Code writer needed for a hardware project

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#1
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Hi all. I have designed a gear position indicator for my motorbikes. Not having any coding experience (other than a bit of basic 20 years ago) I was wondering if there was someone on here that would like a little challenge. I would prefer someone in Melbourne just in case phone calls may be needed. As I have a couple of different bikes there needs to be a bit of smarts in it to be able to detect the gears and display the correct gear. 

 

TIA

Last Edited: Tue. Mar 22, 2016 - 07:53 AM
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If this is to be commercial, I will move it to the marketplace.

 

Cheers,

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Well it wasn't a commercial request but I suppose I could think about that.

 

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Have you read about prior "art"?

 

http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/t...

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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hmm I did a gear indicator for someone in Melbourne a few years ago with promises on 1,000s of unit to be sold, it stopped at 2.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Thinking about putting my hand up... Let me sleep on it.

 

Steve

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I do wonder what use a gear indicator is. There's been a number of bikes over the ages that have had gear indication, but it hasn't got much traction. On a race bike, you don't look at the dash and on the road you find out quickly if you're in the wrong gear. Nevertheless, I'd have thought that most of the latest bikes with injection would know the gear anyway, so it would be a matter of sniffing the can bus. Unlike the old days where you'd have a rotary like switch on the end of the selector drum - you have a contact for neutral anyways. Today's solution would be a hall effect angle sensor.

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The bike I want it for selects different resistors as a voltage divider into the ECU. From that voltage it knows what gear it is in. The gear position switch is in the gearbox. Since posting the original question my brain has been ticking over in top gear. The idea of expanding my tacho design is also coming to the front.  I designed this ages ago and the software guru that was helping me out never got it working and we lost contact. I might sit down and have a good think of the things I might want to try and hopefully utilise similar code in each of them with a few small changes. 

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What bike are we talking about?

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Suzuki VZ1500

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You should be spending your time posing, not worrying about the rpm! Besides, its got bulk torque from idle to redline.
I'd just put a Bluetooth can interface on the bike and write an app for an Android table to give a digital dash.

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Why do you write code? What do you write code for?

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Why do i write code? Apart fom being my source of income, i write code to solve problems. What do i write code for? If it computes, i program it. Earlier this year i built a bluetooth box for my gokart to measure rpm,throttle and steering position. I then wrote an iphone app the records the camera video and overlays the tacho , throttle, steering, gforce etc on top. So you can replay the video and see what the driver was doing.
If the weather behaves, i'll take it out over easter. The weather is not looking good though - the kart is no fun in the wet on slicks.

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There you go. You write code because you can, you like to and you want to. 

 

I design and build gadgets because I can, I like to and I want to. Only difference is it is not a source of income. It is a hobby. It expands my mind.

 

There are many many gear position indicators out there but I want something different. Something simple but complex. Easy to install and set up but flexible enough to be used on different bikes. My only down fall is my lack of programming knowledge. I did a bit of Basic programming and a C64 and Amiga but that was 30 years ago. Every time I try to learn C++ I get distracted by other things and forget to come back to it. That is pretty much why I am asking for some help with this. 

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Seems my humour was lost in translation. So what help do you require on this project of yours?

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 24, 2016 - 02:46 AM
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as a side not, go for plain C and not C++ if you want to start. That will be a lot easier and if you get that going you can then expand again to C++.

To me it seems that by going for C++ in one big step from 0 is a huge hurdle and will be hard to get as you are struggling with the syntax. knowing C should help in that.

 

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meslomp wrote:

as a side not, go for plain C and not C++ if you want to start. That will be a lot easier and if you get that going you can then expand again to C++.

To me it seems that by going for C++ in one big step from 0 is a huge hurdle and will be hard to get as you are struggling with the syntax. knowing C should help in that.

 

 

I did start with C and have a great book on it. I also have what is supposed to be one of the best books on C++. I really think it might be my concentration span that might be the problem. ;-)

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Kartman wrote:

Seems my humour was lost in translation. So what help do you require on this project of yours?

 

Sorry about that. I had a rather off pissing experience on another AVR site recently. People telling me I was crazy trying to do things that have already been done. Could you imagine people being told not to learn how to walk because its already been done? I really enjoy designing things, making them as small as I can. I have been told just to use an Arduino but they are huge. I may use one as a proving platform but it is no good as a base for what I want.

