DIY cycling speed vest tells everyone how fast you’re biking

Oct. 11, 2011 (4:03 am) By: Jennifer Bergen
If you’re not a cyclist, it’s likely you’ve been sitting in your car upset about all the bikers you have to be careful not to hit. A lot of people will honk their horns at bicyclists, thinking they’re riding too slowly, when, in fact, they’re most likely riding at the same speed as the guy honking in the car. Cycling advocate Brady Clark designed a lightweight night-cycling vest that displays the cyclist’s current speed in glowing, 7-inch-tall numbers that’s very visible to drivers.
Clark posted his step-by-step guide on how to make your own Speed Vest on Make, and begs the question of his readers whether it would make a difference if car drivers actually knew how fast a biker was going, “would they be more willing to share the road?”
Clark completed the project in a “maniac three-day push.” He used an Arduino microntroller that reads input from an “off-the-shelf bike speedometer sensor.” The sensor switches power and sends the info to numbers that are sewn onto the back of the vest and are made out of electroluminescent wire.
Though this vest was only made in three days, Clark is already thinking about Speed Vest II. Clark wants to make the Speed Vest wireless, since as it is now, when the rider dismounts, he often can forget he’s plugged into the bike, which has resulted in having to resolder the connectors a few times. He’ll also use a custom PCB design instead of the whole Arduino USB board to make the device smaller overall.
It’s really a neat little project that’s explained in so much detail on Make that it’s easy to follow along and make yourself.
Read more at Make

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