On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Discussions on the Polar range of Heart Rate Monitors
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rwiker
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:24 pm

On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by rwiker » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:41 pm

Like many others, I'm frustrated with how Polar treats their non-Windows customers. It now seems that even the Windows-using customers will have the same sort of problems, as Polar does not have drivers for Windows 7 for some of the dongles they have sold in the last years: SigmaTel was bought by FreeScale in 2008, the STIR42xx series terminated and driver development for these devices halted.

In this respect, the Mac OS X users may actually be better off than PC users, as the source code for the STIR42xx drivers for Mac OS X are available. I picked the source code up from this site (thanks :) ), but it is also available from http://www.manyetas.com/creed/, who I think is the original developer.

Last night, I tried using an open-source project called "rs400" to transfer data from my RS800CX. I got this to work, eventually, by inserting a small delay in the program. The data transfer was quick and unproblematic, but "rs400" cannot parse the data correctly - mainly because the RS800CX was introduced after "rs400" was written.

I've looked, but I cannot find any documentation from Polar on the data structures transferred between the watch and the computer. Does anybody have any information to share?

ginsu777
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:08 am

Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by ginsu777 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:18 am

hey there. I have been wanting to do a project for some time with my polar cycling hrm (s720i)

It involves sending the watch data in real time to another display device. If you can help me with it (or know someone who can and is interested) please let me know at bcasey1 AT hotmailDOTcom

Stuart
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by Stuart » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:29 pm

ginsu777 wrote:hey there. I have been wanting to do a project for some time with my polar cycling hrm (s720i)

It involves sending the watch data in real time to another display device. If you can help me with it (or know someone who can and is interested) please let me know at bcasey1 AT hotmailDOTcom


You can't send the data from the watch in real time (only the S810i supports that via IR). However ,it should be a fairly simple task to pick up the signal from the HR strap. There's various modules available on-line that'll do that, and it should be fairly easy to design your own - it uses a 32 khz signal.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

ginsu777
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by ginsu777 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:57 pm

If I need to get an 810i to do the project properly, then i will get one. Until then, I would be interested in finding out how I can take the chest strap data and display it somewhere else. Ultimately, I want to be able to intercept and display the info from the speed and cadence sensors as well as the HR data.

Could you please forward me some links? This is why I wanted to work with a programmer or developer on this. I am not a programmer per se, but would like to investigate the chest strap concept by myself, then move to the speed/cadence data via the other watch. If there is some other way to capture and display the data from the three sensors WITHOUT the polar watch (s720i/s820i) then that would be the most compelling.

Stuart
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by Stuart » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:35 pm

ginsu777 wrote:If I need to get an 810i to do the project properly, then i will get one. Until then, I would be interested in finding out how I can take the chest strap data and display it somewhere else. Ultimately, I want to be able to intercept and display the info from the speed and cadence sensors as well as the HR data.

Could you please forward me some links? This is why I wanted to work with a programmer or developer on this. I am not a programmer per se, but would like to investigate the chest strap concept by myself, then move to the speed/cadence data via the other watch. If there is some other way to capture and display the data from the three sensors WITHOUT the polar watch (s720i/s820i) then that would be the most compelling.


You mean something like this - http://www.yellowfield.co.uk/monitor/? At the moment it only works with ANT+ devices, but it's my plan to work with Polar HR straps (W.I.N.D. ones only) and Suunto straps.

Something like this - http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8660 - will let you read the HR data from a Polar strap (without a watch), but unless you can get the communication spec from Polar, or are wiling to spend a heap of time reverse-engineering it, you'll be unlikely to get it to work with the other sensors.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

ginsu777
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by ginsu777 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:17 pm

Stuart, thank you for the links, as this was exactly what I was looking for. The reason I am thinking that it won't be hard for a *real* programmer to tackle this, is that Polar have announced an SDK via their twitter account. So I was under the impression that Polar was becoming more transparent, and new things could be created with their hardware.

I am going to get the sparkfun kit, and contact the creator to get some leads. thanks again.

Stuart
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by Stuart » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:17 am

ginsu777 wrote:Stuart, thank you for the links, as this was exactly what I was looking for. The reason I am thinking that it won't be hard for a *real* programmer to tackle this, is that Polar have announced an SDK via their twitter account. So I was under the impression that Polar was becoming more transparent, and new things could be created with their hardware.

I am going to get the sparkfun kit, and contact the creator to get some leads. thanks again.


Polar's had an SDK available for a lot of years - however, it's only be for Windows to date. I haven't seen the twitter announcment, so I don't know if that has changed.

Regards

Stuart

ginsu777
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by ginsu777 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:27 pm

Stuart wrote: I haven't seen the twitter announcment, so I don't know if that has changed.


Here is the USA Polar rep's twitter feed: http://twitter.com/Chrispolarusa The SDK announcement was in late January:
PolarUSA wrote:Software Developers - Check out the Polar SDK: http://bit.ly/5CgsZ8
11:39 AM Jan 15th from web

Stuart
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Re: On dongles, drivers and data transfers

Post by Stuart » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:44 pm

ginsu777 wrote:
Stuart wrote: I haven't seen the twitter announcment, so I don't know if that has changed.


Here is the USA Polar rep's twitter feed: http://twitter.com/Chrispolarusa The SDK announcement was in late January:
PolarUSA wrote:Software Developers - Check out the Polar SDK: http://bit.ly/5CgsZ8
11:39 AM Jan 15th from web


Thanks - that's the same one that's been available for a few years (at least since the mid-90's, in one form or another) - we use it in the Windows version of iSMARTtrain. It only lets you download stored data from the watches shown - I don't think it'll help with what you want to do.

Thanks & Regards

Stuart

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