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Cycling Power Emulation for Zwift
We are excited to offer emulation of Bluetooth Cycling Power Meters in PainSled 1.1.0! In this mode, your rower becomes a cycling power meter and can be used with cycling workout experiences like Zwift. This feature is being tested with other platforms like TrainerRoad and SufferFest. Drop us a line if you use those or other cycling platforms and would like to help beta test.
To use the cycling power emulation with Zwift:
1) Install the Zwift app on your PC per their instructions.
2) Install the Zwift Mobile Link app on an Android or iOS device that IS NOT the device you will be running PainSled on. This is because the Mobile Link app cannot “see” the emulated PainSled cycling power Bluetooth service if they are running on the same device.
3) Enable the ZWIFT option in the PainSled Log Settings page. Click on the log icon, then “Settings” in the upper-left corner of the display.
4) Connect PainSled to your Concept2 monitor. We’ve only tested PM5 Bluetooth connections at this point. If you have a USB setup we’d love to hear if it works with the cycling power emulation.
5) If you have a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, pair it by enabling the “Connect Heart Rate” slider in the UI. If it pairs successfully, you’ll see your heart rate start to update in the monitor view.
6) Run Zwift on your PC, and select the Mobile Link app as your connection mechanism. Then search for and connect your power source. PainSled will show up as something like “iPad 123” (the number will change). IMPORTANT: PainSled will not appear in Zwift until you have paired it with the rowing monitor per Step 3 above.
KNOWN BUG: You may see PainSled initially show up as something like “PainSLed C2 4800123456”. You’ll be able to pair with this device, but it will disonnect immediately after and be replaced by “iPad 123” as mentioned above. You’ll then need to re-pair with the new device before continuing.
7) If you paired with a BLE heart rate monitor, OR, if you paired your heart rate monitor to the PM5, search for and connect to the PainSled heart rate monitor device. It will also be named something like “iPhone 345” or “iPad 377”.
8) If you are a SkiErg user, select Ski Erg in the settings view. This enables power scaling specific to the Ski Erg.
9) Do a workout. If you happen to already be a cycling Zwift user, we’d really like to know how your watts per Kilo numbers compare for either rowing or Ski Erging. Please drop us a note if you have any input, especially if it seems like PainSled turned you into a Zwift “flier”.
Bluetooth Heartrate Monitor Support
In previous versions, PainSled received heartrate monitor (“HRM”) data from devices attached to the PM monitor. Startin with 1.1.0, PainSled can now connect directly to Bluetooth HRM devices. This eliminates a workout setup step and, in the future, allows us to collect richer heartrate data and export it to other fitness platforms and workout experiences.
KNOWN BUG: You won’t be able to pair with a BLE HRM while using USB to communicate with the rower.
To connect a Bluetooth HRM:
1) Put your Bluetooth HRM in pairing mode. usually, just by putting it on. Make sure there are no other apps running that will “claim” it until you finish the steps below.
2) In the PainSled app, go to the workout log view, then select “Settings” in the upper left corner.
3) In the Settings view, enable the “Connect Heart Rate” slider in the UI. PainSled will then pair with the first HRM that it sees. If it pairs successfully with a HRM, you’ll see your heart rate start to update after returning to the monitor view.
4) PainSled will remember this HRM and always pair with it automatically in future workout sessions. If you need to re-pair with a differnt HRM, just disable the setting and restart at Step 1 above.
Why is the TCX activity set to Cycling?
The brief answer is that “generic” one-size-fits-all TCX pretty much only supports running or biking as the activity. And cycling supports a cadence that is “sort-of” like rowing.
Specific fitness platforms like Garmin Connect DO support richer TCX, but that would require generating TCX specific to Garmin, which would then no longer work with other platforms. Similar extensions and exceptions are present for other platforms and it’s just kind of a tangled mess.
Going forward, we will likely stick with generic “cycling” TCX as a stop-gap and push forward with workout sync for popular platforms that have a workout upload API. It’s more convenient and the APIs tend to support richer workout data. Some of them even know what Indoor Rowing is!
Why do some export options not show up when I export multiple files?
The “document disposition” view that pops up when you export is entirely implemented by Apple in iOS and is extended by other apps or system services (iCloud, Airdrop, Google Docs, etc.) that offer document handling plugins. However, those apps do not have to support more than one file at a time and some of them will simply not show up if multiple files are exported. Other apps will support multiple files but will have a semi-random limit. For example, Google Drive seems to be “less than 10”. Or something.
The workaround is export a single workout to a single export format and if the document disposition option reappears. This obviously becomes a pain if you want to export more than one format or file at once but we haven’t thought up a good UX design to handle it yet.
Once again, automagical workout sync solves this problem too. We’re working on it :)
Where are my workout files actually stored?
We may ask you to forward a workout file if you have an error. Your workouts are stored in the PainSled app’s Document folder. They’ll be named with the data and time of the workout and will have a file extension of “zlib”. You can access your workouts by connecting your device to a PC running iTunes. Click the phone or tablet icon, then select “apps”. Scroll down the apps list until you find the PainSled app. Click on its icon and the workout files should appear in the file browser window. You may then select workout files to copy to your PC. Email the files to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll have a look.
Concept 2 Logbook Sync Weight Class Detection
PainSled does not currently collect or store any personal data. To set the weight class in your logbook workouts, it reads the weight class from your latest workout in the C2 Logbook and uses it for synced workouts. If you’re weight class changes, simply correct the class in your most recent synced workout, and all following synced workouts will use that weight class.
Marking workouts as Rowing vs. Biking
PainSled uploads workouts to Strava as Biking activities rather than Rowing. Although you may mark them as rowing workouts after the fact, we have not found a way to do this at the time of upload. Also, it appears that marking a workout as rowing makes the power graph disappear in some cases. If you happen to have found a way around any of these issues, drop us a line, please!
These are the things we know about that are not exactly the way we might have hoped in version 1.0.102.
Phantom Bluetooth Advertisements When Pairing Zwift in Cycling Power Meter Mode
As mentioned above, you may see PainSled initially show up as something like “PainSLed C2 4800123456”. You’ll be able to pair with this device, but it will disonnect immediately after and be replaced by “iPad 123” as mentioned above. You’ll then need to re-pair with the new device before continuing.
Bluetooth HRMs and USB
At present, you won’t be able to pair with a BLE HRM while using USB to communicate with the rower.
Workout Sync Glitches
There are some remaining issues with sync token management. If a workout sync fails with an authorization error, disable and re-enable the sync option (Strava, SportTracks, etc.) in the Settings to refresh your authorization token.
Workout data glitches
There are still a few issues in workout data parsing. Usually related to complicated workout formats that have mixtures of time or distance intervals with intervening rest intervals. If you run into something, drop an email to the support address. Attach the workout file (see below) if you would like us to have a look.
PM5 Bluetooth data stops when using Garmin devices
We have tested with a few ANT heart rate straps and they seem to work fine with the PM5 Bluetooth data connection. However, we have received reports that some Garmin ANT devices seem to make the Bluetooth data stream stop, although the connection is maintained. We have not been able to reproduce this so far but if you run into this and would like to help us debug the issue, drop us a support email.
PM5 22291-37 Monitor Errors
According to Concept2, these errors occur when your iPhone or iPad runs out of Bluetooth bandwidth due to having multiple active connections. You may need to disable some of your other Bluetooth devices while rowing to solve this issue.
Note: PainSled 1.1.2 has a new setting to disable the Stroke Scope. This can reduce or eliminate these types of errors as the Stroke Scope requires a lot of Bluetooth bandwidth.