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ANT+ connectivity problems

Our experience is that it is very rare the connectivity problem is caused by ‘Open Road’. Most often connectivity problems are caused by external problems. In the following, we will enumerate the problems we know of and how to resolve them. 

 

The wireless signal is too weak

If your devices and the ANT+ USB2 stick are located too far from each other, the signal will become too weak. We, and most other training software vendors, always suggest using a USB extending cable, so your USB2 dongle can get closer to the trainer. By placing the ANT+ USB stick close to your ANT+ devices, you avoid drop-outs and connection problems. 

 

One ANT+ USB stick can only be used by one App

One ANT+ USB stick can only be used by one app at a time. Some members want to combine TrainerRoad and Open Road. If one wants to run several apps, you’ll need to have an ANT+ USB2 stick for each app. You can read more in the following article: Using Open Road with another app such as Trainerroad or Zwift.


Other apps are ‘hijacking’ the ANT+ USB stick

If you are using devices from the Garmin ecosystem, you most likely have Garmin Connect/express installed. These programs start up with Windows and run in the background all the time. Once they detect an ANT+ USB stick, they will ‘hijack’ it immediately. You’ll find them in the Windows system tray (lower right corner) where you can turn them off. You can also check the Task Manager to make sure no other sports-related apps are running. This is a common issue that is a problem for all indoor cycling apps, including our friends over at TrainerRoad (troubleshooting link).

 

Other indoor cycling apps such as Zwift or TrainerRoad will ‘hijack’ the ANT+ stick as soon as they are started. So please make sure that no other sports-related apps are running and connecting to your ANT+ devices. 

 

Your ANT+ USB stick needs a driver

Some ANT+ USB stick needs a driver to work. Please contact your manufacturer or read their manual to make sure the proper drivers have been installed.

 

Are the devices turned on?

Please make sure all ANT+ devices are activated, have a working battery, and are turned on. Most trainers have an LED light which shows that ANT+ is ready to communicate. Some trainers run on the power generated by the rider. If you have one of those, please make sure that it has been activated when you are paring.  

 

Firmware not updated

Make sure your device is updated with the latest firmware. The latest firmware often contains bug fixes, that often solve the problem you are experiencing.

 

I cannot connect to my smart trainer

If ‘Open Road’ cannot connect to your smart trainer, please try to pair it with another ANT+ device. If ‘Open Road’ can find it, chances are very high that there is a problem with your trainer’s ANT+ connectivity.

 

Bluetooth

Open Road can only connect to your devices using the ANT+ wireless protocol, not Bluetooth. 

 

Some devices can only handle communication with Bluetooth or ANT+. Not both of them simultaneously. So if you are connecting to your devices with your bike computer (or similar devices) using Bluetooth, sometimes Open Road will not be able to connect to the same devices. If that is the case, please turn off the bike computer (or similar device), restart the devices that cannot be found, and try to connect with Open Road again.


Sometimes the Bluetooth on your PC can interfere with the connection, and it helps to turn it off.


Interference from other electronics

Most households today are full of devices that can create wireless interference. The ANT+ signal runs on the same wireless frequency as Bluetooth and wireless routers. That means that sometimes the use of frequencies overlaps.  Also, interference from microwaves can create problems. Eric, over at Zwift Insider has written a great article on how to solve this problem. 

 

Try to search multiple times

With some ANT+ sticks (such as the LifeWire stick), one search is not enough. The first time you click the search button the stick is activated. Once the stick is activated you can search again and find your ANT+ devices.

 

You have a faulty ANT+ USB2 stick

If you try to search for ANT+ devices and Open Road cannot find anything even though your ANT+ devices are turned on, then you probably have a faulty stick or a stick that does not concur with the ANT+ standard.

 

ANT+ stick is USB1

We are using the newest technology which only supports ANT+ USB2. Make sure your ANT+ stick is of the type USB2.

 

The trainer must support an official ANT+ profile

Some older trainers are using ANT to transmit their own proprietary data protocol. In order for ‘Open Road’ to work, the devices you are using must use ANT+’s official profile for Speed, Cadence, Heartrate, Power, or FE-C. 

 

Make sure your devices are using ANT+ with a plus and not just ANT without a plus. 

 

The pairing process is misunderstood

Sometimes we experience that the way the paring works is misunderstood by our members. You can read more in this article about how you pair Open Road with your devices. 


Heart rate monitors

To save battery, some heart rate monitors’ signal is weaker compared to other devices. These heart rate monitors are built to connect to a sports watch or bike computer that is only 2 feet or less than a meter away. 


If you have connectivity problems with your heart rate monitor, try to place the ANT+ stick closer to your heart rate monitor. This can be done by using a USB extension cable.


Battery

A low battery in a device can create connectivity problems. Not only can you have a problem connecting to the device, but your device could also send ‘weird’ data. To avoid these problems, make sure that the battery level in your device is medium to high.

 

Bkool trainers

Some trainers, such as the Bkool Go need a firmware update to be fully ANT+ compatible. This is done using the Bkool toolkit.

 

Other options

If none of these suggestions above work, please send us your log files. You can find the log files by going to ‘General Setting’. Look for ‘Locate log files for support’ and press the ‘Open’ button.

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