[dorkbotpdx-blabber] Fwd: [freegeek-social] Bike Counter for WNBR -- ideas? volunteers?

subbies at redheadedstepchild.org subbies at redheadedstepchild.org
Mon May 26 17:46:56 EDT 2008

Er......give everyone a number to stick on their bike before the race 

I don't know that this is a very sexy technological solution.  Then again, 
I'm not sure having 1000 specimens of the average Portlander naked on 
bikes is very sexy either. But if you're dying for a piece of technology, 
maybe you could use a hand tally counter - it's a mechanical button 
device connected to several rotating number wheels.  Biologists use them 
when counting things all the time. Mechanics + naked biological specimens 
= sexy?


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On Sun, 25 May 2008, Daniel Johnson wrote:

::Thought maybe someone here would be interested in devising a way to
::accuratly count 1000+ naked cyclists.
::---------- Forwarded message ----------
::From: Bobby Kovacich <lowtire at gmail.com>
::I don't think the hose would ever give an accurate count.  If you want
::to know exactly, I would say having a picture/movie of the start and
::finish and maybe a few other points along the way and then count the
::individual bikes in the pictures.  I have the camera anda tripod...
::On Sun, May 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM, Steve Kirkendall
::<skirkendall at dsl-only.net> wrote:
::> I'm writing a countdown timer for the World Naked Bike Ride on June 14,
::> and the question has been asked: What should it show when the countdown
::> hits 00:00?  The most ambitious idea is a bike counter, so we'll know
::> exactly how many bikes our ride has.  Last year, Portland tied with
::> London for the largest rides in the world with about 800 riders each,
::> but those were just estimates.  We're hoping for around 1200 riders this
::> year, and sole ownership of the title.
::> Does anybody here have ideas on how to make a bike counter?  Do you have
::> the hardware?  Do you know how to interface it to the computer?  And the
::> biggest question of all: Does anybody want to take on this challenge,
::> bearing in mind that the ride takes place in less than three weeks?
::> Here's what I'm thinking:
::> Well, first I guess I'm thinking that there's NO WAY I have time to do
::> this myself.  But if I did, I'd look to get multiple segments of hose,
::> like gas stations use to ring a bell when somebody drives up.  I figure
::> we'd need multiple hoses because with over 1000 bikers crossing a single
::> hose in a couple of minutes, the hose would just pretty much stay
::> flattened all the time; it'd count everybody as one really big bike,
::> which is obviously not right.  So we need multiple hoses, each with
::> its own transducer of some kind, all connected to a single computer.
::> An alternative sensor design would be to use light sensors about 1cm
::> above the ground.  Again, with multiple sections.  I don't know if this
::> would be easier to implement or more reliable than the hoses though.
::> To connect the sensors to the computer, one idea I had was to get an
::> 8-port serial board, connect each sensor to the Carrier Detect line,
::> and then write software that watch for changes to all those CD lines.
::> (I think 8 sections would be adequate.  I haven't done the research
::> though.)
::> --
::> Steve Kirkendall  /  kirkenda at cs.pdx.edu  /  skirkendall at dsl-only.net
::> "Get a bicycle.  You will not regret it.  If you live." -- Mark Twain
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