HowTo: Upgrade Scosche Rhythm+ Firmware

rhythmplus

The Scosche Rhythm+ is an optical BLE/ANT+ armband heart rate monitor that’s highly recommended by DC Rainmaker. There are many posts around the Internet which claim that it doesn’t have updateable firmware, but that’s not always the case. Prior to firmware V2.5, the Rhythm+ had to be sent back to Scosche for firmware updates, but if you’re lucky to have firmware 2.5+ installed, you can update the firmware yourself with your phone and Scosche’s Fitness Utility.

*** WARNING: Read all of the updates at the bottom of this article before attempting a firmware update. Sometimes, a unit has gotten bricked by the procedure, but apparently, it as been fixed in Version 2 of the app ***

The procedure is quick and easy. Pair the Rhythm+ to your phone and launch the Fitness Utility. You will be presented with the Attributes screen, which lists the current firmware version:

IMG_4795

If you have Firmware Revision 2.5 or higher, tap the Commands button, and you’ll be presented with this screen:

IMG_4794

Tap the Firmware Update Start button, and the utility will update you to the latest firmware.

I got a nice new feature when I upgraded mine to firmware 2.62. Now, after setting my HR Zone Min and HR Zone Max via the Fitness Utility, the LED on the Rhythm+ blinks blue when my HR is below HR Zone Min, purple when I’m between HR Zone Min & Max, and red when I’m above HR Zone Max. I guess if you only use ANT+, and want to save some battery life, you can turn off the BLE Radio as well, but I haven’t tried playing with any of the other functions yet, and I have no idea how you would turn BLE on again, since the app communicates via BLE.

Update 2016-07-11: Reader Atle posted below that v2.62 adds another function for iOS users … click the button on the unit once to start/stop music, and double click to advance tracks in the playlist. I wonder if this works on Android, as well.

*** 20170327: WARNING: I HAVE RECEIVED MULTIPLE REPORTS OF THEIR UNITS WITH NEWER FIRMWARE GETTING BRICKED BY APPLYING THE FIRMWARE UPDATE. IF YOU HAVE A UNIT WITH NEWER FIRMWARE >2.62, APPARENTLY, THE UTILITY IS BADLY DESIGNED, OR HASN’T BEEN UPDATED IN A LONG TIME, AND CAN CORRUPT UNITS WITH NEWER FIRMWARE. AT THIS TIME, I *DO NOT* RECOMMEND UPDATING YOUR UNIT IF IT HAS NEWER FIRMWARE. IF YOUR UNIT GETS BRICKED, CONTACT SCOSCHE CUSTOMER SUPPORT … IT IS THEIR FAULT IF THEIR SOFTWARE BRICKS YOUR UNIT ***

** 20170509: A reader below said: “If you see blinking Red-blue led so seems like bricked but don’t be upset just put on charge unit and the device will be reset.” Please leave a comment below if it works to resurrect your bricked unit ***

Update 2017-06-16: As reader Occamsrazor states below, the Fitness Utility has been updated to Version 2. The description on iTunes shows that it has some new features, but it’s rather cryptic. I was able to use it to update my 2.62 FW to 3.01. You no longer have to press a firmware upgrade button. If your unit is eligible for updating the firmware, it will automatically prompt you when you connect your device. The new app has several new undocumented functions. I tried to enter my birthday, height, etc, but it doesn’t seem to work. If anyone figures out the advanced features, please post below. Apparently, it’s possible to record a workout in the band itself, and then export a CSV file, but I can’t get any of the functionality to work. Also, there are some reports that the new version is a lot less likely to brick your unit, but YMMV. It worked OK for me.

There are 33 Comments to "HowTo: Upgrade Scosche Rhythm+ Firmware"

  • Steve says:

    How long does the firmware upgrade typically take? My progress bar has been stuck in the same spot for abut 15 minutes. Wondering if something has gone wrong…

    • lincomatic says:

      Only about 30sec or so. I suspect by the time you read this you will already have figured out that it was hung. I hope it didn’t brick yours. If so, I’m sure Scosche will fix it for you.