 

Anyway, to answer your question. This first GPI is going to be a simplish one (wow a new word). Once installed the rider will need to set it up. They will need to program the gear voltages into the chip. Then they would need to set the next bit of the device which is a Timing Retard Eliminator which is just a process of selecting which gear you would like it to be in. 

 

I am in the process of doing the schematic and should be finished soon. I can post a PDF of it and a bit of a flow chart of what I would like it to do. I can get these finished over the weekend.

 

How much more detail would you like at this stage?

 

 

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Well, if you want people to buy into your idea, then you've got to put a good case forward. I do plenty of things that probably make little sense to others, but by the same token I'm not asking them to buy into it. I showed my gokart app to some people - zero interest. So i might make a youtube vid and see if that creates any interest. If not, too bad. I wanted to do some iphone stuff.
Anyways, i'd suggest using an Arduino. Too big? What do you mean? It can be less than 10x10mm if you want. How small do you want? What cpu are you proposing?
I think the best way forward for you is to write your own code. We can assist. This way you control your own destiny and learn something along the way. Let's start with a schematic.
I did have a brief read of the vz1500 2009 service manual, so i got a quick rundown of the electronics.

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I just finished the first rev of the schematic. About halfway through the flow chart. SCH is attached.

Attachment(s): 

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Your power supply has some critical flaws. First up, don't use a tantalum cap in this application as they like to go up in flames. You also have zero protection on the inputs. Go for an automotive rated regulator.
A mega328 looks like an Arduino to me. What does the current limiting to your led display?

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Personally (can't believe I'm about to say this!) I think anyone just starting out these days should probably concentrate on C++ not just plain ANSI C. 

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Maybe I'm missing something, and it has been a very long time since I've been on a bike (motorcycle), but as I remember it was 1 down and 4 or 5 up to select a gear.

Why would one need a display to remember what gear they are in?  I just looked at the tach and shifted up or down to keep the rev's in the power band!!!

 

 

Jim

 

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ki0bk wrote:

Maybe I'm missing something, and it has been a very long time since I've been on a bike (motorcycle), but as I remember it was 1 down and 4 or 5 up to select a gear.

Why would one need a display to remember what gear they are in?  I just looked at the tach and shifted up or down to keep the rev's in the power band!!!

 

 

Jim

 

 

What tach??????? Thats my next project.

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Kartman wrote:
Your power supply has some critical flaws. First up, don't use a tantalum cap in this application as they like to go up in flames. You also have zero protection on the inputs. Go for an automotive rated regulator. A mega328 looks like an Arduino to me. What does the current limiting to your led display?

 

Couple of points here. This is the first cut of the schematic so protection on the inputs can/will be added. What would you suggest. I was always of the impression an Arduino was an experimental board not a chip. Its a bit like saying a Holden V8 is a Clubsport. 

 

With regards to the power supply this is very similar to wha we have been using in our computers at work. I helped design and build computers and other equipment for UAVs. We have never had a problem with tantalums. Just have to make sure the voltage rating is about double the input.

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Automotive has special requirements. Sure, you can use a standard regulator and it will 'work', but it's not guaranteed to. Thus there are specific regulators for automotive application.

Arduino is a framework. Since you've chosen a mega328, you can easily prototype using Arduino hardware and tools then just burn the code into your mega328.

As for tantalums, you might want to do a bit of Googling. Voltage rating is the least of the problems. I've been called to investigate at least two cases where tantalums have gone up in flames and caused a commercial problem. You don't want a tant on the input to a device in an automotive application.

What would i recommend? What is the expected current consumption? Once you know the current consumption, then you can decide between a linear or switching reg.

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Ok. I will have a look at the power supply. I am expecting a current draw of about 100-150ma.

 

Now. Coding. Where do I start?

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windoze_killa wrote:

Ok. I will have a look at the power supply. I am expecting a current draw of about 100-150ma.

 

Now. Coding. Where do I start?

