Need input: iPod/iPhone controls for motorcycles - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-04-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Need input: iPod/iPhone controls for motorcycles

Howdy all,

I usually use an iPod shuffle on my handbars with a set of el-cheapo headphones hacked up and mounted in my helmet for tunes. But lately, I have been wanting to use my iPhone on the bike so I can have a wider range of music, but that damn touch screen does not get along with gloves.

So, I have been doing some research, and it turns out there is the iJet remote control that works wirelessly that some folks use, but the controller still has tiny buttons that are hard to work in summer gloves, let alone winter gloves.

But hey, I'm an engineer, and as such, I have a better idea. I am posting this to see what you guys think and get some insight into what features I should think about.

Here's my plan:

1) Build a handlebar mounted (easy removal/quick disconnect) unit, that
2) has a joystick-style interface, that is, it would have a short joystick that you could push up and down, left and right, and click in and out, even with thick gloves, that
3) would control volume up/down, next/prev song, pause/play, and possibly next/prev playlist, and
4) have a line in or two so you can connect your radar detector through it, and lastly
5) charge your iphone/ipod while you are at it.

What do you think? Initially, I'm going to machine it out of aluminum. I've dug up the protocol the ipod uses for external remotes, and by using a microcontroller and a trick little 3:1 audo mux/head phone driver from Maxim, I think it should be pretty trivial to put all together.

I had originally though I would also make the joystick rotate for volume control, but that would be making things too complicated so I ditched it in favor of just doing up and down.

Any killer features I should include?

I'm going to mock one up and see how it goes, and if it all goes well, maybe sell some cheaply to other bikers. I'm tired of halfway solutions to listen to the ipod on the bike.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-04-2008, 07:14 PM
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I think it's faster, cheaper, and easier to buy one of the various iPod remotes.

I've got one from Monster that is less than perfect, but it works most of the time. $40 from Amazon. There are a few others, but I don't recall who makes them.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-04-2008, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcgee View Post
I think it's faster, cheaper, and easier to buy one of the various iPod remotes.

I've got one from Monster that is less than perfect, but it works most of the time. $40 from Amazon. There are a few others, but I don't recall who makes them.
The iEZClick looks nice, but it won't charge the iPod, and it's wireless, which I don't need or want. Plus it won't line in my radar detector.

I suppose I could use this thing, and patch the wireless dongle through a charger adapter, but...
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-04-2008, 07:38 PM
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I use one of these mounted to my handle bars:

http://scosche.com/products/sfID1/21.../productID/527

It's has the ability to switch from playlist to playlist where other iPod remotes only can usually do next/previous track. I use this with a 4thGen iPod, but I have tested the remote with a co-workers iPod Touch and iPhone and it works perfectly. I keep the iPod in my inside pocket of my jacket and a set of these helmet speakers:

http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...s-p-18213.html

been using this combo for over 3 years now with zero complaints other than I had one set of helmet speakers fritz out and had to get a new set.

Once the iPod touch comes out with full bluetooth stereo headphone capbability, I'm planning on moving up to a bluetooth speaker set for my helmet and cut the cord to the speakers. But the Scosche remote will still need to remain.

Not really iPod/iPhone, but here's another idea for you that just was announced recently too:
http://www.parrotshopping.com/us/p_p....aspx?i=165576
which has a Line-in that could be your radar-detector/iPod in while still paired with a bluetooth phone.

_____________________________
[SIZE="1"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"] - FlatBlack 2008 DL650(ABS)
[/FONT][/SIZE]

Last edited by bsquarewi; 08-04-2008 at 07:42 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-07-2008, 03:28 AM
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Sounds Excellent! I would love one of these. It would be nice if it held the phone in plain view for the GPS/Yahoo Maps feature, and if it had an answer phone feature.
Looking forward to hearing about progress.
Lucien

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavehamster View Post
Howdy all,

I usually use an iPod shuffle on my handbars with a set of el-cheapo headphones hacked up and mounted in my helmet for tunes. But lately, I have been wanting to use my iPhone on the bike so I can have a wider range of music, but that damn touch screen does not get along with gloves.

So, I have been doing some research, and it turns out there is the iJet remote control that works wirelessly that some folks use, but the controller still has tiny buttons that are hard to work in summer gloves, let alone winter gloves.

But hey, I'm an engineer, and as such, I have a better idea. I am posting this to see what you guys think and get some insight into what features I should think about.

Here's my plan:

1) Build a handlebar mounted (easy removal/quick disconnect) unit, that
2) has a joystick-style interface, that is, it would have a short joystick that you could push up and down, left and right, and click in and out, even with thick gloves, that
3) would control volume up/down, next/prev song, pause/play, and possibly next/prev playlist, and
4) have a line in or two so you can connect your radar detector through it, and lastly
5) charge your iphone/ipod while you are at it.

What do you think? Initially, I'm going to machine it out of aluminum. I've dug up the protocol the ipod uses for external remotes, and by using a microcontroller and a trick little 3:1 audo mux/head phone driver from Maxim, I think it should be pretty trivial to put all together.

I had originally though I would also make the joystick rotate for volume control, but that would be making things too complicated so I ditched it in favor of just doing up and down.

Any killer features I should include?

I'm going to mock one up and see how it goes, and if it all goes well, maybe sell some cheaply to other bikers. I'm tired of halfway solutions to listen to the ipod on the bike.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-07-2008, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucien View Post
Sounds Excellent! I would love one of these. It would be nice if it held the phone in plain view for the GPS/Yahoo Maps feature, and if it had an answer phone feature.
Looking forward to hearing about progress.
Lucien
I hadn't really planned on it holding the phone, I figured I would leave cable and then just tuck it into my tank bag or whatnot, maybe into the clear map pocket. You wouldn't be able to use the maps feature all that well with gloves on anyway

As for answer phone, I thought about that. You'd need a windproof mic or something in your helmet. Once I make up the remote, I'll have to play with adding an answer function and seeing how it works.

I made some progress the other day on the mechanical design, hopefully I have some more time this week to crank out a design or two and see what it might look like.
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