Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

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fischmeister
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by fischmeister » June 29th, 2020, 6:10 am

Guys, you are awesome! Thank you so much for your great work!!!

I love rowing in Zwift. I´m using PainSled which works brilliant, but I´m also looking for a solution where I can use ErgData AND Zwift simultaneously. This would make handling ranked workouts easier, you wouldn´t need a verification code. @mrverrall would your solution allow this?

CJOttawa
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by CJOttawa » June 29th, 2020, 6:40 am

fischmeister wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:10 am
Guys, you are awesome! Thank you so much for your great work!!!

I love rowing in Zwift. I´m using PainSled which works brilliant, but I´m also looking for a solution where I can use ErgData AND Zwift simultaneously. This would make handling ranked workouts easier, you wouldn´t need a verification code. @mrverrall would your solution allow this?
I can't speak to the home-brew options mentioned above.

However, the NPE-CABLE pod supports precisely what you want to do, seamlessly.

The homebrew options may save you some money if you're handy. NPE-CABLE may save you time - it sits silently in the background, linking the PM5 to whatever you have running Zwift, running on a single CR2032 battery for years.

fischmeister
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by fischmeister » June 29th, 2020, 6:51 am

Thank you @CJOttawa - NPE Cable would indeed be perfect but unfortunately I live in Europe and it´s ridiculously expensive to get it shipped here so the Raspberry Zero solution would be an awesome alternative.

exerscreen
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by exerscreen » June 29th, 2020, 7:13 am

fischmeister wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:10 am
I love rowing in Zwift. I´m using PainSled which works brilliant, but I´m also looking for a solution where I can use ErgData AND Zwift simultaneously.
Hey, thanks for the kind words about PainSled! Could you use a RowedBiker Android USB connection to Zwift and attach ErgData via BLE? I have never tried this but I can give it a try if that would be helpful.

I also looked into porting PainSled/RowedBiker to RPi as a cheap rowing adapter but quickly realized that you can just get a used Android device for the same or less than an IoT board + case + power supply + SD card + whatever your time is worth. For example, a used Amazon Fire 7 tablet can generally be had for $20 USD + shipping on ebay. I've seen them as low as $10. Details are in my Rowing With Zwift - The Basics post.

Let us know how it goes!

James

fischmeister
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by fischmeister » June 29th, 2020, 3:31 pm

James, thank you for your info! I'd love to try, but unfortunately my only Android device is too old (Android 4.4.2) and I don't have the required USB-Android cable. I always thought you can use either BT or USB but not both at the same time?

exerscreen
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by exerscreen » June 29th, 2020, 5:04 pm

fischmeister wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 3:31 pm
James, thank you for your info! I'd love to try, but unfortunately my only Android device is too old (Android 4.4.2) and I don't have the required USB-Android cable. I always thought you can use either BT or USB but not both at the same time?
I don't usually recommend it, but it has worked better for me than connecting two BLE apps to the same PM5 at the same time. I did try it today. Did the Lutscher route on Zwift with RowedBiker droid on USB and ErgData running on an iPhone. Picked a few different types of workouts which uploaded from ErgData correctly. No dropouts on the Zwift connection.

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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by Dino » June 30th, 2020, 3:18 pm

mrverrall wrote:
June 25th, 2020, 2:39 pm
Evening everyone.

I thought some of you might be interested in a small -lockdown- project of mine. I've not got the spare mobile devices to use James's RowedBiker app so I've written a small program that runs on a $9 Raspberry Pi Zero (or indeed any Linux device with Bluetooth 4.1+).
It's the same principle, bridging the rowers client connection into a Bluetooth cycle power server. It needs some, but minimal, technical ability to get running but has been working smoothly for me for a few weeks now without problem.

Hope it's useful to someone else too :)

All open source at https://github.com/mrverrall/go-row-cycle/
Just had my first row on Zwift with your app! :D
I have just set this up on a Pi4 running Raspbian. I followed your instructions on Github.

The only thing I found was that the bluetooth was soft blocked - shown by running: rfkill list
I then unblocked using: sudo rfkill unblock bluetooth
I could then run the app on the Pi

I hit connect on the PM5 and it picked it up straight away

I have never used Zwift before so haven't a clue what I am doing! - but set up a new account, then installed Zwift on my laptop on a 7day free trial
In Paired Devices I selected go-row-cycle for both Power Source and Cadence, then set off on a first ride / row.

Wasn't really dressed for rowing but ended up doing the the whole of the first workout which was about 6.2km of cycling, or ~3k on the erg.

Am going to read a bit more about Zwift, put some shorts on, get my fan out and try a route!
On the short ride I did just now it didn't bother me at all I was on a bike.

