LEDs via Radio Frequency
August 9, 2004 10:36 AM Subscribe
Electronics filter: Need to build something that'll light up different LEDs via radio frequency. Must be compact and battery powered. My electronics-fu is pretty good, but I'm not sure it's this good... [mi]
posted by SpecialK to science & nature (16 answers total)
One of the biggest problems with motorcycles is that talking via the radio doesn't work well on sportbikes (way too much wind noise and vibration, even with a throat mic) so there's no way to pass necessary information along a group of bikers unless everyone's in sight of the person in front of and behind them and can make out hand signals. If one rider finds a hazard around a blind corner, there's no way to let the riders behind him know ... and if something happens to a rider at the back of the line, there's no way to pass word forward.
My solution to this is a small device with a group of LED lights and buttons for each light. When a button is pressed, it lights up (via radio) the equivalent light on all of the other devices within range. For instance, if an alert rider spots a deer in the woods and slaps the "deer" button, the "deer" light starts blinking on everyone else's console and the whole group will know to slow down and/or take evasive action. If a rider near the back of the line has a get-off, the person who wrecked or who discovers it can alert everyone else to stop and/or turn around and come back to the crash site. Need gas? Hit the button to alert the leader to plan a stop. A device like this would make group rides safer for everyone, and ideally it would be cheaper to make and easier to mount
I understand the basics of microelectronics. I know the basics of how resistors and capacitors and transistors and different types of chips work. I've etched my own circuit boards and own multiple breadboards of various sizes. Unfortunately, I don't know how to 1) design new and creative circuits I haven't seen before (I'm very much a skript kiddie equivalent with electronics), and 2) I don't know how to find the resources that I need (for instance, a chip that will take either pulsed signals or different tones from a radio receiver and output a signal to another chip to light up a certain light). Once I find the resources I think I can hack the thing together.
Currently, my biggest issues are:
1) How to transmit a radio signal, and what kind of signal to use -- coded pulses, maybe? I'd like to be able to have a selectable frequency (I.E. A switch of options 1-10, like on an old 900mhz phone) ... What kind of frequency should I be on -- ideal range is about 2 miles?
2) How do I receive the radio signal and translate it back into a particular lit LED?
Any experienced techies with solder-burned fingers mind giving a newbie a hand? If you know enough to help me design it and are willing to answer a lot of questions... that'd be awesome. Otherwise, does anyone have a link to a comprehensive and specific resource that would help me identify and solve the problems I'm having designing this particular device? Since I have basic electronics books and whatnot, basic resources that describe "this is a circuit... see the circuit conduct electricity!" probably wouldn't help too much.