The Girl hates the standard Garmin charging cable. And I can’t really disagree with her. While I appreciate Garmin has mostly managed to standardize on the little four-pin connector for most wearable products in the last 3 years, it’s still not a great cable from a usability standpoint.
It’s mainly the fact that the @#$#@ cable doesn’t always want to stay stuck in the hole. Especially either older cables or older units. Plus, god help you if the wind blows the wrong way, or if your dog farts (and seriously, our little dog Lucy has some power farts). The cable falls out and your unit doesn’t charge properly. Following which, The Girl gets upset at me (why?!?) because her Garmin can’t track her morning workout because its battery is dead. Plus, it annoys ultra runners that want to charge it on the go. Though with increasing battery durations on these watches – that’s less and less of an issue.
So…I’ve got a solution for you (read: me). Well…technically a DCR reader tweeted the solution at me a few weeks back. It’s this desk-sitting puck-like charging cable for Garmin watches.
It’s got a nice strong and tight connector, and has a nifty little base to keep the watch all settled. No flopping around or dog-driven breeze will move this thing.
And it’s compatible with any Garmin that has that port, which is almost everything made in the last 3 years.
But wait – you’re missing the best part! Somehow, due to the magic of random Amazon sellers – this thing is only $9…for a two-pack (Amazon US/Amazon Canada/Amazon EU/Amazon UK). Yes, you get two hockey pucks worth. One for you, and one for you again. Or, your +1.
And hey, it even comes “with” this odd little Amazon $5 coupon in it. It does look sketchy, kinda like those cards they flip at you on the streets of Vegas for in-room strippers. But hey, I guess that’s how they got so many happy reviews.
But – keep in mind an official Garmin charging cable somehow, inexplicably, costs $25. Even Apple doesn’t price gouge that high ($19, in case you were curious). In fact, even Amazon Global shipping anywhere on this still-blue planet seems to cost less than $25 including the two little Garmin charging pucks.
So – how well does it work? Perfectly fine. It charges just like any other Garmin cable:
And it connects to my computer just like any other Garmin cable, and shows up properly on the computer and syncs and everything else via cable (including data and music), and I’ve tried both Mac and PC:
Of course, it’s not an official Garmin charging cable. So as such, I suspect if anything goes wrong they’d blame the cable. But now with multiple companies using the Garmin cable – that’s a harder claim to make. Plus, with multiple companies (including Mio) using the cable – does that make it a ‘standard’? Hmm… After all, Garmin borrowed the GoPro standard for their action cams. So…seems fair for others to borrow theirs.
But seriously – use at your own risk. Though, I’m not seeing any real risk here. The way USB works is that the device in question (your watch in this case) actually specifies how much power to pull. So the watch requests how much power it needs, and the USB charging port simply delivers it. The Amazon listing attempts to further assuage these concerns with this bit of text:
Speaking of which, the listing shows some 189 reviews, with an average 4.5/5 stars. I presume at least 5-6 of those reviews aren’t fake – so that’s somewhat positive.
Still, I don’t much care for Amazon reviews (until you get way higher in quantity). Instead, I just want to use it myself. So, I’ve been charging any Garmin watch I can find around here with it. Like…lots and lots and lots of them. None have exploded yet, which is somewhat a shame – I’d probably make more money off of a viral video like that if so. Don’t worry, I’ll keep trying. Also, The Girl has stolen one of them.
Oh – and for you ultra runners who want to charge on the go using a small USB battery pack in a hydration vest – this actually works pretty well. I mean, sure, it looks like you’ve got some sort of crazy parole electronic monitoring/tracking device on your wrist. But hey – at least you can finish your next 100-miler on a single ‘charge’.
Of course, if you go with a Garmin MARQ or Forerunner 645 and a handful of others with the clip style – this won’t work for you. Sorry. But hey, your charger doesn’t suck – so…there’s that for you. Also note that while it can technically fit on the Vivosport, it doesn’t fit well and I wouldn’t recommend it. Finally, on the Fenix 5X (original, Plus is fine), I find the optical sensor bumps a bit high on the ridgeline, such that I’d be hesitant to recommend that long-term. Note that all the other Fenix editions are fine, just the 5X (original, the Plus is fine).
Now – while this puck is very good – my dream Garmin charger still awaits. I want a version of this nylon cable but with the Garmin charger on it (it doesn’t have that cable). So I want USB-C, Apple Lightning, Micro-USB, and Garmin (all with data support). I’ve yet to find one, but let me tell you – when I do: I’m buying all the cables. I currently use the below cable for travel, as it covers me pretty well for charging all the devices I use.
Until then, the long story short is I’m pretty happy with this $5 per puck investment. I’m gonna buy another pack or twelve, and put one in every room and surface in the office and home. Which is pretty much how it is today anyway, except now these chargers will actually stay in the unit.
