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Bicycle Turn Signal

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by janagyjr, Dec 18, 2010.

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  1. webmasterpdx

    webmasterpdx

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    Dec 19, 2010
    Think how you'd turn both on at once if you wanted to add a brake light effect later on. Where that would be useful is when you are biking with others, as typically you are following one another and if someone hits their brakes, the person behind them can clip them. You'd want to turn off that feature in regular traffic to save batteries.
     
  2. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    They'd have to both be on one handlebar, as all hand signals are done with the left hand. Definitely something to consider. Would definitely have to find a way of making a permanent label for them in that case.
     
  3. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Well, the current transistor could certainly handle all four banks turning on at once (only 80mA for a device that can handle 100-200mA). All that would be required was hitting both buttons in the case of a spst, or having a second switch if I go with a spdt (with center off) that bypasses the turn signal switch.

    I take that back, the switch would have to bypass the timer, too. Would have to be an extra switch marked "B". :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Depends where you are in the world I guess.

    Doing all signals with the left hand is great if you're on the left side of a vehicle and only your left arm is visible.

    Over here it is is perfectly acceptable (on a bike) to stick your arm straight out on either side to indicate you're going that way. Doesn't work well in a car :) When done with one hand, our stop signal is the same as the left turn (obviously we drive on the other side of the road). Your arm pointing down signal doesn't apply here.

    Apparently in the US it is also acceptable to indicate a right turn by sticking your right arm out.

    However I take the point that leaving yourself with only front brakes, whilst highly effective, can also be highly entertaining for people following you (and not in a good way).

    And speaking of riding bikes in the US. This is me on my way to work earlier this year... From start to end a 60 metre descent -- far less fun on the way back.
     
  5. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    I didn't know that using the right hand was acceptable for making right turns. I've always been taught all signals are made with the left and that it was the law to do it that way (due to the driver being on the left side of the vehicle).

    Nice vid, though. Is that a Schwinn (and no, I wouldn't want to make that ascent, I'd be dead halfway up it).
     
  6. webmasterpdx

    webmasterpdx

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    Dec 19, 2010
    I think what you are confusing are what drivers are supposed to do if their signal lights are broken. Then, the driver can only use his left hand out the window.

    Drivers are "Supposed" to know what this means, but most young fellas don't! :)
    I think most drivers would find use of the right and left arms easier to understand....regardless of what the rule is. Google it and look it up. Post it here. I'd be interested in knowing what you find out.

    -D
     
  7. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Wikipedia (as a start):
    Hand Signals (and related: Vienna Convention on Road Traffic)

    California Highway Patrol page on bicycling
    http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/bicycleriding.html

    For the state of Tennessee, here is what the Tennessee Code Annotated says:
    Signals for Turns
    Signals by hand and arm or signal device.
    The rest of Title 55, Chapter 8, Part 1
    Specifically the part on bikes on roadways

    Living in TN, I find that to be more relevant. There doesn't seem to be any national standard aside from what is put up by Wikipedia. Those living in other states need to look up their states laws, IANAL, this does not constitute legal advice nor does it constitute favoring one method above another. This is provided as purely informational and may or may not apply to any specific situation one may find themselves in.
     
  8. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,384
    2,771
    Jan 21, 2010
    That's on a Wal*Mart $80 bike. My normal ride cost well over an order of magnitude more than that :) I was really scared that it would fall apart. And the brakes were not too good on it either.

    You will notice at the start of the ride I am on the wrong side of the road. This is why I don't drive in the US.

    The first time up the hill, we pushed the bikes all the way. After a month, we were riding up all the way and having a bit of a race as we got to the top. We were also keeping track of the weight of our packs -- with shopping, I was carrying around 15 kg.

    I'm close to 50 and on the wrong side of 100kg.

    My wife noticed the change in my shape on my return home though :)
     
  9. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    hahaha that made me laugh steve,
    I'm 51 and well over the wrong side of 100kg :rolleyes:

    actually my wife and I have started doing zumba several weeks ago... really good workouts

    cheers
    Dave

    (well and truely off topic ;) )
     
  10. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Alright, I've settled on the power source. A 6 cell AA NiCad rechargeable pack (similar to what would be used in an RC car, except not those monster C- or D-cell batteries). The batteries are a bit expensive, but to make up for that I already have a trickle/quick charger and plenty of connectors (from scrounged PSUs from various devices). I'll need to get tabs to put on the terminals of the batteries for when I get ready to solder and some rosin-core solder.

