31 August 2012

Garmin Foretrex 401 Review -Updated

I have been using the Foretrex 401 for about 10 months now. If you go back here , you can read where I gave my first review.

I am sad to the report, that not too long after posting my review, my 201 started recording a false max speed. I tried a hard reset and that did not work. Since the max speed was reading false I started not to trust the rest of the data. So the 201 was retired.

The Foretrex 401 meets all the requirements that I was looking for and is a great unit. But there are a couple of issues with getting the data off of the unit that can cause a few problems. First there is the Garmin Connect site. This is a workout log site that you can download the data from the GPS and track your workouts.

When you turn on the unit it takes a couple of seconds to pick-up a signal. Once I have a signal I will reset my data screen. But when you go to download the data to the Garmin Connect site you will also download the data before the reset. I just delete that record from the site.

This next one has happen twice to me (both where hiking trips) and I have seen another post about this issue. I parked my car and I turned the unit on. When the unit was able to received a signal I reset that data page. But when I got back home to download the data it had my start at my house and it recorded the entire hike. But that was a total mileage of 102 miles and not the 9.2 mile that the unit was showing. I don't know why it did that but the data from that trip was not good to me.

I use the Garmin Connect to load everything into first just to check the data. Delete what I don't need and name the activity. I then export the GPX file to another website. There are many different activity (workout) tracking websites out there. I have found that I like to use Ride with GPS. I just use the free basic service. One of the things that happens when I use Ride with GPS I am able to pick-up all the heart rate zones and how long I was in each one. You do not see that data on the Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect only shows you AVG HR and Max HR.

Bottom line the 401 is a great unit for what my needs are. I can deal with a data site that has issues or does not support the 401 as well as some of the other Garmin units


*** Updated to the update- I had another false max speed (something like 1,200mph)This only showed up on the Garmin Connect site. I did the same process of downloading to Garmin Connect and then moving the GPX file to another site. The second site displayed the correct max speed. So I don't think the false information is coming from the GPS but from the Garmin Connect site.


**** click here for another update review of the 401


If you have any questions after reading both post please leave a comment

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