  • John Galea says:

    I spoke with Scosche and your right on all counts. They said I would have to pay shipping back to them and they would pay shipping back to me. They said it would be processed in the same day they receive it. They informed me there are no changes to any of the algorithms within the device, just the ability to upgrade the firmware in the future. It was there opinion that if I was not having any issues that the upgrade was unnecessary and wouldn’t change anything.

  • Keith Seckel says:

    Same here as John Galea says above: I called tech support and they say the *only* difference is the ability to self-update and no other changes. When I read the above to the tech re: the original poster says “I got a nice new feature when I upgraded… Now, after setting my HR Zone Min and HR Zone Max via the Fitness Utility, the LED on the Rhythm+ blinks blue when my HR is below HR Zone Min, purple when I’m between HR Zone Min & Max, and red when I’m above HR Zone Max.” — the teach response was to again repeat there is no change from 2.4 (where I’m at today) to 2.62 other than the ability to self-upgrade firmware — but he did agree to email me info on how to send it in.

    • lincomatic says:

      Does your blink blue/purple/blue depending on below/in/above the HR zone min & max? Because mine definitely did not … in only blinked red until I upgraded the firmware. So the tech support guy is wrong.

  • f1oren says:

    Good article, thanks

    you can turn off the BLE Radio as well

    ok but how to turn it on ? The iOS works only with bluetooth?

    • lincomatic says:

      Very good point! I guess it’s not a good idea to turn it off, unless you are sure you only want to use ANT+ forever.

  • Atle says:

    There are another distinct difference between fw 2.62 and the older ones: The one with 2.62 works as a remote to my iPhone. Single click start/stop music and a double click goes forward on my playlist/podcast. This is not possible with the one with older fw.

  • Will says:

    the update bricked mine

    • lincomatic says:

      Yikes! What version of firmware did you start from? Contact Scosche and they should be able to take care of it. No one else has complained of theirs getting bricked.

  • David A. Desrosiers says:

    Confimed, my RHYTHM+ bricked immediately after the firmware update.

    The update succeeded as expected (although it brought me from 3.0 to 2.62), a power-cycle succeeded as expected. I was able to take a quick HR measurement after the 2.62 update, as expected.

    The very next power-up, all I get is a blinking red/blue, alternating. Bricked.

    No combination of button press, or holding the button down for over 5 minutes seems to bring it back out of this mode. It’s dead after only 1 successful ride using it.

    Such a shame, but back into the box it goes, for return.

    • lincomatic says:

      Hmm, they must have different versions of the hardware. Mine is stuck at 2.62. Scosche should fix their software to check for compatibility. Sorry! Contact them and complain!

  • MEnone says:

    +1 on the update bricking it. Started from firmware 3.01 and all I did was to trigger the firmware update. It got stuck with 1/10th into of the process (by looking at the progress bar) now all it does is blink red/ blue, cannot turn it off. To call their app rudimentary I think it’s an understatement…

    • lincomatic says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ve moved the warning not to update newer firmware higher up in the article.

  • Hamid asim says:

    If you see blinking Red-blue led so seems like bricked but dont be upset just put on charge unit and the device will be reset

  • Occamsrazor says:

    There’s a new version “2” of the Fitness utility out today June 16, 2017 that says there’s a new firmware update that “supports multiple ANT+ operational modes”… if that means anything to anyone.

    • lincomatic says:

      Thanks! It’s pretty cool!

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Firmware update was unsuccessful for me, generated some error saying firmware image unsuccessfully received. Unit still works though. Curious what the actual changes are.

    • Pod9 from Outer Space says:

      The new firmware version installed on my Rhythm+ reported by the app after this update is 3.01, I don’t notice anything different from the prior version (2.62).
      The new version 2 app has a much more user friendly automatic firmware update “walk through”. It automatically compares your firmware with the latest when you start the app and asks if you want to update. It forces you to charge your Rhythm+ so have your charger handy, after charging turn on to connect the Rhythm+ to your phone, then it shows you a progress indicator as it updates the firmware (only takes a few seconds). The manual firmware update button is gone from the new app. Don’t notice any other differences in this app.

