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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy light fans! I'm working with George of TaskLED to come up with a great UI (User Interface - hey, some folks don't know what it means!) for the bFlex LED driver board. We already have two complete UIs on the board (selectable through the menu) - the 'F' mode is optimized for fixed lighting (lanterns, automotive, home) and the 'P' mode is for portable lighting (flashlights). The 'B' mode of bFlex will be specific to bicycle needs. Now is your chance to be heard!

Everything that the uController can do is controlled by a single momentary button that can be mounted remotely, or stay on the board. There are two ways to enter info via that button. A Click and a Press. Two distinct actions, one that releases the button immediately after use, and the other that holds the button down for a moment until the effect is achieved. George and I have spent countless hours, and have refined after many months and even years how the UIF and UIP function with that single button. I've learned quite a bit in this process, and would also like some fresh ideas from folks who aren't as mired in the details as I can get.

My basic outline for the UI so far is that it should have:
High (Level will always be settable in the menu)
Low (Maybe settable, or maybe just a consistent percentage of high, or one low level regardless of High setting)
Strobe. (should this be settable? What are some of the best choices for frequency and "on" duration? We can certainly make this settable in the menu or directly from the UI. Is it something you'd want to change often, or something you'd set once, and leave it alone?)

Let's have your input! There are no promises that your ideas will be incorporated, but I can guarantee that it'll help shape the final product. I have plenty of ideas on how to incorporate some of this, but would like to use you guys as a "clean slate" before putting my ideas up here.

Let me be very clear here that I do not do the coding or the circuit design. That's all George, and he stamps his name on the boards to prove it! :) Plus he's reading this, so I can't secretly take more than my share of credit. My job is to do all the really hard thinking. :) I try to figure out what the user will want, and how to make it the most practical to use. Then George translates it into code, and we both program a board and test for hours. Some days we'll go through countless versions of code and too many hundreds of clicks. Eventually we get it right... and that's the process I'd like to start all over again with this new UIB. So bring it on.

And one final note: Who can get some great housings made? We can by the LEDs, we can create and sell the circuit and code - but we have no way of finding that perfect housing that easily and firmly attaches to a bike. Something that could hold 2-3 LEDs, have a magnetic switch, can house a reasonably-sized Li-Ion battery, and has a great bar mount would be the bee's knees. I'd love to discuss that aspect as well, because once we get this UIB done, I'll be sitting here wondering what the hell to do with it!

Ok, NOW bring it on.
 

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Great idea...

Hoping somebody would take this ball and run. I think you're suggesting a grass roots MTB community effort to develop a LED based bike light. Something cheaper and better than what's out there. Looking at the current technology I don't see why a 3 LED - 400 Lumen system couldn't be put together for less than $150.00. Actually, that might be a good objective.

My take on the UI
3 levels of brightness
1 strobe

Simple and easy.


I have a very good mechanical design tech that works for me and access to a machine shop. The machinist is not cheap but we could use him for the prototype. While waiting on my XR-Es to show up I've been playing around with several designs. You're correct in stating that the housing will be the important thing to focus attention on. Batteries, optics, LEDs, driver circuit are there. The housing has to meet thermal management requirements while being both rugged and small in size.


Bob
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #3
il2mb said:
My take on the UI
3 levels of brightness
1 strobe

Simple and easy.
The MOST simple is to have to scroll through each one of these every time you want one. Man I hate that. Slightly fancier is to have it come back on in the mode you last used, but still have it scrollable. And next... does the strobe have brightness levels... or just one? Which one? Strobe cycle time and duration suggestions?

I have a very good mechanical design tech that works for me and access to a machine shop. The machinist is not cheap but we could use him for the prototype. While waiting on my XR-Es to show up I've been playing around with several designs. You're correct in stating that the housing will be the important thing to focus attention on. Batteries, optics, LEDs, driver circuit are there. The housing has to meet thermal management requirements while being both rugged and small in size.
Excellent.
 

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Cool - I was just wondering about the same exact thing earlier today and if it existed. My thoughts are:
2 modes - constant and flash
3 levels - Low, Medium, High for the constant mode, maybe for the flash also.
I don't think the Flash would need to be adjusted that often if ever. I would think it's a mode that would be used for daytime running lights or commuting and what not. If there were a way to tweak the settings that would be an added feature, but hardly something you would do very often.
I suppose the simple use for a momentary switch would be off-Low-Med-Hi-flash, but it's always a pain to have to run through all the modes one of which is OFF while riding. I would like to see something more like where press and hold cycles through Off-Constant-Flash while a momentary click in both the Constant and Flash modes cycles through the power levels.
 

