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Bluetooth Smart (4.0) Troubleshooting

Experiencing problems pairing Bluetooth devices to TrainerRoad? You're in the right place to get some help! This article will help you identify solutions to your Bluetooth connections on your desktop or mobile device.

IMPORTANT:

The first thing is to make sure that your Bluetooth Smart devices aren't currently paired to any other devices or applications. Bluetooth devices can only pair to one receiver at a time, so if they're already paired somewhere else, they'll be invisible to TrainerRoad.  

About Bluetooth Smart 

Bluetooth Smart (4.0) is a wireless communication protocol that devices such as heart rate straps, speed/cadence sensors, and trainers use to communicate with TrainerRoad. Bluetooth connections are much like a phone call; they create connections that directly link one device to another. This varies from ANT+ which acts more as a radio transmitter that allows anyone with a radio receiver to "listen" to the data.

Note: Bluetooth devices can only pair to one device at a time. If your device is paired to any other computer/device/head unit etc. your device will not be "visible" to any other platform until the connection has been disconnected.

iOS Bluetooth Troubleshooting 

  • Bluetooth Unavailable
    • Enable Bluetooth
      • If you've navigated to the "Devices" tab within the TrainerRoad app, and you see "Bluetooth Off" in the upper right-hand corner, make sure that you've properly enabled Bluetooth. You can do this by navigating to your iOS Settings. From here, click on the Bluetooth tab, and enable the Bluetooth toggle.
  • Dropouts
    • Sensor Battery
      • When a device battery gets low, the reception distance decreases. Try replacing the device battery. Some devices report their battery condition over Bluetooth, and we display that on the Devices page. (Bear in mind, this is not a universal feature for all Bluetooth devices, and no Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors can report it due to a protocol limitation.) Simply put, if you think your battery is low, go ahead and replace it to see if the connection improves.
      • If your head unit picks up the signal, but TrainerRoad does not try moving your bike setup closer to your computer or phone. Sometimes a couple of feet can make a big difference.
      • ant-device-dropout-battery-level.png
    • Interference
      • Wireless devices such as 2.4 GHz routers, wireless speakers and wireless mice may interfere with the Bluetooth signal. ANT+ and Bluetooth use the 2.4 GHz band. Try moving any other wireless devices a couple of feet away. If you suspect your router to be interfering, you can change your wireless channel.
    • Obstructions
      • Is something blocking the sensor? Try removing any physical obstructions between your computer or mobile device and the Bluetooth device.
    • Direct Line of Sight
      • Do your best to ensure that your computer has the most direct line of sight possible to your sensors. Simply put, the closer and more level your devices are to your phone or computer, the better readings you will get.
  • Device Conflicts: "Stealing" the Bluetooth connection 
    • Bluetooth devices can only pair to one device at a time. If any other application, head unit, computer, or device is paired to the device you're trying to pair, TrainerRoad will not be able to "see" the device. You will need to make sure that your device is unpaired from every other app/computer/device etc... before attempting to pair it to TrainerRoad. 

