PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

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PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby andy999 » November 18th, 2017, 12:48 pm

Has anybody experience with connecting wrist-based pulse detectors to a PM5?
I often use a chest belt HRM (Polar H7) but would be interested in an easier way to monitor my pulse. Since many of the wrist-based monitors support both Bluetooth smart and ANT+ connectivity (e.g. Garmin vivosport) I was thinking about the purchase of such a device.

Any comments are welcomed.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby bisqeet » November 21st, 2017, 8:09 am

yes. but to be quite honest they are very innacurate for this sport art.
If you want numbers you can rely on or want to use on some basis then you're going to have to use a chest strap.

optical sensors are not designed for accuracy, more of displaying a trend for your average activity that doesn't include vigourous changes in pace and intensity.

I have done tests with polar H7, vivoactive and garmin cheststraps together.

The cheststraps were within a few beats for the whole test (it was a 8x500 R3:30 @ <1:40 and a halfmarathon SS @ R18 2:07).
During the Intervals the watch was off upto 20 BPM (it always displayed a lower value)

during the HM it was again lower but only by about 5-10 bpm.

I'm not sure how much is related to the watch "bouncing" and not having contact. Strap tightness does play a factor..
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby gregsmith01748 » November 21st, 2017, 11:28 am

I feel like I have discovered a happy compromise here. I used chest straps for the past 6 or 7 years and frankly, I think they are a pain. They can slip, they can chafe, the batteries don't last long enough. Recently, I saw a post on twitter where someone (The great Stephen Seiler, no less) compare a chest strap to a new optical sensor from Polar, the OH1. This sensor is worn on the upper forearm or on the upper arm.

I decided to give it a try and I like it a lot so far. The readings appear to be accurate and reliable. I have had no trouble pairing it to the PM5 or my iphone. And most importantly, it is quite comfortable and doesn't slip around.

Here is a quick note that I posted about it.

http://analytics.rowsandall.com/2017/09/28/polar-oh1-do-arm-based-heart-rate-measurements-work-for-rowing/

Here's a comparison of the OH1 and a Tickr chest strap.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby andy999 » November 21st, 2017, 1:28 pm

Since whatisant.com claims compatibility, I have bought a Garmin vivosport wrist-based tracker yesterday.
Pairing with my Android works perfectly and as far as I have seen, pulse measurement is quite accurate, at least in my pulse range (at 63 yr. I hardly go over 140 bpm).
Connecting the device to the c2/PM5 however was not successful until now. But I continue trying (and having an excuse for shortening my rowing workouts :oops: )
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby bojam » November 22nd, 2017, 8:40 am

andy999 wrote:Since whatisant.com claims compatibility, I have bought a Garmin vivosport wrist-based tracker yesterday.
Pairing with my Android works perfectly and as far as I have seen, pulse measurement is quite accurate, at least in my pulse range (at 63 yr. I hardly go over 140 bpm).
Connecting the device to the c2/PM5 however was not successful until now. But I continue trying (and having an excuse for shortening my rowing workouts :oops: )


I have a Vivoactive HR, PM5, and Ant hrm belt and use an Android tablet to use BoatCoach (or ergData) and found from many failed attempts that I cannot use the watch and the tablet.... I tried using a cable instead of BT.

Which is not as good as the PM4 with 310XT which I could use the tablet as well.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby andy999 » November 23rd, 2017, 4:31 am

Ok. It works.
To pair vivosport to PM5, one needs to send the HR data from the watch in a special HR send mode (while pairing to Garmin connect needs no special action). But afterwards I couldn't connect to ErgData.

Solution is:
- delete your ancient pulse belt data from USB stick
- connect your phone to PM5 with ErgData (BLE connection)
- connect PM5 to vivosport (Ant+ connection; watch put in HR send mode)
- then you can row and get your HR data both in PM5 and ErgData.