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I'm working on a light now (also waiting on XR-E's) and I was thinking that it would be really cool if I could somehow hook up the b-flex to a speed sensor to vary the brightness. Wouldn't it be cool if your light got brighter or dimmer based on your speed? Probably too much to ask for but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Tom
 

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darelldd said:
And next... does the strobe have brightness levels... or just one? Which one? Strobe cycle time and duration suggestions?
Good question. I would suggest that brightness levels in constant mode are mostly to extend runtimes. Sometimes it is to match other lighting, ambient lighting or not to blind other riders. In contrast brightness levels in the strobe mode are probably less important as It's more about being seen - I would think the ability to adjust the frequency of the strobe would be good, but don't know what would be appropriate.
A buddy of mine rode offroad with a Minewt from niterider in the strobe mode and said he was about to have a seizure after a few minutes from the strobe effect reflecting off everything.
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
mjzraz said:
I suppose the simple use for a momentary switch would be off-Low-Med-Hi-flash, but it's always a pain to have to run through all the modes
Yup! I'm not a big fan of that method. It is the easy way to implement it, but not the best for use! First order of business is that I plan to have a click turn the light on at the last used setting (even if batteries are changed, etc). To change mode, I'd either use a press from off, or a press once on.

I would like to see something more like where press and hold cycles through Off-Constant-Flash while a momentary click in both the Constant and Flash modes cycles through the power levels.
Press and hold to cycle is likely the best bet. I try to reserve a click from off to be ON, and a click from on to be OFF. Its REALLY nice to have consistency in that, so no matter what else you remember, you can ALWAYS click on, and click off. The rest is just gravy. So we can use press from off and press from on to adjust things and/or cycle.

The hard part here is determining how to cycle and how to adjust... so it make sense and doesn't lack consistency.

Most people think this UI stuff is straight forward. It ain't! Not if you want to do it right.

Thanks for the input folks. This is gonna be great.
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #8
wittyname said:
I'm working on a light now (also waiting on XR-E's) and I was thinking that it would be really cool if I could somehow hook up the b-flex to a speed sensor to vary the brightness. Wouldn't it be cool if your light got brighter or dimmer based on your speed? Probably too much to ask for but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Tom
Yikes. We'll take that one under advisement. :)
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #9
mjzraz said:
Good question. I would suggest that brightness levels in constant mode are mostly to extend runtimes.
Yup. Strobe will also extend (about double) runtime as well. And reduced output AND storbe will make it better and better.

In contrast brightness levels in the strobe mode are probably less important as It's more about being seen
My fear is that if we blink 3x XR-E's running at 750mA, that some guy is gonna be annoyed enough to pull his car over, get out, walk over and kill you.

I would think the ability to adjust the frequency of the strobe would be good, but don't know what would be appropriate.
I've been playing with my own blinky lights and counting the freq's of the other lights I saw on the road tonight (I live in a college town, so we have TONS of bikes on the road at all times of day). Looks to me like 2 flashes/second with equal on/off is a good bet. We'll probably start there. If we hate it we can change it. The fewer things we have to have adjustments for the better.

A buddy of mine rode offroad with a Minewt from niterider in the strobe mode and said he was about to have a seizure after a few minutes from the strobe effect reflecting off everything.
I'll bet! I've tried that before as well, and ended up enjoying riding in the dark better!
 

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Hi Darell, I didn’t realise you were a fellow MTBR / CPF’er!

I have a few of George’s drivers and used to keep in touch from time to time (okay once a year if I’m lucky…), but have been incredibly slack lately!

