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jeffrey morris
08-23-2005, 06:33 PM
Most buses and some trucks have back-up alarms but they make beep-beep sounds only. Is it possible to use BASIC Stamp to create a better back-up alarm that make sounds and flash lights? I don't want people to confuse the flashing lights on back-up alarm with the flashing lights on emergency vehicles. The flashing lights can help hearing-impaired people but what about people who don't pay attention while driving or walking? If there are huge SUVs on both sides of your regular car in a parking lot, I'm not sure if the back-up alarm would work.

steve_b
08-23-2005, 07:28 PM
Check your state laws regarding "auxiliary lighting" on vehicles.
I know here in Ontario, we can't have alternating lights (like the cops headlights).
Your lights can't flash red or white (ok, clear)....blue is for service vehicles (road clearing trucks/sanders) and orange seems to be for most other things (bell service, gas guys....)

I know for my jeep, I'm supposed to put lens covers over any 'auxiliary' lights I install on it....not sure if it distracts ppl or if they fear you have them set up differently (aimed) from your headlights.

Many newer trucks now have backup lights located on the top middle of the cab (or above the doors on vans---commercial vehicles). These could be made to strobe a few times to get ppls' attention -- again, unsure if this violates emergency vehicle lighting bylaws.
OR you could put some additional lighting (go buy a 50W PIAA offroad light and mount it to the back of the van--this is bright enough to catch ppls' attention for sure).

But, if you're looking for a basic stamp method....then build your own sign on the back of your van door.
A MAX7219 is a nice LED controller....I think they're up around $15/piece (canuck bucks)....but it'll let you control a 5x7 array with one IC....cascade a few and you can have a big moving sign that politely asks ppl to move out of the way...OR, GET OFF YER AR$E when they're driving too close!
This would be a distraction if left on while driving....so liability rests with you!

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Steve

"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

Bruce Bates
08-23-2005, 09:32 PM
Jeffrey -

There is just so much that can be accomplished with a PBASIC Stamp to improve on existing products and technologies. IMHO this is one of those cases. Moverover, when you think about it, there are some definite indirect personal liabilty issues involved here. I, for one, wouldn't want to be lulled into a feeling of false security by a system I'd built, which was designed to warn or protect others, which somehow failed, possibly do to an oversight on my part, or a design flaw which crept in unnoticed. Here are some products which run the gamet as to sophistication and price, for back-up warning, detection, and alert:

Complete back-up alert systems (reversed video output):
http://www.autotoys.com/x/cust/product.php?productid=5199&cat=0&page=

I'm not sure that this below wouldn't be perfectly acceptable, and the price is less than the cost of a Basic Stamp! Sonar based sensors, active during reverse, with audio warning (no video output):
http://www.autotoys.com/x/cust/product.php?productid=5202&cat=8&page=1

Microware (Doppler) reverse sensing, all weather tolerant without reduction in overal effectiveness, self-testing capability:
http://www.sensetech.com/guardianalert.htm

Same company, home page:
http://www.sensetech.com/index.htm

Regards,

Bruce Bates

Loopy Byteloose
08-23-2005, 10:25 PM
Ah the tyranny of regulations.....

If you can cut through all that Montreal flashing light stuff, there is plenty that you can do.

First, forget about lights it the police want tight regulation of such. The State of Oregon doesn't allow any white lights to the rear. You can use IR distance and/or measuring to identify when either someone comes close to the rear of the backing vehicle or when the vehicle is approaching an obstacle at bumper height. This is by far the biggest hazard for trucks and buses, the normal unobservant human -- maybe kids.

Then, you can set off an audio sound distinct from the back-up sound to warn the intruder that your direction is not forward and they are in the danger zone or to warn your driver that something hard to see is in the way. You could likely program the BasicStamp to identify both by differences in speed of approach and such [maybe by height]. Then,you could have different audio alarms.

Alternatively, you could have really neat flourecent lights pointing toward the ground when the vehicle is backing up. It would look somewhat like an erie UFO and attract attention without the flashing. That really doesn/t need the BasicStamp though.

