First of all thank you for the suggestions. JazzID, I ordered the electrode gel that you suggested and let me say, BRILLIANT, but even with that the 00's persisted on my F11 so I bought the Polar FT4.
To compare accuracy between it and my F11, I put one on each wrist, did a workout and they BOTH worked perfectly. Identical heart rate readings throughout, even during the HIIT sections which is where it would usually tap out. So, conclusion? It was the sensor or the strap that was defective, not the watch!! You see, for the test, I used the strap and sensor that came with the FT4 instead of my old one and all of a sudden, my old F11 was reborn!
So, did I keep the FT4 considering that it only cost $10 more than a new strap and sensor by itself (interesting)? No. Why? Because I didn't realize it when I ordered it but it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that my F11 has (training program, diary etc) and my F11's Solar Link no longer works so I'm not able to transfer my workouts to the computer so I sent it back to get a more functional one.
As I researched the new Polar watches however, I realized, much to my annoyance that although they have watches with tech similar to my F11, you now have to buy an additional accessories to transfer your data to the polarpersonaltrainer.com site.
The Polar Flow Link will connect to your PC and transfer directly from your watch (approx $45 on Amazon) OR you can download the free Polar Beat app which will transfer it automatically but you need to purchase a H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor for it to do so (approx $52 on Amazon). Grrrrrr
So, I ended up getting the Polar FT60, the H7 Bluetooth HR Sensor and the Polar Beat App.
The Polar FT60 worked for a week then stopped reading my heart rate, the H7 Bluetooth sensor works PERFECTLY thus eliminating my need for a heart rate monitor at all!!!!!
You see, the H7 Sensor transmits not only to the HRM (watch) but to anything receivable around it like the Runkeeper (which Spark People links to, YAY) and/or Polar Beat iPhone app which so far it does almost flawlessly.
Now I not sure how accurate the calorie burn reading is because although the heart rates between my F11, Polar Beat and Runkeeper are identical during the workouts, they all conclude with different calorie burns (300, 350 and 495 respectively). Do I care that Runkeeper's read is so exaggerated? No. I don't mine being lied to when it makes me feel better. "No honey, you do NOT look fat in that dress"
. And I don't eat my exercise calories (on purpose anyway) so it won't sabotage my weight loss efforts.
So, I returned the FT60 this morning and I am back to using my old F11 (which has worked wonderfully since I started using the new sensor and strap and the electrode gel) and with the iPhone apps, I can do everything the newer Polar watches purport to do (training programs, analyze and transfer workouts to computer), but DON'T, at least not for me. Maybe I'm too electric