(If you do read this George I have finally put my prototype “Big Driver” to use after close to a year and a half of talking you into selling to too me! :p :D)

The only drivers I have from George that have a UI are the early nFlex with the original firmware, and they have worked very well for my application. However for bike use I would probably simplify things even further. For example I really don’t need the auto-sleep (I have mine disabled) or nightlight options, and although I don’t mind choosing from 7 different brightness levels, I have noticed it drives some of my riding buddies nuts! I really like the way you can adjust the drive current, and the UI is perfect in that regard as far as management goes. :thumbsup:

Darell said:
Most people think this UI stuff is straight forward. It ain't! Not if you want to do it right.
I did a “Human Computer Interaction” course (basically UI design) as a part of my computing University degree this year, and I have gained a whole lot more respect for guys like you and George who design microcontroller based interfaces like this! :D



Naturally everyone will have different ideas as to what the “ultimate” UI should contain. After sitting down for a while and having a bit of a think, and reading through the bFlex datasheet, the following is what I think would make an ideal UI for cyclists. Some of it is already implemented in George’s drivers, while some of it is not.


Management functions:

Drive Current Adjustment
- (constrained by the driver board, no issues with the original UI)

Brightness Settings Adjustment
- I would really like to have three brightness levels, no need for a strobe in my opinion. A High level which is not able to be changed, and two adjustable levels between 100% and off would be more then enough. If any of the two levels are set to the extreme (100% of off), they are simply omitted from the normal working UI.

This should allow users to set two lower levels that they are comfortable with or simplify the light and turn it into a simple on / off controller.

Force Level
- If more then one brightness level is set, then it would be nice to have the option to turn the light on at a preset level. If disabled then it would just remember the last setting that the user has selected before powering off.

Voltage Warning
- It’s a fantastic idea, although I would implement things a little differently. Personally I have no need to make the main LED’s flash or provide warning. I would much rather that it was all done through the STAT pin as follows with two options.

Option 1 would be to have STAT high until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go low.

Option 2 would be to have the STAT pin low until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go high.


User functions:

Functionality
- The normal on/off and up/down scroll through brightness levels as used in the nFlex firmware is more then sufficient, and easy to use in my opinion.


As you can see it’s mostly a pretty simplified UI, but it would work well for me. :thumbsup:



mjzraz said:
A buddy of mine rode off road with a MiNewt from Nite Rider in the strobe mode and said he was about to have a seizure after a few minutes from the strobe effect reflecting off everything.
Generally I would have thought the strobe would be used in emergency situations, or perhaps possibly on the road. I certainly wouldn’t use it as a light source off road! :D

Darell said:
My fear is that if we blink 3x XR-E's running at 750mA, that some guy is gonna be annoyed enough to pull his car over, get out, walk over and kill you.
I think I would too! :D

Tom said:
I was thinking that it would be really cool if I could somehow hook up the b-flex to a speed sensor to vary the brightness. Wouldn't it be cool if your light got brighter or dimmer based on your speed? Probably too much to ask for but I thought I'd throw it out there.
Cool idea, but personally it would annoy the hell out of me! :D

As far as I am aware the last I heard from George’s comments was that the bFlex hardware is pretty much not negotiable at this stage? It would require a fair bit more code, and would be a bit of a pain to implement too. If you really want to do it, some of the “Buck Puck” range from Led Dynamics has an adjustable output based on a PWM input, which could be adapted to work in a scenario like you mention. ;)


Cheers, Dave.
 

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darelldd said:
Yikes. We'll take that one under advisement. :)
IMHO, this is not a very good practice... 20 years of dirt biking with magneto lighting taught me the shortcoming of dim lights when you start into the tough, slow going stuff. The light goes dim just when you are trying to navigate through rocks, tight singletrack, etc etc... I like a remote switch for brightness control and I will decide the light intensity thanks :D . I'm not going to reach up to my helmet light while I'm truckin down the trail at night... Remote switching seems like a nice safe feature... The bflex has this feature :thumbsup: . BTW, I just got mine and will hook it up this weekend. These products are already packed with advanced features - nice job guys!

I know... voice activated -

"I've fallen and I can't get up" = flash mode :p ...
Clap and it goes on and off - no that's too hard when you're holding onto the bars :eek: ...

I need to think about this some more ;) ...

Cheers
:cool:
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #12
Low_Rider said:
Hi Darell, I didn’t realise you were a fellow MTBR / CPF’er!
Yup, howdy. Somewhat new here, as I just finished my MTB last month!