Complicated, but next time I will test whether I can connect in less than 30 minutes :mrgreen:

My first impression is that rowing with the wrist watch is definitely more comfortable than with the belt. Pulse data seem to be accurate but I haven't (yet?) made such nice 1 to 1 comparison with the belt such as @gregsmith.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby rakserv » November 24th, 2017, 10:38 am

From what i researched and reviews that i have read, the accuracy of the optical wrist based heart rate sensors can be very good depending on the fit of the device around an individuals wrist and the amount of light leakage that is allowed under the band.

I’ve tried using ANT+ wrist based heart rate sensors (MIO Link) on both PM4/PM5 performance monitors on both Indoor Rowers and SkiErgs. My experience has been mixed, and I believe results are dependent upon the physical anatomy of your wrists and forearms. I have very thin wrists (aka not a lot of meat or thickness) with decent size forearms up near the elbows.

To get a good fit and light seal, i have to wear device up around the thicker part of the forearm. Unfortunately when i start sweating the device slips down my forearm and loosely flops around my wrist. Once the light seal is compromised the accuracy of the devices is lost.

I am sure that as the technology advances that manufacturers will improve the designs and fit will become less dependent on the individual.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby andy999 » November 24th, 2017, 2:25 pm

My experience is good. Connection is reliable (ErgData to PM5 by Bluetooth, then PM5 to wrist tracker by Ant+), at least since I updated PM5 to V159.
You are right about the wrist positioning. I put my tracker a little bit tighter before rowing. And possibly twisting it 180 deg. to the palmar side of the forearm helps if you are a very hairy type.
In such conditions at least my light-based wrist clock works perfectly in a range up to 150 bpm. I suppose accuracy will be less the higher your pulse goes.
I think the technology evolves rapidly and it is worthwile to do some testing since these devices are much more comfortable.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby sander » November 24th, 2017, 4:15 pm

On the water, where one has to feather, I cannot imagine using a pulse watch. As a Greg above, I have tested the Polar OH1 and like it. This one seems to be good as well and had the advantage of also supporting the ANT+ protocol: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/05/sco ... tical.html
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby FRiC » December 7th, 2017, 1:01 am

The Polar OH-1 and Scosche Rhythm+ are worn on the forearm/biceps (thigh/forehead) instead of the wrist so they work better. I bought a Fenix 5S with built-in HRM for my SO for Christmas (shh!) so I'll be getting her Rhythm+. Can't wait to try it out.
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby uw73 » December 12th, 2017, 12:28 am

I just purchased a Garmin vivosport watch and synched to my Android. The Indoor Rowing display appears ready, but I can't seem to get it to show time/strokes/pace/distance. Any suggestions?
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby andy999 » December 12th, 2017, 12:30 pm

ErgData can not connect to PM5 and vivosport at the same time because it has no Ant+ connectivity.

First try to connect your vivosport by ANT+ only to PM5 without any Android smartphone. Note that before connecting you have to put your vivosport into HR-sending mode.

Alternatively you can also try to connect your vivosport to Android Apps such as "ANT+ Heart Rate Grapher" or "ANT+ to BLE HeartRate". They also need the vivosport in HR-send mode.

Good luck!
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby JMac » December 13th, 2017, 6:02 am

I'm thinking of getting a wahoo tickr HR monitor plus a Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch.

I've seen some positive feedback on the wahoo tickr on here and was just wondering if anyone had the Fenix 3 HR and could provide some feedback?
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Re: PM5 and pulsewatch/activity tracker HRM?

Postby rakserv » December 13th, 2017, 10:58 am

JMac wrote:I'm thinking of getting a wahoo tickr HR monitor plus a Garmin Fenix 3 HR watch. I've seen some positive feedback on the wahoo tickr on here


just thought i would add, i switched from a Polar v800 and H7 to Wahoo Tickr because it supports both ANT+ and Bluetooth LE and i was moving to a PM5.

I connect using bluetooth to the v800 and ANT+ to the PM5 and it works fine most of the time. every once and while the ANT+ seems to drop out the connection to the PM5, but it is infrequent.

good luck!
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