Phone/PC bluetooth connection required for companion app?

I have an issue that isn’t a major at the moment, just annoying, but may become a big issue in future, especially with steering, etc.

My companion app almost never goes in to game mode. It is definitely on the same wifi network as my PC (windows 10). I have mesh wifi and the signal is strong throughout the house. Everything is updated.

It’s been really strange because a couple of weeks ago it worked when I had decided to try the steering out. Since then it hasn’t worked at all. I have tried reinstalling the app, turning everything off and back on, different wifi networks (but always with both devices on the same one at the same time), switching off mobile data, going in to airplane mode and activating wifi after - nothing has worked.

I use a Kickr Core, Wahoo cadence sensor, Tickr Fit, and Climb while Zwifting - all connect with no issues.

There does seem to be a problem with my phone connecting to my PC via bluetooth. It will pair, but not connect, or connect for a couple of seconds and then go back to paired. A message on my phone says the device is too far away (within 3m so I think not) or that it is already connect to another device, even when no other devices are connected. On the occasions when the app has gone in to game mode I have never done anything to pair or connect the phone and PC via bluetooth so wondering if this is a red herring, or do they in fact need to be paired and connected for it to work? I’m not trying to bridge any of my devices via the app.

The main thing I’ve seen in all my searching for what is required is that they need to be on the same wifi network. But does there also need to be a bluetooth connection between the phone and pc? If there is I don’t know why it worked sometimes in the past as I’d never set it up.

Hoping someone can help!

Try turning on Airplane mode and just activating WiFi (leave cell off during the test) on it to see if that resolve the issue.

Thanks Paul - yes, tried that (mentioned above), several times. Hasn’t worked for me unfortunately. But if that really can work - phone bluetooth can be off so it clearly doesn’t need to be connected to the PC with wifi. I’ve never had any other need to connect that so I can stop trying!

The only was the Zwift App and the Zwift Companion App can communicate is over your local network (Bluetooth is not for networking).

The ZCA can do a lot more than bridge the BLE signal.

I know it can do more (and I don’t need it to bridge) which is why I’d quite like to get it working. It’s just so odd that it has worked a few times at random, one time when I specifically wanted it to work, and won’t work any other time. Today I’m going to restart both devices in my training room and see if that makes any difference. Also charging up an old iPad mini to see if that will work in either combination (phone running companion/iPad running zwift, or iPad running companion and PC running zwift). Technology is such a PITA when it doesn’t work! I will post back with how things go.

Can the phone and the PC see each other on the network? (They don’t really have to be on the same network, just able to see each other.) Do you have client isolation disabled on WiFi?

I was trying not to over complicate it, but yes it will work across subnets as long as there is a rule in place to allow traffic between them. It will also work if the Computer is wired and the device with the ZCA running using wireless. I have not tried it across a VPN yet, but in theory it could work depending on your setup.

Well, ZCA on the iPad worked fine. Only problem it is an old and dying iPad, but it will work for now. It would be more convenient to use my phone. But even starting both phone and PC up next to the bike/trainer, it still didn’t work.

Can they see each other on the network. I’m not sure how to know that. The network folder in windows explorer shows a bunch of devices that are on wifi (sonos speakers, TVs, my NSA until that stopped working recently) but the phone isn’t there. Re client isolation - should it be enabled or disabled? I’m not familiar with it, but other devices communicate ok over wifi.

When I get a chance I’ll see if plugging the PC (laptop) in to the LAN changes anything.

Thanks for the help so far!

Try just disabling Cell service of the iPhone and see if the ZCA connects to the Zwift App on the PC. Make sure that the iPhone is connected to your WiFi when you test it.

Hi Paul - it’s a Huawei, not an iPhone, and I’ve tried that (many times). It’s just bizarre, it’s worked a few times and I haven’t changed any settings. It seems to be something to do with the phone.

So, my last 3 rides ZCA has come to life! No idea why. It started working before the Kickr cadence update and kept working after it. No rhyme or reason, it just started working. But I’ll take it, and hope it keeps on working!

Continuing the discussion from Phone/PC bluetooth connection required for companion app?:

Had a similar issue. Thought maybe bluetooth issue as my pc does not have that built-in. Problem actually had to do with my wifi signal. In my hand game mode worked, down in front of screen would not. Noticed my phone wifi toggling on and off. Was on and worked when held in my hand, off when down by the screen. This is totally situational to my house and wifi signal, not software bug; and it seems to work fine now if I mount my phone to my stem. Reading this thread helped inspire me to play around more until finding a solution - which I did - and now I can thumbs up and access other features in ZCA. Thanks!