Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:56 pm

Question is: is there one?
I'am not talking of your Sony Xperia or HTC phones but the cool Android phones!
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

by BNA » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:16 pm

BNA
 

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby Xplora » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:16 pm

kunalraiker wrote:Question is: is there one?
I'am not talking of your Sony Xperia or HTC phones but the cool Android phones!

No. There is not. Those phones you weren't interested in have the ANT+ connection available. You might be able to get some Bluetooth action with something, but you'll likely be extremely disappointed with the battery life. I personally do feel a bit hesitant to rely on my emergency contact device for my bike computer function, given how important they are. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.
Xplora
 
Posts: 6077
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:52 pm

Xplora wrote:No. There is not. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.

You've made a fair point, I guess we'll just have to wait eh?
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby Xplora » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:41 pm

kunalraiker wrote:
Xplora wrote:No. There is not. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.

You've made a fair point, I guess we'll just have to wait eh?

I wish someone could do a bluetooth cadence sensor too, would make the decision much easier. I think if you're regularly riding, you will actually need something like the Garmin 500 just for the battery life. I can't get my head around how much riding I do (I'm certainly no pro) but I'd be doing 10 hours a week easily. Given that most smartphones have AWFUL battery life, I don't think the phone is the key. Bluetooth only works if you're using it sparingly and cadence isn't sparingly sadly enough.

Garmin 500 is on runout quite a bit right now. :mrgreen:
Xplora
 
Posts: 6077
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:48 pm

Xplora wrote:
Garmin 500 is on runout quite a bit right now. :mrgreen:



What is the runout and where?
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby DoogleDave » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:55 pm

2012 Felt F75 | 105 | ProLite Braccianos | GP4000S
Image
User avatar
DoogleDave
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Taylors Hill, Victoria

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:47 pm

DoogleDave wrote:Take a look here...
http://www.highlytunedathletes.com.au/G ... Strap.html

Dave

Dave, its out of stock.
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:12 am

There are companies working to get the cadence sensors working on Android currently, hopefully not far away before release!
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby trainedmonkey » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:43 pm

I've been researching this myself recently and it seems that there are a small number of Android phones that come with built-in ANT capabilities. For those that don't there is the possibility of using an OTG cable and ANT USB key. Unfortunately it seems that most bike apps don't recognise the USB based ANT receivers, however I have seen some suggestion that its possible to modify the Endomondo app to get it to recognise USB ANT receivers. There is an app called IpBike that gets mentioned a lot and seems to explicitly support USB ANT receivers. There is a list of supported sensors for IpBike here.

Ultimately buying a Garmin or Bryton unit is going to be a much simpler way to go. There's a lot of different bits that you're going to need to make work if you're going with Android + USB + random sensors. There's also the question of how much battery the above setup will slurp from your phone. But if you're like me and enjoy a technological challenge, then go for it. I have all the bits and pieces on order, so I'll report back with my progress.
trainedmonkey
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby DoogleDave » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:24 pm

kunalraiker wrote:
DoogleDave wrote:Take a look here...
http://www.highlytunedathletes.com.au/G ... Strap.html

Dave

Dave, its out of stock.


Sorry!
That's a bit deceiving that their product page says "In Stock" but the shipping page says Out of Stock....

Dave
2012 Felt F75 | 105 | ProLite Braccianos | GP4000S
Image
User avatar
DoogleDave
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:56 pm
Location: Taylors Hill, Victoria

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby kunalraiker » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:25 am

trainedmonkey wrote:I've been researching this myself recently and it seems that there are a small number of Android phones that come with built-in ANT capabilities. For those that don't there is the possibility of using an OTG cable and ANT USB key. Unfortunately it seems that most bike apps don't recognise the USB based ANT receivers, however I have seen some suggestion that its possible to modify the Endomondo app to get it to recognise USB ANT receivers. There is an app called IpBike that gets mentioned a lot and seems to explicitly support USB ANT receivers. There is a list of supported sensors for IpBike here.

Ultimately buying a Garmin or Bryton unit is going to be a much simpler way to go. There's a lot of different bits that you're going to need to make work if you're going with Android + USB + random sensors. There's also the question of how much battery the above setup will slurp from your phone. But if you're like me and enjoy a technological challenge, then go for it. I have all the bits and pieces on order, so I'll report back with my progress.



Mate, how did you go!
kunalraiker
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:44 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby trainedmonkey » Wed May 08, 2013 5:22 pm

So, to follow up from my previous post. I have a Garmin speed and cadence sensor working with my Samsung Galaxy S2. It took a little bit of fiddling to get it working and ultimately it's probably not the most elegant solution, however it is workable as an alternative to buying a Garmin bike computer.

In addition to your phone you need:

HARDWARE:
Garmin ANT+ USB dongle
OTG Cable
Bike Mount for your phone - I bought a dodgy one off eBay
ANT+ Sensors

SOFTWARE:
IpBike
IpSensorMan
ANT Radio Service
ANT USB Service
SiyahKernel

GETTING IT TO WORK:
I went with the Garmin ANT+ dongle and the Garmin Speed/Cadence sensor. I figured that if I couldn't get them to work with the phone, then I could just buy a Garmin device and the bits that I already had would still be useful. An OTG cable is also a handy thing to have for your phone, since you can use it to connect to USB thumb drives and the like. Also, having a bike mount for the phone might be a handy thing to have as well.

