Back Street Heroes
IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS, I TRY AND WRITE ABOUT WHAT I KNOW ABOUT AND, USUALLY, WHATEVER I’M DOING. HOWEVER, I SEEM TO HAVE DONE NOTHING APART FROM BRAKES IN QUITE A WHILE SO, FOR A CHANGE, I’M GOING TO WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT I KNOW VERY LITTLE
That’s electronics as distinct from electrics, which I seem to manage fairly well. If you’re wondering why I’d want to do that, it’s more or less because of Harley indicators. If you’re not familiar with them, you have a push button on each handlebar and, when you press the button, the relevant indicator flashes. To make that work you need a certain amount of trickery, and you can buy various electronic do-dads that’ll make it happen, but they seem to start at around £85 last time I bought one for something, and I’m not keen on parting with money. This led to idly wondering if I could make them work with relays, and I was fairly sure I could, although getting a decent delay before the indicators switched off may be a problem.
I did notice, though, that while idly browsing through hobby electronic forums, every time the relevant questions were asked the reply was, more or less, some variant of ‘you don’t want to do it like that’, which is odd because I did want to do it like that (and if you’re a sensible person you wouldn’t be messing about with motorcycles). At some point in all this I was hearing the word ‘Arduino’ quite a lot and, having no idea what that was about, I Googled it. It turns out that an Arduino is a programmable microcontroller… well, it’s a family of them, ranging from the Micro and the Nano up to the Mega 2560. Basically they have input/output pins that can be configured in the software or ‘sketch’,