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Category: Bike Rides

External USB Power

External USB Power

One of my last long distance rides turned out to be grueling.  It started going sour when I noticed my phone battery level was getting low.  In a pinch, I used the battery pack that supplied my helmet camera.  That kept it alive for the remainder of the ride.  I wasn’t as lucky with my main pack.  It seemed to work but the charger stopped.  To add insult to injury, I then had to haul the dead weigth.  It turned…

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Noise and Air Pollution Maps

Noise and Air Pollution Maps

Two of the sensors that I’ll be incorporating in the sensor helmet have the potential to shape how I’ll plan my routes.  I had mentioned in earlier posts about air quality monitors and tracking them on a map.  Having this type of information during route planning could be useful.  I didn’t realize at the time the demand for type of data and the research that was currently being pursued in this area. Yet again while searching online for examples for…

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GPX, CSV, and TCX Data Formats

GPX, CSV, and TCX Data Formats

In my previous post about Topofusion, I mentioned that the software was a perfect fit for the GPX files that my Android phone created with MyTracks.  The GPX files are a GPS eXchange Format files that contain information about tracks that have been traveled or routes that have been planned. Knowing the difference between tracks and routes is key.  Here is a quick description about each.  Tracks are paths that have been recorded while traveling.  Routes are plots made with…

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Topofusion

Topofusion

Topofusion, the only thing I can say to simply summerize this software is AWESOME!  If you haven’t used this, seen it, or heard about it, go here.  I stumbled on to this software one evening looking for something that would take my GPX files.  I was using MyTracks on my Android to create the GPX files.  This was awesome too, check it out. I was getting used to the usual route and track plots with speed and elevation profiles offered…

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Power of the Sensor Helmet

Power of the Sensor Helmet

Powering the sensor helmet will be a multi step approach. First, I’ll need to identify the power requirements for all of the devices connected.  Each component that requires voltage to operate will have a spec detialing its nominal operation. Second, I’ll need to identify power sources.  For instance, some sensors will be powered by the on board regulator of the pro mini.  Will that regulator be able to handle the load? Third, I’ll need to determine the time span that…

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808 Camera Modification – Power and Sound

808 Camera Modification – Power and Sound

One of the requirements of the sensor helmet will be to confine the action camera.  The 808-16 camera that I’m currently using sits on top of the helmet with a USB cable tethered from it to a LiPoly pack on the back of the helmet.  My first helmet had this USB cable on the outside of the shell.  The second and third generation helmets had the cable routed inside, but the camera and battery pack were still on the outside….

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Sound senor placement on the Sensor Helmet

Sound senor placement on the Sensor Helmet

One item with the various sensors that I’ll have to pay close attention to is the microphone placement.  I’ve got a huge amount of video with the sound awash with wind noise. When I first started using the video cameras, I thought it would be great to have some narrative.  I had made some initial attempts, but it typically resulted in noise. Also, There are things the mic could have captured that the lens could not.  Having that data space…

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Storage of the Sensor Helmet

Storage of the Sensor Helmet

The storage device for the sensor helmet will be the Sparkfun Openlog.  This is a simple serial feed sniffer that drops the data it reads on to a micro SD chip. I had a chance to try some test sensor data read from the pro mini.  The pro mini let me choose a software serial port to output to.  Once that was setup, I was ready to connect the Openlog and start it.  It really is that simple. The program…

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Controller of the Sensor Helmet

Controller of the Sensor Helmet

The Arduino Pro Mini will be selected as the controller due to its small size and reliability.  This micro controller is small.  I ordered 2 of them from Sparkfun and they arrived in a few days.  They don’t come with header pins installed.  This is a plus because I have the option to header or wire it in a way the is dictated by the design. Here is a pin out map of the Arduino Pro Mini for reference. I…

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