Fortunately for these guys, you are a member of the absolute tiniest porton of bicycle riders and your wants/needs are so wildly different than the average that ignoring you is the best thing they can do.
Most importantly we need to concentrate on the invention at hand created by three young men. They have more things to worry about than how to spell ohms or its meaning when in all caps. Don't take away their thunder. This is a brilliant idea and they have a working example. Kudos. Great job.
Interesting link, Curious. Seems it didn't catch on. Could be that cyclists don't mind shifting gears. That may be the rub with this gadget. It also could be that gear selection is very individual, each rider making somewhat different decisions. Manual shifting customizes gear selection.
This is a great Gadget Freak in a number of ways. As well as the quality of the gadget, the presentation was great as well. The three guys turned in a terrific set of build instructions, photos, and code. This is one of the best I've seen.
Ben, Bill and Matthew interesting. I am sure other readers have sufficently commented on your design so I should like to make a comment on your (or another's) parts list and the use of the word Ohm, [George Simon Ohm] derivation: unit of electric resistance equal to resistance of a circuit in which a potential difference of one volt produces a current of one ampere.
A resistor listed in a parts take-off with the ####(number) or CCCC (Color) to call out in it's ohmic value; ohmically in ohmage as read from an Ohmmeter readout is in ohms.
The capitalized plural OHMS is normally reserved and NEVER used since it means On Her/His Majesty's Service, I really don't care but, our friends the Brits' are proud of their English language and, they had Webster's first! So guys sack this trivel piece of information away in your head until you need to pass it on to another future engineerand.
As Bill said, the added weight is very small. The servo motors are actually mounted where the water bottle holder was, so if anything it is lighter than having a water bottle there. And the weight on the handle bars is small, and it is not noticable for none racing situations. I was just reading an article about how (with some basic/simple approximations) every pound was about 6 seconds more on a 25 (or so) minute hill climb. The dynamics and drag will technically be effected by adding these components also, but it is very minor (not noticable) to anyone not racing.
Essentially, my point is that no the weight doesn't have an effect on this product for its application.
In riding the bike around, there is definitely a learning curve as to proper technique in operating it. You're right in that it could never anticipate my needs on the fly. For instance, in going up hills I'm forced to slow down enough to get into an appropriate gear before I start up the slope.
Obviously, there is no way with the added complexity to beat the reliability of the original cable and lever shifters. I am interested myself to see how long the system lasts before something wears out as I ride it to class. I'll let you know when something goes bad. Unfortunately, no, the system isn't water proof, and originally wasn't really light proof either. We had issues with direct sunlight saturating the photo-transistor. This was fixed with a small shade mounted over the unit.
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