Motorcycle Turn Signals Idea

Hi all, I'm new to this forum, and to be honest new to the Arduino entirely. But I'm not new to building things:

That's my bike, it's an 87 Ninja 750. I bought it as a basket case, and have spent the last few years, slowly piecing it back together. Ignore my buddy walking towards my camera, unless you like PBR. Which I do!

Here's the rough sketch of my idea.

This is what I'm working with.

This is my fairing, you can see the LED strips already in place, but they're not quite bright enough for my liking during the day and they don't have enough LEDs for the effect I'm going for. So I bought something similar to these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/24cm-Amber-LED-Flexible-Neon-Strip-Light-for-Car-or-Van-/320857713859?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4ab49c2cc3&vxp=mtr

I'm going to have 2 strips side by side on each turn signal, and I want them to pulse similar to Knight Rider.

The strips can be broken up into sections of 3, which I'll be doing.

Here's where I need help:

  1. Can a single Arduino run both turn signals independently? And handle the hazard light function? I do want to stay moderately legal. Since it's in the bike, what else could I use it for?

  2. Which Arduino would I need to purchase?

  3. I've found the blikenlight code for the Knight Rider effect, and it seems like that would be a good choice to use. I'm not a computer programmer so what else would need done to make my project happen.

  4. Is this even doable? Or should I use something different?

Handsome_Matt: Here's where I need help:

  1. Can a single Arduino run both turn signals independently? And handle the hazard light function? I do want to stay moderately legal. Since it's in the bike, what else could I use it for?

Yeah that should be too hard. Just need a button or something to tell it to turn on the blinker when needed. Biggest problem woudl eb getting the blinker to shut off after a turn (though most bikes don't do that anyways if i remember)

  1. Which Arduino would I need to purchase?

You could probably pull it all off with a regular uno, though if you don't want a big controller sitting on your bike somewhere you could try with one of the smaller arduino models.

  1. I've found the blikenlight code for the Knight Rider effect, and it seems like that would be a good choice to use. I'm not a computer programmer so what else would need done to make my project happen.

Perhaps learning a bit of the core could help, tutorials are always helpful. Biggest worry with this would be having enough power for the arduino and the LEDs to run for a while. You'll probably end up needing to run the rig off of that bikes battery (if it has one) or having a battery pack you gotta take off and plug in at home to run it.

  1. Is this even doable? Or should I use something different?

Yeah its doable. Shouldn't be too hard either.

Thanks for the guidance! I was going to go ahead and wire the arduino into the power supply of the bike, and after figuring out a bit more of what it can do: using it for a few more things than running my turnsignals.

I was going to use the handlebar switch, which isn't too hard to work with. And you are correct, most motorcycles aren't self-canceling.

Depending how many LEDs you plan to power you may need to use transistors to carry the load of the LEDs.

Now that I see your strip requires 12v, you must use transistors. Look in the playground for examples.

That's probably a good project for a stand-alone ATTiny chip.

ATtiny?

And after a little searching through the playground, it looks like the Lightunio is also a good choice for this project.

ATTiny are smaller MCU's than the ATMegas the Arduino's run on, but they're mostly compatible. They're about half the price, just as fast but fewer than half the legs. But, I think, still more than you need.

Consider that as a stand-alone you can pack the project however you got space for the parts and only for the cost of parts, not a whole Arduino. You could probably fit the whole 'brains' onto a cheap 20 or so pin socket using the socket as a kind of PCB. They ain't called Tiny for nuthin! Mouser used to have them 10 for about $1.35 each months ago, if anything they might be cheaper now.

The how to shrinkify your Arduino project video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30rPt802n1k&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=SP23C82C496271F7B9

The MIT how-to with download updated for Arduino 1.0: http://hlt.media.mit.edu/?p=1695

What voltage is your motorcycle's electrical system? 12 Volt or 6?