Polar H7 Not Pairing? Discharge It

I you have a Polar H7 that all of the sudden was unable to pair, you may need to discharge the sensor. To do so:

  1. Trash the Pairing. Go to Settings -> My Sensors -> Heart Rate Monitors -> Bluetooth Smart -> Details -> Delete. This step is only needed if the H7 is “ON”.
  2. Remove the battery from your Polar H7. Using a coin, open the battery cover by turning it counterclockwise to OPEN. Remove the cap. Using a sharp edge (knife), lift the battery out from inside the cap.

    Photo 1: Intact battery

    Photo 2: Battery being lifted from the cap

    Photo 3: Battery successfully extracted!

    Note: When removing the battery, make sure the sealing ring is not damaged, in which case you should replace it with a new one. You can purchase the sealing ring/battery kits at well-equipped Polar retailers and authorized Polar Services.

  3. Close the back of the peanut that used to house the battery, and clip it on to the belt, without the battery.
  4. Put sensor on and wear for 30 seconds to 1 minutes
  5. Remove H7 peanut and insert battery. Remount on chest
  6. Re-pair the H7 with Fitdigits by going to Settings -> My Sensors

If you are still unable to pair, please contact support.

Pair Your Polar Bluetooth Smart Stride Sensor With Fitdigits

Fitdigits is now compatible with the Polar Stride Sensor, the first Foot Pod to use Bluetooth Low Energy/Bluetooth Smart, as well as other BLE stride sensors. The Foot pod will work with all Bluetooth Low Energy compatible iOS devices. First, you need to install the Stride Sensor. Once you have done so, you are ready to pair. To do so:

  1. Stomp your foot a few times to activate the sensor
  2. On your BLE compatible device open your Fitdigits App
  3. Go to Settings -> My Sensors, and under Foot Pod turn “Bluetooth Smart” to ON

Pair your BLE Stride Sensor with Fitdigits

The Stride Sensor should pair immediately. Once it does, just begin a workout and you are good to go!

Fitdigits “is a Brilliant App”

Testimonial by Fitdigits user Tom M.

I have been using Fitdigits on and off since October 2012, however in the past year this has grown to almost daily. I am currently in my second year of study in Exercise Physiology. Fitdigits is by far one of my top apps, and at a great price, there is so much that you can do with this. It has many functions that allow you to extrapolate the data that it records. I am using the Polar H7 chest strap, as it is not bulky and easily hidden under a shirt. Also, it is great if you happen to be weight training, as it leaves your appendages clutter free to allow full Range Of Movement.

Fitdigits allows users to obtain very accurate caloric burn and it also pairs with MyFitnessPal app, which is fantastic for calorie counters as there is no longer a need to guess or manually input energy expenditure for a workout. It also allows the user to monitor how there body is coping with stresses placed upon it. Interval training, in my opinion, is able to be maximized with the use of this app. Being able to have heart rate (HR) thresholds to be met instead of time cut offs is very helpful. An example of this is working as quickly as you can to get close to 90% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) then returning to 60-70% of MHR, before repeating.

There are two other fantastic features of this app that I enjoy, the first being that you aren’t locked into a particular piece of hardware. The user is able to chose one that suits them and their training needs. The other is that if you get stuck in life’s busy rut and are unable to exercise, it doesn’t nag you like other apps do, it does remind you but it’s very subtle and polite about it for example “come exercise with us”, or “Let’s take a walk”.

All in all this is a brilliant app and most of my friends have it as a result of its brilliance. You can see in the HR data I have attached below how I have physically adapted to some weight training, this is a result of my cardiac adaption to stress, and an increase in cardiac output as a result of aerobic conditioning. Thanks Fitdigits!

Heart Rate Spikes and Dropouts With the Polar H7 and Other Heart Rate Monitors

See Also: Troubleshooting BLE Sensors

Have you been having spikes and dropouts in your heart rate monitoring? Especially with chest straps, such as Orange Theory and Polar H7 or other devices.

The way the belt works is that it receives electrical signals from the heart that are then shown as Beats Per Minute. However, without some kind of moisture (such as saliva, water, or a conductive gel) to act as a conductor between the heart and the belt, the signal will not be strong or consistent. We believed this is what causes erratic data, so we threw our lab coats on and decided to run an experiment.

