Bluetooth LE Support


(Peter Lin) #1

It would be great to have bluetooth LE support. That would make it so the newer bike power meters, hrm and speed/cadence sensors work without needing an ANT+ usb on Mac. All new macs come with BTLE, so it would make life simpler and easier. Luckily all of my bike sensors are dual protocol, so I can use either one, but I prefer to use BTLE.


(Howie Nordstrom) #2

This will be even more important now that Apple has gone to one USB-C, for which there are no ANT+ dongles.


(Aaron Deutsch - BMTR) #3

Yeah, Apple making this (temporarily, I presume) complicated. 

Funny enough, when I view apple’s USB-C to USB-A adapter ($20) one of the ‘others also bought’ products is the Wahoo Fitness Kickr:

 


(Marco Soldano) #4

Switching to BTLE would be the right move, as matter of fact I don’t understand why not start with BTLE to begin with.


(Peter Lin) #5

I can totally understand why Zwift went with ANT+ first. There’s a huge install base and many of the older power meters don’t support BTLE yet. The newer ones do and I’m sure all of them will support it within a year or two. From a “future proof” perspective, I’m bias in favor of open standards. BTLE has broad industry support and many companies contributing to it. ANT+ is closed and has some weirdness in the protocol specification. I’ve written iOS app for myself that uses bike sensors and BLTE is much more friendly. Plus BTLE can work in regular or low power mode, which means it can do much more than ANT+.


(Dan Schaeffer) #6

Any update on the BTLE arrival date?


(Christoffer Ainek) #7

+1 Is there any way to beta-test the BTLE-support? All my sensors are BTLE, so I’m pretty much locked out of Zwift untill this arrives.


(Scott) #8

Good news! BLE beta for iOS is here and ready for public testing. Here are instructions on how to get started.


(Joost de Vries) #9

Is there a planned date for BLTE support for smart trainers like my new elite qubo digital smart b+? I bought a ANT+ dongle for 30 euro’s (bit expensive) and only need it for Zwift. Other apps (on my tablet) don’t need ant+. Would be nice if I can return the ant+ dongle. 30 euro’s is about 3 months of zwift membership :stuck_out_tongue:


(David Gibbs (Red Rider)) #10

Please support direct BTLE connections from the PC/ Mac. Most newer macs have BTLE and BTLE adapters for pc’s are cheaper than ant adapters. 


(Dan Schaeffer) #11

I’m running a full Wahoo setup (kickr, HRM, BlueSC) with a BlueGiga BTLE dongle on my windows 10 laptop.  I use an Android phone.  I’m trying to decide whether to renew my TrainerRoad subscription for another year but want to know when I can try Zwift.  What can you tell me?

 


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #12

Dan,

Get a Ant+ dongle for your laptop with a USB hub and extension and Ride On. BLE is not as reliable as ANT+…


(Dan Schaeffer) #13

Is that Zwift’s official position on BTLE vs Ant+?


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #14

To use BLE you need to have your phone work as a bridge to connect to your laptop in order to get it to work. 

To use ANT+ you need a dongle in your laptop and that’s it. 

ANT+ has less “pieces” to go wrong.

I used to use BLE but go frustrated and switched to ANT+ and never looked back. 

Just giving you some of my experiences. You can also search the forums here and see the issues with BLE or checkout the Facebook group. 

You have a Kickr and HRM that are both ANT+ so why would you even consider BLE?


(Dan Schaeffer) #15

because I didn’t want to add an Ant+ dongle to my phone in order to use the RFLKT+, HRM, and BlueSC.  Is there a way around that?


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #16

Dan,

You don’t need a Ant+ dongle for your phone to use Zwift, the dongle goes in the computer. I believe all the Wahoo HRM broadcast in both ANT+ and BLE so o need for a dongle there. 

As far as the BlueSC, I know there are 2 types one that only broadcast in BLE (I have that one) and one that broadcast in ANT+.

If you are going to connect to the RFLKT+ (your phone) and Zwift using BLE you are going to have issue. Zwift even suggests that when using ANT+ (this is an example, I think BLE would be the same) you should not connect to any other device i.e. a Garmin. This can cause issue with interference and translation of the signal.

The speed, distance and other info are going to be very different between Zwift and what you see on the RFLKT+ due to zwift having virtual elevation and the RFLKT+ on recording wheel speed/distance. 

Your best bet is to not use the RFLKT+ and just use the Zwift app as a companion device to your laptop. Buy the ANT+ dongle for your computer and if you need to pair the BlueSC you can use the app to bridge that connection.

I need to ask this and it is not to offend you in any way. Have you used Zwift yet?

 


(Dan Schaeffer) #17

No offense at all.  

I’ve not used zwift because I never thought they supported my hardware and it didn’t make sense to go buy an Ant+ dongle just to give Zwift a test run. 

I’m perfectly happy to just use the RFLKT+ when I’m in the non-virtual world.   

It’s a bit of a bummer that my BlueSC won’t work but I also have a Bontrager speed/cadence sensor that looks identical to the Wahoo model so it might actually support Ant+.

So if I get an Ant+ dongle for the laptop then I’ll be able to use the kickr and HRM and possibly the Bontrager SC sensor with it?


(Paul Allen (Watopia Wayfinder)) #18

If you got an Ant+ dongle for your laptop you could connect that bad ass kickr and change resistance based on the elevation on Zwift. For example if you were going up a hill in Zwift it would get harder to pedal and you would need to shift your bike into an easier gear.

Your BlueSC will work. If it is the BLE one you would need to use your phone as a bridge or if it is the Ant+ then just connect right to the computer. I think the Kickr also can track cadence so the need for the BlueSC is decreased. 

Here is the kicker (no pun, well a little) you can connect the Kickr and any other BLE devices (your BlueSC) to Zwift using the phone app. You will need to make sure that your phone and computer are on the same wifi network (that is the issue with BLE). Sometime little things can disrupt the Wifi signal if you are using 2.4Ghz, like a microwave or a cordless phone. 

So in reality you don’t need to go out and buy anything, just use the phone app to bridge your BLE devices to your computer/Zwift and Ride On.