Once you have all the hardware, the fun bit was getting it all working. I installed IpBike, IpSensorMan, ANT Radio Service and ANT USB Service but I couldn't get the default kernel to work with the USB ANT+ stick. I believe it's missing the necessary hardware support. So I had to root the phone and install the SiyahKernel. If you're going to do this I would recommend reading up on the process and ensuring that you have a backup of your stock ROM. There's always an outside chance that you could brick your phone - I accept no responsibility if you do so!

Once I had the phone updated and the software installed, it all pretty much just worked. It does rely on having Bluetooth enabled (or is it wifi?) so if you forget to enable it you won't be able to connect to your sensors. At least once I've set off on a ride and then noticed that there was no cadence display because I still had Bluetooth turned off.

HOW GOOD IS IT?
Well, as you can see from the photos below the Galaxy S2 is a big, chunky device when compared with a standard bike computer. The holder I have is slightly oversized and fits the phone even when it's still in a gel cover. The holder also isn't fully waterproof and the screen can be hard to read thanks to the reflective plastic. In bright sun it can be hard to really see the screen properly. Battery life has actually been a bit better than expected. After a few hour's there's still plenty of battery charge left. If battery life was a real concern then a larger capacity battery or a power pack could be an option.

The IpBike Man software feels a bit clunky at first, but once I got it set up and working I was happy enough with it. When I've finished a ride I IpBikeMan can upload it to Strava for me. I think there's a few other sites that it will upload to as well. Or I could download the GPX file to somewhere.

Some photos:

Image
Big, chunky phone and reflective plastic. :-(

Image
OTG cable and Garmin ANT+ dongle zip tied to the stem.

Image
Standard Garmin speed/cadence sensor.

CONCLUSION:
All in all I was happy that I was able to get ANT+ sensors working with my phone. There are some downsides, and I suspect that a Garmin Edge 500 might be on the cards now that they've dropped in price with the release of the 510. Plus I already have the sensor and a USB dongle to upload my rides. :-)
trainedmonkey
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby jimh » Sat May 11, 2013 11:23 pm

Don't know how convenient it would be or how well they work but there are cadence apps for smart phones where you basically strap the phone to your thigh and counts the number of times your leg goes from horizontal to vertical.

It's probably not want you want as you wouldn't be able to see the screen but it would log your cadence and speed with the GPS.

It'd be easier to get a Garmin 500 though :D

cheers
Jim
jimh
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:31 pm

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby irrelevant_apple » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:41 pm

With the new Bluetooth spec on android 4.3 I got a cheap galaxy nexus with a hr and speed cadence monitor working with ipbike. Note the gnex required a bit of modding as Google disabled it's support for some reason. However the future is looking bright for smartphones. The s3 and note 2 are confirmed for 4.3 to support Samsungs smart watch. Furthermore the S4 and future Samsung flagships are getting ant+ as well. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... ?t=2469353

Ipbike is great with it's extensive features and customisable user interface. It does take a lot of time understanding it and customising it though. I'll post up some screenshots later
irrelevant_apple
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:02 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:10 am

Xplora wrote: but you'll likely be extremely disappointed with the battery life. I personally do feel a bit hesitant to rely on my emergency contact device for my bike computer function, given how important they are. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.

+1

Want cadence, get a cycle -computer with cadence. Want GPS, get a GPS. Want comms, use your phone :idea:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18385
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:29 am

il padrone wrote:
Xplora wrote: but you'll likely be extremely disappointed with the battery life. I personally do feel a bit hesitant to rely on my emergency contact device for my bike computer function, given how important they are. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.

+1

Want cadence, get a cycle -computer with cadence. Want GPS, get a GPS. Want comms, use your phone :idea:


You mean to say you can get devices to do just those things? Well I'll be dammed! :lol:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
Image
User avatar
foo on patrol
 
Posts: 4448
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Sanstone Point QLD

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:30 am

Sounds like a lot of hassle for something to tell you what you already know ... ;-)
Image
User avatar
toolonglegs
 
Posts: 14380
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:49 pm
Location: Somewhere with padded walls and really big hills!

Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:09 am

il padrone wrote:Want cadence, get a cycle -computer with cadence. Want GPS, get a GPS. Want comms, use your phone :idea:

So, three devices to buy and find mounting space for on the bars, three sets of batteries to replace or maintain?

Sounds like the perfect solution - for a masochist. :roll:
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5350
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:21 am

RonK wrote:
il padrone wrote:Want cadence, get a cycle -computer with cadence. Want GPS, get a GPS. Want comms, use your phone :idea:

So, three devices to buy and find mounting space for on the bars, three sets of batteries to replace or maintain?

Nup.

One on the bars, one on the stem. Phone stays in my pocket - I've got more sense than to leave a valuable, non-waterproof item out in the elements.