Dropouts, which often are represented by “Flat Line” readings on the chart, are very typically low battery level or lost connection issues. An interesting note however; with certain devices such as the Polar H7 which have dual mode operation, the same heart rate monitor can read just fine on gym equipment while struggling to keep connection with the app. This is because the channel the H7 communicates with the gym equipment requires less battery power, so a low battery can be enough to power that channel (5.8 GHz) than BLE. Check out this great article on changing your Polar H7 battery.

Note: The Fitdigits app does not manipulate the data it receives from a heart rate monitor at all.

Immediate spike caused by conductivity issues

The Experiment: We decided to go out for a run using two devices, the Fitdigits app as well as a Polar watch. We connected both with the Polar H7. The interesting thing about this experiment is that the phone and the watch use two different platforms. The iPhone uses Bluetooth Smart to connect with the H7, while the watch uses a 5.8 kHz signal to pair. This enables us to be comfortable concluding that if both devices spike, it is because of the belt and not because of an issue with the app, or a specific platform (such as Bluetooth Smart). So basically we went out for a run with both devices, and whenever we saw a spike in the Fitdigits app, we compared those results with the Polar watch.

The Results:The run started with a bang, spiking right off the bat and soaring to unforeseen heights all the way out of zone 5! The watch mirrored the results. When the heart chart on Fitdigits showed our BPM going above zone 5, the watch showed exactly the same results, with no discernible difference.

Conclusion We conclude that the spikes are a result of conductivity issues and / or hardware issues, not the app itself. Any time you get a spike or dropout, it is either the result of your body not having enough moisture to get a firm connection with the belt, or, in more rare cases, the hardware going bad, many times the belt, but less frequently the HRM “peanut” (brain) – the part that clips into the belt, goes bad.

We also believe messing with heart rate numbers received from a device is not a good policy, even if it is due to these malfunctions.

ot-hrm-polar-belt-spikes

If you get spikes at the beginning of your activity, typically that points to a connection issue between the strap and your body, since you haven’t yet really begun to sweat. We strongly suggest wetting the strap with either water, saliva, or a conductive gel. Fitdigits has a great blog post on Troubleshooting Your Polar H7, and noted fitness blogger DC Rainmaker also has a great post on How to Fix Heart Rate Strap Dropouts/Spikes.

If you are mostly walking / running / biking, you might consider getting and Optical HRM (like the Scosche Rhythm+ or a Mio HRM) instead of the Polar (or any chest strap). Typically, not being electrical per se, they have less of these issues.

 

If you still are experiencing issues, please contact Fitdigits customer support.

Fitdigits Saved My Life

Testimonial by Fitdigits user John T.

I first became aware that I had a very slow resting pulse when I had a physical in July, and realized I needed to be proactive. I started recording my heart rate using the Fitdigits application and my newly acquired Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor when going for a walk. I am a 73 year old hiker who walks at least 1 1/4 hours a day and on hiking days, considerably more. I track my heart rate using Fitdigits not only while walking and hiking, but also while sitting at my desk.

As soon as I started using Fitdigits I noticed two things. First that I had a very low resting pulse (30 beats per minute) when sitting at my desk and second that when I went for my daily brisk walk, my heart rate was all over the place. I was worried.

I went to my doctor who did not believe me (he admitted as much) because I had no visible symptoms, and rejected the Fitdigits HRM as faulty. After I insisted, I got hooked up to an EKG and was admitted to the hospital because he thought he saw a “Fib Flutter” in my EKG. In the hospital that night, the monitors went off repeatedly as my pulse dropped below 30, then 20 and finally at 3:20 in the morning my heart stopped for 7 seconds.

Within a few hours, treated with great respect and great emergency, I had a pacemaker. If I had not had Fitdigits to monitor my heart to alert me of this condition, I would have never gone to the Hospital, and consequently would not be here writing this today.

Now I monitor my heart rate as a matter of routine. I talked to the Fitdigits Support team and they told me a Scosche Rhythm works great with a Pacemaker, so I now track my walks and hikes using the Rhythm and it works perfectly. As far as I am concerned Fitdigits saved the life of a 73 year old hiker. Thank you!

Pairing your Bluetooth Low Energy Heart Rate Monitor – Android

View for iOS

When it comes to Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs), it is essential to make a gentle first contact; do not make any sudden movements as to scare it. There are many different types, they all react a little differently. There is the chest strap, and electrode-based type, which is a great, accurate solution that can last for a long, long time but also has it’s comfort and use drawbacks. That is the traditional HRM.

