Motorcycle Computer

20-02-2011

So, I've always wanted to have a Tron Bike. What geek hasn't?! Well, not only that but lots of cool computer gadgets and similar all working together with an awesome looking bike and lots of cool riding gear. Well.... until I get loads of money this will have to do. I have an Old ER-5 and she's running quite well but I like to play around and learn what I can with this bike. I had an old ASUS eeePC that was beginning to go unused and dying so I figured, lets see if we can use this as the brains for a motorcycle computer.

This is what the main body looks like. I've stripped out the main board from the ASUS following a few guides that you can Google. Its quite easy really if you take the time. There are a couple of catches at the back of the keyboard you need to flip in order to lift it off properly. Once thats done, the rest is just screws.

I decided that wedging it between some 5mm and 2mm perspex would be a good idea (actually, it may be 1.5mm - I found it in our bin). To do this, I cut a rough outline using a laser cutter and drilled four holes that would hold 4 M3 bolts. The problem is, these bolts are a little too large for the motherboard so I drilled these out a little more too! :P

Suprisingly, it worked. The screen is attached with an I-PEX cable whatever that is. Annoyingly, on the I-PEX site, I cant find the same looking adaptor so I have no idea about how to extend the screen to the tank bag. This is the next step I need to solve.

At this point, mounting the PC in the bike was a problem. The rear tray of the ER-5 is slightly too narrow to hold the PC. However, there is one, AND ONLY ONE way when it fits really snuggly. I left the PC inside the bike for about a week, where it was transported in a trailer, left out in the rain (sadly) and ridden for a good few miles. I then took it out and it still works! So far so good!

Now the next stage is the battery. I happened to have two batteries, one being a long life one. The battery normally sits between the two prongs on the board but that is no good for mounting on the bike. If i could somehow get the battery to sit underneath, all my problems would be solved. The solution? Take the battery apart. Since they are Li-poly I figured there might be some wires and electronics before the battery proper and therefore, some leeway in moving the socket around 90-180 degrees.

Ok so its not going to be the best fit but I reckon if I glue the battery to the underside of the asus sandwich, I reckon it should work.

Of course, people will ask, why not run it off the battery? Where are the cameras? Why is there no wii-mote attached? The answer? Because I did this on a total crazy hacker whim and its worked great so far so im just gonna wing it and see where it gets me! :P But yes, all these things considered! Next step is the software and wii-mote g sensing methinks.