Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => GPS => Topic started by: drossall on January 09, 2021, 12:02:40 am

Title: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: drossall on January 09, 2021, 12:02:40 am
May be a slightly mad idea, who knows. But I was on Zwift today and my power started dropping out. I assume it's probably the batteries in the meter (which happens to be an older PowerTap wheel).

It's annoying if you lose a ride because the batteries in one sensor or another go. And many Ant+ sensors, I know, broadcast battery levels with other information. I think you can use the Ant+ Plugin Sampler on Android to read meters, but it's all in text and you have to go to each sensor one by one.

So it struck me that an app that checked all your sensors and showed their levels, on one screen, would be a good one to run before any significant ride. Obviously only for sensors that provide the information, but preferably for various manufacturers all in one app. As it happens, my other sensors are Garmin.

Probably something that would be included in an app with wider fitness features. Is there anything like this?
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: Kim on January 09, 2021, 12:18:13 am
I didn't realise the sensors could report battery voltage.  Which makes you wonder why apps using them don't have the decency to moan if it's getting low, for the purposes of general usability.
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: grams on January 09, 2021, 12:27:32 am
There's a generic Bluetooth characteristic that any device can output with its battery level. I presume Ant is similar.

I didn't realise the sensors could report battery voltage.  Which makes you wonder why apps using them don't have the decency to moan if it's getting low, for the purposes of general usability.

Minimum Viable Product.

Also it throws up all sorts of annoying edge cases, like identifying in the UI which of many devices has a low battery, deciding the low battery threshold, dealing with devices that report a low battery all the time or inconsistently, dealing with devices that use their own characteristic instead of the standard one, etc - all of which creates annoying test, documentation and user support surface area.
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: fuaran on January 09, 2021, 01:20:56 am
Could try IpBike. It can do loads of stuff with Ant+ sensors.
Looks like also has a separate app, to get more details. IpSensorMan. http://www.iforpowell.com/cms/index.php?page=ipantman
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: Pedal Castro on January 09, 2021, 08:54:38 am
Could try IpBike. It can do loads of stuff with Ant+ sensors.
Looks like also has a separate app, to get more details. IpSensorMan. http://www.iforpowell.com/cms/index.php?page=ipantman

That is brilliant!!!
Just downloaded and it works for BLE too.
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: Lightning Phil on January 09, 2021, 09:38:49 am
Polar H10 HR sensor reports it’s battery level. It’s a dual ant+ / BLE sensor and OTA firmware updates. It also has a built in accelerometer but I don’t see much use of that in apps.
Title: Re: App for monitoring sensor batteries?
Post by: drossall on January 09, 2021, 11:56:20 pm
That is brilliant!!!
+1. Very much what I hoped might be available. I'd seen IPBike without knowing much about it, but actually IPSensorMan is the thing.

For my Garmin Dual HRM, it gives the number of hours run on batteries. If you know the manufacturer's estimate of battery life, you can make a guess at how long there is to go. You can even name sensors, so you could append the number of hours or days of notional life to the sensor name, and  thus compare the current hours with the expected.

The only thing I can't see is a way to put that information for all sensors on one page, to make a quick check.

Of course, the information available varies. I don't think my PowerTap wheel broadcasts any battery information at all. And some sensors, I believe, may actually give battery-level information, as opposed to hours on battery.