Bluetooth and ANT+ Connection issues

CONNECTIVITY PAINS?

BLUETOOTH AND ANT+ CONNECTION PROBLEMS WHEN CYCLING INSIDE

OVERVIEW

Having Bluetooth and ANT+ Connection Problems? We have got you covered. 

RGT Cycling requires 2 apps, a Mobile Companion App (ios or android) and a Screen App (appleTV, mac, ipad or PC). The way your training hardware connects to the platform depends on the connection type it uses:

  • Bluetooth connects equipment to the platform via the Mobile Companion App
  • ANT+ connects equipment to the platform via the Screen App and a USB ANT+ Dongle
ANT+ and Bluetooth Connection Problems

This means your trainer, heart rate strap and power meter could be connected via either ANT+ or Bluetooth through either your Screen App or your Mobile App. Because of this both apps need to connect to the internet on a reliable connection.

This normally works seamlessly but on occasion dropouts (Uh Oh!) can occur which can cause problems during your ride. When this happens it can be a frustrating experience especially if you are pushing in a training session, racing. To help with you overcome any problems we have produced this guide.

Before you get started – Please ensure you are using compatible training equipment by looking at this page and check our system requirements by checking this page.

INTERNET CONNECTION PROBEMS WHEN RIDING INSIDE

Let’s start with your internet – just because your internet is working okay, doesn’t mean your connection is stable or suitable for gaming and that’s what RGT needs.

Unlike some of our competitors RGT Cycling is focused on realism and because of this we have made the decision to calculate the rider position, draft and braking on our servers. 

This ensures the best and fairest experience in racing and all riders see the same thing, at the same time. This requires a good internet connection. 

The quality of your connection may be constantly changing, it can be affected by what’s going on around your training space or by your Internet Service Provider or (ISP).

Your connection speed may be reduced at busy times of the day and other factors can make a big difference in your internet performance. Unlike video streaming that can absorb these quality problems without you noticing, RGT cannot. 

The best way to understand the quality of your internet is to test it. You can run a basic speed test, but that does not tell you much and is only valid for the few seconds of the test. 

Ideally you want to get a longer view of your performance, there are free programs and websites that can do this for you. This will give you the data to go back to your ISP and ask them to improve your connection.

This website will provide you with a better understanding of you connection stability;

We would also recommend you check your ping times to various servers using this website.

To give you some basic guidelines our minimum recommended speed is 10Mbps, download, 2Mbps upload and less than 100ms ping which is sometimes called latency. Your setup may work on lower settings but there may be times when other factors can drop your connection low enough to cause you issues.

We recommend 20Mbps download, 2Mbps upload and less than 60ms ping (or latency) this allows some headroom if there are other people using the same connection.

 

Spec

Minimum

Recommended

Download

10

20

Upload

1

2

Ping

<120

<60ms

 

Once you have checked your data if you find issues with it you can either go back to your ISP and ask for them to look at your connection or upgrade to either another package or another provider. 

The best connection is usually fibre all the way to your property, beware many providers offer fibre services but do not mention the fibre ends at the connection box in your road or area and from that point to your house is the old fashioned copper lines which significantly slows your internet down.

WIFI AND ETHERNET ISSUES WHEN INDOOR CYCLING

Once you are happy your internet is as good as it can be to your home, you can then think about how you connect your devices to it inside the house.

WIFI

Fans, microwaves, fridges and anything that generates an electrical signal (they could even be your neighbours devices), can cause you problems. Structural issues such as walls, ceilings, doors and finally the distance between the devices can all impact stability..

Ideally you need to keep the distance between devices as small as possible, with as few structural impediments as you can.

With ANT+ and Bluetooth ensure there are no electrical devices between your hardware and your receiver i.e. if there is a fan between your trainer and your dongle that could cause interference.

If you do experience issues:

  • Try your equipment in the same room as the WIFI Router and if you see improvements, install either WIFI extenders, or a WIFI mesh system to give you the internet you need

ETHERNET

The most stable way to overcome WIFI issues is to remove it as far as possible. For some, installing an ethernet cable to a wireless access point in your train cave is the only way to get around it. These solutions should increase the strength and reliability of your signal and reduce any dropouts.

