Exporting logs from Suunto X6HR watches on Linux

August 7th, 2008 by lucas

I’m the happy owner of a nice geeky toy: a Suunto X6HR watch, that includes an altimeter and an heart rate monitor, which I use mainly for moutain biking and hiking.

During outings, the watch can log the altitude and heart rate every 2, 10 or 60 seconds, and the data can be transfered to a PC using a serial interface. The problem is that Suunto only provides software for Windows. I got tired of using virtualbox to connect to the watch (qemu doesn’t work, Suunto Activity Manager apparently does strange things with the serial port), so I reverse-engineered the protocol (using skimanager and J√©rome Kieffer’s work as a basis) and implemented a script to fetch the logs, and export them in a format suitable for gnuplot.

Of course, Suuntux is publicly available. I’d be happy to hear from you if it works for you too. Also, if you own a Suunto X6 (similar watch, without HRM), I’d be interested in supporting it too (if it’s not supported already).

Below is a example graph, from a short mountain bike ride just before leaving for Debconf.

example suuntux output

9 Responses to “Exporting logs from Suunto X6HR watches on Linux”

  1. Oliver wrote on 08/7/08 at 6:21 pm :

    I’m using Polar 725i heart rate monitor and I’m also stuck with loading training data into my Ubuntu box. That’s the one big reason why I’m still have to use Windows, because Polar have done decent software only for Windows users.

  2. Vadim P. wrote on 08/7/08 at 6:42 pm :

    That’s pretty interesting. Have you tried contacting the company though if they’d be willing to cooperate on this?

  3. Lucas wrote on 08/7/08 at 6:57 pm :

    I contacted them 1 or 2 years ago (mainly asking for protocol description, to spare me some time). They answered that they didn’t want a Linux client, because it might hurt their image of a Linux client was of inferior quality. (So apparently, no linux client is better than an imperfect Linux client)

    Mac OS X is not supported by Suunto either, and there are lots of unhappy people on the suunto forums because of that, but Suunto isn’t planning on doing something about that, apparently. Suuntux should work on Mac OS X as well, if someone want to give it a try.

  4. Vadim P. wrote on 08/7/08 at 7:12 pm :

    I understand their feelings for an inferior Linux client. No Linux client really is better – or you’ll have the zealots jumping all over your back and even just normal users who are unhappy that it’s inferior.

    But like this, it’s just no linux client, and that’s it. Nothing you can do.

  5. joolz wrote on 08/7/08 at 7:40 pm :

    Will this work with suunto diving watches aswell?

  6. Kiwi Kid wrote on 08/7/08 at 7:54 pm :

    @joolz: Try jDiveLog. It’s Java but, after a fair amount of head scratching, it works fine in Linux. It won’t support all Suunto’s, but it does support my Vyper.

    http://www.jdivelog.org

  7. joolz wrote on 08/7/08 at 11:09 pm :

    @KiwiKid: Perfect, thanks.

  8. near wrote on 08/20/08 at 10:47 am :

    Do you know if this works also with Suunto T3/T3C?

  9. Lucas wrote on 08/20/08 at 10:51 am :

    @near: probably the format will be a bit different. Why don’t you try? :)