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.

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

  1. nick lally Says:

    nice! i want one!

    does it hum like that or is that your camera?


  2. Robert Says:

    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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