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Garmin HRM Battery Access

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Garmin HRM Battery Access

Old 01-02-19, 11:11 AM
  #1  
DaveLeeNC
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Garmin HRM Battery Access

I currently own two Garmin HRM straps that are functional but not functional because I can't get the screws off the back of the HRM strap sensor thingey (battery replacement issue). And now my third one is getting weak, but this time I was careful to rinse the thing off after most uses to minimize sweat based crap that might make the screws hard to remove. Despite owning 3 "precision screwdriver sets" (down to 1.4mm flatblade and 2mm Phillips head), out of the total of 12 screws there is not a single one that I can remove.

What exactly do folks folks use (successfully) to remove these screws.

Thanks.

dave
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Old 01-02-19, 12:17 PM
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I took it to the hardware store & ended up with Ace brand double-ended screwdriver

from the counter next to the cashier.
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Old 01-02-19, 01:42 PM
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Yep, worst design ever. I actually ended up breaking mine getting it open after stripping the screw because they were so warn. So I now wrap it electrical tape to keep it sealed up. Works fine but will not put a new battery in it again. Its 4 years old now and will just buy a new one. I contacted Garmin about this issue and they would not sell me the parts, said I had to buy the complete works.

Try a jewelry type screwdriver too if woodcrafts idea doesn't work. I wish I would have.

good luck
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Old 01-02-19, 02:56 PM
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I think I used either the t2 or t4 screwdriver for it
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Old 01-02-19, 03:41 PM
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I wear my Garmin HR strap five or six days per week, all year 'round. I wash it every other week or so and hang it to dry. I find that the strap starts to delaminate about the same time the battery dies -- 18 to 24 months in. So, I just replace the strap. Life is too short to try to replace that battery!
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Old 01-03-19, 03:44 PM
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One word, Wahoo. Toss the Garmins and spend 50 on a Wahoo Tickr HR. I know this doesn't address your problem but I also struggled with the Garmin monitors, both iterations. Expensive chest straps that don't last or don't connect well. My Wahoo has a long battery life, it connects easily and even indicates that it's working. Battery changes are simple. Oh and new chest straps are cheap.
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Old 01-03-19, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ddub View Post
One word, Wahoo. Toss the Garmins and spend 50 on a Wahoo Tickr HR. I know this doesn't address your problem but I also struggled with the Garmin monitors, both iterations. Expensive chest straps that don't last or don't connect well. My Wahoo has a long battery life, it connects easily and even indicates that it's working. Battery changes are simple. Oh and new chest straps are cheap.
Do you mean new Wahoo chest straps or new "other brand" straps are cheap? I'll be looking again very soon.

I successfully changed out the battery in my Garmin a couple of times but I have a feeling I won't be quite so lucky next time. Those little screws are pretty corroded and my tool just doesn't want to grab them well.
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Old 01-03-19, 05:45 PM
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I bought other brand straps from an Ebay seller. About 8 dollars or so. Purchased two thinking the original would last similar to the garmin but it's still going and I haven't used the other brand straps yet so I can't comment on longevity but the quality looks about the same.
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Old 01-04-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I currently own two Garmin HRM straps that are functional but not functional because I can't get the screws off the back of the HRM strap sensor thingey (battery replacement issue). And now my third one is getting weak, but this time I was careful to rinse the thing off after most uses to minimize sweat based crap that might make the screws hard to remove. Despite owning 3 "precision screwdriver sets" (down to 1.4mm flatblade and 2mm Phillips head), out of the total of 12 screws there is not a single one that I can remove.

What exactly do folks folks use (successfully) to remove these screws.

Thanks.

dave
OK, here's the ticket. This cost me 5 bucks at ACE hardware. Probably could have gotten it cheaper but I got to test it in the store. It is the correct size, works. Nice tool.


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Old 01-04-19, 09:35 PM
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A 2mm Phillips worked perfectly for me.
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Old 01-04-19, 10:11 PM
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I use a driver out of a jewelers set. Not sure which size it is. No problems removing the screws.
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Old 01-04-19, 11:14 PM
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Another using a jeweler's screwdriver, the kind with a swiveling top that I can really push down on.while turning it. It is hard to do it perfectly so that it stays watertight, though I usually succeed.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:10 AM
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[QUOTE=Carbonfiberboy;20733135]Another using a jeweler's screwdriver, the kind with a swiveling top that I can really push down on.while turning it. It is hard to do it perfectly so that it stays watertight, though I usually succeed.[/QUOTE]

The one I pictured has the concave swivelling top and the grip is very easy to manage. I tried it on my older Garmin sensor and readily loosened each of the 4 semi-corroded screws. Though I'll probably use this tool one or twice a year, I'm very glad I now have it.
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Old 01-05-19, 08:20 AM
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It looks like a trip to Ace Hardware (maybe online) is in order here.

