Garmin Vivoactive 3 -broken case at watchstrap lug- Fix

My wife bought me a Garmin Vivoactive 3 music smart watch back in 2018 ( 4 years ago). As far as a sports watch goes it did (and still does) just about all the things I want it to. But then the watch strap broke. Or rather one of the little sockets where the watch strap holder pins goes fractured. The watch fell off my wrist. Luckily an observant passer-by noticed and told me. Otherwise I would have lost the thing.

Broken lug on Garmin Vivoactive 3 watch case
The broken lug on the watch case

There are a number of forum entries on the Garmin site describing exactly this issue. So I wasn’t alone. But, the only think was that my watch was 4 years old and obviously out of guarantee. Even so I contacted Garmin and to be fair they offered to repair/exchange the watch – but at a price. (£79.99 about $95).

Now, while I like the watch, I could get a completely refurbished one for around the same price. Or I could get a replacement by a competitor (aka here) for less.

So I thought I’d have a go at fixing it first. I came across this blog post by a guy who has used this 2 pack epoxy and/or superglue. I tried the superglue and for me it didn’t work. The 2 pack epoxy looks like a good idea but it does take time to cure and being impatient I looked for another solution. So I went for my standard fix-anything material. Polymorph. Here’s an Amazon link (USA) (UK)

Polymorph is a low melt temperature plastic that when set is much like nylon. i.e. strong and durable. It’s only down side is that it melts at about 65 DegC (150 farenheit). But this is also of course it’s advantage! You put a small piece in a cup and pour on boiling water. Then fish out the clear sticky result and use it (quickly!) like a glue/filler. When it sets it is amazingly tough. If you foul up you can get it off whatever it is on with hot water or (say) a soldering iron. It’s a truly wonderful material that I’ve used for years and has very many uses. Fixing my Garmin watch is hopefully one more.

Because I’m now paranoid about any more breaks of these lugs (or the failure of my fix) I have added a small safety feature to the watch in the way of a loose elastic band that goes over my wrist as well as the strap. So if the strap fails hopefully he watch won’t fall off my wrist unnoticed. I secured the elastic band to the watch strap (unbroken end) using a small cable tie

Garmin Vivoactive watch with safety band and Polymorph fix
Make sure the elastic band isn’t too tight! It is there simply as a precaution. Put your wrist through it then do up the strap. The Polymorph fix is the white blog on the right

How long will this fix last on my Garmin Vivoactive watch? I’ve no idea. I’ll update the post as I go along. The fix looks ugly and I could tidy it up and paint it black. But life is too short!

[ It’s now 30th December, so that’s over 2 months since I used the Polymorph to do the fix and it’s fine! It’s still ugly and the rubber band rotted through and has been replaced by a bit of string which in essence just links the strap together either side of the watch. So, if a lug either side failed the string with strap would still form a continuous band. But… so far it’s been unnecessary as the repaired lug has held up well! ]

Finding my WattsApp Videos and Images

I often want to save videos and images from WattsApp to my PC. Yet finding my WattsApp Videos and images always seems a problem. I can never seem to locate the damn things on the phone.

The answer is trivially simple, but as I keep forgetting it, it is obviously forgettable. Consequently I’ve written it down as a bulleted list so my inadequate brain can actually cope with doing it without enduring heaps of pain and suffering.

My Moto G10 is running Android 11. But I’d think this will be much the same for any phone. This is aimed at transferring the files to a PC running Ubuntu 20.04. But (obviously) just about any version of Linux, especially with a Ubuntu or Debian based operating system will be virtually identical. I would imagine that a Windows or Mac based PC would be pretty much the same as well.

Here’s How.
  • Connect PC to Phone using USB cable.
    For me I usually get an empty window as the phone only connects for charging not data transfer. So go into Settings on the phone, select “connected devices”, tap the USB entry and change it to “file transfer” in the presented bullet list.
  • Close any windows on the PC that have auto-opened
    Mine always show no access at this point.
  • Then from the “Places” list in the main Ubuntu menu select whatever your phone is.
    You should get another window but this time it will have a directory for internal storage.
  • Click on this.
    And then select “Android”
  • From here select “Media”.
  • From here select “com.whatapp”.
  • Now select the Videos folder or the Images folder
    As is your want.
  • Select the image(s) or video(s) you are interested in.
    Drag/drop (or whatever) the images/videos from the phone folder to your PC

And That’s it!! So hopefully finding my WattsApp Videos and Images won’t be such a pain from now on.

The rest of (my rather sparse) list of Android phone How-tos is Here

Garmin Connect: How to Unhide a Missing statistic

So you’ve accidently or somehow lost (say) the floors climbed statistic or the calorie count statistic or the steps count statistic from the main screen (or “My Day”) on your Garmin Connect app on your Android phone.

For those who don’t know the Garmin Connect Android App displays the data collected by a Garmin VivoActive watch like this one. The watches are great. Though Garmin could spend a little more time documenting stuff like this here.

Getting the display of statistical data back on the Garmin Connect App is simple once you know how. Sadly the “knowing how” is the painful part . I still bear the emotional scars.

So here it is – and what causes it. This may/may not be comprehensive but this is what I did.

First – what causes it.

When you want to dispose of the Garmin Connect App on your Android phone you (as normal) sweep to the right. BUT if you sweep too slowly instead of the closing the app it assumes you want to remove whatever statistic is displayed that you just swept over from the main screen. It comes up with a selection box like this.

Notice Floors “Always Hide” & “Undo”

But it doesn’t hang around for you to procrastinate over it. If you don’t select “Undo” within a few seconds then the particular statistic is removed by default. Never to be seen again. Until you restore it.

But it appears that Garmin think that providing information on how to restore hidden statistics is either unnecessary, intrinsically obvious or perhaps forms some state secret that should never be divulged to the plebs using their products.

So here’s how I restored my missing floor count statistic after accidentally removing it.

The Fix

Simply scroll down the main screen – right to the bottom. There you will find a a button “Edit My Day”. Tap it.

Tap the “Edit My Day” button at the bottom

Your missing statistic should be at the bottom languishing under “Hidden Cards” BUT it may not be. (more in a minute)

If it is in “Hidden Cards” Tap the little plus sign next to it and it will get added to the active cards above it. Then to put it where you want in the order of displayed statistics, tap and hold over the three lines on the right and drag the statistic to the position your want.

Job Done – unless…..

It’s not in Hidden Cards!

“Edit My Day” display. Tap the minuses to remove, pluses to add.

But what if the statistic that is missing is NOT under “Hidden Cards”?

And it is still listed in the active card section? This happened to me.

What you have to do is tap the minus sign on the left of the statistic so it is (officially) removed. It should now really be listed in the “Hidden Cards” section. So now tap the little plus sign and position the statistic as above.

I hope that helps. This drove me mad! All because there is nothing (that I found anyway) on the Garmin site or elsewhere about this.