Improving Sensor Connections

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One of the most important aspects when using the Sufferfest Training System is having solid sensor connections.   In this article, we are going to talk about some of the ways to improve sensor connections and discuss some of the pitfalls we see every day.  

Bluetooth, ANT+, and Wifi frequencies

Bluetooth sensors, ANT+ sensors, and Wifi routers all operate at 2.4 GHz.  As you can image, this can cause a lot of interference with your connections.  One of the tell-tale signs of signal interference is a constant drop in power, speed, and cadence data that happens intermittently over your workout.  The image below is an example of some really bad sensor interference for a Sufferlandrian.  You can see how often their data is dropping off. 

sensor_drops.png

This sensor interference above was caused by Bluetooth Speakers and a Wifi router within 10 feet of the users Pain Cave Equipment.  This user was primarily using ANT+ connections, so we turned off the bluetooth, moved the router and all sensor connections were solid after that.   

Wifi Routers

Wifi routers can cause a lot of problems with ANT+ and Bluetooth connections.  They are operating at 2.4 GHz but pushing that frequency at a much higher power than your bike sensors are pushing.  This means we need to relocate our wifi router and get it out of our Pain Cave.  Some Wifi routers allow you to step up to the 5ghz frequency only, and we recommend stepping up to 5ghz as long as all of your computing equipment can communicate at that frequency.  The same goes for Wifi boosters.  They also pump out a decent amount of power to drown out your bicycle sensor.  Be very aware of their proximity to your pain cave.  

Bluetooth is Monogamous 

Bluetooth sensors can catch you off guard if you are used to using ANT+ sensors.  Bluetooth sensors can only be shared with one App or one device over Bluetooth.  This means that a Polar user, who is connecting their Bluetooth HR strap to their Polar watch, won't be able to connect that HR strap to the Sufferfest App at the same time.  Only one connection to one sensor allowed with Bluetooth.  You can share the ANT+ signal for ANT+ sensors as much as you like.

iOS & Wahoo Sensors - Resetting Sensors and Bluetooth 

If you are using Wahoo sensors with iOS and you are still having connection troubles after checking for and closing other Apps that the sensors may be connected to please try the following steps.

1. Un-pair your Wahoo sensor from all of the applications that you’ve connected it to.
2. Forget the Wahoo sensor if it is listed under your Bluetooth settings
3. Toggle Bluetooth off. Please note, this needs to be done from within the Bluetooth menu of the Settings app. Doing this in the Control Center does not fully turn off BT.
4. Turn off your phone
5. Reset your Wahoo sensor (remove the battery, flip, install upside down for 10 seconds, reinstall correctly)
6. Turn on your phone
7. Turn on Bluetooth
8. Open The Sufferfest App
9. Follow steps to pair Wahoo sensor to Sufferfest

USB Extension Cables

The last thing we can do to improve sensor connections is to simply buy a USB Extension Cable.  We talk about that more in the article "Connecting ANT+ Devices" and provide links to purchase cheap, yet effective USB extension cables.  

The Things We Forget About

I would be remiss if I did not mention the things we sometimes slap ourselves in the forehead about.  The simple things can sometimes be the only things that cause us problems. Here is a list of simple things that catch us off guard. 

  1. Battery replacement or installing the battery backward.
  2. Magnet fell off the bike or got out of alignment. 
  3. Changed wheels and you forgot to move the magnet to your new wheel.  
  4. Cleaning your sensors (Mostly those rusty heart rate monitor connections).

 

Lastly, you can email TheMinions@TheSufferfest.com if you are still having issues.  

 

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