Running TDA with TrainerRoad - Solved

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Zouf
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Running TDA with TrainerRoad - Solved

Post by Zouf » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:22 pm

Many TrainerRoad users connect Zwift in parallel, typically on a PC using Bluetooth to connect TR and ANT+ to connect Zwift, letting TR control the trainer, and using Zwift as a "display", i.e. communicating speed and power to the app. You minimize the TR window, and get to see something else than a boring graph when doing TR workouts.

Has anyone attempted the same thing with the TR - TDA combo? This would require TDA letting you set the trainer as a powermeter source only, rather than as a trainer controlled by the app. Not having TDA in front of me, does this connection setup option exist?

The objective would be to ride videos while doing TR workouts, of course. Less boring.

Zouf
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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Zouf » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:27 pm

Partly answering my own question - the TDA manual shows, in the device setup under a Tacx trainer, separate switches to enable the trainer, speed, power and cadence. Presumably if one selected only speed and power, TDA wouldn't attempt to control the load on the trainer, which would fulfill the requirements to run a multi-app setup.

Anyone tried this?

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:14 pm

In general, Tacx trainers can be used on anyone's software (providing the software can talk to the trainer). But in order to use TDA, you must have a Tacx Smart trainer paired to the PC using Bluetooth. If you are not controlling at least the brake function of a Tacx Smart trainer brake in TDA, then TDA cannot start a workout. All of the other potential devices (power meter, speed and cadence, and heart rate) can be third-party hardware. But, you still must have a Tacx Smart brake and some kind of power meter and speed and cadence sensor paired to TDA in order for TDA to run.

I use a Tacx Smart trainer with TDA, but have a PowerTap Bluetooth/ANT+ power meter, Wahoo Bluetooth/ANT+ speed/cadence sensor and Polar Bluetooth HR strap feeding data to TDA using Bluetooth. At the same time, the PowerTap power meter and Wahoo speed/cadence sensor feed data to a separate Garmin Edge 500 handlebar computer using ANT+. The advantage of ANT+ data sensors is they can broadcast data to multiple receivers at the same time. However, Bluetooth cannot do this as Bluetooth generally pairs on an exclusive basis.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Zouf » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:45 pm

I guess the best way of finding out will be for me to test it. The equivalent test in your case would be to use the trainer mode of the Edge 500 (assuming it supports the ANT+ FE-C profile), and use TDA in speed/power/cadence display mode. But it's quite possible that the app developers created the (unnecessary) restriction that the app must control the brake. For sure Zwift does not have that restriction. Most apps that are ok to run with a passive trainer allow operation without controlling the brake, per force.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:38 pm

Zouf wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:45 pm
But it's quite possible that the app developers created the (unnecessary) restriction that the app must control the brake.
I have never tried your experiment, but I would be extremely surprised if it worked.

I think this restriction is quite deliberate. Tacx is mostly a hardware company that creates software to facilitate sales of its hardware. That is the reason that no non-Tacx trainers have ever been able to run on any Tacx software but all Tacx Smart hardware can run on anyone else's software (assuming they can talk to each other).

Tacx has never told me this. It is just my personal observation.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Zouf » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:31 am

The ironic thing is that it would be an argument (for me at least) to subscribe to TDA if I could do that. There are quite a few Zwift users running other apps in parallel. More ways of using the app equals more revenue.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:19 am

Zouf wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:31 am
The ironic thing is that it would be an argument (for me at least) to subscribe to TDA if I could do that. There are quite a few Zwift users running other apps in parallel. More ways of using the app equals more revenue.
It would seem that way if you saw yourself in the software business. As said before, I think Tacx sees itself mostly as a hardware company .

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Alex Masalovich » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:03 pm

Zouf wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:22 pm
This would require TDA letting you set the trainer as a powermeter source only, rather than as a trainer controlled by the app.
The possibility of this is indirectly confirmed by the following:
If your trainer is showing this icon then it will be unable to adjust the resistance during a ride. This could mean that your trainer is still connected with a different software program or device.

Image

https://support.tacx.com/hc/en-us/artic ... ion-issues
Тренируйтесь много, отдыхайте ещё больше!

