Saturday 5 July 2014

Bike's lights

Since I got my bike, I had to carry around two lights when I was going to cycle on late nights. These lights were small but I was worried to leave them somewhere and cycle without lights.
I came up with a simple solution to make my own lights system and to install it on my bike.

The shopping list is very simple and small, also I could have bought less stuff:
- 4x white leds with wide angle and brighter
- 4x red leds with small angle and brighter
- 8x transistor to switch on and off
- 1x push button to change mode
- 1x arduino pro mini to control flashing mode
- 1x 3 AA battery holder


I wanted to get something very bright and have arduino to control these lights, but because it was using a lot of current I had to install some transistor.
I am not a genius in electronic, but probably my transistor wouldn't handle the amount of current of 4 leds, so I put one on each led.

An huge amount of hot glue was used to make it waterproof, I am sorry I made something very ugly, but the next version will be better!

I have coded 3 modes for my bike: both solid, front solid and back flashing, both flashing.
I could have used some small components and a 555 timer, but because I am very lazy and the arduino pro mini was very small, I decided to code it.

The whole electronics is fitted under the seat with some hot glue and good position in case I ride in a bumpy road.

The main switch, that you can reach with your hand, turn on the whole system and in few seconds I am ready to cycle.
I have used heat shrink to cover the cable and to make it less "mobile-bomb", people could think that I just made something dangerous!

The button to change the mode is located on the top bar, where you hands are.
I used a piece of plastic to make sure that it will be "water-proof", but only the first few rains will tell me if I have done a good job.

Final result
The big piece of glue is not good-looking stuff, I will try improve the whole system by using one single transistor and to drill 4 holes into the reflectors.
It will become less ugly and more stable while I am cycling.

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