RCX5 User Manual


Caring for Your Product

Like any electronic device, the Polar training computer should be treated with care. The suggestions below will help you fulfill guarantee obligations and enjoy this product for many years to come.

Detach the transmitter connector from the strap after every use. Rinse the strap under running water. Dry the connector with a soft towel. Never use alcohol or any abrasive material (steel wool or cleaning chemicals).

Wash the strap regularly in a washing machine at 40ºC/104ºF or at least after every fifth use. This ensures reliable measurement and maximizes the life span of the transmitter. Use a washing pouch. Do not soak, spin-dry, iron, dry clean or bleach the strap. Do not use detergent with bleach or fabric softener. Never put the transmitter connector in the washing machine or dryer!

Dry and store the strap and the transmitter connector separately to maximize the transmitter battery lifetime. Wash the strap in a washing machine before long-term storage and always after use in pool water with high chlorine content.

Keep your training computer, transmitter and sensors in a cool and dry place. Do not keep them in a damp environment, in non-breathable material (a plastic bag or a sports bag) nor with conductive material (a wet towel). The training computer and transmitter are water resistant, and can be used in water activities. Other compatible sensors are water resistant, and can be used in rainy weather. Do not expose the training computer to direct sunlight for extended periods, such as by leaving it in a car or mounted on the bike mount.

Keep your training computer and sensors clean. To maintain the water resistance, do not wash the training computer or the sensors with a pressure washer. Clean them with a mild soap and water solution and rinse them with clean water. Do not immerse them in water. Dry them carefully with a soft towel. Never use alcohol or any abrasive material such as steel wool or cleaning chemicals.

Avoid hard hits to the training computer and the sensors, as these may damage the sensor units.

Operating temperatures are -10 °C to +50 °C / +14 °F to +122 °F.


During the two-year guarantee/warranty period we recommend that you have service done by an authorized Polar Service Center only. The warranty does not cover damage or consequential damage caused by service not authorized by Polar Electro. For further information, see Limited International Polar Guarantee

For contact information and all Polar Service Center addresses, visit www.polar.fi/support and country specific websites.

Register your Polar product at http://register.polar.fi/ to ensure we can keep improving our products and services to better meet your needs.

The same user credentials are also valid, when registering for polarpersonaltrainer.com, Polar Newsletter and Discuss Forums.

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Changing Batteries

The RCX5 training computer and the WearLink®+ Hybrid transmitter both have a user changeable battery. To change the battery yourself, please follow the instructions carefully as instructed in chapter Change Batteries Yourself.

The batteries for the speed and cadence sensors cannot be replaced. Polar has designed speed and cadence sensors to be sealed in order to maximise mechanical longevity and reliability. The sensors have long-life batteries inside. To purchase a new sensor contact your authorized Polar Service Center or retailer.

For information on how to change the battery for the s3+ stride sensor, consult the s3+ user manual.

For information on how to replace the G3 GPS sensor battery, consult the G3 GPS user manual.

For information on how to recharge the G5 GPS sensor battery, consult the G5 GPS user manual.

Prior to changing the battery, please note the following:

  • The low battery indicator is displayed when 10-15% of the battery capacity is left.

  • Before battery change, transfer all data from your RCX5 to polarpersonaltrainer.com to avoid data loss. For more information, see Transfer Data.

  • Excessive use of the backlight drains the battery more rapidly.

  • In cold conditions, the low battery indicator may appear, but will disappear when the temperature rises.

  • The backlight and sound are automatically turned off when the low battery indicator is displayed. Any alarms set prior to the appearance of the low battery indicator will remain active.

Keep the batteries away from children. If swallowed, contact a doctor immediately. Batteries should be disposed of properly according to local regulations.

Change Batteries Yourself

To change the batteries of the training computer and transmitter yourself, carefully follow the instructions below:

When changing the battery, make sure the sealing ring is not damaged, in which case you should replace it with a new one. You can purchase the sealing ring/battery kits at well-equipped Polar retailers and authorized Polar Services. In the USA and Canada, the additional sealing rings are available at authorized Polar Service Centers. In the USA the sealing ring/battery kits are also available at www.shoppolar.com.

When handling a new, fully charged battery, avoid clasp-like contact, i.e. simultaneously from both sides, with metal or electrically conducting tools, like tweezers. This may short circuit the battery, causing it to discharge more rapidly. Typically, short circuiting does not damage the battery, but it may decrease the capacity and the lifetime of the battery.

  1. Open the battery cover with a coin by turning it from CLOSE to OPEN.

    • When changing wrist unit battery (2a), remove the battery cover and lift the battery out carefully with a suitable sized small rigid stick or bar, for instance, a toothpick or small screwdriver. However, prefer a non-metal tool for wrenching the battery out. Be careful not to damage the metal sound element (*) or the grooves. Insert a new battery with the positive (+) side outwards.

