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Polar T61 HRM transmitter battery replacement -- post-mortem

skatey-mark's picture

I reported on my initial efforts at dissecting my T61 transmitter here:





Well, I *finally* got around to putting in a new battery and seeing if it would come back to life... It didn't... Maybe I damaged something with the heat gun, or when I ripped the thing apart (forgetting to unscrew the two tiny screws first...) In any case, I tried to batteries and even tried reversing the polarity of the battery to opposite what I thought it should be... No luck...


I'm calling this a partial success, though... I think that it's definitely possible to replace your own battery, it's just a question of finding the best way to open the transmitter. If I were to try it again, I would change the following:


1. Don't use a heat gun. If it turns out heating the unit makes it easier, I'd use a hair dryer instead.

2. Don't forget to take out the 2 little screws after removing the back of the transmitter.

3. Don't disconnect the straps from the transmitter. When I went to re-assemble it, I could not get the straps back on. (I have have warped them too much with the heat gun though.) But I'd definitely leave the straps on and only remove them as a last resort. If the transmitter had worked, I would have found some sort of glue/epoxy to put everything back together.


Now this gives me an excuse to get the fancy new HRM with GPS functionality... :) I *could* just buy a new transmitter, but what fun is that?

If anyone wants to buy a used S710 monitor (the "watch" part) -- you'd need to get a transmitter for it... I'd probably get the WearLink transmitter, which sells for $54.95 on polardiscount.com. A new 710 (that includes a transmitter) goes for about $260 online... I also have the USB IR receiver for transferring data to a PC. That was another $40... Make me an offer if interested... :)


- SM -


Polar Electro Inc.
1111 Marcus Ave Suite M15
Lake Success, New York 11042
United States
40° 45' 32.0832" N, 73° 42' 0.6984" W


roadskater's picture

Forerunner 305 Good So Far; Similar Post Mortem

There's much more to come, including quickly testing geocoding some photos from the other day via two different pairs of software apps so far, but the Garmin Forerunner 305 is much better than I expected it to be. I hope to share what I learn along the way. At Costco online it was sub $200 (179.99 plus tax methinks it was) before Christmas, and since I felt bad about eebee's red birthday Polar being stolen in the car break-in in Atlanta, eebee got one too. Nerds on wheels. My T-61 "repair" ended equally uneventfully. I now think the problem may have been other than the battery, but it could have easily been damage caused by me as well. I have photos if I ever get a system I like set up here. Thanks for the update and that's a good offer for someone out there. I had considered getting a 625X on eBay from someone who had a used one with a dead strap, but the unification of GPS (including elevation), HRM, and nanosecond time accuracy recording was too much to pass on. Again, more later.
eebee's picture

Forerunner 305 - attack of the 50ft woman

Before deciding if I wanted one of the Garmin Forerunner 305s, I tried to google-image (new verb?) some photos of women wearing them, to get an idea of how bulky they looked. I was surprised to find they really blended in pretty well on female athletes. The best images I found were on a Russian website of a cyclist, and lower down on the page, on the wrist belonging to an impossibly perfect female body. However, TimV and I agreed this lady could well be 6 ft 10 :-)

Honestly, after skating with the thing on my wrist for an hour I wasn't conscious of it any more, much like wearing a helmet or wrist guards. Only thing I am still aware of, however, is how easy it might be for me to shatter the big glass covering over the screen next time I fall. That'll be a big ouch.

timv's picture

The operation was a success...

...but the patient died. :-) Too bad you couldn't get the strap working again but at least it gave its life for a good cause. Thanks for posting the details. Perhaps they'll inspire someone to try again and get it to work. Did I hear somewhere that Polar was finally giving up on the send-it-back-to-Finland non-replaceable transmitter batteries? That always seemed like a terrible dys-feature to me. > I *could* just buy a new transmitter, but what fun is that? No fun at all, my friend! I hope you enjoy your new HRM/GPS watch. :-)
roadskater's picture

Yes the Wear Link You Heard Me Cursing Has a Replaceable Battery

The Polar Wear-Link transmitter has an easily replaceable battery. That part is great. However, the strap works with two snaps make the contact between the silver-impregnated fabric strap electrodes and the central transmitter unit, and this connection can be less reliable than the T-61 or T-31 coded transmitters.

When I first got mine I for some reason couldn't quite get the trick of fastening and unfastening the center module from the straps. Perhaps for this reason, or because of a bad general design, my experience with the Wear-Link was frustrating. I've heard they made improvements and I think eebee had a better experience. The Wear-Link is very comfortable to wear, I'll say that.

PolarUSA.com states they are a wholly-owned subsidiary located in Lake Success (but Google calls it New Hyde Park), NY.

I never bothered sending anything to Polar as I never liked the whole attitude of it all. I just poked and scraped the contacts and also learned that wearing it a bit looser seemed to work better than what was intuitive to me, wearing it tighter. I believe the problems were more the contact at the snaps than reading heart rate from the skin to the strap. I'm happy to report no problems getting heart rate from the Garmin Forerunner 305 so far.


Polar T-31 Wear-Link Heart Rate Monitor Connectors Photo: The Polar T-31 Wear-Link Transmitter module with replaceable battery (above) and strap snap connectors (below). The signal will be intermittent at best if a good electrical connection is not maintained in these snaps by keeping them clear of rust and dirtPolar T-31 Wear-Link Heart Rate Monitor Connectors Photo: The Polar T-31 Wear-Link Transmitter module with replaceable battery (above) and strap snap connectors (below). The signal will be intermittent at best if a good electrical connection is not maintained in these snaps by keeping them clear of rust and dirt.

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