Found this post useful? Support the site!Depending on where in the world you are, here’s the applicable links (GPLAMA confirmed he could also get it shipped to Australia too!):
Amazon US – $9 for a two-pack [Note: Original pack sold out, this is identical, except also includes color inserts…another link here too]
Amazon Canada – $13 for a two-pack
Amazon EU/DE – 8EUR for a two-pack
Amazon EU/FR – 9EUR for a two-pack
Amazon UK – 7GBP for a two-pack
Amazon Australia – $13AUS for an uno-pack
Oh – and in case you want some entertainment for the day – here’s my video review of it up on YouTube:
With that – thanks for reading!
Can you drill a hole for HRM readings? 😉 You do have two.
I’m actually more tempted to take it apart and try and fill it with sand. Make it just a little bit heavier.
I’m also super tempted now to buy 5-7 packs of them, and make just a giant Garmin charging bench.
“Garmin charging cable somehow, inexplicably, costs $25. Even Apple doesn’t price gouge that high ($19, in case you were curious).”
Seriously. Garmin accessory prices are UNREAL. $60 for a replacement silicone band? GTFO here with that.
I ordered a dozen colorful Fenix 6 Pro quick connect straps from China for about $3 each and they are all bomb proof.
Do you know if there is any 3 party option to user a bike mount like the ones of the Edge series, but with a Garmin Forerunner 945, that’s not a Garmin quick release kit?
What i what is something simple to just place the watch (even with the wristband) on a bike mount like a bycicle computer, not the rubber support that exists to place on the handlebars.
Just to confirm – you’re looking for basically a non-Garmin branded quick release kit for the bike?
(But not one of these $10 standard-issue rubber things: link to amzn.to – which, I don’t blame you)
I had a quick relase on a fenix 3 but it make the watch a “monster” on the wrist, it was impossible to use the watch 24/7 with it. I don’t want the same thing in the 945.
i just need a way to fix the watch on a bike mount without having to remove the wristband or using that rubber thing.
+1 rubber support thingy works great. Just picked up a 2 pack of those and tested it during a MTB skills training clinic. After lots of bumps, descents, a few games of link to en.wikipedia.org, and even a few jumps my watch was still 100% in place (albeit quite dusty), and I didn’t even use the zip-ties.
Leaving the wristband on and also twisting into a quarter-turn or eighth-turn mount may be hard set of requirements to combine. I’ve spent entirely too much time searching for mounts & tinkering together various things for home-brew solutions, and haven’t seen anything that covers both.
Since the FR935/945 supports QuickFit 22 bands the pain level of taking the band off to insert into their new style quick release mount is fairly low. Rather than using the wristband that comes with in the kit for Garmin 010-11251-0S Quick Release, the QuickFit bands just snap back on instead keeping the stack height on the wrist unchanged.
Morsa makes a mast-style handlebar mount that could accept two quarter turn mounts. If you spaced them the correct distance apart on the mast, you could strap the watch around both. Whether this actually works better than the down-voted rubber block is another matter.
Minor correction: No wrist band comes with the FR935/FR945 Quick Release Kit. There is a module you can bolt your original band into & wear, but I ignore that piece and just use QuickFit 22 bands instead.
I found another option that solve the problem of the rubber thing in the handlebars:
link to pt.aliexpress.com
This use the same rubber thing but at least it’s not occupying space on the handlebars.
It looks like I’m close but no cigar on a Forerunner 620. Any chance you can confirm?
Correct, no dice. It uses the clip-style.
Going to order through the EU link… I can’t agree more: if my wife has Garmin problems… I have Garmin problems 🙂 !!!
Awesome – thanks for the support!
something of similar quality for the “clip standard”?
Mine stopped working as usb cable, now I can only charge the watch but my data are transmitted only by BT
I’ll start doing some digging!
I bought two of these in September. One for my Garmin Fenix 6 and sent one to my daughter for her Venu.
We haven’t had any problems with either charger (or the watches).
Hope everyone else has similar luck with these.
Awesome – good to hear!
Do you use a particular brand of that 3-way USB-C/Lightning/Micro cable?
Yup – here’s the one I use: link to amzn.to
Note it doesn’t do data sync over Micro-USB or USB-C, just Lightning data sync. But charges all three without issue. I’ve been using this cable for a year, and I believe it was DesFit or GPLAMA that got me hooked on it, and now we all have them.
I bought a similar cable (with 2 micro and 1 each of lightening/mini/usb-c) and a generic garmin, clipped the extra micro-usb off and soldered on the garmin plug. It now lives with my charging brick for trips and will charge up everything i have.
It seems that Amazon link goes to a cable that has two Lightning and one Micro USB, but not USB-C. Do you have a link to the model with USB-C? Does the USB-C power an iPAD Pro? I never knew such cables existed and now that I’ve seen one, I need one desperately!
That one doesn’t appear to have USB-C.
Grr…sorry, wrong copy/paste – this one: link to amzn.to
link to amazon.it
This is only 1 pack, for 1€ less.
Not worth it IMO.
You are right, I meant
link to amazon.it
Also available as a twin pack in the UK, assuming this is the same thing, just a different seller.
link to amazon.co.uk
Awesome – I couldn’t find the twin pack. Your Amazon UK skillz are better than I!
