Concept2 Bikerg - connection

Hopefully those picture help. Let me know if you need anything else.

Thanks for trying to help out.

Are you guys still looking at this? Or is it not something you can help with on your end?

Hey @jjnapp,

I’m really sorry we let this slip through the cracks. I was working with a Support Agent to learn more about the Concept2 Erg, but then I left for a trip last week and didn’t circle back before I left.

I did some digging and the latest version was released in March 2019 and it is Firmware 325. It looks like you’re running a Version 320 from December 2017, which is likely leading to the problem with the power meter profile.

In order to get your power profile to properly pair with TR, you or your gym will need to update the bike to Firmware Version 325. This update can be completed through the Concept 2 Utility App.

Once that is completed, you should be able to sync the bike to TR as a power meter, and you can get to training!"

Sorry again for the delay, let me know if there is anything that I can clear up :+1:

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I have been having no trouble connecting my BikeErg to TR but only after following advice from Concept2:

  1. make sure your PC or your phone can receive ANT+ (use a dongle, etc.)
  2. Make sure your TR interface (PC or app) is on the “devices” page
  3. turn on the erg, go online via menu and use ANT+PWR as protocol (this seems to be the trick, as the other versions of ANT don’t work for me).
  4. With an eye on the devices page, try your best to keep the erg screen alive (I hit display every few seconds) because for some reason Concept2 gave it an extremely short time-out. This way the erg will be online enough for TR to complete the connection.

I found that once paired, the following days went much smoother. Basically, turning on the erg TR would remember it, and not need the same lengthy protocol as the first time.

Good luck!

@Bryce
Any possibility to add connection to Concept2 rower? Currently it is possible to make connection on iPhone but later TR app says that device is not sending power :frowning: and it definitelly is as other apps are able to connect to PM5 monitor on rower and record power + other data.

If you could make it work it be great for all rowers :slight_smile:

@skraburski

I’m pretty sure the PM5 does not broadcast power on Ant+ as a power meter. In my digging around I found that folks had to use a bridge device of some sort to make a rower work on Zwift (or TR, but all of the references I saw were for Zwift).

Since you are on iOS you may be able to use this as a reference:

I honestly don’t know if it will work to run both the PainSled app and TR on the same iOS device or if it would require two.

Since I don’t have iOS I had to go the more hardcore route. You can see my recent thread on the subject. I’m doing it with a Concept2 SkiErg, but it should work with a rower just as well.

Maybe @Bryce can tell us if it would be possible to have TR implement the Concept2 Bluetooth power. I don’t know much about how the Bluetooth fitness devices work if there is a standard similar to Ant+ and if Concept2 implemented it or not. If they didn’t, I suspect TR won’t go through the trouble of adding it in for such a tiny group of us :slight_smile:

The thing is that both rower and bikeerg use the PM5. I know they have adapted the device to the specific application, but it would surprise me if they had modified the connectivity. From the outside they are exactly the same PM5. I cannot test it because at the moment my rower is too far away from the PC, but a way to check would be to see if after turning on the connectivity on the PM5 you see the option “connect via bluetooth” vs. “or connect with ANT+.” If it’s there, after choosing ANT+ you should choose the ANT+Power profile (there are a few types that come up on the menu).

Another possibility is to search the Concept2 forum – I seem to recall having seen people who managed to connect the rower to Zwift, and were discussing the topic.

Unfortunately it seems the firmware is different in the connectivity area. They do have different firmwares for each of the different ergs.

With my Windows TR application open on the devices page I don’t see anything when attempting to pair my SkiErg. When I’m on the Wireless on page of the PM5 I don’t see anything on the BT page, nor any of the three Ant+ settings (Ant+ FE-C, Ant+ FE, or Ant+ FE Group).

Too bad. I know they have just updated the firmware on the bike last week, as they do seem to be on different timelines. Hopefully rower and ski will be brought up to par soon.

I meant BT connection as iphone doesn’t have ant+ I don’t want’t to buy additional equipment if this is simple software workaround and could be easily implemented in TR. I’m confident TR team could do it easily.

While the Concept 2 ERG uses Bluetooth Smart, the connection protocol is proprietary and doesn’t allow for connection with 3rd party apps like TrainerRoad. We would have to go in and code a custom device pairing layer specifically for this device.

In contrast, most devices use a standardized protocol, so we can create one device pairing layer that works for 95% of the trainers on the market.

For this reason, it is not likely that we will support the Concept 2 ERG in the future since it would require too many resources to develop and maintain support for all trainers using non-standard protocols. We really want to encourage hardware manufacturers to use the standard protocols since this is best for the indoor cycling industry as a whole.

I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you :pensive:.

I didn’t try but it seems the PM5 can also broadcast ANT+ - this should work or is this also a proprietary protocol?

https://support.thesufferfest.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000302376-Connecting-The-Concept-2-BikeERG

Edit: Just saw BT was asked for specifically, because the Iphone does not have Ant…

FYI: My Skierg does provide the 3 different ANT+ options (just checked) but did not try to connect. Are you running the latest firmware?

Fair point that I haven’t checked if I have the latest firmware. Will do this evening. I probably do, but I’m not 100% sure. I purchased it in February of '19 and did do at least one update not terribly long after I bought it so it would have been in the March timeframe that the latest firmware was released.

But, I do have the three Ant+ options, but I do not see anything on the devices screen of TR when using any of them.

Will check the firmware when I get home though.

So I just checked, and I was able to connect to TR as “Concept2 ANT+ Trainer” but only speed was transmitted - no cadence or power.

Hmm. Maybe I don’t have the latest firmware. I can also fire up SimulAnt to see what messages ARE coming out of the SkiErg.

I’m really disappointed because BT protocol for PM5 is well documented on Concept2 website https://www.concept2.co.uk/files/pdf/us/monitors/PM5_BluetoothSmartInterfaceDefinition.pdf

It is well documented, but it is not standardized. What that means is that we could support it, but it would require development resources on our end to make it happen. And not just initially, but continually as updates are pushed we will need to continuously make sure that things work, which is especially tough because we do not have a Concept 2 ERG rowing machine to test with in the office.

For just one device, it’s not a huge issue, but compound the development energy required when you consider all of the trainers with proprietary protocols, and you start to see the problem this creates. It makes much more sense for us as a company to adhere to the industry-standard protocol, and allow hardware manufacturers to do the same.

I know this isn’t the answer you were looking for, and I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you. I hope that explaining the reasoning behind our decision helps to show where we’re coming from.

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I confirmed I am on the latest firmware (version 866).

I also was incorrect when I previously stated I do not see anything on TR. Like you, I do see “Concept2 ANT+ Trainer” and also only get speed when connected.

Popping open SimulANT+, I see that it is broadcasting itself as a NordicSkier type fitness equipment. The power does get broadcast in the Specific Nordic Skier data page (Page 24). The stroke rate (equivalent of cadence) is in there as well. The speed and distance are in the General FE page (Page 16) which is why I assume TR sees those.

So for the whole 4 of us that wanted SkiErg or Rower Ant+ input to TrainerRoad (without the dorking around with a Raspberry Pi that I did), it would appear that TR could implement the input using the appropriate two data pages (24 for SkiErg and 22 for Rower) in the Ant+ FE Device Profiles.

But as @Bryce said, the ROI on the development is probably pretty low :slight_smile:

Thanks - great info nevertheless :slight_smile: