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  1. #1
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    Remote control head light

    Hi guys,

    Just thought you would like to look at a little project I have been playing with over the last few months.









    The body is a bit rough, as is the home anodizing but I'm pleased as a first effort!

    The body houses 2 triple XPG's from Cutters and I run it from a 11.1v, 3000 mAh Li-polymer battery either on back of the helmet (quite heavy but not too bad!) or in the camelbak.

    In a pocket behind the LED holes are 2 of George's BFlex drivers wired to run as master/slave and each driving one of the triples.

    All pretty standard stuff. The slightly novel bits are the wireless remote control and handlebar switch.

    The ugly little circuit board shrink wrapped to the cable is one of these from Farnell's. The handlebar switch housing was milled from nylon bar and houses one of these along with a couple of watch batteries.

    The range is quite good considering the tiny size of the transmitter and easily works from the handlebars and can turn the light on and off from across the other side of the pub after the ride!

    Just in case something goes wrong with the remote there is also a reed switch inside the case which can be operated with a small magnet.

    I have used it on a number of night rides and having the ability to turn it on or up without removing my hands from the bars is great, as I tend to ride with it on the low setting (500mA) and only go to the 1000mA setting when the trail gets a bit hairy. It also comes in handy to flash the occasional car should they not dim their lights on the way home!

    I would like the beam to be more narrow though as the spread on these is very high and itís really more suited to a bar light.

    (Sorry about the quality of the photos!)

    Tanner
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Remote control head light-img00208-20100714-1628.jpg  

    Remote control head light-img00210-20100714-1629.jpg  

    Remote control head light-img00212-20100714-1630.jpg  

    Remote control head light-img00018-20100328-1745.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Oh, that's nice. I've been dreaming about this very thing. However, I also want status so mine needs to be 2-way. I've been thinking about Bluetooth tranceivers. James

  3. #3
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    NICE! I almost built a remote once out of camera transmitters for one of my lights, but never ended up doing it. I love your ingenuity... great job!

  4. #4
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    God job, the wireless ir a great option for helmet lights.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    Oh, that's nice. I've been dreaming about this very thing. However, I also want status so mine needs to be 2-way. I've been thinking about Bluetooth tranceivers. James
    I use a couple of these
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8565
    Which enbles 2 way although I curently only recive at the helmet. Interfacing one directly to the bflex is a little tricky but posible. I have mine setup to recive a variable light level sent from my homemade bike computer. I may well add the nessasary code to transmit the battery voltage back so I can display it on the computer.

    Tanners solution is far more acessible to more people as I assume he has not reprogrammed the bflex just interfaced the module to the standard switch input. You can probobly do somthing similar with some of the module from this
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=79 selection at Sparkfun for a bit less cash. You may need to do some level conversion though.

    Nice job.

  6. #6
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    Thanks Gents - comments much appreciated!

    Ifor - you are correct, I didnt (read couldn't!) reprogramme the drivers - the output from the receiver module goes to the switch input of the drivers via a transistor.

    The bar switch does exactly what a normal switch does, just without wires!

  7. #7
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    WOW

    This is the one feature i have really been craving. My helmet mounted 6xp-e troutlite is nearly perfect, now if i just cram one of these in it will be perfect. Handle bar remote control for the helmet mounted light. Darned impressive and about time. I had been hoping George or quazzle would make a constant current board with a wireless remote. I cant wait to see more details on this.

  8. #8
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    Just when you think it's safe to enter your workshop....

    Nice.

    About your DIY bike computer, if it is in a post in another thread, could you provide the link, please? Much obliged.

  9. #9
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    Yep, it's time for Tanner to "step-up", I want battery status on my bike computer. I have a Cateye and a Garmin 705 now, more s$it on the bars won't hurt! James

  10. #10
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    Really cool idea and I like the way it turned out as well! I have some similar 433mhz 4 channel modules from when electronics goldmine was blowing them out, unfortunately they are now sold out. For something simple as a button push these modules seem pretty simple.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    Just when you think it's safe to enter your workshop....

    Nice.

    About your DIY bike computer, if it is in a post in another thread, could you provide the link, please? Much obliged.
    Sorry no writeup for the bike computer. Some pictures for mark 1 and then mark 2
    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/iforpo...eat=directlink

    Ifor

  12. #12
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    cool idea and really ingenious and simple implementation.

    The next would the helmet light which reads your thoughts detecting brain signals inside the helmet. The rather that the helmet light is quite close to the brain. Should be feasible.

  13. #13
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    yes but would you have to think in russian?

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    Just when I thought I had my new light design completed... This is now on my must have list for my quazzle 332MC light.

    Quote Originally Posted by ifor
    You can probobly do somthing similar with some of the module from this
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=79 selection at Sparkfun for a bit less cash. You may need to do some level conversion though.