Stand type one available as well, in black and silver. Might be useful if I replace my Vicoactive 3 with a Venu. Just waiting on a detailed review, nudge, nudge, lol
Not sure if this is UK only, but they also do one with stand and it is rotatable to compensate for the different positioning of charge ports.
link to amzn.to
Less practical for charging on the go though.
Funny, I just stumbled on that as well. Gonna order one for fun.
I have one of these (or very similar) from Amazon US. It charges fine but my two issues with it are:
1. The stand is pretty light
2. The cable connection is very snug
The result is I typically have to pick it up, align the plug with the watch, and click in place. It’s not like laying the watch on a charging pad.
Just ordered it out of curiosity. Could be nice on the night stand.
All I want is a USB-C to Garmin, even better would be Garmin switching to USB-C on the watch side as well
Don’t tempt me to go get lost on Aliexpress!
Still waiting for the 4in1 charging cable with USB-C, USB-Micro, Lightening and Garmin. There must be a sizable market for such a cable. How do we get a manufacturer interested to make one? If the already make Garmin charging cables and 3in1 charging cables it shouldn’t be too hard to make a 4in1.
Ahayo 2-Pack Type C Female to for Garmin Smart Watches Charging Connector Male Adapters, USB-C to Charging Adapter for Garmin Venu Sq Fenix 5/Fenix 6/Fenix 6X/Venu/Vivoactive 3 (Black) link to amzn.eu
These are what I’ve been using. They still develop contact issues after a while, but not as quickly as other cables. And they’re cheap enough to toss and buy again after a year or so if need be.
Not compatible with 920xt?
The EU/DE link mentions 【Nicht passend für Fenix 5X Plus】, i.e. does not fit the 5X plus. Any idea why?
Any chance this charger will work with the FR245?
Ordered through your link. Thanks for the tip. Looks awesome
In the amazon link the port position seems flipped in terms of havkng to carry it on the left arm?!
I wore it on my left wrist on a run on Sunday. My 945 went from 67% to 100% while I ran. I sent the cable up my arm under a gore waterprooof jacket, to a mobile charger in a hydration vest which also charged my phone, nice!
Does that mean that you can twist the positioning of the connector or that the cable exits from the same side as the cable?
Will this work with the Fenix3HR? It looks like it will, but the product page does not list the Fenix3 or HR as being supported.
Nope, the fenix 3 series uses a different charging connector.
Never had a problem with the charging cable on my Fenix 5 for the 2.5 years I have it. Guess it is not a problem if you handle it nicely. I realize it’s practically impossible to use the watch at the same time as you charge it though, so I give you that.
Hey Ray, as longer as i used this charger, it destroyed my Forerunner 945 pins, got big problems when connecting to my computer with original charging cable to Garmin Express, i don’t know the english words, but watch connected, disconnected more an more often, sometimes it was impossible to access the file system!
the good thing, Garmin replaced my watch, cause my Down Button goes crazy, as you can read in the Garmin Forum, a lot of peoples have problem with it.
Now i have REV D FR945 and this charger is gone forever!
Weird. A lot of people have since commented on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram that they’ve actually been using this charge for quite some time with multiple people in the household and all is well.
I’ve gotta imagne if you had button issues – perhaps there was some other manuf issues or something. Odd.
with normal charging with this charger i haven’t any prob, but connecting to PC and Garmin Express, every 1 minute found/lost the device, could be, that this charger was a bad one, of course one pin of my FR945 was silver, the others gold since i used this charger.
would be interesting if you use this with only one watch and for a longer period?
Awesome, this makes me so happy! Ordered!!
All I really want is a stock cable (which, so far, seems to be at least somewhat more reliable than third party alternatives) that’s more than *0.5 m* long.
Why, Garmin, is that too much to ask? Have your product designers ever actually tried to use a charger plugged into an outlet? (You know, the kind that sits on a wall, usually just a little more than 0.5 m off the floor?)
That said, ordered a pair from the link above. These look like a huge step up from Garmin’s sole offering for home charging.
Thanks for the tip!
I know it’s not ideal, but your best bet might just be a USB extension cord…
Polar m430 cable is so, so, so much worse. Stop complaining ye garmin users
Stumbled on similar a few days ago, also included 10 port covers in the $9.
Ha! I got an even better deal. Turns out I had a long lost credit at Amazon worth $9.99. My 2-pack was free!
Damn, that’s like the equivalent of finding a $10 bill in the couch cushions!
I just bought a 2 pack via your link. If it works as you are describing this will be great… the Garmin Cable drives my wife and subsequently me crazy and this looks to be much better.
I bought them over a year ago because of the short life of my va3. One at work, one at home, one in the vehicle.
I bought the Fenix 5 Plus back in September 2018, and the puck charger is one of the first things I bought. I have one for my night stand and another for my car. Best investment you can ever make for your Garmin!
I only see one reference to using it for connecting to the computer for data transfer and that one doesn’t seem promising. Have you had any issues in this regards? Anyone else out there using it for more than just charging?
No issues. I’ve used it both on Mac and PC, and a lot on Windows. I updated the maps on the FR945 today for example with it, and the Fenix 6 last week. And lots of other random firmware updates for other watches too.
Ray, does it work with the Vivosport.??