FWIW, I have two 2mm Phillips screwdrivers and neither one will do the job (for at least two of the HRM's). To be honest I cannot be positive that I tried all eight screws

dave
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Old 01-05-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
It looks like a trip to Ace Hardware (maybe online) is in order here.

FWIW, I have two 2mm Phillips screwdrivers and neither one will do the job (for at least two of the HRM's). To be honest I cannot be positive that I tried all eight screws

dave
I already had a set of small precision screwdrivers. None of them fit the Garmin screws.
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Old 01-06-19, 12:51 PM
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As others have pointed out, a set of precision screwdrivers is essential for the job. Also good eyesight and steady hands (these screws are sure tiny, try not to lose them).

When you replace the battery first install it upside down and hold it in place for 10 - 15 seconds. After that reinstall the battery correctly and re-attach the cover. I am not sure why this works, but the procedure was listed on the Garmin Forums and it worked for me.

I bought this set of screwdrivers from Amazon and they work fine.


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Old 01-07-19, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ddub View Post
One word, Wahoo. Toss the Garmins and spend 50 on a Wahoo Tickr HR. I know this doesn't address your problem but I also struggled with the Garmin monitors, both iterations. Expensive chest straps that don't last or don't connect well. My Wahoo has a long battery life, it connects easily and even indicates that it's working. Battery changes are simple. Oh and new chest straps are cheap.
Million times THIS. I have both. Replacing Garmin battery is PITA. All you need when you change Wahoo battery is a dime.

I wanted to buy those tiny Garmin screws online but they don't even sell them LOL. Now my Garmin HRM connects to 810 but not to my trainer as it used to. Found online that the remedy is put the battery opposite way to reset the HRM unit. LOL what a POS.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:26 AM
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Well, if we're comparing one-off anecdotes, my Garmin soft strap HRM recorded 700 hours of rides in 2018 and never dropped out once. Replacing the screws took 2 minutes using the proper screwdriver. Seeing that Garmin claims a battery life of around 1,500 hours, I don't see this as an issue for most anyway. I bought the Garmin because of battery issues with previous HRMs-- as the Wahoo is ANT+/BT and has LEDs, there's simply no way the battery will ever last as long as the Garmin.

Will I buy a Wahoo when the Garmin finally gives up? Who knows. Maybe. I know I don't like how the TICKR strap attaches.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
As others have pointed out, a set of precision screwdrivers is essential for the job. Also good eyesight and steady hands (these screws are sure tiny, try not to lose them).

When you replace the battery first install it upside down and hold it in place for 10 - 15 seconds. After that reinstall the battery correctly and re-attach the cover. I am not sure why this works, but the procedure was listed on the Garmin Forums and it worked for me.

I bought this set of screwdrivers from Amazon and they work fine.


I no longer have a Garmin HRM, but this ^^^ was what I suspected the problem was - JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screws/screwdrivers look very much like Philips, but they're not the same. A Philips driver will often pop out of JIS screws, which are more common than you'd think. I actually need to pick up a set of JIS screwdrivers to do a little camera lens surgery.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Well, if we're comparing one-off anecdotes, my Garmin soft strap HRM recorded 700 hours of rides in 2018 and never dropped out once. Replacing the screws took 2 minutes using the proper screwdriver. Seeing that Garmin claims a battery life of around 1,500 hours, I don't see this as an issue for most anyway. I bought the Garmin because of battery issues with previous HRMs-- as the Wahoo is ANT+/BT and has LEDs, there's simply no way the battery will ever last as long as the Garmin.

Will I buy a Wahoo when the Garmin finally gives up? Who knows. Maybe. I know I don't like how the TICKR strap attaches.
I recently got a Wahoo TICKR when my Garmin HR unit suddenly died. I also do not like that the Wahoo strap need the HR unit in place to be warn. That's one point where Garmin has an advantage, so my solution was to 3D print a "dummy" sensor to use to hold the strap on until I actually need the sensor in place. It actually works well to hold the strap together until I need the sensor.

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I no longer have a Garmin HRM, but this ^^^ was what I suspected the problem was - JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screws/screwdrivers look very much like Philips, but they're not the same. A Philips driver will often pop out of JIS screws, which are more common than you'd think. I actually need to pick up a set of JIS screwdrivers to do a little camera lens surgery.
Even still, with the Garmin sensor cover, the plastic under the screws is very thin and can break along the outer edge rendering the cover useless. That's happened on one of my older ones. I complained about it when seeking warranty for the one that died, but who knows if they will update that cover.
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Old 01-08-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ddub View Post
One word, Wahoo. Toss the Garmins and spend 50 on a Wahoo Tickr HR. I know this doesn't address your problem but I also struggled with the Garmin monitors, both iterations. Expensive chest straps that don't last or don't connect well. My Wahoo has a long battery life, it connects easily and even indicates that it's working. Battery changes are simple. Oh and new chest straps are cheap.
I did the same thing, except used a unit from the Trek Store.
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