    • When changing transmitter battery (2b), place the battery inside the cover with the positive (+) side facing the cover.

  2. Replace the old sealing ring with a new one (if available), fitting it snugly in the cover groove to ensure water resistance.

  3. Put the cover back on and turn it clockwise to CLOSE.

  4. Re-enter the basic settings if you changed the wrist unit batteries.


Danger of explosion if the battery is replaced with wrong type.

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Battery Lifetime in RCX5

The battery lifetime for the RCX5 training computer is on average 8-11 months and depends on which features and sensors you use. The suggestions below will help you to lengthen the battery lifetime.

To get the 11 months lifetime for the battery, take the following settings into use in your training computer:

  • Set the AutoSync off in WebSync software.

  • Do not use the GPS sensor when you do not need speed, distance or location data.

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The Polar training computer shows your performance indicators. It indicates the level of physiological strain and intensity during your exercise. It measuresheart rate, speed and distance when cycling with a Polar CS speed sensor W.I.N.D. It also measures speed and distance when running with a Polar s3+ stride sensor or with a Polar G3/G5 GPS sensor. The Polar CS cadence sensor W.I.N.D. is designed to measure cadence when cycling. No other use is intended or implied.

The Polar training computer should not be used for obtaining environmental measurements that require professional or industrial precision.

Interference During Training

Electromagnetic Interference and Training Equipment

Disturbance may occur near electrical devices. Also WLAN base stations may cause interference when training with the training computer. To avoid erratic reading or misbehavior, move away from possible sources of disturbance.

Training equipment with electronic or electrical components such as LED displays, motors and electrical brakes may cause interfering stray signals. To solve these problems, try the following:

  1. Remove the transmitter from your chest and use the training equipment as you would normally.

  2. Move the training computer around until you find an area in which it displays no stray reading or does not flash the heart symbol. Interference is often worst directly in front of the display panel of the equipment, while the left or right side of the display is relatively free of disturbance.

  3. Put the transmitter back on your chest and keep the training computer in this interference-free area as much as possible.

If the training computer still does not work with the training equipment, it may be electrically too noisy for wireless heart rate measurement.

For further information, see www.polar.fi/support.

Minimizing Risks When Training

Training may include some risk. Before beginning a regular training program, it is recommended that you answer the following questions concerning your health status. If you answer yes to any of these questions, we recommend that you consult a doctor before starting any training program.

  • Have you been physically inactive for the past 5 years?

  • Do you have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol?

  • Are you taking any blood pressure or heart medication?

  • Do you have a history of breathing problems?

  • Do you have symptoms of any disease?

  • Are you recovering from a serious illness or medical treatment?

  • Do you use a pacemaker or other implanted electronic device?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Are you pregnant?

Note that in addition to training intensity, medications for heart conditions, blood pressure, psychological conditions, asthma, breathing, etc., as well as some energy drinks, alcohol, and nicotine may also affect heart rate.

It is important to be sensitive to your body’s responses during training. If you feel unexpected pain or excessive fatigue when training, it is recommended that you stop the training or continue at a lighter intensity.

Notice to individuals with pacemakers, defibrillators or other implanted electronic devices. Individuals who have a pacemaker use the Polar training computer at their own risk. Before starting use, we always recommend a maximal training stress test under a doctor’s supervision. The test is to ensure the safety and reliability of the simultaneous use of the pacemaker and the Polar training computer.

If you are allergic to any substance that comes into contact with your skin or if you suspect an allergic reaction due to using the product, check the listed materials in Technical Specifications. To avoid any skin reaction to the transmitter, wear it over a shirt, but moisten the shirt well under the electrodes to ensure flawless operation.

Your safety is important to us. The shape of the s3+ stride sensor* is designed to minimize the possibility of it getting caught in something. In any case, be careful when running with the stride sensor in brushwood, for example.

The combined impact of moisture and intense abrasion may cause a black color to come off the transmitter’s surface, possibly staining light-colored clothes. If you use perfume or insect repellent on your skin, you must ensure that it does not come into contact with the training computer or the transmitter.

*Optional s3+ stride sensor W.I.N.D. required.

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Technical Specifications

Training computer

Battery life:

Average 8-11 months (if you train on average 1h/day, 7 days/week)

Battery type:

CR 2032

Battery sealing ring:

EPDM O-ring 24.30 x 0.8 mm (No need to change during battery replacement, if sealing ring is not damaged.)