NOTE:

WIFI and ANT+/Bluetooth all use the same frequency (2.4Ghz), they can work well if you have a good solid reliable signal with no interference but the reality is some of us will experience issues that can affect our signal. 

TWEAKING WIFI CHANNELS

When you first set up your router you normally just let it do its thing and start using it, routers will often set devices up on standard channels that may turn out to be quite busy. You can get free apps for your phone that will analyse your WIFI and let you know if you need to change the channels on your devices or use a different frequency.

Some routers are dual frequency ie 2.4 or 5Ghz. Try to stay away from channels 9-12 as ANT+ signals are broadcast in the region of channel 10 (2.457Mhz) so avoiding this range will ensure you have less interference issues. 

If you can, hardwire your Screen App to your router. This will give you the most reliable and fastest connection available. Buying an ethernet cable is pretty cheap even really long ones, if say for example your bike set up is in a garage or spare room, buying a 30m cable and laying it from your router to your bike set ups hardware will provide you with a much more reliable and faster connection.

BANDWIDTH

There can be many devices using your internet at the time you want to ride, for example in my house my wife is watching Netflix whilst looking at her phone, my son is playing games on his computer whilst watching YouTube clips on his Xbox and somehow watching something else on his phone, google is probably playing music in another room and then there is me; riding and streaming my races.

To ensure all devices are working properly without issues requires a high end internet package with a good provider and good installation.

ANT+ CONNECTION PROBLEMS WHEN RIDING INSIDE

If you are using ANT+ with RGT you will be connecting your training equipment using your Laptop, PC or Mac, please make sure you:

  • Make sure there is no other program using your ANT+ dongle or it will not connect so check Garmin express or other platforms are not still connected
  • Make sure your equipment has not connected to a bike computer or another receiving device
  • Make sure the dongle is plugged in
  • Use a USB 2.0 port or higher
  • Switch off any power saving options off
  • If you connect your laptop using an ethernet cable make sure you turn WiFi, otherwise it may still connect via wifi.
  • Place your ANT+ dongle within a meter of your trainer
  • Use a suitable USB extension cable if required to ensure the dongle is as close as possible
  • Use an “active” USB extension lead if you need one longer than 3m. 
  • Keep any dongles away from split drink or sweat
  •  
  • Check your devices Batteries i.e. your Heart strap, cadence sensor or even power meter may have low battery power which will weaken its signal.
  • Ensure that the RGT Mobile Companion App has Location permissions enabled

BLUETOOTH CONNECTION ISSUES FOR INDOOR CYLING

If you’re using Bluetooth and your devices are not connecting try the following:

  • Make sure your equipment has not connected to a bike computer or another receiving device
  • Check power saving options with your manufacturer*
  • Power cycle (turn on and off) your Mobile App device and try and re-pair
  • Power cycle (turn on and off) your training equipment and try and re-pair
  • Disconnect any other device you might have that might be using your Bluetooth devices such as speakers, mice, keyboards, headphones etc
  • Stop all apps on your Mobile device that might be using Bluetooth
  • Replace any batteries you are not sure are fully up to strength
  • Ensure that the RGT Mobile Companion App has Location permissions enabled

One of the most common and amusing reasons we get support tickets for Bluetooth problems is when a user decides to turn their headphone off midrace and do this by turning off Bluetooth. I am afraid we cannot help with this one!

** Huawei and some other phones require the following steps:

Settings>Battery> App Launch> RGT Cycling> Manage Manually> Ensure all sliders are on.

PROBLEMS? DON’T PANIC

Easier said than done right? If you are in a race you’re likely to panic, so first off, if you have the ability to swap between Bluetooth and Ant+ this will often resolve the issue almost immediately.

If not then you have 30 minutes to resolve the issue before we automatically save your ride – as long as you do not click on the end ride button.

So:

  • Force close the Mobile App and restart it (don’t worry, we save your position)
  • Force close the Screen App and restart it (don’t worry, we save your position)

If the problem persists after restarting then please go through the bullets above.

We’re now at the point where we are confident in our connectivity, there is always a reason why you had a dropout, this is about understanding what you can do to minimise the chance it happening again.

#ridefree

HELP US HELP YOU

If you have any tips or tricks that may help a fellow athlete, please add them in the comments below.

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