Odd Software for Odd Jobs

Bike Sonar, part 4

So this is what I've ended up with for mounting on my bike - bit of wood, a lot of cable ties, a bit of galvanised steel and some bolts (that has holes that perfectly lined up with where my red reflector was).

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The display is mounted so that the distance is captured on video by my Cycliq Fly6.

I made the mistake of running the LeoStick from a 9V battery - whoa, that smelt bad when it blew! Silly mistake - I'd earlier used an Arduino Nano clone that happily ran off a 9V and had assumed the LeoStick was the same (when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me … but just me in this case).

So down to Jaycar to grab another LeoStick. But how to power it? There's no 5V batteries - could I used 6V directly? Probably not - I'd have to add a voltage regulator to my circuit to knock it down to 5V - a bit of a re-design after all that fiddly soldering I did!

But then got the idea to use one of those USB battery banks you can recharge your phone with.

Unfortunately, the battery bank I got is too clever … it can tell a phone isn't plugged in and so switches off. As a workaround, I have to plug my phone into the second USB output socket (shaking head).

I took it for a test ride … and it worked! Unfortunately, the cycling infrastructure around where I live is pretty good - lots of bike paths, so I didn't really get a chance to ride on the road. But I simulated by riding up close to parked cars.

First thing I realised … an LED display is not much use in the middle of the day! Not bright enough. Anyway, made some tweaks and did a static test after I got home.