I always liked rowing on those machines at University. As a techie and now as I have my own Concept2, I've decided to connect it to my "homecinema" living room media PC via USB for even more fun.
I haven't tried the commercial software offerings (yet), but the available free software seems to ignore the latest PM5 monitor. See my comments at the bottom of this post.
I could not find a simple, on screen display utility for the data the PM provides, so I've decided to quickly build my own. I've used Visual Studio Express 2012, the SDK provided by Concept2 plus code examples on using the SDK and programming an OSD for Windows.
Here is my first version of the code.
May not be perfect and was only tested with Windows 7 and the PM5 but should work on PM3 , PM4 and PM5.
This is how it looks on top of arbitrary desktop applications - including your preferred media player.
Best viewed in full screen mode:
|Rowing together with Ben Hur - projected to the wall in HD, 3m wide|
Btw: I would like to have more videos like this one. Trying to row in sync with somebody else while enjoying a nice scenery :-)
Future ideas: There is a Python library, pyrow, which demonstrates the use of the CSAFE protocol without the need for those SDK DLLs - directly reading/writing from/to the USB device. Could allow for a platfom independent source.
A remark on existing applicationsAs mentioned above, at the time of writing, many existing tools do not find the PM5. The binaries contain the device identifier strings for PM3 and PM4 only (not the best approach, well...).
A quick fix which helps: Open the installed .exe in an editor and search for
"Concept2 Performance Monitor 4 (PM4)"
and replace with
"Concept2 Performance Monitor 5 (PM5)" (without quotes) :
Then you should be fine. Tested with the following applications:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Concept2\C2 Watt Challenge\C2WattChallenge.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Concept2\C2 Watt Challenge\C2CalorieChallenge\C2Calorie.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Concept2\C2 Watt Challenge\Software Development Kit\PMSDKDemo.exe
PS: Also connected my Galaxy Tab3 10 via an OTG cable to the Concept2. The ErgData already supports the PM5, however I prefer a simple OSD solution, as the PC and the projector are nearby anyways.