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Friday, April 04, 2014

The Problem with Timex Run Trainer

I bought the Timex Run Trainer online in September 2012 after reading favourable review of the watch on web sites. It was to replace my slowly disintegrating into several pieces Garmin 110.

I was amazed at the features of the watch especially the flexibility of the interval program. One small bug bear that I faced was the erratic GPS lock on. According to web review, it was supposed to be fast and it even had the ability to remember the last site. However, in my usage, GPS lock on was really bad. Sometime it can be so fast and sometime it can take up to 10 minutes! And the thing about remembering the previous start site. It didn't work. I run at least once weekly from the park connector next to my place and that place has one of the worst lock on rate. Maybe it is because there is a Singtel sub station there and it interferes with the signal but I don't see the same problem with the sidekick Garmin 210.

Anyway, I could live with the erratic GPS - just turn it on earlier but still the reading can drive me nuts. One time, I started my run at the open area next to the High Street Centre in Hill Street. Throughout the run, the watch keep beeping "Weak GPS signal".  I was puzzled. Only when I got home and upload the run data did I realised that the GPS showed that I started in Bukit Timah which was like at least 10 km away! Another time, the GPS signal just dropped and disappeared reappearing a few kilometres later and I swear I was not even in any built up area!

Then somewhere in the middle of last year, barely less than a year after I bought it, my computer failed to recognise the watch. Or at least it could charge the watch but I could not upload my run data because the computer couldn't find it. Just in case it was an isolated problem peculiar to the notebook that I was using, I tried on 2 other computers and it was the same. All the computer, notebooks couldn't read it. I tried resetting, reinstalling,  writing email to Training Peak and Timex, they couldn't solve the problem. Finally I got an email from Timex asking me to send it back to US since at that point in time there was still  no local agent. Unfortunately,  because I was still using the watch to run and not upload the run data, I delayed until the warranty period was over. So I carried on using it until one fine day late last year. Inexplicably in the middle of a run, the GPS disappeared again. And this time it stayed away.

This is what I got now when I try to activate the GPS

A Waiting for GPS message that just wait forever until it auto switch back to Time mode. So I gave up and am now back running with a Garmin 620. 

Meanwhile, Timex has came out with a new Run Trainer 2.0 which hopefully will resolve the GPS problems which has been reported in many forums. Until it does, it is caveat emptor!

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised to see that you timex run trainer watch's GPS is not working well. My impression of a Timex watch is that it should be quite reliable.

    Anyway,I am using garmin forerunner 220 and very satisfied with it now!Both 220 and 620 have replacement bands if the watch straps break due to heavy usage.