How can you tell if you have a bad sensor or bad tranmitter?

Just activated a new sensor which I had “soaked” (inserted but not activated) for 24 hours. So far, after another 12 hours, the readings have been all over the place. Normally the readings are great after soaking that long. How can I determine if the problem is the new sensor or the transmitter? I have an Endo appointment on Wednesday (today is Monday) and don’t want to go there with readings that are unreliable and therefore would like to put in a new sensor or transmitter today if necessary.

So essentially this boils down to the question, “How long do I wait before concluding it’s not just the usual first-day jitters and I’ve got a bad sensor.” There’s no hard and fast rule. In my experience presoaking is not guaranteed to eliminate erratic readings at the start. I generally see some wonkiness anyway, and the same goes for doing a session restart with a stable 10 day-old sensor. But this is pretty far into the session for still being wonky, considering you gave it a 24-hr presoak. How wonky is it—are you seeing zig-zags? And have you tried calibrating?

You’re exactly right. I’m now on second day after soaking. I suspected transmitter might not be good 45 days ago when I started it. Resistance is currently 1177 and Voltage B is 294 so I suspect it MIGHT be transmitter. But I think everyone would love to have a list of things that could indicate a bad sensor or a bad transmitter.

If it connects, the xmitter should be good. I never worry about, nor look at, voltages. I have had maybe one marginal xmitter in over 2 years. And about 2 flaky g5 sensors. the system is quite reliable for me, as indicated by my lack of issues requiring replacements of either item. My personal opinion is that perhaps you are getting too involved in data coming from xDrip. :slight_smile:

Thanks. But I had a transmitter failure last month too. Otherwise transmitters and sensors have been pretty good. Was told before that Resistance reading of 1000 means transmitter is about to die. Mine recently shot up to 1177. I love Xdrip. Don’t understand why every Dexcom user doesn’t try it.

I like the xDrip features for sure. Not crazy about all the issues and updates they need to make to get it to work with current-gen phones and OS. AAMOF, “current-gen” is being generous. They have issues with previous generations too.

I don’t think I’ve ever updated. I have a setting on stable and I query if updates are available. Actually other than what I’ve done I wouldn’t know how to update. And does an update save current setting or do you have to re-establish setting?

I’m very curious if those soaking their sensors have actually tried whatever version they’re using WITHOUT soaking, or if they just do it out of habit or because they heard others do it.

I fully recognize that everyone’s experience is different, so maybe I’m just lucky to have the body chemistry I do, or something… But this idea of “first day wonkiness” is completely foreign to me and I’ve never pre-soaked. The whole point of pre-soaking is to avoid first day wonkiness, but they still complain about first day wonkiness. Is the pre-soaking causing the first day wonkiness, just because the data is contrary to what the algorithm is programmed for?

That said, I did just finish the first G6 sensor I truly didn’t like. It just always felt off. Technically, the error was always within 20%, but I was having issues with it reading 65 when I was really like 75, and that’s a minor difference that matters big time to me. Oddly enough, I just bore with it because the data looked good. I just kept calibrating it whenever the data skewed, and I think I did more fingersticks than even before I had a CGM at all.

For anyone running a Tandem pump, it will actually tell you when the sensor is bad by displaying “- - -” or “? ? ?” where the glucose value should be. As already mentioned, your data graph looking like a heart EKG is another bad sensor indicator. If running xdrip, or another program that can display raw data, a bad sensor will show raw data points far off the algorithm “smoothed” graph.

I do have an xdrip curiosity I’ve wondered about, though, curious if it’s another indicator. I sometimes see fuzzy data points, like they have a halo around them. I have no idea what it actually means. Could that also indicate bad data?

My first transmitter is yet to die, but I’ve been nervous about the signs of such for a while. I don’t actually have any clue how long I’ve been using it, between getting a warranty replacement on my pump and uninstalling/reinstalling xdrip.
My resistance is holding steady at 890. I’m also looking forward to anyone sharing dying transmitter hints.

G5’s when soaked for 1 day, work great for me when I start them. The first day, without a soak includes many hours (usually up to 16) of bogus readings.
I’m new to the G6 but day one w/o a soak was AWFUL, TERRIBLE, CRAPPY. Beginning on the second day through day 10 it has been super accurate.

I have restarted my G6 and it continues to be accurate. Gotta love it. I’m using an 8H xmitter.

I don’t do any of this stuff “out of habit”. I did 2.5+ years of G5 and learned what worked. After building a big stash I quit restarting them. Instead, I’d install a new one 1 day prior to day-7 so that it would be soaked and ready to go when the previous sensor was finished. Worked great!

Thanks. Good to hear that you actually tried it once without pre-soaking. I know it helped for G5 and just thought people stuck with it when they started G6.

No, but then again I got great numbers the day I restarted the G6, which is akin to soaking–just that the soak-period is 10 days long.

Yes, I had that too about a restart being a ten day pre-soak with great data. The difference for me, though, is that I do an immediate calibration because that first reading after a restart is always like 100 mg/dl high. I’ve never had to calibrate immediately after applying a brand new sensor. Wasn’t sure if that mattered.

A couple of your points.

Yes you are one of the lucky ones. I soak now as I experience wonky readings if insert it right out of the box. Soaking for me has been a blessing except this time.

In my opinion every Dexcom user should try Xdrip. Does SO much. If you go to the System Status page on Xdrip it will tell you how many days sensor and transmitter have been on. So if you know your resistance are you already using Xdrip?

So many good things but I like the fact that you can leave your sensor on forever until you decide it is time to change it. Nothing else. Benefits to extending transmitter too.

Yes, I’ve been using xdrip since I first started G6 about three months ago since my Android device isn’t supported by Dexcom. But sometime in there the app froze up on me and nothing I tweaked would make it work again. I wound up uninstalling the app and starting over. In that same time frame I had to replace my other dexcom collector, my t:slim x2, because it had a bad Bluetooth radio. So, I don’t have any active collector from the first time I started this transmitter.

Xdrip currently says my transmitter is 71 days old, and that’s just not true. That’s how long ago I reinstalled xdrip. The transmitter itself doesn’t seem to store in it’s memory when it was started, it seems to rely on your collectors to know that information. I know for a fact that I’m past 90 days (the time frame I can make the 3 hour drive to pick up sensors is defined by my husband’s monthly work travel schedule and I know we made the drive three times and skipped one month completely because I’d picked up a healthy collection of replacement sensors I didn’t use when Tandem was troubleshooting my connection issues) , but don’t know exactly where in the fourth month I am.

Of course, it also thinks my sensor is 52 days and 14 hours old, which is also not true. I’m on day 2 of this one! Lol. Even though I’ve been starting them on the pump, not xdrip, it knows when a sensor was stopped (shows a “sensor stopped” pop-up notification on phone) and a new sensor is started (displays new sensor warmup time remaining).

If you have G6 receiver, the transmitter detail shows date transmitter was started. That should be same date xdrip uses to display days.

Like I said, I use t:slim and xdrip, no official receiver since it cant be used with t:slim that IS a receiver itself. New pump, new xdrip. Neither shows the date the transmitter was actually started on.

Too bad tandem didn’t include that info to show on pump, since it is a receiver. I assumed it would be there.

Because it’s only available for Android, correct?

Turnabout is fair play. :slight_smile: I get frustrated when looking for a nice vehicle and it comes equipped with Apple Carplay but not Android Auto. Grrr.

Right, every Android user but IOS has Spoke.