Operating temperature:

-10 °C to +50 °C / 14 °F to 122 °F

Training computer materials:

PMMA lens with hard coating in top surface, training computer body ABS+GF metal parts stainless steel

Wrist strap and buckle materials:

Polyurethane (TPU) and stainless steel

Watch accuracy:

Better than ± 0.5 seconds / day at 25 °C / 77 °F temperature.

Accuracy of heart rate monitor:

± 1% or 1 bpm, whichever larger. Definition applies to stable conditions.

Heart rate measuring range:


Current speed display range:

0-127 km/h or 0-75 mph

Water resistance:

30 m (Suitable for bathing and swimming)

Training computer limit values

Maximum number of files:


Maximum number of training sessions in multisport file:


Maximum time recorded to file:

99 h 59 min 59 s

Maximum number of laps:


Maximum number of laps in multi sport sessions:

99 per sport

Total distance:

999 999 km / 621370 mi

Total duration:

9999h 59 min 59 s

Total calories:

999 999 kcal

Total training files count:



Battery life of WearLink®+ Hybrid transmitter:

600 hours of use

Battery type:


Battery sealing ring:

O-ring 20.0 x 1.0, material silicone

Operating temperature:

-10 °C to +40 °C / 14 °F to 104 °F

Connector material:


Strap material:


Water resistance:

30 m (Suitable for bathing and swimming)

The Polar RCX5 training computer applies the following patented technologies, among others:

  • OwnIndex® technology for fitness test.

  • OwnCal® personal calorie calculation.

  • OwnZone® assessment for determining personal target heart rate limits for the day.

  • OwnCode® technology for wireless data transmission.

  • WearLink® technology for heart rate measurement.

Polar WebSync Software and Polar DataLink™

System Requirements:

Operating system: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 or Intel Mac OS X 10.5 or newer

Internet connection

Free USB port for DataLink

Water resistance

Water resistance of Polar products is tested according to International IEC 60529 IPX7 (1m, 30min, 20ºC). Products are divided into four different categories according to water resistance. Check the back of your Polar product for the water resistance category and compare it to the chart below. Please note that these definitions do not necessarily apply to products of other manufacturers.

Marking on case back

Water resistant characteristics

Water resistant IPX7

Not suitable for bathing or swimming. Protected against wash splashes and raindrops. Do not wash with a pressure washer.

Water resistant

Not suitable for swimming. Protected against wash splashes, sweat, raindrops etc. Do not wash with a pressure washer.

Water resistant 30 m/50 m

Suitable for bathing and swimming

Water resistant 100 m

Suitable for swimming and snorkeling (without air tanks)

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if...

...the battery symbol and Low battery is displayed?

The low battery indicator is usually the first sign of an expired battery. However, in cold conditions the low battery indicator may appear. The indicator will disappear as soon as the temperature rises enough. When the symbol appears, the training computer sounds and backlight are automatically deactivated. For further information on changing the battery, see 13. Important Information.

...I do not know where I am in the menu?

Press and hold BACK until the time of day is displayed.

...there are no reactions to any buttons?

Reset the training computer by pressing all the buttons simultaneously for two seconds until the display fills with digits. Press any button, select language and set the time and date in Basic Settings after the reset. All other settings are saved. Skip the rest of the settings by pressing and holding BACK.

...the heart rate reading becomes erratic, extremely high or shows nil (00)?

  • Make sure the transmitter belt has not loosened during exercise.

  • Make sure the textile electrodes in the sports apparel fit snugly.

  • Make sure that the electrodes of the transmitter are moistened.

  • Make sure the transmitter is clean. Strong electromagnetic signals can cause erratic readings. For further information, see Precautions.

  • If the erratic heart rate reading continues despite moving away from the source of disturbance, slow down your speed and check your pulse manually. If you feel it corresponds to the high reading on the display, you may be experiencing cardiac arrhythmia. Most cases of arrhythmia are not serious, but consult your doctor nevertheless.

  • A cardiac event may have altered your ECG waveform. In this case, consult your physician.

Check heart rate transmitter! is displayed and your training computer cannot find your heart rate signal?

  • Make sure the transmitter belt has not loosened during exercise.

  • Make sure that the electrodes of the transmitter are moistened.

  • Make sure the transmitter electrodes are clean and undamaged.

If you have done all of the above-mentioned actions, and the message still appears and heart rate measurement does not work, the battery of your transmitter may be empty. For further information, see 13. Important Information.

...Calibration failed is displayed?*

Calibration did not succeed and you need to re-calibrate. Calibration fails if you move during the process. Once you reach lap distance, stop running and stand still for calibration. The range of the calibration factor during manual calibration is 0.500-1.500. If you have defined the calibration factor below or above these values, calibration fails.

*Optional s3+ stride sensor required.