Regarding the lights and the law, in Taiwan almost anything is allowed [or at least ignored by the police]. People have blue dragon flies flapping led wings for brake lights on the motorcycle. I built homes in the USA and safety in building codes dictated about 15 items in regards to a stairway. While some were quite important, others just cost more money. Here in Taiwan, people expect hazards so they are more aware of their surroundings. So, it seems a lot of those codes and laws are quite redundant and make people more accident prone.

I am sure you can find similar rules regarding sound and the law -- just make sure you don't blast someone's ear drums with a high decible warning.

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G. Herzog in Taiwan

steve_b
08-23-2005, 11:59 PM
Well, how about covering all senses....touch would be the bad one....the result of other sense sensors failing!

Start with some sulphur smell....after a night of drinking and taco belle, I can't tell you how fast some people move away from me when I "relax"!
Then move on to sight/sound.
AS far as sounds go....the sound of a skidding car will get people to jump out of the way....you are limited somewhat by sight though....

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Steve

"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

Ryan Clarke
08-24-2005, 12:04 AM
You could always use an EMIC or other sound module and have it tell people to get out of the way ;)

Ryan

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Ryan Clarke

Parallax Tech Support
rclarke@parallax.com (mailto:rclarke@parallax.com)

SPENCE
08-24-2005, 01:50 AM
GEORGE,
DOESN't OREGON ALLOW BACK UP WHITE LIGHTS. MOST CARS AND TRUCK HAVE THEM NOW. HOOK A BEEPER LIKE A SONALERT TO THE BACKUP LIGHTS SO IT WILL SOUND OFF EVERYTIME YOU GO INTO REVERSE. A TEEDELDEE SONALERT FOR 12 VOLTS DC SELLS FOR ABOUT $10 TO $12 AT RADIO SHAFT. NO STAMP, NO NOTHING.
BTW THERE IS A DEVICE THAT FASTENS TO THE TOP ACROSS THE LICENSE PLATE BRACKET WITH A BUILT IN BACK UP ALARM SOLD AT MANY AUTO PARTS STORES FOR ABOUT $10.

73
SPENCE
K4KEP

jeffrey morris
08-24-2005, 02:44 AM
Airplanes usually have a system that warns pilots if the airplane is too close to another airplane or any other objects. Why not a similar system in vehicles? Some people don't pay attention while driving or do reckless driving. There should be a system that applies the brakes if the vehicle is following another vehicle too closely. There should be a system that regulates the speed of a vehicle running on a city street or a highway.

steve_b
08-24-2005, 03:07 AM
Is the "proximity" device something on the airplane or something that is transmitted to them from the ATC tower.

I know they have ramp radars that keep track of airplanes on the tarmack. Their transponders also send back their GPS locations....so, that's how they keep track....

When humans finally have their 'microchips' embedded in themselves then we can use them to see where ppl are!!

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Steve

"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."

jeffrey morris
08-24-2005, 04:17 AM
I'm talking about the "proximity" device.

ERM
08-24-2005, 05:04 AM
How about connecting flashing lights to the rear quarter panels of the vehicle. Some State laws say you may not display flashing lights to the front of your vehicle or some to the rear, but on the side is a different story. The only people that will see it are people approaching from the side, like those driving through a parking lot as you back out. :)

knightofoldcode
08-27-2005, 03:28 AM
jeffrey morris said...
Airplanes usually have a system that warns pilots if the airplane is too close to another airplane or any other objects. Why not a similar system in vehicles? Some people don't pay attention while driving or do reckless driving. There should be a system that applies the brakes if the vehicle is following another vehicle too closely. There should be a system that regulates the speed of a vehicle running on a city street or a highway.


I understand the idea, but making a computer decide when to brake can open up a whole can of worms in the lawsuit area. Best to leave that to the big manufacturers that can afford hours of rigerous testing and have the money if they do get ina lawsuit.

It'd be better to make a loud and really obnoxious sound if and when braking is needed, on the inside of the vehicle.

Knight.

steve_b
08-27-2005, 04:53 AM
See if you can get a recording of Pauly Shore and amp it up and fire it out a megaphone on the back of your truck.

That should clear a crowd....

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Steve

"Inside each and every one of us is our one, true authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that's ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned... something that's got to be remembered."