    For now I'm going to do two spst switches (one for each handle-bar) and a third spst for the brake light function (I'm looking for some sort of momentary contact switch to integrate into some part of the brake assembly, ideas on that as I have no clue what to choose).

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the tips, friendly discussion, and other help provided. I'll be posting pictures as soon as I finalize material purchase (and there will be an updated circuit as I get into programmable micro-controllers) and begin construction.

    Again, thanks for everything folks. :)
     
  11. jofclangunn

    jofclangunn

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    Jan 8, 2011
  12. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    That...
    is...
    EPIC!

    I'm going to be covered up in projects all year, I think (this turn signal, the updated one with a micro-controller, this NEW one that you can SEW into your CLOTHES, a joule thief, and an LM317 variable voltage supply). Thanks for the link!

    edit: What I'm doing will go in a small-ish plastic box under the seat of the bike. With very, very bright LEDs (1200mcd with 120 degree viewing angle).
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  13. einstein

    einstein

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    Jan 8, 2011
    mr jnagir
    i would like to see a picture of your bycycle , so pls post it
     
  14. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
  15. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Just bumping the thread, I'm not going to use a PIC on this one (though I might in a later revision). I'm seriously considering an extra switch for the brake-light (to bypass the switches that activate the timer for one bank of LEDs or the other), but am having a few concerns about current draw and protecting the LEDs from too much current while not draining the batteries too much.

    Also, I'm thinking of going with NiCad's to reduce the cost of batteries (it helps my dad has a trickle charger) but I'm having difficulties finding male and female molex connectors (I think I found some at Allied Electronics but most of that stuff doesn't come with good pictures so I might head to my local Radio Shack to at least get an idea). Also, I don't have anything to properly solder on the tabs without ruining the batteries (I have a dual-temp pencil-style soldering iron (15W-30W)). Everything I've read says I can use a regular soldering iron, just had to be careful. I might have someone do that for me (I'm wanting to make a couple of shrink packs to take on the go with me until I get a feel for battery life in the signal and in case I do any really long-term riding). Would it be possible to tin the tabs before they are attached to the batteries? Anyway, I'm going to start a new thread for the batteries as that's not really related to this circuit except incidentally.

    Thanks for the help guys (and gals, if any). :)
     
  16. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    I've started buying the parts to build this. I do have one question, though.

    Does the voltage of the capacitor matter? I won't blow my 555 timer if I use 50V capacitors, will I?

    FWIW, the only 50V capacitor I have is the 0.01uF (I couldn't find it any smaller than that anywhere).
     
  17. Resqueline

    Resqueline

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    Jul 31, 2009
    It matters only in that it must be rated as high as or higher than your power supply.
     
  18. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Alright, that was something I wasn't entirely sure about and I wound up paying a bit more for capacitors sized closer to my power supply (10V capacitors for a 9V supply). I have yet to pick up my batteries, though. I can live without them for now (I've decided to go NiCad).
     
  19. janagyjr

    janagyjr

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    Dec 17, 2010
    Alright, I've got enough of the components to make the basic circuit on a solderless breadboard. I should have videos up in the next few weeks. There have been several modifications (the design is up to version 2.7.1 iirc) and probably will be several more before I fully construct the circuit in any sort of permanent manner. The first thing I've decided to do is to fuse the incoming power, even though it's DC I want some protection against short circuits that doesn't rely on the diodes. I am currently estimating something around 120mA (double my FLC under normal conditions in the current design). I will be putting an updated archive file on the projects portion of my website indicating the inclusion of the fuse. Also, I'm considering a 12V sealed lead-acid battery to hang from the bike (in the area the water bottle would go) but I'm having concerns about weatherproofing the entire circuit already, I might just go with NiCADs as indicated above. It would be easier to weatherproof (I could store the batteries in the same compartment as the circuit, though I still have to find two two-wire ribbon cables for the signal switches) but NiCADs are horrendously expensive and it wouldn't be hard to build a battery recharge circuit for the lead-acid. Pro's and con's, pro's and con's.

    That being said, I'm very happy with where I've gotten my components from (three different suppliers so far). I'm going to go through and double-check my capacitors with my meter (it has a capacitance test mode) and my diodes (both light-emitting and non-light-emitting). Thanks everyone for the support, the help, and the camaraderie. :)
     
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