Hmm, it does use that port, but looking at the Vivosport band, I wonder if it’ll have trouble with the hard-plastic on the side. I’ll give it a whirl tomorrow at the office.
Dang! My F3HR has a clip style charger, but I’m tempted to get one! I mean pair.
Someone commented on that maybe ray, it’s not for the f3hr
I got very excited when I saw this and bought a 2-pack few days ago but will be returning the chargers. At one occassion, the watch re-set when I tried to place it on the charger and I lost a few hours of activity data – meaning the charger somehow triggered an unexpected “catastrophic” reset and a lot of internal files weren’t saved. There is at least one other mention of this issue in the Amazon reviews. I am concerned that while there is some sort of voltage protection, it doesn’t really work reliably. This never happened to me with the standard charging cables.
Thanks for sharing this with me ! I just ordered a pair for me and my wife’s Fenix 6 watches!
Slightly off topic but I’m surprised ultra runners don’t carry a spare fully charged watch as it would seem lighter than a battery pack? Plus activity data files can be merged if you must have the activity recorded correctly.
The battery pack isn’t just for the watch, though. It charges my phone and headtorch, too. And it is a little cheaper than buying another fenix! ?
Will these charging stands work for the fr245?
Here’s the link for a similar item in Australia if you want to add it to your affiliates in the article. It still ships from the US but is only $14.70 with free shipping at the moment if you have prime.
link to amzn.to
Sweet – nice find!
Only one charger – Australia consumers get ripped again.
Oh well, at least we can get it, thanks for the post 🙂
“Currently Unavailable” 🙁
Yeah but there are a 2-3 other vendors on Amazon US selling what looks like exactly the same part. I imagine these are all manufactured by the same vendor in China and then retailed by different Amazon storefront vendors.
One or them is selling the two puck chargers and a pack of rubber bungs for the charging hole for the same price. Another one is $8.98 for two. And a third is around $7 for singles.
I don’t understand why this thing needs to be so huge! The connector of the original cable is a tiny little thing and why isn’t it possible just to turn this one 90 degree? As a fenix-user it doesn’t make sense to me putting a high-priced watch and such a cheap plastic-thing together. To me the risk is too high to kill the expensive watch!
It’s mostly a point of having a stable base so it stays put. So it doesn’t need to be huge per se, but over time the cables/charging point gets iffier.
For example, The Girl’s Fenix 5S can’t even rest against the charging cable – it just falls out. The only way to make it work is by holding the watch at a 90* angle against an object, and then plugging it in so that there’s no pressure on it.
It looks like after your enthusiastic article their in increased price.
here is another seller that has them at $9.49
link to amazon.com
Ray – This doesn’t work with the 5X Models sadly.
The Extra bezel size causes the OHR to not fit in the cut out.
If anyone finds a 5X compatible model please post it here!!
Weird, I just plugged the Fenix 5X in, and it fits beautifully.
The Fenix 5X Plus has a very slight unevenness to it, due to the optical sensor brushing against the far side of the ridgeline. Not perfect, but technically does work.
Interesting, Mines a 5X Plus, it will fit on but the sensor catches against that ridge and seems to add pressure to the plug.
Not sure I’m too keen on that.
Maybe I’ll have another play as I still have them.
As a side note, I bought a non gen cable to take away working.
Its so tight it barely fits.
My 5X Plus doesn’t sit beautifully, but it still makes enough contact to be able to charge.
Now for the trick question – will this work with the Vivosport and it’s curved design?!
This is an awesome post btw – I literally stumbled across these the day before, and they are genius solution.
Thanks for the reminder. Just went and checked – no, not well.
If you press hard enough it technically fits – but I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ll add that to the notes above.
Thanks so much for checking – my son has the VSport. I thought it might not work unless by much force!
Just in time for my annual xmass amazon shopping. Will order through the link. Thank you for another great review!
Any idea if Garmin would drop the cable entirely? If my phone and toothbrush can use inductive charging, why can’t my Garmin??? If the unit is a sealed as possible, ain’t that a good thing?? Nearly all data is done via OTA updates and BT sync, so why is a physical connection still needed??
This has been my desire for ages on the Edge series – put an inductive charging loop into the 1/4 turn mount either direct powered from a dynamo or via a USB battery pack. If you’r riding ultra-distance races and audaxes, the fear of God is in me if charging by cable and it’s risking shitty weather while the underside of the mount is where my light mounts.
I doubt we’ll ever see it gone completely. While syncing and updates can be done without the cable it’s still the best way if you need access to the file system to troubleshoot and if you want to add music directly instead of using a streaming app. That said, I could see it being like phones where they add wireless charging but retain the cable port as well.
Check out the last 3-4 mins of the video – I talk through exactly that. 🙂
Now I’ve had the chance to watch the video, makes sense!
One thing I’d love from the long distance riders PoV is a device (Garmin or 3rd party) which takes the place of the extra battery in the 830 and 1030 options.
Instead of being a battery, in the same form with the same connectors a dynamo 6v AC to 5v DC converter. Those of us who do 600km audax, TransConti, TourDivide etc where you don’t want to sit around waiting for a wall charge but already have a hub dynamo spinning, this would be a massive advantage!