    Nice job.
    These modules are very small. Any idea on what it entailed in setting these up for a wireless button system?

  15. #15
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    Sorry gents my electronics knowledge is pretty basic (and if I get something wrong will someone please correct me!).

    I used the slightly larger module as they combined the decoder and the receiver in one unit - ie the output is a simple on-off which can be easily used to control a driver.

    Other receiver only modules will need some sort of decoder to change the signal received into something useful to control the driver - I am sure someone out there will be able to assist though as making the receiver smaller would be great as it could be incorporated into the light body and not stuck on the lead like mine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmitchell13
    Just when I thought I had my new light design completed... This is now on my must have list for my quazzle 332MC light.


    These modules are very small. Any idea on what it entailed in setting these up for a wireless button system?
    You would need one of the transmiters and one of the recivers at the same frequency. The quatoed baud rate will not be relervant. The data pin on the reciver simply follows the data pin on the transmiter. So theoreticaly conect the switch to the transmiter data pin and the data pin on the reciver to the switch input on the controller. You need to get the level of the switch right e.g. normaly high or low. The other complication is the voltage levels, the recivers need 5V if the controller is 5V then a direct conection will proboboly work. If the controller is lower eg 3V like the TaskLed drivers tend to be then it would not be good to directly conect 5V directly. You would need to put some sort of transistor in there to do a level conversion.

  17. #17
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    This appears similar to the module I have (but have not yet used):

    http://www.quasarelectronics.com/30a...rx-modules.htm

    Seems to be ideal for a (simple) remote control bike light. It has a fob and it looks like it would not require too much extra circuitry to get it to work since it already does the difficult work for you - appears to use some protocol which probably helps with the noise - some even do rolling codes. Some of the sparkfun modules look to be simple transmitters or receivers which will likely require some degree of intelligence to be added to so any little blip would not toggle the mode button (probably would need a PIC on both ends to utilize some basic protocol for reliable button presses). The module in the link will sill require a power source (5V) and if your driver takes 3V like ifor noted, there would need to be a transistor to act as the switch/button . This module is more expensive than I would pay, but I am sure they can be found cheaper.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuffyPuffy
    This appears similar to the module I have (but have not yet used):

    http://www.quasarelectronics.com/30a...rx-modules.htm

    Seems to be ideal for a (simple) remote control bike light. It has a fob and it looks like it would not require too much extra circuitry to get it to work since it already does the difficult work for you - appears to use some protocol which probably helps with the noise - some even do rolling codes. Some of the sparkfun modules look to be simple transmitters or receivers which will likely require some degree of intelligence to be added to so any little blip would not toggle the mode button (probably would need a PIC on both ends to utilize some basic protocol for reliable button presses). The module in the link will sill require a power source (5V) and if your driver takes 3V like ifor noted, there would need to be a transistor to act as the switch/button . This module is more expensive than I would pay, but I am sure they can be found cheaper.
    I would expect the sparkfun modules to just work. (no garantee of course untill someone tries) They must have a degree of reliability to even contemplate using them for a serial link as they are advertised for. The major thing that will help make them work with the likes of a TaskLed flex drivers is that there will be some code executing on the driver microcontroller that already debounces the switch input so a small spike should not cuase trouble. The major drawback I see would be interferance if you had two modules close together. A good reason for not building one for all your mates.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifor
    I would expect the sparkfun modules to just work. (no garantee of course untill someone tries) They must have a degree of reliability to even contemplate using them for a serial link as they are advertised for. The major thing that will help make them work with the likes of a TaskLed flex drivers is that there will be some code executing on the driver microcontroller that already debounces the switch input so a small spike should not cuase trouble. The major drawback I see would be interferance if you had two modules close together. A good reason for not building one for all your mates.
    That is true, I forgot that the driver would likely need to have some sense to debounce a switch. What made me think about the noise issue was that some posts I saw on the Sparkfun modules mentioned noise in the datastream, and one poster said that the higher baud module which he said was better noise-wise had an error every couple minutes which he was able to deal with. A simple protocol though would avoid the noise problem mostly though, and it looks like the modules with the fobs use some kind of protocol. The fobs are also cool IMHO.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the computer pix. Thanks for tip on 5v vs 3 volt on Taskled hookups.

    I can see redesigning a light in progress to do this, The possibility of lights reporting their respective battery status before the driver begins its flashing/cutbacks is very cool.

  21. #21
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    I just pulled the trigger on the sparkfun modules.
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8948
    &
    http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/pro...oducts_id=8945

    Hopefully I can get these to work. I'll probably just incorporate it onto the power cable like tanner72 did, because there isn't any room in my housing for it.

    Also I'm using a Quazzle L332MC board and it has an LDO output that outputs 5V, so there should be no need to convert the voltage.

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