      • Pod9 from Outer Space says:

        They changed the label that used to say “BLE Radio” with a Turn Off button
        to “Send Command” with a Turn Off button.

        • Pod9 from Outer Space says:

          I tried it and the Turn Off button actually turns off the Rhythm+ remotely from the phone. It took several seconds after clicking the button before it turned off.

      • Pod9 from Outer Space says:

        I deleted and reinstalled the app to clear all old data and noticed there’s a new bug now on the Parametric Data -> User Data page. I used to be able to enter and update my data. That’s no longer possible and all the info scrolls up one off the screen with each field clicked.

  • Ben says:

    Strange. Firmware update still fails for me, I get an error:

    DFU: Error on Receive Firmware Image. Message: Operation Failed”

    I have written to Scosche. Also, does anyone have any idea what the new functionality actually means?

    “Updated Rhythm+ FW to support multiple ANT+ operational modes.”

    • lincomatic says:

      It might be failing due to the version you’re upgrading from, maybe? What version is currently installed?

  • Ben says:

    Currently on 2.62

  • JP says:

    Played around with it a little more today on a 4 mile walk. Had iSmoothrun running to log the workout and also tried the Walking Calibrate and it concluded with a calibration number but I have no idea how that should be used or is used. Wanted to report here that iSmoothrun wound up logging lots of crazy 4 digit heart rates while health kit had mostly normal heart rate recorded but there were a few crazy 4 digit heart rates in that data too. This may be related to doing the calibration during the active workout. Don’t think I’ll play with this app anymore.

  • Luca says:

    Good morning.

    I have upgraded to the 3.01 firmware (after 5 attempts … DFU error), but since that I am not more able to connect the device to my Suunto Spartan Sport watch. I have already reset and forced my watch, but without success. I have also complained twice to Scoche, but not yet feedback from them. Do you know how I can downgrade to previous version (2.6.2)? Have you experienced some issue? Thank you very much. Ciao. Luca

    • lincomatic says:

      Suunto Spartan Sport uses Bluetooth Smart, correct? Does it still connect to the app? Mine still works OK with all iPhone apps. Unfortunately, the only way I know that can install the old firmware is if you install the old app from an iPhone backup

  • f1oren says:

    Hi lincomatic,

    My questions and the answer from Scosche:

    Hi Scosche,

    About Rhythm+: what are the differences between firmware 2.6.2 and 3.01?

    Is it safe to upgrade with Fitness Utility 2?

    What does it means “Updated Rhythm+ FW to support multiple ANT+ operational modes” in Fitness Utility 2 changelog? https://itunes.apple.com/app/id661537331

    Is there a documentation about the various parameters of the app? http://blog.lincomatic.com/?p=1843

    Best Regards
    Florent
    ======================================
    Greetings,
    The latest firmware provides the RHYTHM+ with serial numbers within the app since our latest units are coming with serial numbers laser engraved onto the sensor itself. These serial numbers don’t apply to single end consumer users, but are meant for larger workout groups and gyms like Orange Theory who can monitor several users and RHYTHM+ devices at one time using their software. Upgrading the firmware on the RHYTHM+ won’t hurt it though, and yes it can be updated using the Fitness Utility App. We don’t have documentation on the parameters of the app since it’s main intention is only for monitoring battery level of the RHYTHM+ and firmware updates.

    Best Regards,
    Gabriel

    • lincomatic says:

      Thanks!

      • f1oren says:

        If you want I have the contact details of the customer service manager. My English is not very and you may be able to ask better questions and have better answers 😉
        Send me a mail

        In any case thank you for your article and for my part I am a daily user very happy with my Scosche Rhythm + discovered via DC Rainmaker 🙂

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