What is ANT?

About ANT

ANT is a proprietary wireless sensor network protocol, which is running in 2.4 GHz band. This protocol is
developed by Dynastream Innovations Inc., a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. ANT can work at ultra-low power
consumption and is capable of handling various types of topologies such as peer-to-peer, star, and fixed
mesh topologies. However, the communication distance is limited, and the amount of data that ANT can
transmit at one time, is also restricted.

About ANT+

ANT+ is a managed network based upon ANT technology. This managed network provides “device profiles,”
which allow the same profiles of ANT devices to communicate each other. To grant the communications,
ANT+ presets the values of parameters for each profile. The types of profiles are heart rate monitor, pedometer,
scaler, cadence sensor and other fitness and wellness devices. Totally 15 ANT+ profiles are available.


Q: Can ANT devices directly communicate with ANT+ devices?
A: No, ANT device cannot directly communicate with ANT+ devices. ANT+ uses ANT protocol, but ANT devices cannot use “ANT+ Network Key,” “ANT+ Device Profiles,” which are necessary for the communication between ANT+ devices. Moreover, ANT devices are not allowed to use a 2457MHz frequency, which is designated for ANT+ devices. Therefore, ANT and ANT+ devices cannot communicate each other.

Q: Can ANT+ devices use ANT/BCA_Lib?
A: No, they cannot. BCA_Lib is specifically designed for ANT devices.

Q: Please tell me how to obtain “ANT+ Network Key” and/or “ANT+ Device Profiles.”
A: Please register “ANT+ Adapter Account” from this page. Its registration is free for all. (This site runs by Dynastream Innovations Inc, which is the creator and developer of ANT/ANT+.

After the registration is completed, please go to ANT+ Basics and find the section of “How do I obtain the ANT+ Network Key?” If you agree to the terns of use and access the ANT+ Network key, please click “Agree to the terms of use and access the ANT+ Network Key.” Then, you will find “ANT+ Network Key” and other information in the liked page.

“ANT+ Network Key” and the ANT+ logo indicates the PDF documents and software are under the ANT+ Shared Source License. Do Not freely distribute ANT+ Network Key and the information to the public.

ANT Hardware

ANT Adapter

ANT Adapter is an ANT-30pin adapter for iPhone and iPod touch, which are equipped with 30pin connector and internal GPS.
ANT Adapter supports ANT protocol as well as ANT device profiles. To communicate ANT+ sensors, ANT Adapter requires
the specific iOS application, BeatRun.
This adapter has passed the certification test of Apple MFi Program, and it has been received Technical Conformity form
the Japanese regulatory authority.

For the details of ANT Adapter, please visit ANT/ANT Adapter.

Also the farther information of BeatRun is available at ANT/BeatRun.
ANTadap01.png ANTadap02.png


BC-ANT-USB is a ANT-USB dongle, which is developed and produced by BeatCraft, Inc.
The ANT chip that BC-ANT-USB employs is nRF24AP2-USB of Nordic Semiconductor, Inc.
This ANT chip is commonly used for ANT-USB devices. The details of BC-ANT-USB are listed


This is the current version of BC-ANT-SERIAL. This is a ANT-Serial bridge module. The ANT chip of
this module is nRF24AP2-8CH of Nordic Semiconductor, Inc., and it comes with 1x5 pin-header. The
size of this ANT-Serial module is greatly downsized comparing with the previous ANT-Serial Module.
The details of BC-ANT-SERIAL is listed on ANT/BC-ANT-SERIAL.


This is the original of BC-ANT-SERIAL. This ANT-Serial module is equipped with RC-232C interface
and 2x10 pin-header, and these features allows this module connecting with a microcontroller. This
model of ANT-Serial module is discontinued. For the detail please look at this page.

Prototypes of ANT Module Boards

There are details of the prototypes of ANT-Serial and ANT-USB modules. This section also explains where
to find a ANT software and drivers and how to install and use them. These modules are not in production
or on sale. These hardware can be replaced with BC-ANT-SERIAL and BC-ANT-USB. For the details, please
visit this page.

Electronics Works & ANT Related Software

Electronics Works

Electronic Music Box

This is a series of how to make an electronic music box with BC-ANT-SERIAL, this series is divided into three
parts. The first part show how to create an ANT transmitter, and the second part is to create an ANT receiver.
The third and final part explains how to assemble an electronic music box from these ANT devices.

Data Display

This is a sample of a data display, which is equipped with a BC-ANT-USB and a LCD display unit. This sample
displays the status of ANT communications. This uses PIC 24FJ series. For the details, please visit this page.

Working with Various Sensors

This explains how to make sensor boards that work with BC-ANT-SERIAL. The sensor boards, which this page
introduces are the boards of temperature sensor, atmospheric pressure sensor, humidity sensor, and alcohol
sensor. Their schematics, parts lists, programs, and ANT settings are all listed. MSP430 series is used as the
microcontroller for the boards. For more details, please visit this page.

Working with Moisture Sensor

This is an example of electronics work, which uses a BC-ANT-SERIAL and moisture sensor. Its microcontroller is
MSP430G2553 of Texas Instruments. For its schematic and other hardware information, please look at this page.
This board uses the same application as the other sensor boards. Please visit Python Application section of
ANT/BC-ANT-SERIAL with Various Sensors.

Sample Code

iOS Application for ANT Adapter Demo

This is an iOS application for the sensors, which is listed at this page. This application allows to communicate the sensor boards, which are equipped with BC-ANT-SERIAL and iOS devices, attached to ANT Adapter. This iOS application is freely downloaded below.

Library for BC-ANT-USB

This section introduces a library for BC-ANT-USB, an ANT-USB dongle developed by BeatCraft, Inc. The section
explains the basics of How to establish ANT communication and lists the C++/Python sample code for transmitting,
receiving, and pairing. Please visit this page for farther information. On the related topic, BCA_Lib explains the
classes of this library.

Library for LPC1114

This section introduces the sample code of an ANT library for LPC1114, a 32bit microcontroller developed by NXP
Semiconductors. The details are listed on this page.

Library for PIC24F Series

This is a sample code of an ANT library for PIC24F Series, a 16bit microcontroller series. This microcontroller is
developed by Microchip Technology Inc. The details of this library are shown at this page.

Revision History

  • 2012/11/30 This article is initially uploaded
  • 2013/01/31 The link to BC-ANT-SERIAL is attached
  • 2013/02/01 Add the links to Libraries for BC-ANT-SERIAL, LPC1114, and PIC24F
  • 2013/02/06 Add the links to Electronics Works
  • 2013/05/16 Add the section of ANT Adapter
  • 2013/06/19 Add iOS application for Electronics Works
  • 2015/06/11 Add FAQ

Attach file: fileANTDemo.zip 970 download [Information] fileANTadap01.png 2229 download [Information] fileANTadap02.png 2430 download [Information] fileBC-ANT-USB_B.png 2399 download [Information] fileBC-ANT-USB_F.png 2330 download [Information] fileDSCF7885r.JPG 2397 download [Information] fileBC-ANT-SERIAL_F.jpg 2378 download [Information] fileBC-ANT-SERIAL_B.jpg 2231 download [Information]

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Last-modified: 2013-06-19 (Wed) 07:47:09 (4017d)