Can You Charge the Garmin Forerunner Without a Cradle?

By Nick Davis

Use your Garmin in the car or on hikes.
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The Garmin Forerunner not only records your heart rate, the calories you are burning and the distance you are exercising, the device also interfaces with your computer for transferring the data. The device includes a cradle that charges its internal battery via a power adapter or your computer's USB port. You must use the cradle for charging the Forerunner's battery – the device itself does not include a USB port for connecting to the power adapter or your computer.

Device Ports

The Garmin Forerunner contains a single electrical connector on its backside that plugs into its cradle. The connector is not USB-based and you cannot modify the connector to work with a USB cable. The Forerunner snaps into the cradle's matching electrical connector to complete the connection. Your Garmin Forerunner must be free of sweat and any other fluids before connecting the device to its cradle. Fluids can damage and corrode the cradle's electrical connector as well as the mini-USB port connector on the side of the cradle.

AC Adapter Charging

Once the Forerunner is in its cradle, plug the included AC adapter's mini-USB port connector into the USB port on the left side of the cradle. Plug the adapter's power cord into any electrical outlet to begin the charging process. The Garmin Forerunner's battery life after charging for three hours is approximately 10 hours.

Garmin Training Center

Your Forerunner's internal battery is also chargeable via your computer's USB port but you must install Garmin Training Center first. Garmin Training Center is included with the Forerunner and provides a set of data transfer utilities as well as a charging manager. Insert the Garmin Training Center CD-ROM into your computer's CD/DVD drive and follow the onscreen prompts to complete the installation process.

USB Charging

To charge your Forerunner via Garmin Training Center, double-click the Garmin Training Center's icon on your computer's desktop to launch the application. Connect your Forerunner to its cradle and plug its USB cable's mini connector into the USB port on the side of the cradle. Plug the USB cable's larger connector into any available USB on your computer. Garmin Training Center automatically detects the device and starts charging the device's battery.