Posts Tagged ‘Garmin 310xt’

Had another issue with the Garmin 310XT the very week after I managed to sort out the horrendous sync issue. I was running along minding my own business when I noticed my left wrist became lighter. The 310 had come lose and landed on a grass area at the edge of the trail. I retrieved it and to my horror found the front of the unit had cracked!

I have owned the 310 for nearly a year. It has been used several times a week in a variety of activities from hill walking, fell, trail and road running, kayak, swimming and snorkelling. I zipped the unit into my shorts pocket and and carried on training. 

At home, I found that one of the watch pins had failed, causing the strap to stop holding the unit on my wrist. I spoke to a customer representative at Garmin who asked me to send the unit off for inspection. He gave me a Return Authorisation number and within another week I mailed the package to them. To be fair, the turned this around quickly – I had an email and a call the same day they received the device to explain that it was all my fault and not a mechanical or quality issue. The cost for fixing the unit was £75.

I was then left with a dilemma – Fix it, buy another type of Garmin, Buy another type of computer. The other option was to live with it. They send it back and I keep it in a plastic bag until the battery dies.

After doing a thorough trade study and finding that Garmin provide replacement units that have a new battery, casing, etc. I decided that paying 75 quid was the better deal. I did try to argue the case that the fault was theirs, but they were having none of it!


Not very impressed, but pleased to say that upon stumping up the cash via credit card on Wednesday, the replacement unit was delivered Friday and out running/swimming on Saturday Morning! 


For the last few months the Garmin has been playing up. It began by not automatically synchronising with the PC and then started failing to download workouts. I have no idea what the cause was, but after some web research, i found it was a fairly common problem. The explanation was that somehow the data on the 310xt had corrupted. I found this hard to believe as the device was quite happily storing run, bike and swim data. Following some frustrating screwing around, I found I could upload activities by re-pairing the device with the computer each time. There appeared not fix for downloading new workouts.

The suggested fix was to factory reset the device. This is accomplished by:

  1. Turn the device off
  2. Hold down the “MODE” and “ENTER” buttons
  3. Momentarily press the “POWER” button

I didn’t really want to do this – psychologically there is part of me that says “Well, its half working, perhaps i should just put up with it.”. But another voice says “Are you nuts? This watch cost and arm and a leg! It should work reliably and flawlessly.” Today, I had a some spare time to take a shot at it.

Be warned there is no “Are you sure?” prompt and the procedure above restores the device to an “out of the box” state. On powering on you have to fill in all your stats again and the workouts and activities are cleared. It effectively cold-starts the GPS too, so it may take a while to re-acquire the satellite lock.

After filling in my stats, I tried to pair the device to the PC. I set the ANT Agent to pair with new  devices and power-cycled the 310xt. When it came back up, the pairing process kicked off and I followed the prompts as normal. This resulted in the ANT Agent throwing an exception and crashing. “Great Start!”, I thought. The I remembered the corrupt data problem and renamed the Garmin folder in the “AppData/Roaming” profile area to something else.

Pairing the devices again worked and the crash did not occur. I started Garmin Training Centre and got a warning that it couldn’t find my old profile. I ignored this and entered a new one. It automatically found the device and created a set of default workouts. I then selected the send data to device option and waited for ANT to sync. Again, this happened with no issues.

It’s early days, but hopefully the problem is solved. I just need to reset all my preferences for displays, alerts, etc.… But hey, the probably needed a clean out anyway!


In a previous post, I discussed some problems with my new toy, the Garmin 310xt.

When the ECG gel arrived, it turned out to be an ultrasound gel. This should still work as it is viscous enough to stick, while being capable of conducting electricity.

I tried it on several runs, but the problems persisted. Spikes reaching over 100% at the start and a lack of sensitivity when changing intensity, with further spikes or lows when the unit caught up.

Next I decided to ditch the wicking top I usually use for a standard cotton T-shirt. This returned good results. The spikes are gone and the unit is much more responsive to heart rate changes.

I had been questioning my heart zone calculations, but it turns out that running flat out I acheived 100% on the monitor with accurate recover rates afterwards. This is based on the standard 220-age formula.

I now have better confidence in looking for new maximum rates during hard workouts or races.

It’s a pity that the HRM is not compatible with modern running clothes, but it appears to be a common problem on many HRMs.

New Toy: Garmin 310xt

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Running
Tags: ,

I am not an early adapter of technology as illustrated by my new aquisition – a Garmin 310xt. These were launched a couple of years ago, but are still recommended as good, reliable and robust. They are also significantly cheaper than the contemporary models.

I have been using my android phone to track runs, mountain bike rides etc. This has worked really well but I wanted somthing a bit more robust, reliable and waterproof. I was also interested in training with with the heart rate monitor. I was on an FPOS (First Person On Scene) refresher course recently. This includes oxygen therapy, airway management and pulse oximitry. I managed to see off the pulse oximeter alarm with a heart rate of 51bpm.

On the day it arrived I charged it up using the clip on prongs and followed the quick start instructions. The unit comes with a USB travel charger. The set up was easy and I did some initial customization including switching the virtual partner off and the configuring the auto scrolling display.

I was scheduled to do a short cross training session. I chose to do some step aerobics while watching TV. I found the heart monitor wouldn’t work unless I wetted the sensors first. When I started the workout, I found my heartrate jumping up to 130% of maximum and then back to recovery rate.

An internet search on irratic bpm readings found that th’s is a common problem with various systems, not just the Garmin.

I have some ECG / ultrasound gel on order. Hopefully that will solve the problem.