All the alleged problems with battery maintenance ignores the apalling battery life of a phone using GPS (or other continuous-response functions like cadence) which is about 8-10 hours. I'm quite happy to change my computer battery once every year or so, and the GPS once every 4-5 days when I am using it, which is only on longer/remoter tours so once every month generally. I'll keep the phone for the rare contact needs and occasional map function (using off-line maps)


No whips, belts, or chains involved :P
Last edited by il padrone on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18385
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby trailgumby » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:29 am

Xplora wrote:
kunalraiker wrote:Question is: is there one?
I'am not talking of your Sony Xperia or HTC phones but the cool Android phones!

No. There is not. Those phones you weren't interested in have the ANT+ connection available. You might be able to get some Bluetooth action with something, but you'll likely be extremely disappointed with the battery life. I personally do feel a bit hesitant to rely on my emergency contact device for my bike computer function, given how important they are. You'll be cranky if you're stuck roadside (or worse, trailside) because you needed to know your cadence.

^^ What he said. The phone is a crucial emergency communication device, especially off-road, but I'd argue vigorously on road as well. The GPS just flogs the battery. Not even remotely worth it.

Don't fluff around with half-arsed measures. Get a Garmin. They're cheap enough. How much are 500/510's these days? Not much. The warranty and service support is excellent.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

http://www.facebook.com/Drive2WorkDay
User avatar
trailgumby
 
Posts: 10302
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:30 pm
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby RonK » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:40 am

trailgumby wrote:The phone is a crucial emergency communication device, especially off-road, but I'd argue vigorously on road as well. The GPS just flogs the battery.

Meh - if you want to use a phone, battery extenders are commonplace and cheap.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5350
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:03 am

Then you have two batteries to charge and maintain :?: :wink: Not to mention the issue of keeping your phone weather-protected.


But there's the solution for me - I'll just throw out the computer and GPS that I already have and buy a new battery extender, and buy some sort of bodge-job weather protection, for the phone that was never designed to be a durable cycle computer :roll:
Last edited by il padrone on Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18385
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby irrelevant_apple » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:09 am

There are battery power solutions... as well as water and shockproof solutions. In terms of being half arsed, I believe it is a rather complete all in one instead. It serves as my music player, computer, voice navigation and emergency light and video recording if needed.

The functions of ipbike do exactly what I need. A bonus is being able to voice nav Google cycling directions overlayed with computer data still visible with PA Halo mod. Likewise the app Osmand allows offline Open Street Map data with .gpx voice nav or basic offline route calculation too. The internal space is 32gb so music storage and light video recording is possible. The video is 1080p 30fps 12mbit, with actual quality among the top phones so definitely good enough for basic usage.

In my case in fact the phone isn't any longer a phone. I have an S3 I didn't want to mount as to not degrade the amoled with continous running in sunlight. The gnex was imported from eBay USA with CDMA spec so no cell use here even if I wanted. They go for well under $100 if you can find reasonable shipping. Not that I'd recommend it to just anyone, you need some reading on how to setup the software and it does take some time to get everything how you want it. That said I like tweaking and customising so in fact that's a draw for me.

I did consider the purpose built alternative but preferred the phone technology. In some ways it's superior and unique but with the shortcomings of power consumption and fragility, which as I mentioned can be worked around. Once complete I believe it's easy to use with the shortcomings only a small hassle. Like it or not the smartphones have the tech now and it should improve as it matures.
irrelevant_apple
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:02 am

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby il padrone » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:19 am

irrelevant_apple wrote:In my case in fact the phone isn't any longer a phone. I have an S3 I didn't want to mount as to not degrade the amoled with continous running in sunlight. The gnex was imported from eBay USA with CDMA spec so no cell use here even if I wanted. They go for well under $100 if you can find reasonable shipping. Not that I'd recommend it to just anyone, you need some reading on how to setup the software and it does take some time to get everything how you want it.

:idea: Save yourself some $$ and the software set-up grief.

http://www.wiggle.com.au/cateye-strada- ... -computer/ - $A52


irrelevant_apple wrote:Like it or not the smartphones have the tech now and it should improve as it matures.


Like it or not, those improvements are unlikely to include all-weather protection any time soon. Phones are pitched at the mass-market, not cyclists. Most non-cycling people put their phones in their pockets and fit them in a fashion case. I use mine as my wallet with a card-holder, so I don't want it floating about on my handlebars.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18385
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Cadence Sensor for Android Phones

Postby irrelevant_apple » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:26 am

:idea: Save yourself some $$ and the software set-up' grief.

http://www.wiggle.com.au/cateye-strada- ... -computer/ - $A52


if you read my post you'd realise I'm after more than just a simple computer display and that the setup task appeals to me.

But I suppose that works better for some.

edit: On the point of case protection, checkout the otterbox defender series. They cost a fair bit but if peace of mind is important they'd be entirely worth it. Complete water and shock solution
irrelevant_apple
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:02 am

Next

Return to Buying a bike / parts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ldrcycles



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit