Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna Review (2018)
Tacx, makers of the fantastic Tacx NEO trainer have produced an excellent USB Ant+ product called their Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna. While most USB Ant+ antenna’s plug directly into the computer, the Tacx T2028 has cabled unit allowing you to extend it’s reach and move the Ant+ receiver closer to the Ant+ transmitter (specifically designed for Tacx smart indoor trainers).
Bluetooth Vs Ant+
Most smart trainers can connect using either Bluetooth or Ant+. From my experience Ant+ offers a better connection experience when connecting to multiple devices.
A typical indoor training session might include a heart rate monitor, a power meter, a cadence sensor and a smart trainer. While you certainly can connect all these devices via Bluetooth (assuming they are bluetooth compatible), I have found that I get a more reliable session if I am connecting via Ant+ instead.
When using Bluetooth, once a connection has been made between the transmitter and receiver, that connection is locked and no one else can access it. This makes the connection secure and why it is popular for various applications that require a secure connection. Ant+ on the other hand broadcasts information that can be picked up by multiple receivers without locking the connection. The advantage of having multiple connections becomes clear if you and a coach wanted to view the performance data coming from a training session at the same time.
If you are a fan of Zwift, there is a program called ZWIFTALIZER that analyzes your Zwift files post ride and breaks down Ant+ Signal Quality by
- Data Rate
- Avg RXFails
A quick way to check your current setup is to use Zwiftalizer (assuming you use Zwift) and check out the Avg RXFail rate. If you see you have a high Avg RXFail rate, it’s most likely due to the Ant+ receiver and transmitter being too far apart from each other. Having a Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna should allow you to decrease the distance and lower the error rate.
Note: Some manufactures, like Polar only broadcast information using one communication method (Bluetooth), so you’re stuck using that communication protocol. In cases where some of your products are bluetooth and other are Ant+, it is recommended to use the one that they all connect with. In other words, if you are using Polar units, you should connect via Bluetooth.
Connection Issues with Ant+
A common problem people have when connecting Ant+ devices is the distance between an Ant+ receiver (connected to your computer) and transmitter (coming from your trainer) is too far and as a result there are connection issues.
In the case of an indoor trainer like the Tacx NEO, the long length of the T2028 cable, allows the receiver to be placed close to the trainer for an optimal reception without loss.
Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna Compatibility
The Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna is compatible with all trainers that communicate wirelessly via ANT+, including Tacx ANT+ trainers and Smart trainers, but also third party trainers.
Bottom Line – Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna
You can purchase the Tacx T2028 USB Ant+ Antenna from Amazon or directly from Tacx. The retail price of the Ant+ unit is $49.99.