Ant+ dongle with 5 meter usb cable

dear zwifters,

because I wint ta connect my new polar smartwatch on bluetooth, I have to connect zwift with ant+. I have 2 questions. Is a 5 meter usb cable ok or will it give data loss because of the length?
Is there any dfference between cheap ant+ dongles like Cyclplus and the pricey one from elite/tacx/wahoo?

What system are you using for Zwift? What is the reason that you need to use ANT+ in order to use your smartwatch?

I don’t think there is a difference, I use a cheap one and it’s worked great for many years. I have a 3 meter extension, however not a 5 meter. Not sure if that will make any difference?

No issues with the USB cable.

I’d be leery of cheap ANT+ sticks - there are reports of off-brands being less reliable. You may get lucky … or not.

If you have one and it’s working, great.

If you’re trying to source one, find a used Garmin ANT+ dongle on eBay, or in a thrift store. They’re often bundled with original Vivofit 1 and Vivofit 2 bands. (I’ve found them for $7.00CAD locally)

I use a cheap Ant+ dongle and it’s fine. Had it 5+ years. Changed my 3m extension lead a couple of times during this period.

Depending on your USB type 5m might be pushing it.

usb 2 should be fine for ANT+ but you might want to get a 3m cable to err on the side of caution.

I have an Anself dongle which has worked flawlessly from day one, and I can also vouch for one by Magene. Both are/were around £10 from Amazon. I see no reason to spend £40+ on a branded dongle considering it’s literally the same chipset inside. Much more important is your wireless environment.

That said, some Cycplus dongles can be dodgy so I’d probably avoid those: Cycplus ANT+ Stick – Tacx Faqx

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I have had ananself dongle too which worked great and have had a few Magene sensors (heart rate, speed and cadence) and they all worked perfectly too haven’t tried their ANT+ dongles though.

Just to note, USB 3.0 is very noisy and probably best avoided for ANT+.

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I have a Polar Pacer Pro sport watch. The watch records my activities and training progress. I cannot import the data from zwift directly in the Polar platform. Therefore I want to record the data directly from the Elite Direto X.

thanks for all the replies. Then I will look for a Anself and maybe an 3 meter usb cable.

If you can live with 3m that’s more likely to work, but many 5m cables will be fine for USB 2.0 if they’re not garbage quality. If you buy a decent one (preferable returnable) it’ll probably work out OK.

I already had an 5 meter usb 2.0 cable. I am not sure about the quality. I can check and otherwise I have to buy an 3 meter cable.

Garmin ($79) or Amazon ($71) .

That’s an expensive option. You can get compatible that will work just as well for a fraction of the cost.

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Way too expensive for what it is.
Get a £10 dongle and an extension cable and it is effectively the same thing.

An Anself ANT+ USB stick and an Amazon Basics 3m extension cable was ~£20 iirc in '18.


We are talking “Active USB cable” - not just an extension cable…

(here and here are random references - just google “active usb cable”…)

You only need active cables for distances over 5 meters.
The Ant+ dongle you linked is much shorter than that.

And the specs certainly don’t say anything about the cable being active.

Anyway, all the dongles are USB2 so a USB3 cable is just a waste of money, and 5 m should be fine with USB2. If you already have a 5 m cable, just get a basic dongle and try it out. (I think I have a 3 m extension with an unpowered hub at the far end, works just fine.)

OP said “5m”.

As for “Active”, see here.

(And no, I do not work for either Amazon, Tax or Garmin)