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Bike - o - meter

20 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

ok i know this is kind of a crazy idea for any normal person but i want to ask it to someone who is expert with hardware and electronics ... i want to know if there is any way we can design a device which can be connected to smartphones to make it work as a bike speed meter... for those who didnt get it i mean like we take a wireless bike meter from any bike shop and then we modify it so that the speed can be displayed on a smartphone instead of the ordinary lcd device supplied with the kit... the siemens already have one such phone and a kit which does this very same function ( i dont remember the model number thought) so mayb if v can try for the smartphone.... i know this is kind of a tough thing to understand but if ny one get;s it please reply....

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Posted · Report post

its possible, but not easy, you woulnd need to design a sensor with a usb interface, drivers and write software for interpriting the signal.

As a potential money maker i wouldnt rate it, i dont think there is a big enough market.

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Posted · Report post

Looking at how a bike speedometer works you can see the following components.

1) A Magnet attached to the wheel

2) A Reed Switch attached to the frame (actuated by the above)

2a) A Wire to the bike computer mount

or

2b) A Radio transmitter sending to the computer mount

3) A Bike computer.

With each rotation of the wheel the magnet passes and closes the reed switch once. This electrical signal then either passes directly to the bike computer, or is converted to and from a radio signal and then to the bike computer. The bike computer then counts the number of off-on-off electrical pulses.

I'd have thought it wouldn't be that hard to connect the reed switch, either directly or using a wireless cradle like a bike computer, into the headset socket (microphone pole). Then all that would be needed is the software to count the pulses and translate this into speed, distance etc. I've seen the same basic idea used as a chono for air-rifle and pistol shooting using a PC sound card mic input.

As for a market? I know I'd buy one if the price was right. Particularly if the software logged rides which could then by downloaded onto PC.

I guess you could do the same thing using bluetooth and GPS though, although I've heard a number of people say that GPS for ride logging isn't perfect unless it will compute in 3 dimensions to calculate actual distance travelled.

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Posted · Report post

Thanx for your help Alex,

i have got the basic idea and have even tried it.. i already had the magnet and the wireless tranmitter with me.. i converted it a bit and connected it to the pc through the microphone jack in the soundcard and when the magnet is passed over the transmitter a sound is produced.. now i know that we need to convert this in a way to make it fit to the smartphone.. even that is quite a easy task.. but can you help me with the software part of it?? i dont know any kind of programing so if any one is willing and could, please help...

thanx in advance

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Posted · Report post

.. but can you help me with the software part of it?? i dont know any kind of programing so if any one is willing and could, please help...

thanx in advance

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'd love to help with the software, but know absolutely nothing about writing software at all. Maybe there's someone who can help though.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Harpreet, unless you have an old phone like the E100 or E200 I don’t think you will be able to connect this device to your phone.

If you have a device like to Motorola's or the C500 these only come with Mini USB connectors and I think you would need a lot of quite a bit of stuff to make a USB master device to work with the phone.

The old E100 and E200 both have a physical com port on them and I imagine a small converter could be wired up to a serial connector and then attached to the phone.

On a slightly different trail of thought take a look at this, in this thread soup dragon is using a gps with MoDaCo CamerAware to monitor his running.

Would something like this not be better suited for you? as I imagine all the components to make a USB master may cost more than a gps?

Either way let us know I am sure there will be a lot of us interested in how it goes.

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Posted · Report post

I disagree with the lack of potential for the app. I think many users would enjoy it...Myself being one. If you ride a bike...and use a smartphone....odds are you take your phone with you wherever you go. Why not have a cool app/hardware that will track this data.

That said....I dont think hardware is your answer. I believe GPS/time data could do this just as well without attaching anything to your bike.

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Posted · Report post

Ahhh....should have read more thoroughly. DrStrange had the same idea.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Harpreet, unless you have an old phone like the E100 or E200 I don’t think you will be able to connect this device to your phone.