Android Bluetooth Troubleshooting 

  • Bluetooth Unavailable 
    • Enable Bluetooth
      • If you've navigated to the "Devices" tab and you see "Bluetooth Off" in the upper right-hand corner, make sure that you've properly enabled Bluetooth. You can do this by navigating to your iOS Settings App. From here, click on the Bluetooth tab and enable Bluetooth.
    • Locational Services Permissions
      • Given recent software updates on Android, TrainerRoad is now required to be granted access to your locational services in order to use Bluetooth. This is due to the nature of Bluetooth architecture on Android devices.
        • When enabling Bluetooth and attempting to pair devices within TrainerRoad for the first time, you will be prompted to accept these permissions.
        • If you have already declined these permissions, you can accept them by navigating to your Android device settings by following this path:
          • Apps & Notifications
          • App Permissions
          • Location
          • TrainerRoad
          • Enable the locational services toggle
  • Dropouts 
    • Sensor Battery
      • When a device battery gets low, the reception distance decreases. Try replacing the device battery. Some devices report their battery condition over Bluetooth, and we display that on the Devices page. (Bear in mind, this is not a universal feature for all Bluetooth devices, and no Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors can report it due to a protocol limitation.) Simply put, if you think your battery is low, go ahead and replace it to see if the connection improves.
      • If your head unit picks up the signal, but TrainerRoad does not, try moving your bike setup closer to your computer or phone. Sometimes a couple of feet can make a big difference.ant-device-dropout-battery-level.png
    • Interference
      • Wireless devices such as 2.4 GHz routers, wireless speakers and wireless mice may interfere with the Bluetooth signal. ANT+ and Bluetooth use the 2.4 GHz band. Try moving any other wireless devices a couple of feet away. If you suspect your router to be interfering, you can change your wireless channel.
    • Obstructions
      • Is something blocking the sensor? Try removing any physical obstructions between the sensor and the Bluetooth device.
    • Direct Line of Sight
      • Do your best to ensure that your computer has the most direct line of sight possible to your sensors. Simply put, the closer and more level your devices are to your phone or computer, the better readings you will get.
  • Device Conflicts: "Stealing" the Bluetooth connection
    • Bluetooth devices can only pair to one device at a time. If any other application, head unit, computer, or device is paired to the device you're trying to pair, TrainerRoad will not be able to "see" the device. You will need to make sure that your device is unpaired from every other app/computer/device etc... before attempting to pair it to TrainerRoad. 

Mac Bluetooth Troubleshooting 

Bluetooth 4.0 comes native in most Mac desktops and laptops since 2011. This means that you do not need a Bluetooth dongle to pair Bluetooth Smart devices to TrainerRoad! Here is a more specific list of Apple devices that come with built-in Bluetooth Smart:
  • MacBook Air (mid 2011+)
  • Mac Mini (late 2011+)
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2012+)
  • iMac (early 2013+)
  • iPhone 4s+
  • iPad Mini, Air, Air 2
  • Dropouts 
    • Sensor Battery
      • When a device battery gets low, the reception distance decreases. Try replacing the device battery. Some devices report their battery condition over Bluetooth, and we display that on the Devices page. (Bear in mind, this is not a universal feature for all Bluetooth devices, and no Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors can report it due to a protocol limitation.) Simply put, if you think your battery is low, go ahead and replace it to see if the connection improves.
      • If your head unit picks up the signal, but TrainerRoad does not, try moving your bike setup closer to your computer or phone. Sometimes a couple of feet can make a big difference.ant-device-dropout-battery-level.png
    • Interference
      • Wireless devices such as 2.4 GHz routers, wireless speakers and wireless mice may interfere with the Bluetooth signal. ANT+ and Bluetooth use the 2.4 GHz band. Try moving any other wireless devices a couple of feet away. If you suspect your router to be interfering, you can change your wireless channel.
    • Obstructions
      • Is something blocking the sensor? Try removing any physical obstructions between the sensor and the Bluetooth device.
    • Direct Line of Sight
      • Do your best to ensure that your computer has the most direct line of sight possible to your sensors. Simply put, the closer and more level your devices are to your phone or computer, the better readings you will get.
  • Device Conflicts: "Stealing" the Bluetooth connection 
    • Bluetooth devices can only pair to one device at a time. If any other application, head unit, computer, or device is paired to the device you're trying to pair, TrainerRoad will not be able to "see" the device. You will need to make sure that your device is unpaired from every other app/computer/device etc... before attempting to pair it to TrainerRoad. 
  • Older Mac without native Bluetooth 4.0 
    • The IOGEAR or ORICO dongles can work for Macs that don't come with native BT 4.0. Unfortunately, those dongles don't seem to work consistently with older Macs - especially if the user is running Mavericks. This is not a recommended approach, but if you have the dongles you can give it a try.For OSX 10.7 and earlier, you may be able to get the dongle working by following this article: Using unsupported Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle with OS X.For OSX 10.9 or newer, try following these steps:
    • If you have a Bluetooth mouse, you need to have a wired mouse handy. A wired keyboard is nice, but not strictly necessary.
    • Get the "Hardware IO Tools for Xcode" from here: https://developer.apple.com/downloads/index.action (Apple login required) This includes the "Bluetooth Explorer" utility.
    • Launch Bluetooth Explorer. A top menu will only appear. Go to Tools => HCI Controller Selector. This setting allows you to change what Bluetooth controller the system will use as its primary.
    • Before swapping it, plug in your wired mouse and un-pair all Bluetooth devices on the system in the system preferences (100% necessary or you will not be able to re-pair them with the new controller!). Once that's done, change it to your new controller. The utility says that this will not stick with a restart, but I've found that it actually does. It will ask for your password. If you are now keyboard-less, pull up the virtual keyboard and enter it.
    • The new controller is active and you can now repair your devices. This took me a few tries, for whatever reason they didn't pair right away, but they did within 5 minutes or so.
    • Go to TrainerRoad and search for the BT controller.