...Memory 90...99% full is displayed?

1 hour of memory left is displayed when there is approximately 1 hour of memory left. To maximize the remaining memory capacity, select the longest recording rate (1 minute) from SETTINGS > GENERAL SET. > Recording rate. Once the memory has been depleted Memory full is displayed. To free memory transfer the training files to polarpersonaltrainer.com and delete them from the wrist unit memory.

ZoneOptimizer determination fails?

  • Make sure that the electrodes of the transmitter are moistened.

  • Make sure the transmitter belt has not loosened during exercise.

  • Make sure the transmitter electrodes are clean and undamaged.

  • Make sure you have followed the instructions carefully.

If you have done all of the above-mentioned actions, and the message still appears and heart rate measurement does not work, the battery of your transmitter may be empty. For further information, see 13. Important Information.

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Limited International Polar Guarantee

  • This guarantee does not affect the consumer’s statutory rights under applicable national or state laws in force, or the consumer’s rights against the dealer arising from their sales/purchase contract.

  • This limited Polar international guarantee is issued by Polar Electro Inc. for consumers who have purchased this product in the USA or Canada. This limited Polar international guarantee is issued by Polar Electro Oy for consumers who have purchased this product in other countries.

  • Polar Electro Oy/Polar Electro Inc. guarantees the original consumer/purchaser of this device that the product will be free from defects in material or workmanship for two (2) years from the date of purchase.

  • The receipt of the original purchase is your proof of purchase!

  • The guarantee does not cover the battery, normal wear and tear, damage due to misuse, abuse, accidents or non-compliance with the precautions; improper maintenance, commercial use, cracked, broken or scratched cases/displays, armband, elastic strap and Polar apparel.

  • The guarantee does not cover any damage/s, losses, costs or expenses, direct, indirect or incidental, consequential or special, arising out of, or related to the product.

  • Items purchased second hand are not covered by the two (2) year warranty, unless otherwise stipulated by local law.

  • During the guarantee period, the product will be either repaired or replaced at any of the authorized Polar Service Centers regardless of the country of purchase.

Guarantee with respect to any product will be limited to countries where the product has been initially marketed.


This product is compliant with Directive 93/42/EEC. The relevant Declaration of Conformity is available at www.support.polar.fi.


This crossed out wheeled bin marking shows that Polar products are electronic devices and are in the scope of Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries and accumulators used in products are in the scope of Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators. These products and batteries/accumulators inside Polar products should thus be disposed of separately in EU countries. Polar encourages you to minimize possible effects of waste on the environment and human health also outside the European Union by following local waste disposal regulations and, where possible, utilize separate collection of electronic devices for products, and battery and accumulator collection for batteries and accumulators.


This marking shows that the product is protected against electric shocks.

Regulatory information is available at www.polar.fi/support.

Polar Electro Oy is a ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

© 2011 Polar Electro Oy, FI-90440 KEMPELE, Finland. All rights reserved. No part of this manual may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of Polar Electro Oy.

The names and logos in this user manual or in the package of this product are trademarks of Polar Electro Oy. The names and logos marked with a ® symbol in this user manual or in the package of this product are registered trademarks of Polar Electro Oy. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation and Mac OS is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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  • The material in this manual is for informational purposes only. The products it describes are subject to change without prior notice, due to the manufacturer’s continuous development program.

  • Polar Electro Inc./Polar Electro Oy makes no representations or warranties with respect to this manual or with respect to the products described herein.

  • Polar Electro Inc./Polar Electro Oy shall not be liable for any damages, losses, costs or expenses, direct, indirect or incidental, consequential or special, arising out of, or related to the use of this material or the products described herein.

This product is protected by the incorporeal rights of Polar Electro Oy as defined by the following documents: FI88972, DE4223657.6 A,FI9219139.8,FR 92.09150, GB 2258587, HK 306/1996, SG 9592117-7, US 5486818, FI 111514B, DE19781642T1, GB2326240, HK1016857, US6277080, US20070082789, EP1795128, FI20085432, US12/434143, EP09159601.5, FI114202, US6537227, EP1147790, HK1040065, FI115289, EP1127544, US6540686, HK1041188, EP2070473A1, US20090156944, FI110915, US7324841, EP1361819, FI6815, EP1245184, US7076291, HK1048426, FI 110303, US6104947, EP0748185, JP3831410, FI 96380, EP0665947, US5611346, JP3568954, FI23471, US D492999SS, EU0046107-002, EU0046107-003. Other patents pending.


Manufactured by:

Polar Electro Oy

Professorintie 5


Tel +358 8 5202 100

Fax +358 8 5202 300



17941947.00 ENG A 05/2011

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