Digital Finds

joseph dot reeves at thehumanjourney dot net

Linux powered bicycle computer

Mar 06, 2008 by Joseph Reeves

Yesterday's ride home from work was greatly enriched by my Linux powered bike computer:

It's the Neo1973 running the excellent tangoGPS and tied to the stem of my baby. [EDIT: see also my FreeRunner on my bike]

It works very well indeed; the only niggle being that it displays speed details in km/h, which resulted in the old "divide by 8 and multiply by 5" calculation being performed on the Oxford streets. Even just zip tied on as it was here it was very nice and survived the rigours of bunny hops, wheelies in traffic and my ham fisted bashing at it.

The power of open source software and hardware is perfectly demonstrated by fixing a phone to the front of your bike. Imagine how good the results would be if somebody did it properly.

The CAD files for the Neo's case are available for download, as is the source for both tangoGPS and the entire OpenMoko operating system. Imagine the product that could be made if someone like Hope used their engineering expertise to create a stem mounted Neo case, like they do with their fantastic lights. They could pay for some tweaks to the software to be made, just to make it all a little more bike friendly, produce a run of CNC'd cases with integrated stem face plate, and sell them as the most bespoke bicycle computer ever made. Marketing could sell the other features, maybe in terms of safety, and OA could provide design consultancy. It would be a great combination.


Do FIC approve of your handlebar mounting? I mean, whatever does it do for the warranty?

Posted by Chris Puttick on March 06, 2008 at 11:41 AM GMT #

It's real world testing boss! Very important work. The zip ties at the bottom provide protection against it falling to the floor...

The only problem with the whole setup is that it highlights my lack of fitness.

Posted by Joseph on March 06, 2008 at 12:14 PM GMT #

Ok, ... now you are encouraging me to look at the 'cycle to work scheme' ... but only if I can have that gizmo attached :-)

Posted by Simon on March 06, 2008 at 05:31 PM GMT #

I'd love to work on this kind of application - as it could be applied to all sorts of sports. Providing you had incline data, and with the idea of using accelerometers to gauge the road surface quality - this could prove to be an absolutely awesome application for the neo 1973/freerunner.

Have you started coding for further enhancement. Mokosport is a dead project unfortunately, but that idea has lots of mileage.

Posted by andylockran on October 11, 2008 at 08:28 AM BST #

I would love to have an OpenMoko. : )

Nice setup...

Posted by Mr. SnazzySnaps on January 13, 2009 at 04:47 AM GMT #

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