Windows Bluetooth Troubleshooting 

  • BLED 112 USB Dongle 
    • Although Windows computers have built-in Bluetooth, you will need a BLED112 dongle in order to pair your Bluetooth devices to TrainerRoad. Without it, no devices will be able to pair to your TrainerRoad application.
    • If you're running into problems with the BLED 112, even after installing the drivers, try the following steps:
      1. Make sure the BLED is plugged into your computer's USB port. Open the Device Manager.
      2. Next click on "Ports (COM & LPT)" You should now see your BLED under the name of 'Bluegiga Bluetooth Low Energy' with a COM number.
      3. Right click on the BLED and click 'Update Driver Software'.
      4. Click 'Browse my computer for driver software', and locate the TrainerRoad USB Drivers you downloaded from the link above. This is typically located in "C:\Program Files\TrainerRoad USBdrivers" or \Program Files (x86)\ if you're on a 64bit operating system.
      5. Start TrainerRoad and click 'Search for Bluetooth 4.0' in the Devices tab.
      If that doesn't work, and you still don't see pairing options for Bluetooth, try plugging the BLED-112 into a different USB port and trying again.
  • Dropouts
    • Sensor Battery
      • When a device battery gets low, the reception distance decreases. Try replacing the device battery. Some devices report their battery condition over Bluetooth, and we display that on the Devices page. (Bear in mind, this is not a universal feature for all Bluetooth devices, and no Bluetooth speed/cadence sensors can report it due to a protocol limitation.) Simply put, if you think your battery is low, go ahead and replace it to see if the connection improves.
      • If your head unit picks up the signal, but TrainerRoad does not, try moving your bike setup closer to your computer or phone. Sometimes a couple of feet can make a big difference.
        • ant-device-dropout-battery-level.png
    • Interference
      • Wireless devices such as 2.4 GHz routers, wireless speakers and wireless mice may interfere with the Bluetooth signal. ANT+ and Bluetooth use the 2.4 GHz band. Try moving any other wireless devices a couple of feet away. If you suspect your router to be interfering, you can change your wireless channel.
    • Obstructions
      • Is something blocking the sensor? Try removing any physical obstructions between the sensor and the Bluetooth device
    • Direct Line of Sight
      • Do your best to ensure that your computer has the most direct line of sight possible to your sensors. Simply put, the closer and more level your devices are to your phone or computer, the better readings you will get.
  • Missing Drivers 
  • Device Conflicts: "Stealing" the Bluetooth connection
    • Bluetooth devices can only pair to one device at a time. If any other application, head unit, computer, or device is paired to the device you're trying to pair, TrainerRoad will not be able to "see" the device. You will need to make sure that your device is unpaired from every other app/computer/device etc... before attempting to pair it to TrainerRoad. 

Still having problems?

If you've gone through all the steps above, shoot us an email at support@trainerroad.com. To help us with the ticket, please let us know your username, your operating system, your computer brand, how the above steps went for you.

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