There are optical solutions such as the Scosche Rhythm + which sits on the arm, the Mio line of wrist based, or the new opticals now coming out in earbuds, bike helmets and sweatbands. Seems if you can see blood, there will be a way to get heart rate from it!

That said, many of the cheap daily activity monitors that claim also to have Heart Rate support, are not compatible because they are not to BLE/Bluetooth Smart specifications or, like Fitbit, decided to keep the HR proprietary thus they did not build the ability for others to pair for HR.

Pairing is very easy. Deleting a current pairing is also super easy. I would recommend, just to get comfortable with the process, the first time you pair your HRM you delete it and then repair just again. Practice makes perfect Mom always said.

If you haven’t already, download the Fitdigits app, and upgrade in-app to support the heart rate monitor functionality and more. We provide a 5 minute trial however so you can pair and do a small test workout without upgrading, if you are still on the fence. All apps have the same functionality but different messaging and graphics in areas.

Downloads

iCardio Apps iRunner Apps iBiker Apps iWalker Apps
Fitdigits iCardio app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iRunner app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iBiker app for Apple iOS Fitdigits iWalker app for Apple iOS
Fitdigits iCardio app for Android Fitdigits iRunner app for Android Fitdigits iBiker app for Android Fitdigits iWalker app for Android

 

Pairing Your Heart Rate Monitor

  1. Make sure the heart rate monitor is on and turned on with heart rate
    1. Optical HRMs: Typically there are green flashing lights from most optical HRMs as they try and read your heart rate (check the back of your Mio or Apple Watch, etc).
    2. Chest Straps: Dab water, saliva, or gel onto the underside of the electrode receivers on the strap to strengthen the electrode connection (it conducts when wet, sometimes initially there isn’t enough sweat to get it to pick up). You want to create real chemistry between you and the belt. Next, put the strap on, placing it on your bare skin on the top of your ribcage right below your chest. Make sure it is snug enough not to bounce around much during exercise. Check that the peanut (the plastic monitor part) is right-side up and properly snapped into the belt.

 

 v4.x

1. Tap Menu > Sensors
2. Tap Heart Rate Monitor in the Add a Sensor section
3. When it finds the HRM, tap on it to pair.

v3.x

1. Tap Settings > My Sensors
2. Tap Add a Sensor: Heart Rate Monitor
3. Tap Auto Detect HRM
4. When it finds the HRM, tap on it to pair.

 

After pairing, the sensor will show in the Paired Sensors section below the Add a Sensor section. You can use the on-off switch anytime you want to not use the HRM, but you don’t want to delete the pairing (like if you forget your HRM).

Tapping on the name of the sensor will bring you to the Sensor detail page, where you can see more information on the sensor or tap Delete to delete it from there.

Deleting a Paired Sensor

  1. Tap Menu > Sensors
  2. Tap and hold on the paired HRM button on the name.
  3. Tap OK on the popup to confirm deleting the sensor.

You can also delete the sensor from memory by tapping on the name of the sensor, then tapping Delete from the Sensor details page.

Start a workout wearing your HRM and you are ready to finally realize your health and fitness destiny! When you are ready, read more on doing custom Fitness Assessments to get your custom heart rate zones, and why that is so important and effective in your own personal journey to health and fitness.

 

Troubleshooting

Try these initial steps if you are experiencing difficulties pairing, or these other articles for issues such as heart rate spikes or dropouts or general compatibility.

  • Chest Straps: Wet the electrodes on the belt part (which touches your skin) with water or saliva on the chest strap heart rate monitor to increase connectivity.
  • Optical HRMs: Make sure the green lights / receptors are pulsing in the part next to your skin.
  • Reset Bluetooth: Go to the Android Settings and turn off Bluetooth. Wait a few seconds then turn it back on.
  • Manually Close Your App: Exit the app and then double tap the iPhone home button. Look for the multitasking window to appear at the bottom of your screen. Tap and hold the Fitdigits icon to make a little red circle (minus sign) appear on all the apps. Then tap the little red circle for Fitdigits. Your app has now been manually closed. Relaunch the app and try pairing again.
  • Reboot: When in doubt, never hurts to reboot your phone/tablet.
If you still cannot pair with your Bluetooth HRM, check out the complete 

HRM pairing troubleshooting tips

 

Paring your HRM with Android

HRM Sensor Detail