If you have a device like to Motorola's or the C500 these only come with Mini USB connectors and I think you would need a lot of quite a bit of stuff to make a USB master device to work with the phone.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No the idea is to connect it using the headset jack on the phone, not the serial or mini usb. Mind you up to the E200 the serial DID have a mic in pin didn't it?

But logically the headset jack would be easier, with software to switch on the mic and count the electrical pulses from the reed switch.

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Posted · Report post

The only benefit to the hard that I could see is if you plan on attaching it to a stationary bike. :D

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That said....I dont think hardware is your answer. I believe GPS/time data could do this just as well without attaching anything to your bike.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

GPS = Expense and etra things to mount and power on a bicycle. Also do the GPS systems on the smartphone work in 3 dimensions to calculate a true distance travelled?

Headset jack based = cheap, easier to mount, uses the phone's power. The only downside is you can't ride along with your headset connected too. But then you shouldn't really be doing that anyway.

Sometimes I think people try to make things too complicated using USBs and bluetooth, when an obvious solution is staring you in the face.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Alex_le_brit, apologises I did not read your post correctly.

Using the mic socket is very imaginative so top marks there, but what is going to happen if the phone rings :?: it sounds like you may have to unplug your device to take your call. If you use a GPS you could use your supplied headphones and listen to music at the same time and take incoming calls.

GPS's don’t cost that much these days and with new units offering 10 hours plus on one charge I don’t think you need to be concerned with an additional power source.

The as stated in the CamerAware thread the GPS can be worn in the pocket so that avoids the need for any type of mount and the phone can be on your belt. This then avoids the possibility of wires getting tangled.

GPS's do work in 3D and using something like CamerAware or other software you can log your results and either analyse them or view them in a suitable mapping package.

Don’t get me wrong the mic socket is a good idea and it could prove to be quite a universal method of doing something like this.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Posted · Report post

I'm a cheapskate as well, so the mic socket looked good to me. And I just (finally) upgraded from SPV to E200 (I know I'm behind everyone else) so I was looking for alternative uses for an old SPV.

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http://www.expansys.com/p_sportsdo.asp

Seems the makers of SKIDO...the skiing telemetry recorder (via GPS) also have a few more apps up their sleeve.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmm £29.99 + £129.99 for the recommended GPS to do something that a £35 bike computer and a couple of OS maps will do better. Seems like a great idea to me. :shock:

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I agree that the price of the software is high, and I dont endorse the program in ANY way, (Though it seems nice). But if you already own a BT GPS and a smartphone....it sure beats making a custom hardware solution. Plus you can record your data to track progress automatically.

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Got to thinking more about this yesterday when I found (yes found) a bluetooth headset in the car park. The thing looks like it's been trodden on though, and the mic end of the casing has been squashed. It does seem to connect to my E200 though, although there's no mic response.

I then realised that with the appropriate software on the phone, I could bodge this into a sensor/sender unit to fit on the bike, by replacing the mic with a reed switch, and fitting it in the same place as a standard sensor would be.

Then everytime the magnet on the wheel passed the "sensor" the reed switch would close, which would send an signal just like a mic. Then the headset would send this to the phone by bluetooth. Now all it needs at the other end is software to count the pulses, and convert to speed, distance etc.

Unfortunately that's as far as I get, because I can't write software, does anyone fancy the chanllenge?

Otherwise I'll just use the headset as a way to listen to mp3s in mono while cycling as having both ears blocked with music seems a bit dangerous to me.

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Posted · Report post

I have no use at all at for this at the moment but it sounds quite cool anyway.

Im starting a Software Engineering degree in September and prolly will have to get a pushbike.

so if you aint got it sorted by then I will try to do it for ya ;)

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Posted · Report post

I have no use at all at for this at the moment but it sounds quite cool anyway.

Im starting a Software Engineering degree in September and prolly will have to get a pushbike.

so if you aint got it sorted by then I will try to do it for ya  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh we've not got anywhere with this, so if you can that'd be great.

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Posted · Report post

Any updates on this at all? This would be quite cool to have?

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