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Hackster Project of the Month: July 2016

Bikes that will light up your life!

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Sometimes I’m an easy mark.

A few months ago I did the Hackster Project of the Month post on a few projects that grabbed my attention. One of those projects was a bike light control. I mentioned that I love riding, and any hacks I could set up for my bike are of great interest to me. Someone seemed to be paying attention.

Patrick had been working on a POV bike light system. He made sure to document the entire process really well. Please check out a solid code repo, lots of cool photos and a few videos to show you everything in action.

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The basis of the POV system is the SparkFun BadgerStick. I’m a big fan of this item, but since I missed out on the conference where we handed those out, I have the RedStick. Same great form factor, same great functionality, slightly different name. I personally spend a lot of time with my RedStick. Its simple interface means I’m normally prototyping a lot of things on it.

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Patrick is a regular bike commuter and rides nearly every day. I was assuming it was extra lights for his bike (safety third or something), but he told me it was for his wife’s bike. They have a new baby (congrats!), and his wife hasn’t been riding as much lately. I imagine an idle bike was too tempting as a canvas for an electronic arts project.

The initial project took Patrick about four weeks, during which he played around with a handful of configurations. He finished the project just before Nick’s etched circuits blog post came out. That, plus a conversation with Shawn, another of our resident creative techs, helped inspire him to have a second go-round on the project. This update has led to a bunch of extra content into a project that was already pretty solid.

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In our conversation about the project, Patrick even mentioned that he built the wheel this project is a part of from parts – getting the rim, hub and spokes from different locations and making that too. Hackers and makers can never leave well enough alone … it’s fantastic!

Patrick lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife and child. He’s a computer professional and spends his free time detailing his projects on his blog.

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