Respect the geek and his DIY Scooterputer

Tue, Jun 29, 2010


Respect the geek and his DIY Scooterputer

Kurt Schulz, scooterist and badass electronics geek, uses his powers for good to build the ultimate scooter computer.  This Swiss Army inspired device has indicators for: Battery voltage, Time and date, Temperature, Lean gauge with resettable max L-R indicators, Current speed, Resettable max speed indicator, Odometer, 2 resettable trip meters, Latitude and longitude readouts, Compass heading readout, GSM/GPRS quad-band cellular module and it can act as a Lo-Jack system; broadcasting its GPS whereabouts to Kurt’s cellphone. It’s MINDBLOWING how well thought out his system is. If you go to his link HERE> you can see how it was built and even find links to all the resources he discovered during his research.  A schematic too!

When he started out, Kurt was building a simple volt monitor. How did it grow into THIS monster? I’ll let Kurt tell it:

I spend a fair amount of time zipping around town on my scooter, and thought it would be cool to add a voltage monitor to warn when the battery might need recharging. Waiting until the electric starter no longer works is somehow lacking. So after an evening with an Arduino Duemilanove, I had a simple programmable voltage divider with 3 LEDs indicating battery low, good, and charging. Done.

That’s when I saw Liquidware’s very cool TouchShield Slide OLED display with touch screen. It was telling me it wanted to be on my scooter. It’s a bit overkill for just battery status, so I added temperature and time/date readouts. I went to and found a DS18B20 temperature sensor and a DS1307 RTC chip. Perfect. Oh wait, what’s this…an accelerometer? Sweet! Hey, a GPS chip…

And THAT’S how it happens, folks. I’m mostly impressed at the fact that Kurt didn’t just let his imagination run wild, but he actually followed through with it to completion! I may have gotten so excited during the brainstorm phase that I would have been overwhelmed at the thought of implementing it all! BRAVO KURT! Hats off to you and your awe inspiring, makesmanship!  And now, for a video:

Shout outs to TIM for the super nerdy scoop this morn!

9 Responses to “Respect the geek and his DIY Scooterputer”

  1. Art Says:

    Unnecessary electronic crap. It doesn’t take a computer genius to make these, people do it for cars all the time.
    Sorry to be so negative. There are so many unnecessary improvements to scooters lately that make them more crappy than an improvement.


  2. Casey Hooligan Says:

    Wow, I love to read about people coming up with their own solutions..
    Thus guy Kurt sounds like a pretty resourceful dude, and the fact that he’s taken the time to share the details of it’s construction is great!
    It’s got me thinking about what might be possible as far as engine monitoring and tuning..


  3. Steve Guzman Says:

    Hey Art! I like simplicity as much as the next guy. That’s what makes old 2-strokes and V-Dubs so appealing; but, it’s technology that pushes the outer limits of those old technologies.

    Real “system improvement” requires an initial data set to compare against. I believe one’s natural human senses are quite impressive, but when measuring improvement you need to gather hard data on performance and that takes a computer.

    Now, Kurt may not necessarily be going for system improvement with this but it gives me some ideas… with a few upgrades this might qualify as a cheap dyno.

    On a side note, it seems like every new incarnation of the iPhone includes a new sensor. First it was the proximity sensor, accelerometer, then the GPS and compass, now the gyroscope. Might just need a dock to get the same data when the iPhone5 comes out.


  4. Dave Says:

    Its all well and good until you are so distracted by all the data that you don’t see that SUV until it’s to late. Like texting and driving


  5. Tim Says:

    Wow, what’s with all the bad vibes?

    I think it is a great accomplishment and I would love to have something like that on one of my bikes.


  6. Steve Guzman Says:

    Yeah, it’s been a bit tough around the scoop lately. A lot of the comment read like how I feel when I roll out of bed in the morning with old-man back pain. Grumble grumble.
    But, you know what? I rather know that someone grumbly was reading and giving their opinions than not getting any feedback at all.



  7. Jeffraham Prestonian Says:

    Yeah — I don’t see this being all that useful In Real Life, as they say… but it IS very cool, IMO.

    I considered trying to rig some sort of remote temperature sensor rig to my scooter’s cylinder, recently, not knowing if I could trust the factory setup. Alas, it seems I have a (as-yet-undetermined) cooling system issue. *sigh*


  8. Tim Says:

    Apart from the GPS based data, all of the information on the readout is useful for either the basic operation of the bike or helpful diagnostic data for the guy that wrenches on his own bike which I would assume is the case here.

    But the GPS/cell phone setup is a neat idea. Imagine if Binh had this on his Symba on his way to Alaska? All of us could follow his progress in real time. How cool would that be? There are currently commercial products being sold that do the same thing.


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