The power of the rainmaker – Amazon UK prices up 18% since the review. Still getting one mind 😀
2 days ago I placed an order with Garmin at their extortionist rates for an original cable. Just ordered one of these. At least now I will have a charger in every location
I could hang my 6x out the car window attached to the cable and not have any concern about it coming unclipped – which watches come undone out of curiosity? But totally agree that $9 for 2 is WAY more reasonable. In fact – I bought 6 straps for like $20 and like them better than the Garmin straps that are $50 each
I find the 6 series to be pretty snappy for the most part, whereas The Girl’s Fenix 5s is hopeless. Even my FR935 is pretty rough, it’s usually stick, but if it gets moved, it falls out.
I can’t believe this post has nearly 100 comments. 🙂
Is there a short garmin watch cable, like 1 foot or less? I can’t find one.
Apple should follow this lead, they price stuff like this 40 dollars and up!
Does this pick charger for the Fenix3? It’s not listed as compatible but I am hoping it works.
FYI: A “two-pack” is also available for European Amazon users, which is a rarity. It comes in at €4,99 with €2 of shipping. Ordered a couple.
Obviously not living with anywhere near your number of devices, but a quick drilldown of the charging requirements in my 2 person household:
Mobile phones x2
Mobile wifi router x2
Garmin watch x2
Garmin Edge x2
I’m sure I’m not the only one of your readers with too many devices in the house – there are cables and USB adapters everywhere… Do you have a favorite charging station solution you could recommend? Or perhaps a list of station and cables (including this one for Garmin watches) that would allow one to assemble something convenient and neat?
So I mostly use a blend of two products around the home and studio. In fact, I actually ordered two more of the larger ones last night for the studio.
For home, I have a few of these around the house:
5 Port (including USB-C power delivery): link to amzn.to
– I use this for charging my laptops in any room with a USB cable, but also usually have a lightning cable hanging off of it, a micro-USB cable, and then whatever other device du jour cable is needed (often a Garmin charger, but in some rooms an Apple Watch charger)
And then at the office, I use these bigger 10-port ones for just charging lots of devices:
link to amzn.to
I’m still lacking any larger USB-C hub. I wish there was something that had a bunch of USB-C ports, but alas, not yet.
Two suggestions for charging solutions.
1. The USB Hydra cables I use will charge a device on each port at the same time. I have charged a USB B and USB C device at the same time from my power pack. Or my Note9 and a friend’s iPhone.
2. I have a number of the tower outlet strips with 4 USB charging ports on them. The USB row and the outlet rows are switched by row. For our TV/entertainment centre I only turn on the USB row when I want Roku. The TV, sound bar, are on a different row from the amp, radio and DVD player.
JACKYLED Power Strip – 14 Outlet Plugs with 4 USB
JACKYLED Surge Protector Electric Charging Station 10 Outlets 4 USB
JACKYLED Surge Protector Electric Charging Station 6 AC Outlets 4 USB
link to amazon.com
I just hit the link and ordered them yesterday. They arrived today. The price went up to $11.99 and has a pack of multicolored port covers for my Fenix5. I just connected it and it seems to connect better and more securely than the Garmin cables I have.
I would love if somebody made a powerbank in same shape as this charger – it would be perfekt for ultra races, eliminating the need for back-up cables, chargers etc.
In the mean time I ordered a set of these. I will probably try to “disect” one to see/test if the internals give any options for customizing a more slim version for on-the-run charging.
Yes Please! let us ultras know if you succeed!
Someone should make a similar charger for the Edge devices that works similar to the Charge Power Pack.
Then you wouldn’t need to open and close the USB every time to charge. It’s not a big deal, but eventually things must wear out.
They increased the price in Amazon US to $12.99 after your great review.
Apologies for being off topic here – not sure where else to post. My question is a fairly popular one anyways.
Upon release of the 945, given negatives to the watch (vs the 935) was less accurate GPS tracking, and it was mentioned that software updates would hopefully improve this. I have not seen any follow up on the issue, so was very curious (as I am considering buying either the 945 or older 935) – has the 945’s GPS tracking improved to match that of the 935? And are there any other downsides to the watch which should be considered?
Another question which I have not found any testing on – GPS + GLONASS or GPS + GALILEO for greatest accuracy? Would this be location specific?
I would very much appreciate a response (from anyone with info). Thank you in advance!
What I really want is a 3-1 usb charge/data cable where the 1 side is a USB C. Think we will ever get one of those?
I received my charging pucks, and I found they double nicely as a fixture to hold the watch when installing a screen protector. Nice and stable, sits up off the table.
I got these and I’m surprised how well they work. The other second -party cable I have doesn’t ‘snap’ into the watch like the Garmin cable does, but this one snaps in pretty well and makes a nice solid connection to my new 6X.
I have used the EZCO version since late July with my Fenix 5X plus. link to amazon.com
I’m glad to see they are back in stock. I have always wondered why Garmin didn’t have a flat/puck charger like for the Epix, most of their other watches, for the Fenix series.
