Published on July 3rd, 2016 by peter
This article will be updated as needed.
I am in a love-hate relationship with my Garmin Fenix2.
Its software is very temperamental, which is another way of saying, it's not exactly reliable. Then again, I love the fact that I have a dedicated GPS device with me in then bush, knowing that I can keep my phone's battery for when I really need it. My choice of going with a watch rather than a hand-held is based on the fact that I do just as much hiking / bush walking as riding (MTB).
Over time I came across a few different issues, some I resolved myself, others I had to get fixed by contacting Garmin Customer Service. I detail the solution for each problem I encountered so far, as much for my own reference as for anyone who stumbles across this page, scratching head...
Eventually we came to a point where I had to return the device and they had to refurbish (rebuild) it. What this really entailed behind the scenes is unclear to me. Regardless, the below may be useful for some, so they will remain here as a reference.
Breaking the Bluetooth pair between iOS and Fenix2
I had sync issues between my iOS hosted Garmin Connect app and Phenix2.
After weeks long correspondence with their support team, the followings resolved the issue:
They recommended "breaking" the pair between the watch and the iOS app before re-pairing them to create a new connection.
- Remove the device from Garmin Connect by logging into your account from a computer and using the drop down menu to select devices. Locate your device, click the gear icon to the right of the device and select remove. (This will not wipe out your activity information.)
- Sign out of Connect Mobile on your phone and force close the application.
- From your Bluetooth settings in your phone, remove the Fenix and turn your Bluetooth off.
- Clear the cache on your phone by holding down the power button and home button at the same time until you see the Apple icon appear on the screen and then release both buttons.
Fenix2 repeated reboot during activity
Master reset Fenix 2
I needed to perform this action as my Fenix stopped tracking activities. When I attempted to start and activity, it did all the preparations, then on pressing start, it crashed / rebooted the whole device.
WARNING: This will wipe all settings and user data from the watch!
- Ensure watch is powered off
- Press and hold Down button
- Power on GPS while continuing to hold Down button
- Release Down button once "Clear all user settings?" message appears
- Select Yes
The reset is successful if the device finishes powering up and goes to the setup wizard. Try the steps again if the setup wizard does not appear.
Following the reset, set the device outside with a clear view of the sky for a minimum of 20 minutes to acquire satellite data.
Remove old activities
As mentioned above I had numerous times, when the Fenix flipped and stopped working altogether, meaning it has dropped out of activity and when attempting to resume said activity it simply rebooted instead. At times it even lost its time-keeping ability, displaying random times. Quite scary, if you ask me, especialy if you do attempt to rely on your Fenix out there
It came to the point where I lost complete confidence in the device, so I went and chatted to my LBS (where it was purchased from) and ended up in a correspondence with Garmin CS again, this time from their team in the US. They advised that this problem may be due to the fact of low disk space on the device, but rather than wiping all data, simply remove old activities and keep the device up-to-date with OS and data patches (which I do anyway). The one thing I'd comment on that is that rather than deleting your old activities, simply back them up by properly moving them off the device disk.
# presuming OSX cd /Volumes/GARMIN/Garmin/Activity # I've no longer had older gpx activity files on the device, but if you do, do the same for those as well mv -v ./*.fit ~/your/backup/dir/path
It should go without saying, that once this is done, update the watch OS, chipset / firmware along with any timezone GPS data offered up by the webupdater.
Export all activities from Garmin Connect
I was looking for better summaries of my activities, but Garmin Connect - despite the myriad of menu items - handles the actual data very poorly. So I decided to hook up Strava (already had an account to stay in touch with mates) with Connect. In the past I only uploaded selected activities to Strava but now I wanted to see all past activities there too, so I needed a batch export solution.
After a bit of searching I found gcexport.py, a handy python utility, that did the job beautifully. Strava can handle up to 25 files uploaded in batch and it identified duplicates for me too. Now I have my history in Strava and live sync set up for automatic future activity import as well.