DIY Electronics

ANT module

Introduction (About ANT)

ANT is one of wireless communication protocols, which are allocated in 2.4GHz ISM band. ANT is ultra-low power consumption. The ANT equipped devices can transmit information few meters and are bi-directional. The ANT protocol is developed by Dynastream Innovations Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin.

For the detail information of ANT, please visit ANT's web site, http://www.thisisant.com.

ANT module: Prototypes

There are two types of ANT module prototypes. One is capable of ANT-serial communication, and the other is equipped with USB miniB interface. Their schematics and pictures are shown below.

  • Serial Communication The prototype of ANT-serial comes with RS232-C interface. This prototype is also equipped with pin-headers. To utilize these pin-headers, it is capable of connecting with ARM-Cotex M0/3 and other PIC microcontrollers. It works with 1.9V ~ 3.6V power supply.
    • Schematic fileant-001-0001.pdf
    • Appearance (right: a SDHC card is for comparing size.)

DSCF0756.JPG

  • USB Interface Connection This prototype is equipped with a USB miniB connector. To connect to USB cable, it can communicate with a PC. Power is supplied from this USB.
    • Schematic fileant-001-0002.pdf
    • Appearance (right: a SDHC card is for comparing size.)

DSCF0758.JPG

Testing Prototypes

To develop and test ANT products, look at the information listed on the ANT website, first. The ANT evaluation kit can be parched from the internet resellers. The details of the ANT evaluation kit is available at the ANT website. Drivers, developer tools and other software are also downloaded from the same website.
For this example, the prototypes are tested with the ANT evaluation kit (a USB-serial converter).

  • A prototype of the ANT-serial is connected to a Windows PC via a USB-serial converter, which is included in the evaluation kit. (the green one attached to PC's USB)

DSCF0752.JPG

  • A prototype of the ANT-USB interface is attached to a Windows PC.

DSCF0750.JPG

As a prototype of ANT module is connected to a Windows PC, it is recognized and the device drover is automatically installed. How the device manager of Windows 7 recognizes an ANT module is shown in the picture below.

ANT_USB_Device_manager.jpg

To evaluate and debug ANT modules on Windows XP or Windows 7, use an evaluation and debugging software tool called ANTwareII. This tool can is available at ANT's website. To use ANTwareII, two ANT modules are immediately recognized by the software tool. After configuring the settings of the modules on the software, the software confirms that the two ANT modules can communicate each other and exchange the data communication between these two ANT modules. This software also work with single ANT device. The software can recognize and control an ANT device.
ANTwareII can be downloaded form PC and Mac Software Tools at ANT Developer's Zone.

ANTwareII_image.jpg

  • The left side panel lists recognized modules and their parameters. To configure and/or control a module, one module is specifically selected from here.
  • The middle panel shows the configurations of one selected module. You can configure it or modify its existing configurations.
  • The right side panel displays the present status of communications (sending and receiving data).

The picture of the sample, shown above, the software tool displays how data is sent vie channel 0. As you can change to the receiving mode, the software tool will shows how data is received.

Compatibility

These modules are technically compatible with other ANT devices; however, drivers and other software may be required. Since these modules are only prototype, the compatibility is not guaranteed even though the drives and software are downloaded. Moreover, to communicate with ANT+ devices, some ANT+ devices require device profiles and work with only certified devices. Since the modules shown here are prototypes, the compatibility is not guaranteed.

  • Tested Devices
    • GARMIN ForeRunner 610 Download ANT AGENT from GARMIN's website, install it on a Windows PC, and successfully execute pairing with Forerunner 610. Also, it is recognized that data is successfully transferred from Forerunner 610.

Technical Regulations Conformity Certification

The newer models of these modules have passed the regulatory tests and have received the Technical Regulations Conformity Certification. Now, the new ones can be tested in any place in Japan.

Revision History

  • 2012/3/01 The article is initially uploaded.

Attach file: fileant-001-0001.pdf 1248 download [Information] fileant-001-0002.pdf 1173 download [Information] fileDSCF0756.JPG 988 download [Information] fileDSCF0758.JPG 998 download [Information] fileDSCF0752.JPG 1075 download [Information] fileDSCF0750.JPG 942 download [Information] fileANT_USB_Device_manager.jpg 884 download [Information] fileANTwareII_image.jpg 992 download [Information]

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Last-modified: 2012-03-02 (Fri) 13:11:20 (2421d)