Issues with bluetooth dropout on Woodway treadmill

So I did a little investigating into my home wifi and all devices seem to be getting an excellent signal except the Apple TV that I run zwift through, my gym is in my garage.
I did verify that it is currently on 2.4ghz, trying to find a way to switch to 5ghz, maybe perhaps since my modem is in my basement is the issue, hence why it’s switching to 2.4, I’ll call today and inquire about wifi extenders, maybe that will help.

It is a little strange because I have no problem watching Netflix etc in the garage, just zwift.

I’ve only been a member for a couple weeks and usually get so frustrated with the dropouts which have occurred every 3-5 seconds for every run, that I end up turning it off and watching something on Netflix.

I find it interesting that you’re also having issues with the 4front, I’ll call woodway today and see what they say, if we’re both having this issue I’m hoping they’re aware of it. Do you think connecting an ANT+ dongle to the bluetooth input on the treadmills display will help in this case?

Thanks for all the suggestions, hoping to get this sorted soon and start enjoying this amazing community!

Bluetooth, ANT+ and 2.4 GHz WiFi don’t mix well, as they all share the same frequency range… You can setup your 2.4Ghz WiFi so as to not cause issues - my solution, however, is simply to disable this band for the ride.

Depending on your basement construction, signals may be having hard time reaching there. Best is to draw a wire (Ethernet cable) directly to your router.

Good luck!

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2.4ghz has better range but slower speeds whereas 5ghz is faster but struggles with range. I ended up running a cable to the other side of my house and setting up a second router so we have full 5ghz coverage (not for zwift but just in general)

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I have been riding Zwift on a Wahoo Kickr for months In this same space in my garage for months without a single hiccup. I am concerned that there may be something intrinsic to the 4Front connection that is the problem.

I tried most of the suggestions from Zwift without fixing the problem last night. Plan to tinker again tonight.

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Appreciate all of the responses!
I tried everything same as you, no change. I called woodway today and they said it was a zwift problem, I mentioned that others were experiencing the same issue, they didn’t seem to care very much, nice how their demeanour changes once they already have your money eh?
I’m thinking Leslie Alldridge is on to something with the Ethernet suggestion, I will try that next.
If all else fails I guess I’ll have to just get a footpod or something, super frustrated!

Update
I just tried a free app called GymTrakr, it’s meant to pickup speed, distance, cadence etc. It pairs and works perfect with the woodway 4front, this tells me that the unit is capable of pairing and sending the info so I’m thinking that maybe an Ethernet connection would fix the issue or perhaps it’s an issue with zwift right now :man_shrugging:

If your treadmill has the option to hardwire to your router via Ethernet instead of WiFi, that’s going to be the most reliable way to pair to Zwift’s servers.

Fingers crossed that this improves your situation well enough. It may not entirely solve the Bluetooth drops between the tread and the Apple TV, though. The Bluetooth-only ATV box is hamstrung by the absence of a USB port. There’s no way to plug in an ANT+ dongle and pair via ANT+ instead of BLE.

I am not familiar with North Pole Engineering’s GymTrackr app, or their broader technology that some fitness equipment makers may embed in their circuitry. If your Woodway has that chipset on-board, that may be all you need to convert its ANT+ signal to BLE so that your ATV can receive it.

If no: there are two devices that can convert your tread’s ANT+ signal to Bluetooth to act as a bridge to your Bluetooth-only Apple TV box. North Pole Engineering’s CABLE device and 4iiii’s Viiiiva heart rate monitor are discussed here.

I was thinking of hardwiring the Ethernet to the Apple TV…there is a csafe port on the back of the display, I’d have to unscrew the back panel to get to it, I’ve heard a gem retro module would work. This seems like a massive pain considering I already have a smart treadmill, did anyone else have any luck with their woodway 4front? Was it your internet signal? What was the issue?

@Tor_Eckman

We have two Woodways at the Zwift HQ labs, and back before we worked from home, they got the most use of all the treadmills because the Woodway running experience is awesome. We used iPads to run Zwift, and they paired perfectly via Bluetooth.

If you’re getting BLE dropouts, I’d suggest going through this list to reduce local interference sources. Personally, I would exhaust all these possibilities before getting sidetracked with the Ethernet setup.

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Thanks again, taking a look at this list, the only one I haven’t eliminated is number two. I didn’t realize I needed an ANT+ dongle, where does this get connected?

Also I’ve confirmed the wifi channel is on channel 1 a less used channel in the area, however, my garage where the treadmill is located is only getting a 2.4ghz signal which is likely causing problems as zwift operates in real time whereas Netflix etc read ahead and smooths out the signal. This is my thought process on connecting an Ethernet cable to the Apple TV so I can ensure a fast 5ghz connection in order to run zwift, but again I’m not technologically savvy as I’m sure you’ve guessed

@Tor_Eckman

The ANT+ dongle is not possible with Apple TV because the ATV box lacks a USB port.

@Tor_Eckman

The Ethernet cable should not connect the treadmilll directly to the Apple TV. Instead, you’d connect the treadmill to your router via Ethernet. Then connect your ATV box to the router via Ethernet. This is the hard-wired way for your ATV “see” your treadmill.

Hard-wiring is feasible if your router is sort of near your garage. Is that the case for you? If not, to solve the network dropouts it might be better to get a WiFi extender to boost coverage to your garage, and use the 5GHz as you suggested.

The router isn’t exactly close but it could be done, would have to do some drilling. I’ve tried to pair and run zwift on my laptop, iPhone 11 and iPad and still the same thing so now I’m confident once I get the signal strength up all should be good

Please do let us know if you get this working. I am dying to know if there’s a fix.

At my place, I powered off/unplugged every 2.4 ghz device we have. Unplugged the Kickr next to the tread. Put the router on 5ghz mode only. Connected to iPad at the tread rather than Apple TV which is 5 feet away. We are hundreds of feet from the neighbors. Turned off Apple Watch in case that might be the issue. Tried an assortment of connect/reconnect/reboot steps. All to no avail. My avatar freezes every few seconds, at a regular interval, every time.

-DL

Shooj - glad to hear that there are Woodways that do work. Gives me hope.

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So to update everyone on the status of my issue. I’ve run an Ethernet cable from my router to Apple TV, same problem
I’ve run an Ethernet cable to the woodway, same problem
I’m beyond pissed off now, this is silly that this thing can’t figure out how to stay paired, so now I have to buy a treadmill sensor or footpod because the Uber expensive treadmill I saved and saved for, can’t get the job done, pathetic.

I have been communicating with my Woodway sales rep since this issue started for me. His most recent update acknowledges the issue and it sounds like the R&D department is now actively investigating, working with the Bluetooth hardware supplier.

Don’t ask me how/when this leads to a fix, but that’s the update I got.

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@D_Larson
Interesting. Please keep us informed if you hear anything back.

In the meantime, would you try something?

  1. do you have another device that can run Zwift, like a smartphone or a laptop? I’m wondering if we can isolate this as an issue with the Apple TV platform .

  2. Is there another run / fitness tracking app you use to log your runs on the tread? If similar flaky Bluetooth issues crop up there too, we can surmise that it’s an issue with the Woodway.

Thanks for the questions. Woodway, to their credit, has done a great job keeping me updated. I know there is now an open line of communication directly between Woodway and Zwift. I’m hoping there will be a fix, and that it will be able to apply to my treadmill.

Since you asked, I will tell you I have tried the Apple TV, the iPad, and a couple of different iPhones. Yes I am heavy on Apple at my house. Same issues on all devices.

I don’t use any other running apps. The communication with the Apple Watch seems to be seemless although that may be a different communication protocol.