eBike - Electric bike lights

Mrs 120ThingsIn20Years pulled up in her eBike only to grab a hand rail and detach a bit of tendon that should have never been detached.


She's under the Plastic & Re-constructive Surgeon's knives, scanners, and other bits of kit as I type. So this is part blog post, part self distraction.

We are so lucky in the west to have access to all these amazing experts who learnt all this amazing stuff from all our amazing universities, then went on to work at places with amazing tech that can do amazing things.

Head transplants and so forth.

Sometimes medical staff (oneofmyformerelderlyGPs) forget they didn't get there on there own, but rather because we wanted them to be put there so found the cash to teach them, and that perhaps the poor people in the hospital where they used to work were poor because they were sick or something, and not just because they loved daytime television.

But more often than not they are an awesome bunch of people.

So thanks medical type people everywhere. If it wasn't for you, I would have been dead ages ago, many times over.


Tail lights and indicators had nothing to do with this mishap, but I cant help feeling it might be nice to not have to take your hand off the front brake (right hand) to signal a right turn across traffic (we drive on the left). If you don't signal you run the risk of getting killed, and if you do, you will almost certainly be killed.

Especially by that loony driver who was driving on a moonless night with their lights off. Thanks loony driver for near missing me. A near miss is always better than a light graze.

Anyway, I thought I'd make some indicators and brake lights and things.

I figured I'd use a PICAXE programmable chip to make everything work.

I further figured the feature list should be ...

  • Headlight control so I can set strobe, always on, hi/low beam or whatever. This way I can add my own light directly to the eBike power supply at some stage, and turn the world into daylight if needs be. When we are on the road, a strobe headlight is always a good thing so you don't get lost amongst all the other white lights. But we have a lot of cycle tracks in Adelaide Australia, and when you're on the tracks, being able to see is more important, so you want solid bright light.
  • Turn indicators with a handlebar mounted three way thumb switch with off in the centre, and some kind of beeping sound that reminds you that they are on. Maybe a auto cancel function after 30 seconds (with an extra beep to let you know or something).
  • A brake light that does something dramatic to draw attention to itself, and when it's not being used as a brake light, should just go about acting like a normal tail light.
I think it's important to have a solid red light (most bike tail lights here strobe) to give the indicators a point of reference. It's will be difficult for a driver to tell if your indicator is the left or right without a red light reference point I think. 

For the brake light drama, I'm thinking along the lines of a rapidly increasing strobe that flashes faster and faster, then settles on solid bright red light. The flashing stage would take perhaps one second and should continue even after you take your hand off the brake, so you can use it as a "HERE I AM, LOOK AT ME" kind of thing. Just touch the brake when you think people need to be reminded of your being made of soft squishy stuff that goes all rancid when all your blood falls out, and then you can get back to escaping from them.

Then one last feature should be a "strobe everything" function in case of emergency. I might also attach that to the warning device.

My current warning device is a bell, but it's soon to be upgraded to a container ship's fog horn, and a baseball bat with a nail through the end of it.

Actually I think I might start a campaign that says a green flashing light on the end of a flexible fibre glass rod that extends two feet into traffic means that there is a diamond on the tip of the rod ready to gently (without disturbing me in the least) draw a line down the length of your car's paint if you get too close.

120 Things in 20 years thinks that the emergency "strobe everything" function would be best voice activated by a scream.

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