Non-GPS Distance is Zero


I have been getting a lot of questions pertaining to the zero distance in the main bubble and activity sticker in Connect Mobile App saved activity.

The Distance is zero (or incorrect) on the Connect Activity Sticker and on the Activity main bubble, due to Garmin Policy does not allow CIQ applications to write NON-GPS values. However, these policies only applies to CIQ applications not the native Garmin apps.

I cannot change the decisions of the Garmin Executives, however if there is enough complaints they may change there policy.

I encourage you to politely complain to “Garmin” (in the Garmin threads below) to follow and use the IQ SDK Fit Contributor class ‘nativeNum’, which overrides the data in the FIT file as the Garmin Built-in apps do.

I want this functionality as a Garmin User as much as you do.

Add the “@AlphaMonkeyC” to the post.

Garmin blocks the distance in the following applications: Elliptical, Dance, StairStepper, SwimSports, work, any step based distance or non-GPS distance.

Here is a 30 minute elliptical workout distance is zero in the main field, but the distance is shown in the IQ section.

Until the policy changes, I provide the distance in the IQ Section.


-Brian B.


Tips for better optical heart accuracy


Yes, the Garmin’s first, second and third generation optical heart sensor hardware produces results with lower values than the Chest HRM.

Why is Optical Heart Rate generally lower:

1.) Wrist movement

2.) loose watch fit

3.) poor sensor contact

4.) hair, sweat or dirt will affect the values too

5.) Garmin Software filtering

Why are the high heart rate (Peaks) and low heart rate (valleys) missing:

Garmin Software imposes additional filters (Fast Fourier Transforms, FFT) in Activity types Strength Training, Tennis, Soccer and flexibility, due to high wrist movement in these activities. These FFT filters (advanced math) reduce the recorded peaks and valleys of a heart rate and calories calculations. Calories are based on heart rate, age, weight, gender and time.

There are a few solutions to improve the optical heart rate values:

1.) Wear the watch tighter. Poor sensor contact will result in lower HR values.

2.) Reduce wrist hair under sensor.

3.) Reduce wrist movement when possible, high movement reduces sensor contact.

4.) Chest HRM Gives best results.

Garmin Video explaining the difference between Optical and Chest Heart Rate monitors.

SwimSports+ Update

SwimSports v3.4

-Corrects Discard option not exiting properly(CIQ3+)

-Corrects start screens text and data displayed

-Adds Transition option to Start Screen Menu (CIQ3+)

-Corrects ERA Issue (VivoActive 3)

-Using Garmin CIQ SDK 4.1.7-2022-11-21-562b8a195


Brian Brown

Updates to F3b Privacy Policy

As part of my commitment to giving you the best experience possible, I have updated the F3b Privacy Policy with changes that took effect on January 05, 2023.

This update January 27, 2023 includes changes to the:

  • Adds payment service
  • Removes payment service
  • Adds WP EasyCart as the eCommerce Shopping Cart Software
  • Updates information collected
  • Updates fbbbrown name to f3b

We encourage you to review the updated Terms of Use on our website.

Thank you,

Brian B.

Esports+ Update

Esports+ v2.1

-Add %SaO2 on/off selection in settings. Default OFF.

-Workaround Garmin battery issues in FR955, Venu 2 and FR255.

-Improved Sensor handling

-ERA Corrections (Stability)

-Adds CIQ 1.4 devices (Fenix3, FR230, FR235, FR630, FR920)

-Adds All new devices

-Using Connect IQ SDK Mac 4.1.7-2022-11-21-562b8a195


Brian Brown

F3b Notice: Battery drain


There is a new Garmin bug within the Venu2 family, FR55 and FR955 that is affecting battery drain. The Garmin issues have been acknowledged and there are bug ticket numbers assigned. The Garmin bug tickets can be viewed in the https:\\

F3b has made several workarounds and improvements to each app to further reduce battery drain and there are a few things you can to reduce your watch battery drain.

    • A pending updates will cause extreme battery drains.
    • I recommend, using Garmin Express for installing All CIQ apps or Garmin Software updates.
  • Restart the watch after any CIQ app install or Garmin Software update.
  • Set the SaO2 sensor to “Manual Check” or “On Demand”. The default is ‘Always’ or ‘All Day’.
  • Use a less intensive widgets and watch face. These types of Garmin Apps typically use Garmin Background service and is continually running in the background and will increase battery drain.
  • Remove all unused apps, watchfaces, and widgets.


-Brian B.

Garmin Express ->

Garmin Forums ->

StairStepper+ Update

StairStepper+ v5.0

-Adds GNSS Multi-Satellite Support (CIQ 3.3.6+)


–Multi-Satellite support L1 GPS,GLONASS,GALILEO, BEIDOU


–AutoGNSS (SatIQ)

-Add %SaO2 on/off selection in settings

-Adds Color Fill option for datafields for better readability (Configuration Option)

-Workaround Garmin battery issues in FR955, Venu 2 and FR255.

-Improved Sensor handling

-ERA Corrections (Stability)

-Adds All new devices

-Using Connect IQ SDK Mac 4.1.7-2022-11-21-562b8a195


Brian Brown