Will report back after a longer 'ride' but thanks for sharing this :)
52M HWT 18/19, 19/20, 20/21 Rowing on Zwift!
1m 326m, 500m 1:38,7, 1k 3:35.7, 2k 7:24.2, 5k 19:06.6, 6k 23:26.0, 30m 7708m, 10k 39:26.1, 60m 15025m, HM 1:25:04.7, FM 2:59:26.0, 50k 3:49:17.3

Dino
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by Dino » July 1st, 2020, 7:01 pm

Did some more reading about joining a group ride and this is the result. Excuse the overlong post - just giving my thoughts on rowing on Zwift as a new Zwift user and also using the Erg connected up. If you are a Zwift user already on a trainer then most of this will be familiar.

I picked a Category D ride lasting an hour. The categories are based on fitness levels as measured by watts per kilogram (w/kg) and your functional threshold power (FTP). This ride said Category D says but it also that it would be around 1.4-1.8 Watts/Kg.
So with ~2:07/500 being around 170Watts and me being ~88kg, then I would probably be able to keep up.

I was actually looking forward to this and it was nice to have a time to be ready to go and stick to it.
There was a *LOT* of people on this ride.... approx. 400 I think in the end. Therein lies the advantage of Zwift... you are just not going to get this participation level with rowing only.

The ride was called "Vikings Valhalla Recovery Ride (D)" although it didn't turn out to be much of a recovery ride for me! :lol: :roll:
You can see both power and cadence connected as go-row-cycle via the Raspberry Pi acting as the bridge. Now I have set the Pi up I just turn on the Pi, run the program then click Connect on the PM5 and that's it. When I start Zwift now it remembers the connections and connects straight away. It couldn't be easier. If you set the go-row-cycle to run on boot, then don't even need to plug the Pi into a monitor or keyboard.

Image

This is me at the start. Once you have joined, you can sit and row gently and get warmed up. Up to you how long before the start you want to join. People are tapping messages to each other, lots of hi's and where you are from. I tapped out a message saying hi and that I was on a C2 erg and was hoping to be able to keep up! For obvious reasons that would be my last message until the end.

Image

There was a group leader and sweepers at the back. The group leader tapped out messages as went along to keep people together, ensuring as this was a group ride people stuck to the pace at the front and so on. All very helpful.
I basically tried to stick to 170 watts the whole way through. My Watts and Cadence are continuously displayed on the screen.
It was interesting how the drafting worked, and how my Km/h went up and down as went up the hills. I found on a downhill stretch I could stop rowing briefly to grab a drink without losing any places in the small bunch I was in. The group did split up into quite a few bunches and I found myself leading a small group for a while. I also found myself in a group of 3 for a bit and tried to take my turn at the front.
A few times when I got dropped by a small bunch I could accelerate for a bit up to e.g. 2:00 pace then slack off again when caught up.
On hills though I was generally swamped. Not sure why this is. I kept a steady watts, and slowed down within Zwift. I think a lot of people accelerate maybe. Despite this I then made up the places again and generally stayed around 80th place in the group or thereabouts the whole ride.

Image

I was fairly knackered at the end - not as fit as I was this time last year that's for sure. You can see on the photo above it says +307 more in the group at the bottom.

I have to say this works very well with the Concept2 rower. Its absolutely fine you are represented by a bike. I can't see Zwift implementing a river and rowing graphics - it just wouldn't be worth their while. They could just put the code in to talk directly to the PM5 rather than use a 'bridge'. Having said that, the code written by Paul I am using has worked flawlessly so far. No dropouts at all.
You just select Just Row on the PM5 and off you go on whatever training ride, group ride or race you want. It definitely adds a new dimension to rowing. You could easily create a new Group Ride and advertise for others to join. These could be timed half-hour or distance based, noting the distance in Zwift is not the same as the recorded distance on the Erg. But then again this doesn't really matter either. You log you meters as normal on the Erg. I'd say its definitely worth trying it out.
52M HWT 18/19, 19/20, 20/21 Rowing on Zwift!
1m 326m, 500m 1:38,7, 1k 3:35.7, 2k 7:24.2, 5k 19:06.6, 6k 23:26.0, 30m 7708m, 10k 39:26.1, 60m 15025m, HM 1:25:04.7, FM 2:59:26.0, 50k 3:49:17.3

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Carl Watts
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by Carl Watts » July 1st, 2020, 9:46 pm

The graphics are just stand out aren't they ?