I love being able to charge while on your left wrist – with a nylon wrist strap. I charge after a work-out when I still have an HRM strap on. So I get HRM while charging. I use a USB power pack and put it with the charging puck/watch combo in a vest or fleece pocket.
@Thom I wonder which 3rd party straps you are using? I had a 3rd party strap on Fenix 5. I was happy until I almost lost the watch when the quick connector to the watch pin opened on me. After that, only Garmin straps for me. I got them when Garmin had a buy one, 50% off the 2nd, sale.
You the man, DC Rainmaker! Great find.
I just found what looks to be the same one where you can buy it as a single one for $7.49 and a 2-pack for $8.98. link to amzn.to
It looks exactly the same to me and it seems to be getting good reviews.
I’m ordering it to see how well it works.
I ended up going with this one – link to amzn.to – for $6.96, free shipping (Amazon Prime not required) and it comes with ten of those little charge port plugs.
So far so good, seems to look like the other ones listed and it works perfectly and securely charges my watch and my wife’s; both VA3M’s. Shipping to me in four days.
It’s $12.99 now…must be your article and wild popularity! 😉
You know, it’s not that hard to splice together USB cables and create either a longer Garmin charging cable, or a “hydra” cable with a bunch of different ends ?I think you could also make a USB-C to Garmin cable, but I can’t confirm that. Also… it’s a little (read: a LOT) more complicated than the device simply specifying how much “power” it needs. In the case of Garmin watches, there is actually no circuitry in the cable, the 4 pogo pins are a 1-to-1 correspondence to the USB pins. The watches contain the battery charging chip that regulates the current coming into the watch and going into the battery. This way, the charging source just supplies 5v at up to its max current, which realistically the tiny watch is never going to draw. My FR945 draws about 0.26A while charging and 0.34A while also syncing music over wifi.
So, there is probably no authentication or “talking” between the watch and the power source. A lot of things that are either cheaply made or simply don’t require much power don’t even use the two USB data lines for charging. There’s too much variation in companies’ adherence to the protocols and it’s pretty fuzzy anyway.
I suppose there COULD be “surge” protection of some sort in either the pucks or Garmin’s official cable, but I highly doubt it.
Or get a USB 2.0 A Female to USB B Mini 5 Pin Female Adapter Converter
link to amazon.com
Then you could connect the Hydra cable USB B mini male to the Garmin USB A male.
It looks like you’ve been selling them out. I found another 2-pack for only $8.98 USD. They both connect to my Fenix 5 Plus with a solid “click”, which feels much more secure than the original Garmin cable, and also better than the generic cable I had been using because it is longer than the Garmin cable. Charging is just as fast.
Here’s the link (Ray – feel free to edit/delete this post and add the DCR affiliate link):
link to amzn.to
Been a bit of a moving daily target to figure out which one is in stock on which site. Appreciate it!
Can I assume from the list that it won’t work for my wife’s Forerunner 735 XT?
If this won’t work with the 735XT why is it on the “Garmin Forerunner 735XT In-Depth Review” accessories links?
Hmm, looks like I need a different standardized table for that review. Thanks for the heads up!
Ray, could you make an exception and review Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020? 😉
I can’t wait! Been watching all the footage videos…
I think the answer to this is a no but… is this compatible with a FR235 or as it’s a clip model it wouldn’t work? Would love to have these plugged in everywhere!
You said : Oh – and for you ultra runners who want to charge on the go using a small USB battery pack in a hydration vest – this actually works pretty well.
Are you sure about that? Because when I started a training the display changed into the loading-mode. I couldn’t use the buttons and my training was stopped at the moment I connected the charger. Did I do something wrong ?
Yup, no issues at all. I just pulled it out and took a few photos. Note – you need to use a battery pack, and not some sort of USB port on a computer (if you’re testing it).
What watch do you have?
(Photo 1 of 2:Showing the USB port on, mid-recording of an activity)
(Photo 2 of 2: Changing to the system menu to see that it’s actively charging.)
Oh – and since I’m sure someone will ask at some point, here’s that specific USB battery pack – I’ve used it for a few years now. $14: link to amzn.to
Oke. I’m glad. I indeed used a computer. Thnx
Anyone tried this on a Venu?
Yup! Many many times, in fact, just this morning.
Also, it’s in the opening 3.1 seconds of the video – the last watch. 🙂
Thank you Ray,.
I have bought a similar device after reading your post. It works as well as you have mentioned. Not sure if it ships to Europe or US but for those in Asia, they can give it a go. It is cheaper too. 🙂
link to lazada.sg
Just ordered mine through tha Amazon link, Thanks a lot!
(Although the 6 Pro Solar never needs charging 😉
Hi guys, did anyone came across a magnetic receptacle; of the sort that one piece is permanently plugged into the watch, and magnetically connects with a matching cable? There are loads of those available for microUsb, and even Lightning sockets. Would be great to have one for Garmin watch; also, by the virtue of it being plugged in permanently – it preserves the watch socket.
The Amazon EU link annoyingly changes the Amazon.de account language to NL permanently (!), and the only way to change it back is to go to link to amazon.de and fix it. The issue seems to be the __mk_nl_NL parameter in the URL, it’s not needed I think.
