ITP 1-in-1: bike blinky!

blinky_on_bikeFor the 1-in-1 Project as part of ITP’s 30th anniversary celebration I over-engineering the simple bicycle blinky light. Why go for a simple, off-the-shelf blinky light when we can build a much more complicated one ourselves?!

I’m creating an animated display, which changes to solid red while braking.

Update: (5:26) It’s been a long night, but it all came together. I wish I could have finished at the floor, but sometimes you need to go to your cave. The bike blinky light is all I could have asked for…it’s obnoxious, it’s animated, it has a handlebar control to switch to a flashing warning mode.

breadboard_matrixI got a package of several 5×8 LED matrix displays early in my first semester on clearance from an online electronics wholesaler. I’ve had aspirations to work them into a project ever since but never got around to it.

Several months ago my bicycle taillight stopped working. I took it apart and found a bad solder joint at the LED, so I fixed it and it was happy for several more weeks before acting up again. Now, I’m betting that it’s just a dead battery, but those coin cells can be expensive!

A (more) reasonable person would just get new batteries…performing an effective mental calculation between cost and safety. I say that’s a fool’s errand! Just build a new one, with a rechargeable lithium battery…and while you’re at it upgrade from one LED to 40!

matrix_blinkyI suppose this is from the “because we can” category. Next steps are to build a weatherproof housing, quick-release mounting, serial control for updating the animation and maybe generative graphics or bluetooth…real-time Twitter feed anyone?

Check out the other ITP30 1-in-1 projects.





2 responses to “ITP 1-in-1: bike blinky!”

  1. nick lally Avatar

    nice! i want one!

    does it hum like that or is that your camera?


  2. Robert Avatar

    the hum from the hall light and the bad mic on my camera. it’s silent…but, brings up a good idea…siren? horn?

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