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:09 pm

It is an error message. As I recall earlier during testing, when I got it, a workout would not run. I have not received it in a long time and am not sure how to test to see if a workout will run with this message present.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:21 am

Well, I think I need to do a major backtrack on my comments above. The suggestion by Alex and question by Zouf stimulated my curiosity, so I did a few experiments with my Flow Smart on TDA.

The first test was disabling all of the functions on the brake. I still had separate speed, cadence and power sensors, so I selected a video and to my surprise, the video started and ran without any problem showing speed, cadence, and power readouts. There was no detectable change in pedal resistance on slopes, but because TDA uses virtual speed calculations, speed would slow going up a hill based on the power reported by my PowerTap power meter.

The second test was the same as the first, except I completely unplugged the brake. I got the same result as the first test.

For the third test, I disconnected my auxiliary sensors, plugged in the Flow Smart, but used only the internal speed, cadence, and power sensors in the Flow Smart (note the brake was not activated). Got the same result again.

So, it certainly looks like TDA will run without an active brake being controlled. Note this was done only with the Flow Smart brake. That brake will generate resistance that increases with speed even when not plugged in because of its eddy current brake design. Not sure if this will work with any of the other Tacx Smart brakes. I also have a Vortex Smart, but have not tried this. I think this result is consistent with the use of the Satori Smart with TDA as that brake's resistance is controlled manually by the user.

As I said before, my recollection is that earlier versions of TDA would not run without an active brake connected, but that would have been many test versions ago.

So, in response to Zouf, I would guess that you might be able to use TDA as a readout screen for speed, cadence, and power, perhaps using a simple self-created slope workout in TDA. All sensors for TDA would have to be Bluetooth with ANT+ used for any non-TDA program, like TrainerRoad. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try. I have a couple of PC's. If I get a chance, I might try running TTS4 on one connected to the Flow Smart brake by ANT+ and TDA on the other with only the speed, cadence, and power sensors connected by Bluetooth.

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Tacx Video Production » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:26 pm

Zouf wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:31 am
The ironic thing is that it would be an argument (for me at least) to subscribe to TDA if I could do that. There are quite a few Zwift users running other apps in parallel. More ways of using the app equals more revenue.
You can do this, others have tested this & it works great, if you connect to TR via Ant+ & TDA via BT - in TDA settings turn off the break control switch & select watts (HR & Cadence) if you want this. Then TDA will run you up say the Mont Ventoux while you do your TR workout... at the end use the Tacx cloud to upload your ride to Strava

Remember that TDA is actually free if your happy to just ride the Demo rides (there are 4 of them). It takes just seconds to load the app download Gold Hill Demo (it’s a very quick to download 350m hill) & try it!

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by Zouf » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:50 pm

Tested, and it works. The only twist is to make sure you're not running TDA in full-screen mode - contrary to Youtube, it hogs the desktop and prevents any other app from running in front of it. Apart from that, it's perfect. The HUD shows the correct data, your speed comes out of the power and the slope, and the TrainerRoad instructions come up nice and clean over the video. It was sort of funny riding up Koppenberg at 3km/h as I was in a low power/high cadence drill...

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by mcorn » Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:57 pm

Zouf wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:50 pm
Tested, and it works. The only twist is to make sure you're not running TDA in full-screen mode - contrary to Youtube, it hogs the desktop and prevents any other app from running in front of it. Apart from that, it's perfect. The HUD shows the correct data, your speed comes out of the power and the slope, and the TrainerRoad instructions come up nice and clean over the video. It was sort of funny riding up Koppenberg at 3km/h as I was in a low power/high cadence drill...
That sounds pretty consistent with my test. I do not run TDA in full screen for the reasons you describe. I think you could run any number of different TDA functions at the same time as TR, like GPS.

One thing I have not tried is running TDA at the same time as TTS4. (Not sure there is any good reason to do so.)

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Re: Running TDA with TrainerRoad

Post by ms6073 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:00 pm

mcorn wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:57 pm
One thing I have not tried is running TDA at the same time as TTS4. (Not sure there is any good reason to do so.)
Sure, but there is always the case of the non-subscribed TDA user who wants to ride TTS only videos, and can log the ride data with TDA.
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