We are bike commuters who have been searching for ways to make biking safer. When cyclists are returning home in the evening or heading to school in the early winter mornings, they are a spotlight in the distance to motorists who with they share the road. To be better seen, we believe bike lights should have a second light that illuminates in the direction of the bike rider and makes them visible to motorists and other cyclists, thus making their ride safer.
What it does
It is a bike light that attaches to the bike seat post and shines not only back onto the road, like every other bike light, but also onto the riders body, which has never been done before! (We did a patent search as well as a web search!)
It is a custom built enclosure of a LED array that are controllable with a switch to blink or not blink, as the user wants. This can be easily changed by the user with a switch.
How I built it
We started this morning completely from scratch, this was all made completely today. For the work below we used altium, which we were barely familiar with before and searched the internet for components (did you know there are like 6 types of diodes and 10 types of transistors!?) We found components and built them into first a schematic to have the desired functionality then built a working PCB from the schematic! We also developed our familiarity with Onshape, an online CAD platform to design the case which houses the electrical components. After various iterations, loads of googling, and advice from mentors, we landed on a cad design/file that suits our needs.
Challenges I ran into
Finding the parts necessary and figuring out the functionality of the light from basic units. Also using a microcontroller to create the modes and blinking was a challenge! Routing the traces on the PCB was hard as some components were arranged in a way that was impossible to wire up completely, and needed to be re-arranged.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Making a working circuit and PCB with pretty crazy functionality. Learning to use OnShape and make a cone like enclosure.
What I learned
Altium pretty well, and how to search the internet for the components I need. Both that they exist, and to find their PCB layout and schematic libraries. New techniques when designing with CAD platforms.
What's next for ShineOn Back Light
Print the case and PCB and solder on the components to have a working bike light!