks a lot for your reply. Your reply really gave me very good insight. I just have one more question.
    In long run, if there is any chance of strap damage (or sensor tich button) if I unsnap the sensor from strap every day. My only concern is that the straps are not easily available in India (in case they are available they are quite costly). I imported this sensor and strap pair from the US so I just want to sustain it for the longer period of time.

    Thanks in Advance :)
    Avtar
  • Michael ProcterMichael Procter Posts: 34 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Ive had a similar issue. I would jog to my local park using my external HR sensor. Stop the run on my Spark 3. Then restart the run on my Spark 3 and it would not pick up the external HR sensor. This has happened every time I have stopped and then restarted soon after to do my main run.

    I am struggling to get the built in sensor to be accurate which is why I use the external (Polar H7 BT sensor). it seems to drift up and take my stride steps - my heart no longer can get to 180 at my age and it certainly didn't feel like it was beating that fast! So I stopped, paused the workout, waited for the HR to drop and then restarted my run. I had to do this twice today. I had the watch done up quite tight as well.
  • AvtarAvtar Posts: 13 [Outstanding Explorer]
    Hi Micheal,
    The issue which you stated above is quite strange. In my case once i have started the run then it was working flawlessly. I am really not very sure about Polar H7 Sensor. I am currently using the TomTom sensor only and it is workkng amazingly. Now i am using the sensor with ECG gel so the problem which i was having earlier has not iterated again. You just check the compatibilty of that because once the run has started this issue should not happen. In my knowledge it should happen only when you have taken really long break and your body and sensor electrodes (or touchpoints) have gone completely dry. In this case you can try wetting the touch points with little water or electrode gel. I guess it should work otherwise if you are not taking long break then it may be compatibility issue either with watch or the sensor.

    Thanks,
    Avtar
    Avtar
  • Michael ProcterMichael Procter Posts: 34 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    I jogged to my local Parkrun. Stopped the watch. Then started a new run for the timed 5k. I even disconnected the sensor from the strap, and made sure the pads were still moist. Nothing. I completed the run. After about 20 mins or so I then jogged back home starting a new run on the watch and it picked up the Polar H7 instantly.
  • EVA_27EVA_27 Posts: 34 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    In summer, I don't wet the contacts, and it picks up my heart rate flawlessly.
    In winter, it's a different thing. If I don't wet the contacts, my "heart rate" can go up to 210 when starting out, (yeah right - and even without panting or anything), then drop to something like 110. After about 1 to 1,5 km, so basically when I start sweating, the watch starts showing the correct heart rate. If I wet the contacts, there is no problem (or sometimes after around 1 km, the watch will show an incredibly high heart rate for maybe a couple of minutes, after which it settles again).
    So the solution seems to be : start sweating!
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