 

A concise statement of requirements would be a start :) Although in this case the "does it work yet?" method could be used. https://xkcd.com/844/

 

Assuming you have an IDE and programmer set up.

int gear;
int adc_val;

void main ()
{
    init_hardware();

    gear = 0;

    while (1)
    {
        adc_val = read_adc (0);
        if (adc_val < 100)
            gear = 1;
        else
            gear = 2;
        output_display(gear);
    }
}

 

BTW: "Arduino" can refer to a number of things. But hardware wise, any mega32 programmed with an Arduino compatible bootloader and exposed UART-TTL pins can be used with the Arduino IDE. The Arduino software is a really easy way to get some code going, especially for prototype. I could breadboard you schematic in about 10 mins, and 5 mins later have some code running. Later you can convert both prototype hardware and software to a production version.

 

Bob.

Last Edited: Fri. Mar 25, 2016 - 08:43 AM
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I will be buying an arduino dev kit soon. I am working on the flow chart but as I was working through I realised one of the things I wanted to do wasn't going to work so I need to get some measurements of the bike. 

 

PS. Thanks for your help.

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//
//  valid range of adc input. out of this range gets flagged as an error
//
#define ADC_VALID_MIN 0
#define ADC_VALID_MAX 1000
//
//  adc counts for the various gear positions. MIN and MAX to account for tolerance and noise
//
#define ADC_GEAR_1_MIN 10
#define ADC_GEAR_1_MAX 20
#define ADC_GEAR_2_MIN 40
#define ADC_GEAR_2_MAX 60
#define ADC_GEAR_3_MIN 100
#define ADC_GEAR_3_MAX 120
#define ADC_GEAR_4_MIN 200
#define ADC_GEAR_4_MAX 220
#define ADC_GEAR_5_MIN 300
#define ADC_GEAR_5_MAX 320
#define ADC_GEAR_6_MIN 400
#define ADC_GEAR_6_MAX 420

#define GEAR_NEUTRAL 255

#define SEG_A (1<<0)
#define SEG_B (1<<1)
#define SEG_C (1<<2)
#define SEG_D (1<<3)
#define SEG_E (1<<4)
#define SEG_F (1<<5)
#define SEG_G (1<<6)
#define SEG_DP (1<<7)

#define SEVSEG_0 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_C | SEG_D | SEG_E | SEG_F )
#define SEVSEG_1 ( SEG_B | SEG_C )
#define SEVSEG_2 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_D | SEG_E | SEG_F | SEG_G )
#define SEVSEG_3 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_C | SEG_D | SEG_G )
#define SEVSEG_4 ( SEG_B | SEG_C | SEG_E | SEG_F | SEG_G )
#define SEVSEG_5 ( SEG_A | SEG_C | SEG_D | SEG_D | SEG_F | SEG_G )
#define SEVSEG_6 ( SEG_C | SEG_D | SEG_E | SEG_F | SEG_G)
#define SEVSEG_7 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_C )
#define SEVSEG_8 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_C | SEG_D | SEG_E | SEG_F | SEG_G)
#define SEVSEG_9 ( SEG_A | SEG_B | SEG_C | SEG_F | SEG_G )
#define SEVSEG_DP ( SEG_DP )



uint8_t fail = 0;
uint8_t gear = 0;
void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:

  DDRD |= 0xff; //all outs for the LED display

}

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
static float filtered_adc = 0;
const float coeff = 0.1;  //alter to get required filtering

uint16_t raw_adc = analogRead(1);

// filter the adc value
filtered_adc = ((float)raw_adc * coeff) + ((1-coeff) *filtered_adc);

if ((filtered_adc < ADC_VALID_MIN) || (filtered_adc >= ADC_VALID_MAX))
  {
  gear  = 0;
  }
else
  {
  switch((uint16_t)filtered_adc)
    {
      case ADC_GEAR_1_MIN...ADC_GEAR_1_MAX:
          gear = 1;
          break;
      case ADC_GEAR_2_MIN...ADC_GEAR_2_MAX:
          gear = 2;
          break;
      case ADC_GEAR_3_MIN...ADC_GEAR_3_MAX:
          gear = 3;
          break;
      case ADC_GEAR_4_MIN...ADC_GEAR_4_MAX:
          gear = 4;
          break;
      case ADC_GEAR_5_MIN...ADC_GEAR_5_MAX:
          gear = 5;
          break;
      case ADC_GEAR_6_MIN...ADC_GEAR_6_MAX:
          gear = 6;
          break;
      default:
          gear = 0;
          break;    
    } //end switch
  }

