Problems with a Garmin HRM

I have a Garmin Edge 800 and a HRM strap, with an ANT+ dongle.

Zwift will not detect the HRM until I’ve turned the Edge on, then it picks it up fine. Is this normal/expect? Or should Zwift be able to detect the strap without it? I’ve replaced the battery in case its that. I don’t always have my Edge lying around or charged during winter so it can be a pain.

I have similar problem using my iPad. HRM and Cadence use to work and about a month ago, the data stopped transferring. Very frustrating.

@Russell_Dunn what are you running Zwift on, PC, Mac, ATV, iOS, Android?

Which Garmin HRM strap are you using? Is it a Dual mode strap (Bluetooth and ANT+) or just ANT+? Given your Edge is an 800, I’m guessing it is a little old and thus the HRM is fairly old also, thus an ANT+ strap only. Is this correct?

I have an older Garmin ANT+ and a 3rd party (CooSpo) Dual mode and Zwift on a Win10 PC seems to connect fine with both of them. I tend to use the old ANT+ one on the trainer so I can just leave it in the pain cave with the newer Dual mode with my road bike. So yours should work, at least if on a PC you have a similar setup to me. I don’t even have my Garmin Edge in the pain cave as I don’t want to deal with the complexities of devices connecting to it then switching to the computer.

Some suggestions:

Are you wetting the HRM strap contact areas to your chest before putting it on? If not, ensure you get the HRM strap contacts good and wet before putting it on your chest to ensure it begins transmitting.

If you have your ANT+ dongle on a USB extension cable, hold the dongle close to your chest when you put the strap on to see if it picks up. This is checking to see if it is a signal weakness problem. If not on an extension, get your chest close to the dongle to see if that helps it connect initially. Not that this is a good long term workaround, but at least it helps diagnose if signal strength is part of the issue.

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Sorry yes I could have been more clear.

I use Zwift on the PC running Windows 10, and have an ANT+ only HRM with my Edge 800 and as you guessed its fairly old.

I can try wetting it before putting it on, but the HRM works fine if I start my edge 800 up and connect to it through that first, then Zwift reads it without issues.

I do indeed have an extension cable, and the USB dongle is underneath my pedal cranks, sort of equidistant between HRM and Turbo, but I’ll see if holding it right up to it helps when I do my lunchtime workout.

No such luck unfortunately. I may have to bite the bullet and accept that my HRM is faulty, it is old after all. I don’t really want to fork out ~£40 for a new one though when it works perfectly well with my Edge turned on!

@Russell_Dunn, Given the age of an Edge 800, if the HRM is of the same vintage, it may be old enough that would explain it not working well. You can get a new Dual (Bluetooth and ANT+) HRM for $35 in the US on Amazon. I’m guessing thus around 26 British Pounds I’ll guess. I am using a CooSpo Dual and it works great with Zwift on both ANT+ and BT, and my Edge 530 on ANT+. You don’t have to fork out for a Garmin name brand HRM.

Good luck.