Home-Trainer-Bike "no pain no gain" video system

Hi everybody,

i want to build a home trainer which connects to my computer in that way, that video will only be played when i do some exercise.

my idea:
- attach bike dynamo to home trainer bike

- make connection to old external computer keyboard

- fiddle with the software so video is played when a button is "pressed" (or activated by exercise), if the button is not pressed, the video will pause.

the last point seems to be really tricky - any ideas?

any alternative ideas from anyone? i do not want some on/off switch because then you could simply do two strokes on the bike and sit back and relax to watch the movie. i want a solution where only when straddling the video will play.


spot-x-berg (author) 6 years ago
@ Goodhart
your approach would probably be the most elegant. unfortunately i do not know too much about electronics :(

@ nobobigi:
i have looked into the software side of video players a little bit, it is not so easy to customize players into "play only when button is played" mode it seems.
but , for example in vlc, you can change the hotkey for switching play/pause from spacebar to anything you like. when this button is pushed continuously, the video becomes more or less unwatchable.
external usb number blocks for netbooks and stuff come really cheap on amazon, so i guess i will try the following:
- build some kind of lever which lifts when the flywheel (sorry i am not a native speaker) of the excercise bike moves. when you stop straddling, the lever pushes down a number, thus constantly switching play/pause (or do something else like minimize/maximize, mute/unmute, ....).

i have still not figured out the mechanism. maybe a wheel with some resistance (like the wheel on an old bike dynamo) would do the job. if you would make the lever longer or apply little weight to it, this could be used to set the speed you have to straddle to make it hover....

anyway, to be honest i have not thought about this for some time, but i think i will now try to get things going again, so i will get one of those external number blocks to get started.

still looking forward to suggestions
Goodhart6 years ago
If you use any form of generator attached to the bike, it will generate a variable amount of current and voltage that will be speed (of the turning wheel) dependant. You will also noeed a "regulator" in between to create a constant voltage source OR you could hook it up to a large capacitor that will charge as you go and discharge with the button being held down as you discribe.....it won't stay charged long (like a battery would) so the need for continual peddling is required....but you will STILL need the regulator...
nonobigi6 years ago
Hi Stefan,
I'm interested in the same thing. Have you moved forward with your project?