I got one of these puck chargers (a two pack) for Christmas and ever since then I have been getting a rash where the Garmin’s charging port is. I’ve had my 945 for a while and never had a rash and I had a 935 before that without any problems. The rash flares after I have charged the watch. I assume the charger is leaving a residue behind that is causing a contact dermatitis. Nickel is one of the most common causes of contact dermatitis so that seems a likely culprit. Anyone else have this problem?
I haven’t heard of any other complaints (either here or on the video). Sorry!
I have a 935 and this puck
I live in the US and bought the watch there.
I’m going to Spain for a month.
Can I just plug the USB end of the cord into one of those European 2 round pronged adapters?
Or do I have to have some sort of transformer to keep from blowing it up on the Euro 220 amp service?
You can plug this into basically any USB port on the planet and you’ll be fine. So as long as you’ve got a USB plug that goes into a standard Euro outlet, you’re all good!
(I live in Europe, and use USB plugs all the time, no issue). Enjoy!
On AliExpress you 2$for one. Got a few of them spread around places I tend to spend time.
It seems weird to put a voltage regulator in the cable. You’d think the watch would just accept the 5V standard. Regulators normally have a voltage drop associated with them which would be detrimental – though perhaps a simple over-voltage cut-out device could get that drop incredibly low. It wouldn’t be a regulator, just a “turn it off if too much”. Unless Garmin needs, say, 3.3V and uses a regulator in its cables (strange decision) the regulator sounds strange.
REF: cheap cables vs original’s vs PTC (I didn´t even know they existed)
Despite the fact that in almost 3 years of use I have never had any problem with Garmin’s original F5x cable I decide to by those because of using them in my bike on long rides but one of the cables failed after a dozen uses at home (still not in a bike).
I believe it got short cut because suddenly the percentagem not only got stuck but every time I disconnected the cable it was down a lot e.g. it was showing 35% then after disconnecting 9%…
So I used the second cable of the package and so far is doing ok but then I’ve learned about the existence of a PTC cable (link to amazon.com ) ,,, which left me with some doubts/questions:
1) is the original Garmin’s cable a PTC?
2) If not, does that mean Garmin doesn’t see the need or the value for that?
3) If yes, I bet those cheap cable here doesn’t have any PTC so where do we stand using them.
Thank you very much.
Love the charging pucks ! The girl is smart
Thanks Ray! I ordered it right away after receiving my Fenix 6 yesterday.
I don’t know what they were thinking with the standard cable….I mean 0.5 meters is way too short anyway!
Has anyone tried the EZCO Charger Dock for Fenix 5 or 6? Link: link to amzn.to
Yup, been on my desk here for 6 months. Works great. 🙂
Any idea if this will work with garmin 645 music as the cable I have says it is unsupported?
yes, its a nice design, but it dies in just a few months. Even in a 2 pack that’s less than a year of use.
I’ve had mine since last November, and they are still working perfectly. Perhaps yours were made by a different manufacturer, but mine seem solid and well worth the price.
Weird, I think I’ve only had one or two complaints about a bad unit – which is impressive given the tens of thousands that appear to have been bought.
I use them pretty much daily for all the watches, one sitting in front of me here.
I’ve bought 2 x 2-packs of these, as well as about 6 of the ‘standard’ (but not actual Garmin) charging cables. They never keep a good connection after a few uses. So many out there… andyone got specific current recommendations for ones that keep working? My original cable was stolen and I really think £26 for a charging/data cable is ridiculous, but I don’t want to have to keep buying these and throuwing them away – and the standard cable is useless for on-the-go, on-the-wrist charging anyway.
works but i’ve had 2 duds across 2 orders. One of the duds didn’t charge, the other doesn’t actually fit — poor tolerances on the connector.
Will these pucks accommodate the FR35 (square) or Venu sq?
FR35 no (different charging cable), but Venu SQ yes.
I would pay handsomely for one that actually works for more than a couple of weeks.
I have at least four of these puck style ones, and they are better, but still horrible.
It usually takes me half an hour of trying to get a good enough connection to update my firmware/maps, etc.
My guess would be that if you’ve gone through a number of them, then there might be something with the charging port on your Garmin.
I lookead the the charging port under a lighted LED 20x Magnifier – it was full of gunk.
Probably mostly dead skin cells, but I also have a skin problem that caused a sore
under the watch, so there was that type of gunk too.
I have to switch between my right and left wrists about once a month because of skin
issues and a problem with the nerve as it goes through the wrist (a little like carpal
tunnel syndrome, but different – it’s complicated).
I’m not young like most people who use fitness trackers – well, I guess old people are
starting to use them more these days so that they get the Heart Rate Monitoring.
But I do more walking than most people my age (though that is changing with the
constant rain of the Seattle winter).
*Looked at… 30X magnifier
I should spell check before I hit submit – I’m used to editing comments after posting.
You can buy little rubber plugs that cover the charging port. They are pretty cheap, couple of $ for a pack of 10. I think its worth using them on each watch. Should help to keep it clean anyway.
