Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Timex Global Trainer GPS Firmware Update

My last entry on this has me complaining about how slow the signal acquires or lock onto the GPS for the Timex watch. A colleague having the same watch with the updated (as of April 2012 Firmware 3.14) firmware complained about the watch unable to lock onto satellite during his Haadyai Marathon. He lost 21km of information due to this and only did a GPS reset at Km21 of the race.
The "now obsolete" Firmware 2.94 that came with the watch (stock)
So when i posted the entry (it was scheduled actually), a kind person actually alerted me that a new firmware was uploaded to the Timex Training Peak website for a new firmware as of May 30,2012. That was like 4 days ago while this entry was written on June 4, 2012.
Firmware update from TimexIronman at Training Peaks
GPS signal is important aspect of the GPS enable watch - else, what is the point of having a GPS watch, isn't it? Most are bulky, like you can see from the 910XT and the Timex Global Trainer (TGT) size and it is not really a fun thing to lug around something that ain't gonna help you acquire and record useful data beyond your elapsed time. In fact, knowing this very well (signal aquisition), the choice was obviously Garmin (as they make GPS) and Timex was because they are super affordable if you buy them out of Malaysia and Singapore.
Firmware 3.14 as of April 2012. Promised better signal acquisition, but not really.
Before you attempt to upgrade the firmware, make sure you have the latest Device Agent software installed. The current version is 3.0.76 (as of May 30, 2012) and can be downloaded here. After installing the latest Device Agent, proceed to download the newest firmware for the TGT, here.
Latest DeviceAgent software
Now, assuming you are like me with some setup data in the TGT already and re-flashing the TGT will mean you lose all information previously stored, like your configuration for weight, sex, age etc etc. SO, it is important to backup or export these settings before you re-flash the TGT with a new firmware. Full instruction to do that can be available here. Essentially, what you need to do is to link the watch with the PC via the USB/charging cable, set the mode to PC Sync, Go to Settings, then Configure, look for GPS and EXPORT. Save the file in a location easy to locate (default is to your Document->TrainingPeaks) and save the file. Then proceed to upgrade the firmware following the instruction on the screen which will ask you to go to mode configure, then GPS, then Version, then press Start/Split until it prompts you to Update Firmware Yes/No?. Done correctly, you will be rewarded with the updated firmware.
New Firmware as of May30, 2012. Ver 3.19
How important is this firmware? Very. If you own a TGT, i suggest you upgrade/update it with this version. It took less than 40seconds to lock onto the satellites from Cold-Start (after resetting from firmware upgrading/updating). The video below proved it.

Not satisfied, i later upgraded my TGT at home (night), ran it on the 3.19 COLD under the moonlight, it took about 2minutes to lock on (oh no!), but after the cold start, the Hot Fix was almost immediate. Will continue to monitor and feedback from time to time.
So, if you are in the market for a GPS enable watch, the Timex GPS at this moment, does look like a good contender based on pricing (if bought outside of Malaysia and Singapore). The pricing in eBay is simply irresistible - it is the risk in posting that you have to keep your fingers (and toes) crossed.


  1. So, after all this time, what is the verdict of this update? I got rid of the watch right before this update because I could never get a signal, but really miss it as a daily watch. Is it still good at acquiring the signal? I see a lot of reviewers still saying that it is not good. Thanks.

    1. Andrew - verdict? Don't waste time on this. It is a waste of time. Signal depends on the watch's mood. Enough said, predicting a women's mood could be easier.

    2. Hello, I need this archive: F-XGH-2B-1205211.GHX
      If you have it, can you send me?
      My email:
      Thank you

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