Oleg Koretsky Oleg Koretsky

Bike navigation display

I truly enjoy riding my bicycle. Although I usually choose a well known route, sometimes the spirit of exploration makes me draw a route through the area I've never visited before. I can't remember all the turns in advance, so I have to rely on track navigation, for which I used OsmAnd. But this means I need to get directions somehow. I have no bike computer and I also didn't want to mount my phone on the handlebar – the phone gets discharged very quick with the screen constantly turned on, and the setup looks unreliable. I neither wanted to ride with headphones nor turn on loud voice navigation – I didn't want to lose a direction because of the wind, neither to draw extra attention. What I wanted was a visual navigation helper, power efficient and easily visible under the sun.

I've made a simple wireless display to help me. It shows the map data received from the Android app. The main components of the display are an Arduino board, a 1.54″ e-ink screen, a Li-Po battery and a BLE 5.0 serial module. The app subscribes to the GPS location updates and uses Mapbox SDK with my minimalistic black&white map style to compose frames.

Prototyping On a bike On a bike The app

Overall, the display capabilities are the following:

Project on GitHub 📝 How it was built

With this little thing I can explore new areas on my bike and don’t get lost or have to stop at every junction to check the route. This was my first portable wireless device, and although it is very simple and far less fancy than the market products, I consider this project a success and a great experience. It has brought me one of the feelings I really like – when you’ve successfully solved a practical life problem by making something yourself, whether it is an app, a device or even a useful spreadsheet.

I want to give my deep gratitude to my wife for believing in me and not letting me give up in moments of disappointment❤️