Fly4aWhiteGuy – I thought I posted a similar response to your post shortly after you posted it, but I don’t see it, so maybe I forgot to hit submit!
The one thing I want to add is that my 2-pack of these charging cables actually came with five of those silicone plugs for the charging port. Check it out on Amazon, and your problem might already be solved without extra expense.
I bought a 2-pack of these a while ago. One is functional and the other one got disassembled. There is not much going on in there – I don’t know why the pucks have to be so tall! On-the-go charging is feasible with them, but the watch sits so far off my wrist – it feels quite unstable.
At some point I’ll try and waterproof the disassembled one to be much smaller. There are so many people out there doing longer events that there must be a call for a slimline 90-degree cable that can be slipped between the wrist and watch? Shirley? And it would be even better if it was sufficiently small that it didn’t stop the HRM working while charging!
The Garmin charging interface (Fenix 5+) is just a bad design. I wish they would come up with a new watch with a different interface, or cordless charging.
On a side note… I was unable to login – said I wasn’t recognized, but sending lost password didn’t work, and trying to re register said email in use.
Eeks, that’s weird. I’ll follow-up via e-mail with ya!
thanks for the write-up!
I’m curious… what’s the diameter the the ‘puck’?
I’m thinking of installing it in a charging station designed for an apple watch…
link to images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Anything new on this front?
Actually, I wish for a simple USB (micro or C) -> Garmin adapter (i.e. no cable) to avoid cable spaghetti. Something in the spirit of the attached image, with a Garmin male terminal
I would *love* a little adapter – I bought a cradle for my Fenix 3 that took a micro USB cable, rather than having it’s own cable built in and was quite surprised when there didn’t seem to be an equivalent for the Fenix 3.
Of course, I’m still not sure why it even needs it’s own plug for what is clearly just a USB cable.
I burned through two of these pretty quickly. After 6 months or so the little pins corroded and stopped going in and out. Presumably it was from sweat. My routine is simple – wear the watch all day, workout after work, charge the watch overnight on my dresser. I don’t sweat a crazy amount (above average but not a ton).
I was excited but definitely feel like I got what I paid for. The garmin original cable lasted me a year in comparison.
I really find that the autonomy solution for Fenix 5 and 6 is really to be able to load while running, but honestly this round plastic device I tried it during two ultra trails, and it not very very convenient, the connection comes and go.
When looking at what is inside this plastic box (photo), I really think to cut it and solder back the wires, then put some protection to make it thin, because finally, it is just a tiny 4 wires plug, nothing more is necessary… and I really wonder why this cannot be found from the internet…
I am trying to find an USB wall adapter that will deliver safe amperage to charge up my Fenix 6x pro. Can you recommend any? Thank you.
I bought the 2 pack. Only worked for a couple charges. Trash
I can’t understand why they made these pucks with a fixed USB-A cable instead of with a female microusb or type-c connector. It would be so much more convenient to just carry the tiny puck and plug your ever-present phone charging cable or that hydra thing into it on the rare moment you need to charge the watch.
FYI – I have enjoyed using these chargers for almost 2 years but lately they have stopped working for me on my 945. It’s as if they don’t enter far enough into the receptacle to connect anymore.
Nice thing for sure, however… looking at the position of the charging port on the watch (at least my fenix 6s), I cant understand how nobody thought about a kind of “donut-shaped-and-very-thin” charger cradle, which would allow to wear the watch and also have the sensors working while charging…
I will patent the idea and then try to sell it to Garmin; in the very unlikely case they are not interested, as a fall back plan I will sell it to a random far east company that makes compatible accessories.
I really think next time I’ll post something here I will have a much bigger bank account………..
Bought two of these pucks a while ago and both stopped working after a few months.
First no data transfer but still charging then no connection at all.
Will this work with the venu?
Have that same product and I’m having to clamp it to connect… smfh. Why can’t they just put a micro USB to charge it?! So annoying to have to find the point of contact and wiggle it a bit to get it charging.
Any updates on if the new Fenix 7 and Epix fit with the revised HRM?
Yup, I’ve been using it with them no problem. However, the Fenix 7X doesn’t fit well, as it’s a bit too large. I mean, it technically fits – but I wouldn’t use it long-term that way because it doesn’t align well.
I bought two of these, they both stopped working this week on two Garmin devices. Hardly coincidence. Could it be that an update blocked 3rd party charges like Apple does it since years? Any experience?
I just noticed this as well! It took a low battery alert for me to realize. I hope it’s accidental and gets fixed in another update.
I found that mine worked when I inserted the charger backwards (with the disk sticking out rather than under the watch)
So 3 years later, do these charging cradles still work?
I’ve got a replacement genuine charging cable FREE from Garmin customer support twice now (but they seem only to last a year before becoming loose and only intermittently charging). So I’m wondering if this might be a better solution for my Fenix 6s pro?
I think they still work for most. We have a pile of them, all bought at the same time, and only one has died.
Like you noted, even the Garmin charging cables eventually crap out over time. That said, i find these more reliable than those, and because of the flat base, even if the watch is the finicky-party, it’s easier to get it nice and secure.