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How to Use Your PM5

Racing with PM5s

With PM5s you have two options for conducting a race:

  1. Wired, PC-less racing
  2. Wired racing with a PC

The type of race you run, and the method of connecting the machines you choose, depends on several factors, as listed in the chart below.

  No PC With PC
Wired (USB)
1 erg
2–5 ergs
6–8 ergs
9+ ergs
Mix of PM3/PM4s/PM5s
Using Venue Race Application
Using RowPro
Monitoring heart rate with Garmin or Suunto
Monitoring heart rate with Bluetooth Smart Polar H7
Not compatible/not recommended
Recommended/best option

Wired, PC-Less Racing

Recommended applications:

  • Racing between eight or fewer indoor rowers
  • Impromptu races
  • Informal settings where no audience display is required
  • Racing without a PC or software
  • Locations where more than one race is happening at a time, or where other wireless devices (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) are in use
  • Races where ANT+, Garmin, Suunto or Bluetooth Smart heart rate equipment is in use

Additional equipment required:

  • 14–15 foot (5 meters) or longer network or Ethernet cables with RJ45 plugs on the end

These are readily available from your local computer or office supply store, and are also available from Concept2. Do NOT get “crossover” cables as these will NOT work. (Crossover cables are used for direct computer to computer connections without a hub/switch in between and are usually specially marked)

With a wired, PC-less race, options include:

  • Arrange one bank of four indoor rowers facing another bank of four.
  • Arranging the indoor rowers in a circle.
  • Arranging the indoor rowers in one continuous line.

Pick the configuration that works best for the space and length of cables you have.

Starting the Race

Once the indoor rowers are configured, start the race as follows:

  1. On the PM5 Main Menu, select Games.
  2. On the Games Menu, select Racing.
  3. Designate one person as the race creator, and have the race creator select Create Race and then Select Race Length to set up the race.
  4. Once the race is created, participants can join the race by selecting Games > Racing > Join Race.
  5. When all participants are ready, the race creator selects Start Race.

Wired Racing with a PC

Recommended applications:

  • Racing between nine or more indoor rowers
  • Formal race settings, such as the CRASH-Bs
  • Race settings where an audience display is required
  • Locations where more than one race/heat is happening at a time

Wired racing with a PC requires using software to manage the race. You will also need a way to wire the indoor rowers to each other and to the race system. You can do this with either USB cables or with network/Ethernet cables. The type of cables you select affects which software package you can use.

The two software packages available are:

  • Concept2’s Venue Race Application

    Compatible with PM5s wired with either USB or network/Ethernet cables

    The PM5s must be updated with firmware version 15 or higher. Version 3.5 or later of the Venue Race Application is required,

  • Digital Rowing’s RowPro

    Compatible with PM5s wired with USB cables (Refer to the wiring diagrams on the How to Use page)

    RowPro enables venue racing with up to 16 boats per race in 3D. Boats can be single sculls, doubles, quads or octuples. RowPro also enables Online Rowing and Racing with one single scull per PC.

    For more information about racing with RowPro, visit