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  • Faulty Footpod SDM4

    I'm on to my 3rd Garmin Footpod and this one is starting to play up like the last 2. I'm sick of having to replace it every few weeks. Am I the only one having problems?

    Each time I get a new footpod (I bought one new in August 2010 and have had it replaced by Garmin in October and again in November) it works very well for 4 to 6 weeks. After that period it starts to spike on pace (I have it paired with a 310XT and show the pace on the watch). The spikes are at around 1:50 minutes/km (around 11 second 100m pace). Some runs later it will just stick on around 1:50/km for the whole run.

    Garmin Connect shows pace from the footpod (also note "Best pace"):
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/52794134
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/56165821
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/56372600
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/57153251
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/63573234

    So... is there anyone out there experiencing the same problems?

    Conversely, is there anybody out there regularly using the Garmin footpod with the 310XT and having it continue to work without problems for more than 6 weeks?

  • #2
    I've only used my SDM4 with 310XT for a couple of runs. In one run, best pace was 122 which must be a spike. This value is not seen in the graph at Garmin Connect for some reason.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/66859084

    Of all three runs using the SDM4, best pace has a value that is not visible in the graph which is very strange.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the response. Three runs is probably too early to tell if yours is displaying the same problems as mine. I'd get maybe 20 runs in before it started playing up.

      Something interesting has happened with my third one. It was definitely showing problems. I had been wearing it (and the previous 2) on my left shoe. The last run on the left shoe showed the problem:

      http://connect.garmin.com/activity/67338298

      The very next run I moved it to the right shoe. It was in exactly the same place on the shoe with the same lace loops holding it in place. I have since done 2 runs on that shoe and in both runs there were no spikes at all.

      http://connect.garmin.com/activity/67494874
      http://connect.garmin.com/activity/67937486

      It is too early days to make any conclusions but I do find it interesting that simply swapping from left to right has made a difference. Note that I'm only wearing the footpod on some runs.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am thinking of purchasing a foot pod, What was the outcome with yours? Did it start spiking again even on the right foot or did that seem to fix the problem?

        Thank you!

        Comment


        • #5
          It started spiking again. It is almost like leaving it off my shoe for a few days "resets" in and then it works for the next run. If I leave it on the shoe, it starts spiking after a few runs.

          Comment


          • #6
            I purchased a brand new, but older version of the Garmin foot pod from ebay at only a third of the retail price of the SDM4. It`s a bit bulkier than the newer version, but this is very reliable and accurate now I have it calibrated....

            http://connect.garmin.com/activity/70742862

            You don`t stop playing because you grow old - you grow old because you stop playing!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ATJ777 View Post
              So... is there anyone out there experiencing the same problems?
              I am having the same problem with my foot pod and 310xt. Mine doesn't spike quite as much, but it is jumping from 7min/mile up to over 9min/mile and back down to 4:50min/mile.

              I am quite disappointed with the consistency. Using just the GPS for pace worked better.

              I wonder if it is the 310XT and not the foot pod?

              My wife has an FR60 with a foot pod. Her data looks pretty good. The largest deviation seems to be about 30 sec per mile, which is probably a valid change in pace for her. I will try her foot pod with my 310XT tomorrow.
              Last edited by KAFOLSKE; 03-09-2011, 12:48 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KAFOLSKE View Post
                I wonder if it is the 310XT and not the foot pod?
                I thought of that, but it doesn't explain why when the footpod is new it works perfectly and then starts to go bad over time. It also doesn't explain my latest experiences where the footpod works perfectly when it hasn't been used for a few days.

                I plan to only use it once per week for the next few weeks and see if it continues to work fine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ATJ777 View Post
                  I thought of that, but it doesn't explain why when the footpod is new it works perfectly and then starts to go bad over time. It also doesn't explain my latest experiences where the footpod works perfectly when it hasn't been used for a few days.

                  I plan to only use it once per week for the next few weeks and see if it continues to work fine.
                  Good point. Your experience indicates that the foot pod accuracy could be heavily dependent on battery power.

                  Could the battery being at rest for a few days perform better than when used daily? Sort of like a flashlight that has old batteries. It is always brightest when just turned on? I know we are talking different battery technologies here (Alkaline vs. Lithium-Ion, but it is a thought).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KAFOLSKE View Post
                    Good point. Your experience indicates that the foot pod accuracy could be heavily dependent on battery power.

                    Could the battery being at rest for a few days perform better than when used daily? Sort of like a flashlight that has old batteries. It is always brightest when just turned on? I know we are talking different battery technologies here (Alkaline vs. Lithium-Ion, but it is a thought).
                    When it first happened I thought that, but I changed the batteries on my first one and the problem occurred immediately. i.e. with the new batteries.

                    Battery life of SDM4 footpod is documented at 400 hours of run time. If I was to run every day for an hour each day (none of my runs are longer than an hour) the batteries should last for over a year. I'm not even getting 12 weeks at 6 hours per week.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      faulty foot pod

                      Hi there,

                      I have just started having this same problem. I changed the batteries in my footpod, which up until this time was providing very accurate data.

                      Now on each run, my pace is accurate for the first 2kms or so, and then spikes so that I am going at double my usual pace. This is very frustrating! I have tried resetting the watch, manual and auto calibrating, so I think the problem is with the foot pod, not my FR60.

                      Have you found any solutions?




                      Originally posted by ATJ777 View Post
                      When it first happened I thought that, but I changed the batteries on my first one and the problem occurred immediately. i.e. with the new batteries.

                      Battery life of SDM4 footpod is documented at 400 hours of run time. If I was to run every day for an hour each day (none of my runs are longer than an hour) the batteries should last for over a year. I'm not even getting 12 weeks at 6 hours per week.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FEEMC84 View Post
                        Have you found any solutions?
                        No. I just gave up on the idea of using a footpod.

                        I did try it with a Wahoo ANT+ adapter on my iPhone. It did exactly the same thing which proves it is the footpod.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You have to wait a couple minutes with the old battery out to allow the foot pod to reset before you put a new battery in it. This fixes the vast majority of problems.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ATJ777 View Post
                            No. I just gave up on the idea of using a footpod.

                            I did try it with a Wahoo ANT+ adapter on my iPhone. It did exactly the same thing which proves it is the footpod.
                            @ATJ777: Contact Garmin Customer Service and tell them you have an SDM4 footpod that's getting stuck at 1:50 per km or 2:56 per mile. This is definitely a warranty issue. In my experience it is exacerbated by having your footpod located closer to the toe of your shoe than to the ankle, and I was able to repeatedly cause the problem by running downhill on a hard surface.

                            To the other poster that's getting pace spikes both faster and slower: This is a battery contact fretting issue. Remove the battery, put a drop of baby oil or light mineral oil on the battery where the SDM's battery terminal touches it (you'll see a scuff mark where it touches) and that should fix the problem.

                            Comment

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