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Cheapest way around Trainerroad/Zwift with the kit I already own?

dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
After some recommendations.

Looking to setup the turbo in the garage in the lead up to our first child arriving in Oct. There is no power in the garage, so I have to rethink my old setup which was old laptop with ant+ dongle (HRM, speed and cadance sensors). Battery in the laptop is a dud and relies on being plugged in so have been thinking ways around this.

Turbo trainer itself is basic fluid trainer - doesn't need power so no worries there.

I have a Moto G phone, iPad and old iPhone 4. Having a look on Trainerroad site some Android phones can be used, but not sure if mine is compatible - anyone else know?

If not then I'm looking at a £40 dongle for the iPad or iPhone.

Trying to keep costs to a minimum and because I haven't used Zwift before, wondering if I can start using it with the kit I already have without needing to buy anything else?

TLDR:

What is the cheapest way to use Traineroad/Zwift when I already have the following:

Moto G, iPad, iPhone 4, suunto ant+ dongle, HRM, speed and cadence sensor?

Cheers

Posts

  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    According to thisisant.com your phone doesn't have an ANT+ chip built in, so assuming your sensors are ANT+ only (i.e. not bluetooth) then it doesn't leave you with a huge number of options.

    Replacing the laptop battery might be the cheapest, easiest and most satisfactory solution, because I've found using TrainerRoad on a mobile phone, even mounted as a head-unit, to be a lot less user-friendly than even a small laptop display.

    Otherwise, the iPad adapter might be a decent shout, at least that way you have a good-sized screen and can use your phone in an emergency "uncharged battery" scenario, assuming they're the same connector.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    assuming your iPad is compatible with Zwift - then you might be able to get a bluetooth speed/cadence sensor - or if you had a PM which is bluetooth then you could connect that (I think) - you need power or speed - cadence is just a nicety.

    The alternative is to get a cheap car battery, inverter and power your laptop from there (iirc - you can't get power to your garage easily)
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Yeah, that is an alternative I'm thinking (car battery or even petrol generator) as that means I don't have to replace the fan I have with a battery powered version.

    Looking at approx £50 for apple bluetooth adaptor and another £50 for battery fan......or just over that for car battery power pack or generator.

    Suppose I was just trying to sound out in my Moto G was going to save me - looks like not.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    £35 for a 300w inverter (ok - its modified sinewave - but unlikley to cause issues with your laptop - fan should be ok too)
    ~£40 for a 12v car battery - you don't need massive capacity - smaller capacity will be lighter anyway.

    Job done!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Actually - tell you what - I've got an old 12v leisure battery you can have - if you're anywhere near Southdowns and can pickup ...
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Haha, thanks for the offer but I'm probably as far away as possible in England.

    Reluctant to put something together myself as I'm not the most "electrical" person so would probably prefer something I can buy ready to go.
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Actually, having a quick look at the inverters and that is something I could do easily enough.

    Question then is how long the battery would last between charges....and how I'd charge it - or does the inverter do that too?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Electrically it's a really simple circuit - although I'd keep it out of the reach of TinyDinyull when (s)he comes along ...

    How long does the battery last? Depends how much you use it ! You'd need to check the wattage on the laptop - if the battery is duff duff then remove it completely - otherwise you're just throwing charge into something that's not holding charge.

    <censored packet Calcs>
    Your laptop probably has something like a 65watt power supply (Power = Volts * Amps) - one I've got on my desk is 19x 3.42 = 65watts funnily enough. A fan will have a wattage - desk fan I've got here is 35watts - add the two together - so 100w - and that's the power consumption per hour - so 100w per hour - simple enough. - 100watts is 100watts - so at 12v thats 8.3Ah

    Batteries are measured in Ah - a "small" one is around 65Ah - you get to use about 1/2 that (without causing issues with the battery) - so 32Ah - 8.5 goes into that just under 4 times - so you'd get about 4hours useful life per charge out of a 65Ah battery.
    You do need to recharge the battery - 12v trickle charger would be ok - or a car battery charger - or even a small solar panel if you have somewhere discrete to put it.


    Wattage used assumes the laptop taking full power - unlikely as it's not charging a battery - I assume you'd turn off wifi too - you may also dim the screen - charging the battery and bright screen use quite a bit of power - and the wattage of the fan will be at full power - again, you may not have it at full - so you'd get 4hours + out of a 65Ah battery before needing to charge - although tbh, it's probably sensible just to run it for an hour, then carry the battery back for charging or connect to a solar trickle charger
    </fpc>

    It's something that a lot of motorhome/caravaners and boat owners do - as they're not always on hookup...
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    That's where is starts to become a pain in the ar$e....if I need to charge the battery every time I use it and I'm probably looking at 5 times a week. Also, keeping the battery in the house to charge isn't going to pass much muster with the wife.

    My best bet is looking like the iPad...but then to get the dongle to work looks like I need a lighting adaptor which means about £80 just for dongles.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    dinyull wrote:
    That's where is starts to become a pain in the ar$e....if I need to charge the battery every time I use it and I'm probably looking at 5 times a week. Also, keeping the battery in the house to charge isn't going to pass much muster with the wife.
    Wow - how long do you spend on the turbo?! You do know that a baby is a life changing event - the time will no longer be yours!
    dinyull wrote:
    My best bet is looking like the iPad...but then to get the dongle to work looks like I need a lighting adaptor which means about £80 just for dongles.
    TBH - £80 on dongles for the iPad is on par with the setup with battery & inverter - except you don't get the fan ...
    but if you're looking at that then perhaps a bluetooth speed & cadence sensor may be more sensible.
    My iPad can't run Zwift (neither can my laptop though) - I use BKool - although with a Bkool turbo and POWER! :evil:
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Yeah, maybe I am being overambitious with a newborn.....but was hoping an hour or so every other day. Probably an hour (5 days a week) for the 10 weeks in the leadup to birth anyway.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Jeez, £80 on dongles!

    You can pick up the Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensor bundle for £55 at Wiggle (maybe cheaper elsewhere) and probably a Polar HRM module for not very much (eBay is good for things like that, even new).

    Probably work out cheaper than a bunch of dongles that you'll never be able to find when you need them!
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Jeez, £80 on dongles!

    You can pick up the Wahoo Speed and Cadence sensor bundle for £55 at Wiggle (maybe cheaper elsewhere) and probably a Polar HRM module for not very much (eBay is good for things like that, even new).

    Probably work out cheaper than a bunch of dongles that you'll never be able to find when you need them!

    Cheers. So I can link those to the iPad via bluetooth?

    HRM I could get away with using the one linked to my Garmin. Not fussed about TR having that info, but it's useful (for me at least) during the harder efforts.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Zwift in my experience is better with bluetooth connection than ANT+. Be sure your iPad has Bluetooth though as some obviously didn't.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • If you are looking for turbo training on the cheap then don't use Zwift as it costs £10 a month(?). I just download some cycling videos from youtube, and have them up on tv via laptop but of course can just watch laptop direct.

    Ones like this I use :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUKL8NMwA9Y

    Also GCN do some good ones as well. Best way is to download to laptop/USB stick then play so don't need to use wifi etc during workout. They display recommended cadence and effort so you can alter effort along with what's on screen. I don't have smart turbo, just a Cyclops 2 Fluid and it's fine. (I hasten to add for winter use only, far too nice now out on roads!).
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