Will give it a go as soon as they implement a native USB connection from the PM5 to the PC.I'm already maxed out with having to setup my ANT+ HR chest strap and Ergdata before a row and simply refuse to have anything else but a simple USB connection in the setup, its getting way to complicated.

Looks like they have yet to take up my suggestion of having a Concept 2 "Erg Team" shirt you can opt to wear so you can easily recognize others and group ride with fellow ergers but I guess that the easy part to implement.
Carl Watts.
Age:53 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

exerscreen
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by exerscreen » July 2nd, 2020, 6:03 am

Dino wrote:
July 1st, 2020, 7:01 pm
I have to say this works very well with the Concept2 rower. It's absolutely fine you are represented by a bike. I can't see Zwift implementing a river and rowing graphics - it just wouldn't be worth their while.
Great post! Although it is doubtful that Zwift will do a rowing simulation any time soon, they do still tease us. If you go out to the marina bridge and look over the water, you will see that Zwift has placed a start pen out there. I'm going away from the Italian Villas in this picture. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!?!? :D

Image

Also, you might like the Zwift Rowers group if you do Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/zwiftrowing

James.

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Carl Watts
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by Carl Watts » July 2nd, 2020, 2:30 pm

What it means is that you could have a river course for the rowers that's integrated into some of the other courses if Zwift has the resources and wants to do it.

Logic would make the river relatively straight while the bike course could weave all over the place and crossover on bridges now and again to better synchronize the relative speed differences. Cyclists could watch rowers on the river and visa versa adding to the ever changing action on screen.

Would be pretty amazing and only really comes down to them wanting to do it or not.
Carl Watts.
Age:53 Weight: 104kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by mrverrall » July 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm

Dino wrote:
June 30th, 2020, 3:18 pm
Just had my first row on Zwift with your app! :D
Cool! I'm super pleased someone actually found it useful (and functional!). I'll have a look at the rfkill stuff you mentioned, but not sure if this overlaps with my guidance on disabling the bluez bluetooth service, but like I say I'll do some investigations.
I've also just pushed some bug fixes and an option to double spm to cadence. I'll add some guidance on running it as a service at some when I get time to. I do this with my Pi Zero W and just leave it plugged into a USB charger near the rower. Past that I'm not promising any sort of ongoing support :lol: But the code if there is anyone wants to improve it!

James and other are totally right about things being maybe easier with NPE bridges and/or cheap Android devices with RowedBiker.
People should definitely use what works best for them and is within their skill sets. For me that meant using what I already had, and If you're anything like me that means Raspberry Pi's and SD cards! :lol:

exerscreen
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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by exerscreen » July 5th, 2020, 8:50 am

mrverrall wrote:
July 4th, 2020, 1:35 pm
James and other are totally right about things being maybe easier with NPE bridges and/or cheap Android devices with RowedBiker.
People should definitely use what works best for them and is within their skill sets. For me that meant using what I already had, and If you're anything like me that means Raspberry Pi's and SD cards! :lol:
There is also much to be said for just having some fun playing around with RPis and other fun devices. If you have wanted to dabble with IoT and interfacing to devices this project sounds like a great way to get started.

Also, BTW, the rowing to cycling cadence formula I'm using in PainSled and RowedBiker is (stroke rating * 2) + 40. It maps rowing cadences of 20-30spm to 80-100rpm which seems to at least be in the vicinity of what the real cyclists (and Zwift) consider normal which seems to be centering at 90rpm. I'm not actually a cyclist so take that with a grain of salt and I'd love to get feedback on that.

James

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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by mrverrall » July 5th, 2020, 11:27 am

fischmeister wrote:
June 29th, 2020, 6:10 am
I´m also looking for a solution where I can use ErgData AND Zwift simultaneously. This would make handling ranked workouts easier, you wouldn´t need a verification code. @mrverrall would your solution allow this?
Sorry I'm afraid not, I only subscribe to the PM5 service, emulating a cycle power and cadence as an onward service. Not sure if you would also need separate devices for ergdata and zwift? Potentially all adds up to lots of devices which is lots of things to go wrong :?

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Re: Rowing in Zwift - suggestion to make it happen

Post by mrverrall » July 5th, 2020, 11:36 am

exerscreen wrote:
July 5th, 2020, 8:50 am
The rowing to cycling cadence formula I'm using in PainSled and RowedBiker is (stroke rating * 2) + 40.
Thanks James, I was a bit unsure what made the most sense. I mostly row at ~30+ spm and ride at ~90 rpm, but a simple 3x multiplication obviously had too much potential for massive rpms on the cycle side. As RPM seemed to only affect the avatar on Zwift rather than performance my goal was mostly just making the rider looks like he wasn't wading through mud :lol:

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