  if (gear > 0)
  {
    display_7seg(gear);
  }

}

void display_7seg(uint8_t val)
{
    switch(val)
    {
      case 0:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_0;
        break;
      case 1:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_1;
        break;
      case 2:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_2;
        break;
      case 3:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_3;
        break;
      case 4:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_4;
        break;
      case 5:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_5;
        break;
      case 6:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_6;
        break;
      case 7:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_7;
        break;
      case 8:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_8;
        break;
      case 9:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_9;
        break;
      case GEAR_NEUTRAL:
        PORTD = SEVSEG_DP;
        break;
    }
}

You're going to have to supply a bit more info and a viable schematic if you want it to work.

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Thanks again. I just had a quick look over it but I need to have a bit more of a read and see if I can work out what is happening. I get the general gist of it.

 

Ignoring the power supply do you see anything wrong with the rest of the schematic? Also ignore the 3 transistors for the moment. I will explain that tomorrow. 

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Your schematic - there's no current limiting resistors for the led display. No base resistors on the transistors. No protection - no EMC. No way to detect if the neutral and gear wires are open circuit. Start adding up the current of the display and the cpu and you're nearing the maximum current for the device. I'd be using a driver for the led display or run less current into the display.

 

With the display at max brightness and the cpu, you're up around 180mA worst case. At a nominal 13.8V for the supply, gives us around 1.6W of dissipation for a linear reg. If you've got adequate heatsinking, then you could use a linear reg. So, a switcher looks likely. That means you have EMC issues to look at carefully and choosing a reg that can tolerate up to 60V in or adding protection to limit that to something smaller. At 20V, your input tant is hopelessly under-rated apart from the surge and current problems. 

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A quick look at your schematic prompts my comments/observations.

 

- your /Reset pin is floating. It should be pulled high by a resistor... typically 10K

- I could find no datasheet for your 7 segment display, so will assume that it does not have any internal current limiting

- you appear to have no current setting/limiting resistors for each of your display segments

 

Any one of these would be a show stopper outside of a benign lab environment.

 

edit: Looks like Russell was typing while I was also.

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

Last Edited: Fri. Mar 25, 2016 - 10:37 AM
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I gather the transistors are to fake up the gear selector to fool the ECU. I'd just doctor the ECU - much cleaner. You need to find out what the front end of the ECU is for the gear selector - what voltage and what value pullup resistor it uses. I'd be reverse engineering the ECU.

The ECU on my RGV has had the goo picked out.

The ECU probably limits the torque in lower gears to protect the drivetrain.

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In my opinion, if you need a gear indicator on a motorbike, you have no business riding one in the first place. Also, visibility is going to be a problem.

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Someguy22 wrote:

In my opinion, if you need a gear indicator on a motorbike, you have no business riding one in the first place. Also, visibility is going to be a problem.

 

Due to the possibility of being banned from this site I will refrain from making any comments.

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Windoze, do you see a pattern emerging here? Sometimes the best action is no action. Nevertheless, have you evaluated the led display to see if it is readable in sunlight? I remember making a digital speedo for my dragstar many years ago. Even though i used the best HP displays, they were unreadable in daylight.
There's some cheapy oled displays that are supposedly good - graphic as well. I think tronixlabs have them.

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Kartman, this is in no way directed at you as you have been more than helpful with your suggestions. BUT if anyone wants to tell me what I should or shouldn't do regarding the riding of a bike or whether I have a right to do so or not then DON'T. Save your comments for your mates at the pub, if your mummy will let you go.

 

Now kartman, thank you for your suggestion of OLEDs. I wasn't aware that they were making them so small at such a low price. I think you may have convinced me to switch to one of these. I will redo the schematic and post it with a list of requirements. Thank you for your patience.

Last Edited: Sun. Mar 27, 2016 - 11:27 AM
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It was prefaced with 'in my opinion'. He wasn't telling you to do anything. Forums are full of opinions, so get yourself a filter. Mind you the novelty of the gear indicator of my suzuki gt-550 wore off quickly. It was a talking point nonetheless. The massive backfires when backing off were the story of legend. We removed the muffers as they were blocked. Such was my miss spent youth!

