Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 14th, 2008 at 10:49 am
Have you ever biked up to an intersection and had the sinking feeling that the traffic signal sensors don’t know you’re there?
A new gadget (that’s still a prototype at this point) just might solve that problem. Here’s the news from Wired Magazine:
Richley spent a decade lugging an oscilloscope to intersections, measuring the signal voltages to determine what kind of signal the loop sensors used. He discovered that they vary, “so I came up with a technique that scans for frequency and accommodates the pulsed mode of modern sensors,”…Push a button and Richley’s gadget creates a brief, but strong, magnetic field that simulates the presence of a much larger conductor — say, the body of a car — and triggers the inductive sensor that lets the light know a vehicle is waiting.
I guess if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Thankfully in Portland, many of our lights are built with sensitivity to bicycles in mind. A few years back, we shared a how-to guide from PDOT on how to use the bike-sensitive loop-detectors that are installed in most of Portland’s intersections.
For more on Ed Richley’s Traffic Loop Sensor Activator, check out his how-to on Make Zine.