Instructables
Picture of Automatic Activated Blink Signal
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Have you ever gotten in an accident while riding a bike at night or close to an accident? Gotten honked at because of irresponsible drivers who aren't paying attention to the road? Or simply just want to make bike riding more safe? Riding visibility on a bike is at all time lows during night time considering of little space we take up and as well as us not being able to have car headlights blinding everything and everyone. If you agree with at least one the above statements, then the Automatic Activated Blink Signal is just for you!! Check out the awesome EL panel, lighting up like lightning! Drivers will be sure to notice you riding, and not crash you! It will ensure 100% safety when you're riding your bike through dark streets at night as well as having hands free operations.


This project will automatically turn on an EL panel with a mercury tilt switch. By extending your arm or raising it slightly, the mercury will complete the circuit, resulting in the EL panel to light up brightly whether solid or blinking. Give this project a try, and you'll be amazed.
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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First, you'll need to gather the necessary materials for this awe-inspiring project:

1. EL Panel w/ AA-powered AC Inverter  [2] *these may be separate or if you'd like to have solid EL panels, soldering might be required)
2. Mercury Tilt Switch [2]
3. Velcro strips [4-6 pairs]
4. 1.5V Button Cell--LR44 / AG13 [2]
5. Electrical Tape
6. Armband [2]


[#] indicates the amount needed

Step 2: Placing the Button Cells

Picture of Placing the Button Cells
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First, grab a piece of electrical tape--just a tiny piece, enough to double side and fit snugly attached to the battery.
Next, use the piece of electrical tape and "loop" it so that both sides are sticky.
Stick it to any side of the button cell and place it in the battery compartment--with the negative side of the button cell touching the spring of the battery compartment.
Repeat these steps for the second battery compartment. 

*The negative side is the side without writing!*
sconner12 years ago
Good idea except that all hand signals (left turn, right turn and stop) are done by the left hand.
From bikeed.org: The right turn signal has historically been the left arm outstretched and bent upward at the elbow. This action completed by a motorist sitting upright in a car is clearly visible. For a bicyclist in riding position, this signal may be difficult for motorists to see. Some states now allow the right outstretched arm to indicate a right turn. Always use hand signals when turning, changing lanes and even when changing position in a given lane. Motorists will appreciate the courtesy and respond in kind.
CTY1995 (author)  sconner12 years ago
Although your comment is true, there are lots of people in this world who does not know or forgot the hand signals. This way, there would not require any memorization of what direction your arm needs to be.
baltika CTY19952 years ago
It also depends on local laws. Where I live (BC, Canada, where we drive on the right) it is legal for cyclists to signal right hand turns with the right hand. However I still use my left hand.
We all expect people who drive cars to know the rules of the road, and obey them.
We cyclists should too.
Not in the UK!!!

Awesome! You should enter this into the Father's Day Challenge that is ending at midnight tonight!
Nemweb2 years ago
You could add a transistor oscillator to make it more cool! But anyway, great project!
I like the idea and I support what it stands for (I'm a bicycle commuter in an unfortunate location) but I do wonder whether it's good practice to break from traditional hand signals? Of course, I'm starting to encounter drivers that don't know the hand signals (it would seem) and that's a bigger problem. I hope this rig works well for you.
great idea...really diggin' that rat-tail too!
CTY1995 (author)  Aber1Kanobee2 years ago
Thanks! Haha i'm sure Michael appreciates all the love his tail is getting :D
It's NICE but....

It would be better to EITHER have both hands on the handlebars and have signals that run like that,

OR

If you make HAND TURN SIGNALS, to have something that slips on the back of the hand - as aquard as that sounds.... with bands between your hands and the bar grips....

Or to activate the switches without lifting your arms....

AND to have the turn indicators visible from the front, side and back...
CTY1995 (author)  Wroger-Wroger2 years ago
They do run like that.
Considering that 2/3 group members in CTY1995 ride with Risers, it's clear that your arms motion is not much of a factor. Remember that the tilt switch can be adjusted to your fancy! Which means, either more lift or less!
Basically, adjusting to the proper angle of your liking is all within your locus of control.
But we'd be glad to add stitching to a pair of gloves to show that it is possible and have the same attributes as this product!

Thanks for the advice as well! Helps us build our ideas on improvements!
Yeah and get rid of all the square sharp corners and edges...

They have a nasty habit of gouging into you in a slide or fall, as well as catching on things like back pack straps and all that.

Perhaps a round disk might be better.
CTY1995 (author)  Wroger-Wroger2 years ago
that's nothing a little pair of scissors can't handle! Yeah the EL panels do have sharp edges. We'll most likely round out the corners to prevent the penetration of skin! Thanks for the advice!
A disc is quite an odd shape for this project.., but we take suggestions all into consideration!
gtoal2 years ago
Gtreat minds think alike I guess Unfortunately I did mine three weeks too soon for the bicycle competition. Good luck with yours!
CTY1995 (author)  gtoal2 years ago
Our inspiration was from you! The materials that you listed were quite expensive and really hard to acquire with a tight budget considering that we are high school students.
So we modified to it to fit our budget and our fancy. With cheap and easy to acquire resources, as well as dangerous ones (mercury), we were able to recreate one with similar attributes but without the need for cash and a more flexible and user friendly interface. We're still tweaking it, and getting feedback from comments.
But all in all, thank you for your inspiration!
gtoal CTY19952 years ago
Yeah, I had kind of guessed that. There's nothing wrong on Instructables with taking someone else's instructable and incrementally improving on it, in fact it's actually encouraged, but you're expected to acknowlege that you've done so by mentioning it in the 'ible. But it's OK, you're new here and you'll know the next time.

By the way I've made two improvements since I posted mine - the first is to skip the button cell and use the standard AA - but with a 'battery interrupter' in series - look for examples here on instructables. Battery Interrupters were designed as a way of controlling battery powered devices for the disabled, so making one with a tillt switch would actually be a dual-use technology, letting disabled people find other uses for the tilt switch part. And the second is that I found a cheap wrist strap wallet at a sports store, which not only lets you move the indicator closer to your wrist for better visibility, but it also gives you a nice insulated zippered pouch to store the battery and transformer, if you want to get the bulk down by doing away with the plastic case.

regards,

Graham
CTY1995 (author)  gtoal2 years ago
Yeah sorry for not mentioning it, but thanks for understanding!
Wow, that sounds like a quite an improvement! I never heard of an interrupter so i'll most likely look into that!
I really like that strap on wallet idea! But that's all you, so you should add that on. It's a really good improvement, maybe put something reflective on it as well? Visibility is always a good thing to have more of!
Absolutely genius. This is an amazing project. :D
CTY1995 (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks!
Foxtrot702 years ago
Excellent project! What is the source of the EL panels you used?
CTY1995 (author)  Foxtrot702 years ago
http://www.thatscoolwire.com/store/item.asp?Category=&SubCategoryID=&GroupID=&SKU=FELP-2ARRW

Thanks to gtoal!
jbording2 years ago
Well done. Very well done.
CTY1995 (author)  jbording2 years ago
Thanks Bording!
Wow! This is grate for when I go bikeing. It is absolutely geenius.