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If you put a wire round one of the spark plugs, this will give you a pulse for each 2 rev. (perhaps double rate), together with speedometer (use a hall switch) you will know which gear you are in. 

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That's a neat idea, @sparrow2. It would take some careful logic to detect neitral.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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just see if the clutch is in :)

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Yes, with another sensor/switch ;-)

 

However if you limit yourself to the two sensors you proposed in #40 (engine speed and wheel speed), neutral could be detected as an 'invalid' drive ratio.  The trick would be not getting fooled when that ratio >>happens<< to match one of the known gear ratios.  Hence the 'careful logic' required.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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But it will only match for a very short time.

You can get hall switches that are 2x2mm, and magnets about same size, so today it's only the pulling of the wire that give a problem.

 

Edit

Ups you can get them down to 0.8x0.8mm

Last Edited: Sun. Mar 27, 2016 - 03:09 PM
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It is possible to be in gear with the clutch disengaged. How would you detect which gear is selected?

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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:)

Good question, I guess we are back to OP's way of doing it.

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Someguy22 wrote:

In my opinion, if you need a gear indicator on a motorbike, you have no business riding one in the first place. Also, visibility is going to be a problem.

 

windoze_killa wrote:

BUT if anyone wants to tell me what I should or shouldn't do regarding the riding of a bike or whether I have a right to do so or not then DON'T. Save your comments for your mates at the pub, if your mummy will let you go.

 

I'll make this clear, I posted only my opinion. I will support this with the fact that the manufacturer of your bike had the opinion that no one who bought one needed a gear indicator. Also, NOBODY in this entire thread told you to do or no do anything or if you have the right to do anything you want. I found most of the posts offered good advice, including mine.

 

 

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Someguy22 wrote:

Someguy22 wrote:

In my opinion, if you need a gear indicator on a motorbike, you have no business riding one in the first place. Also, visibility is going to be a problem.

 

windoze_killa wrote:

BUT if anyone wants to tell me what I should or shouldn't do regarding the riding of a bike or whether I have a right to do so or not then DON'T. Save your comments for your mates at the pub, if your mummy will let you go.

 

I'll make this clear, I posted only my opinion. I will support this with the fact that the manufacturer of your bike had the opinion that no one who bought one needed a gear indicator. Also, NOBODY in this entire thread told you to do or no do anything or if you have the right to do anything you want. I found most of the posts offered good advice, including mine.

 

 

 

YOUR opinion told me I had no business to be riding a bike. Let me guess, you ride a Harley?

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To Joey and Sparrow, interesting repertoire. With a conclusion that tapping into the wire that tells me what gear I am in might be the simplest. One of the reasons I want to build this for my bike is that at about 80k it can be hard to tell what gear I am in, 4th or 5th. If I think I am in 5th and kick it down to accelerate (which I don't really need to do due to the HP) and find that I have just gone down to 3rd it screams a bit.

 

Also making gadgets for bikes is a hobby but this is the first I have needed code for hence my asking for help. If this works I will probably advance to something else in my head.

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Kartman, I am looking at a couple of different displays, one is 2 wire the other is 4 wire. Is one better than the other?

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YOUR opinion told me I had no business to be riding a bike. Let me guess, you ride a Harley?

Not that I'm eager to step into this sideshow, but @windoze_killa I think you need to dial it down a notch.  No-one is attacking you, although it is clear that you feel attacked.  Opinions have been expressed, but they were not directed at you personally.  You should probably let it go.

 

Snide and witty retorts like:

Let me guess, you ride a Harley?

... and:

Save your comments for your mates at the pub, if your mummy will let you go.

... will rapidly result in abandonment by those from whom you seek help.

 

For the record, I ride one of these:

 

 

... and one of these:

 

 

... and one of these:

 

 

... and I've never needed to look at an indicator to know what gear I'm in.  I generally agree with @Someguy22.  Nevertheless I accept your desire to build such a device (not that you were waiting for permission) and so does everyone else here.  Let's move on and drop any perceived slight into the bit bucket.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"Read a lot.  Write a lot."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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