Slight off-topic (but FastLED and Burningman related) - Here's what I would like to

Slight off-topic (but FastLED and Burningman related) - Here’s what I would like to solve:
What can I use to help track/find my bike at burning man?

Potential shower thought options: Find way to turn on leds in a strobe or easy to spot effect

Wemos in AP mode. that I would connect to with my phone to its wifi/webgui

Wemos that would search for my phones AP and when connected turn on the lights

Maybe bluetooth? Ive got old funkbox code still that can be used.

all of these might take too much power?

other ideas?

Bluetooth has pretty short range… I’d imagine that you’d have to be pretty much on top of your bike before you could pair and detect it that way…

I haven’t played with wifi much… but my intuition is that a wemos in AP mode might be your jam. a quick google search picked up this little test:

Since it will stay on your bike, you can put a beefy battery on it so that you can leave it running all night and not have to worry about it draining. As far as I know, running the wifi radio, especially trying to transmit long distances with a beefy antenna, is a pretty big electricity draw.

Love the idea! you can have your awesome lights, but then when you leave your bike you can put them in low key mode while you chill on an art piece or take a ride on an art car, then remotely trigger them back into full on obnoxious mode to help you find the bike!

For better range, I’d look at using two LORA32 boards

Re: your bike, from personal experience the best (and most simple) thing you can do is have a distinctive light signature on your bike and leave it turned on while you’re away, and placing it atop a pole is probably your best bet. I put crazy bright LED necklaces in my tires and provide them for everyone in my camp so we can easily find each other.

@Marty_Fox This is the FastLED community and Burning Man we’re talking about… simple isn’t in our vocabulary :stuck_out_tongue:

Getting ourselves in over our heads is the best part! :slight_smile:

(at least until August rolls around… then its time to simplify simplify simplfy)

Yeah, I think the rule-of-thumb for Bluetooth 4 is 10 meters indoors, and 100m outdoors (max, assuming no obstructions). BT5 ups the theoretical range to 400m and 1000m.

Particle has just announced a new line of devices, Particle Mesh, based on Bluetooth 5:
I pre-ordered several of those last night. :slight_smile:

LoRa boards can get much better range. The description for Adafruit’s RFM95W LoRa FeatherWing says it can get 2km line-of-sight with a simple wire antenna, or up to 20km with directional antenna.

@Marty_Fox thats generally been my go to method, but thought I’d just add another project to over engineer to the list of things to do this year =]

what are those led necklases like?

@dougal cool! ill check that out. I think 30-50m would be more than enough distance. I generally remember the spot… most times.

I actually did a little more reading, and the Particle Mesh boards are built around the Nordic nRF52840 SoC, which does support the new Bluetooth 5 Long Range spec, as I mentioned before. But the promo copy mentions Thread, which is built on IEEE 802.15.4. I’ve also seen ANT and Zigbee mentioned, as well as NFC. As far as I can tell these are all operating in the 2.4GHz range (except maybe NFC)?

But I also saw some range tests for the Nordic nRF52840 developer kit boards that proved connectivity out to 800m. But that wasn’t even at full sensitivity, and the numbers suggested it might reach around 3km(!) give or take. Of course, assuming good conditions (line of sight, no obstructions)


Like everything else at burning man, you solve this with more lights and a big battery :slight_smile:missing/deleted image from Google+