Motorcycle Arduino hud type idea...

Hi All,

I'm a new motorcycle rider and I keep forgetting to turn off my indicator. So I had a thought...

I want to display in my helmet (like a hud) when an indicator is on. So some ideas and questions:

  1. How to display in helmet. Doesn't need heaps of information (So don't need to go all out with optics etc). Maybe even just an LED that flashes every 10 seconds or so to let me know that it's on... Or something more fancy.

  2. How to connect the module on the bike that has the data (ie. indicator on) with the module in the helmet.

  3. The helmet module has to be small!

So any thoughts?

I’d be tempted to go with a more simple option, and print an “INDICATORS!!” label to stick near the dials as a little reminder. A helmet-mounting display would be awesome, but expensive and difficult to do well. Sometimes simple problems have simple solutions :slight_smile:

Yeah but where's the arduino fun in that!

shags_j: Hi All,

I'm a new motorcycle rider and I keep forgetting to turn off my indicator. So I had a thought...

I want to display in my helmet (like a hud) when an indicator is on. So some ideas and questions:

Before you begin, you may want to inquire whether modifying a motorcycle helmet is illegal. And obviously, you don't want to do anything that would make the helmet structurally unsound.

I should mention I'm just getting past the blinky light stage in terms of actual Arduino usage, though I have been programming since 1975. I can see how it might be designed, but I can't necessarily help in the actual building.

shags_j: 1. How to display in helmet. Doesn't need heaps of information (So don't need to go all out with optics etc). Maybe even just an LED that flashes every 10 seconds or so to let me know that it's on... Or something more fancy.

  1. How to connect the module on the bike that has the data (ie. indicator on) with the module in the helmet.

  2. The helmet module has to be small!

So any thoughts?

Here I would go for simplicity. You don't want anything too distracting. I would think taping two leds just under the visor opening, one on either side would be simplest. That way you aren't drilling holes in the helmet, and/or having things inside the helmet that could break off and cause problems. You would want to use diffused leds, and not the ultra-bright ones.

I would run the wires from each led to a common join point, and combine them into a phono 3.5mm (or 2.5mm) 3 element male connector, combining the two ground wires into one connection, and each light's signal wire as the other 2 connections. You then have a female wire that the helmet plugs into that runs to the Arduino. That way you can easily take off the helmet and disconnect the wires. If you forget, the wire would just come apart when you take off the helmet. Of course remembering to reconnect the wire when you put the helmet back on is a different problem.

You then hook up the Arduino on the motorcycle to the turn signals. You probably want opto-isolators between the turn signals and the Arduino (I am personally struggling with opto-isolators and relays right now). It should be a simple program to blink each light. You could also use a 555 IC and eliminate the Arduino to do the blink, but what fun is that?

In fact, if you just want an LED indicator, it should be a simple matter to hook up each LED in parallel to the indicator tail lights on your motorcycle, and you don't need an Arduino. You would need appropriate resistors so you don't burn out the LED.

Now, to get fancier, I might think about having an Arduino with a bluetooth transmitter on the bike, and a receiver on the helmet, so you don't need wires connecting things.

If you want to put an Arduino on the helmet, something like the Teensy http://www.adafruit.com/products/199 or BoArduino http://www.adafruit.com/category/19 might be small enough with an appropriate power supply. But you probably want to do things simply at first before going down this route.

Before you begin, you may want to inquire whether modifying a motorcycle helmet is illegal. And obviously, you don't want to do anything that would make the helmet structurally unsound.

Having just last week plowed into the side of a pickup truck on my motorcycle, I'll second this.

Being a high mileage rider, I'll also add that you don't want to add anything (else) to the helmet that can cut, scrape, puncture, or otherwise irritate you under normal conditions, and especially not under abnormal conditions.

Working on a project to self-cancel the turn signals, or to make an obnoxiously loud noise when you forget to turn the turn signals off, would be a much better idea, in my opinion.

Leave the helmet modifications to the pros. Even they get it wrong too often.

PaulS: Working on a project to self-cancel the turn signals, or to make an obnoxiously loud noise when you forget to turn the turn signals off, would be a much better idea, in my opinion.

Sorry to hear about your accident.

Hmmm, we could use this in cars as well. :) You see some drivers who drive for miles with their blinkers on.

Ok, this wasn't really for actual use...

So lets modify it so we aren't messing with helmet. My helmet has a spoot to put a bluetooth headset. What if the module on the bike feed a beep every now and then to the headset.

What if the module on the bike feed a beep every now and then to the headset.

That's a better idea. You'd need to determine when the turn signals were flashing, when, in relationship to when the signals were activated, to start the beeping, and what to send to the BT to make it make a beeping noise.

Ok. Instead of connecting directly to the turn signal module in the bike; I could use a photo resistor attached to the turn signal? When the light comes on send a sound to the bluetooth headset? Might work for prototyping then later I can take the farings off and hard wire into the electronics to read from the turn signals module directly.

Next step then would be to get a noise to the bluetooth headset. Never connected arduino to an aftermarket product like this via blueooth, I assume it is possible?

Most Arduino/bluetooth solutions connect the Arduino to the serial data connections on the bluetooth module. That won't work for you. Your headset will probably be a hands-free protocol device, so you'll need bluetooth module that the Arduino can connect to as an audio device. You'll need to pair the module to your headset somehow. If you can get that connection, then the tone() command can be used to make a simple beep sound when the ldr detects light.