The only drivers I have from George that have a UI are the early nFlex with the original firmware, and they have worked very well for my application.
Excellent. We aim to please. :)

However for bike use I would probably simplify things even further. For example I really don’t need the auto-sleep (I have mine disabled) or nightlight options, and although I don’t mind choosing from 7 different brightness levels, I have noticed it drives some of my riding buddies nuts! I really like the way you can adjust the drive current, and the UI is perfect in that regard as far as management goes. :thumbsup:
Indeed! that UI was not meant for the bike obviously. Nice that you can disable certain features though, eh? The different levels need not cause concern. Just pick one you like and either set it as your force, or never change it. Done! But anyway...

I did a “Human Computer Interaction” course (basically UI design) as a part of my computing University degree this year, and I have gained a whole lot more respect for guys like you and George who design microcontroller based interfaces like this! :D
Excellent! Most people don't even give it a second thought, and pretty much assume that it all just falls from the sky into the chip in an organized fashion. The number of hours it takes is staggering. From my side of things, I mostly just dream stuff up, and George performs the magic. The most rewarding part is finding the bugs. But MAN that can be tedius! (sp?)

Brightness Settings Adjustment
- I would really like to have three brightness levels, no need for a strobe in my opinion. A High level which is not able to be changed, and two adjustable levels between 100% and off would be more then enough. If any of the two levels are set to the extreme (100% of off), they are simply omitted from the normal working UI.
High will be constrained by the max current setting in the menu. My plan is to have no more than four levels total. Three is likely enough. I doubt that they'll be adjustable though... that's why you've got levels to choose from! The goal is to add as few more menu choices as possible. I'll talk about the strobe later.

This should allow users to set two lower levels that they are comfortable with or simplify the light and turn it into a simple on / off controller.
It will always be a simple on/off. Just like with nFlex, once it is set up the way you like, click ALWAYS turns it on (at whatever level you've set), and click ALWAYS turns it off. Nothing else you need to do if that's all you need/want.

Force Level
- If more then one brightness level is set, then it would be nice to have the option to turn the light on at a preset level. If disabled then it would just remember the last setting that the user has selected before powering off.
I'm certain this is how we'll do it - in other words not changed from previous UIs.

Voltage Warning
- It’s a fantastic idea, although I would implement things a little differently. Personally I have no need to make the main LED’s flash or provide warning. I would much rather that it was all done through the STAT pin as follows with two options.

Option 1 would be to have STAT high until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go low.

Option 2 would be to have the STAT pin low until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go high.
Your dream is answered. bFlex already lets you choose to use the main LED or a stat pin for V warn. Settable in the menu. All menu items that are available for the other UIs will be available for UIB - provided they make sense.

Generally I would have thought the strobe would be used in emergency situations, or perhaps possibly on the road. I certainly wouldn’t use it as a light source off road! :D
The strobe is for visibility in an urban environment. It is NOT ever intended for use to light your way. Think of it as a front blinky like the red one in the rear. Used so others can see YOU when you don't need extra light to see where you're going in light-polluted environments.

Thanks tons, Dave!
 

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Darell said:
High will be constrained by the max current setting in the menu. My plan is to have no more than four levels total. Three is likely enough. I doubt that they'll be adjustable though... that's why you've got levels to choose from! The goal is to add as few more menu choices as possible…

It will always be a simple on/off. Just like with nFlex, once it is set up the way you like, click ALWAYS turns it on (at whatever level you've set), and click ALWAYS turns it off. Nothing else you need to do if that's all you need/want.

I realised that the “high” setting would be the maximum of that particular drive current as set in the menu like the nFlex. I'm sure three or four brightness levels would be plenty.

I agree any adjustment would be pain to implement, especially when you’re talking multiple brightness levels to adjust. Perhaps if you only had a choice of two levels total, one at 100% and one adjustable it would be doable? It’s still much easier to keep it to a set number of preset brightness levels though like you mention. My on/off statement was from the point of view that if you did have adjustable brightness per level functionality, and following my little idea you had all the levels disabled, then the only user functions would be on and off, like a SPST switch.

I know some riders who hate all of the fiddling around with various brightness’s, although with a controller like this most guys who use them will be enthusiasts like us, who will jump at having another function to tweak! I guess if you have the force mode then in fact you will only have to click on and off anyway. Am I going around in circles yet? :D :p


Darell said:
Your dream is answered. bFlex already lets you choose to use the main LED or a STAT pin for V warn. Settable in the menu. All menu items that are available for the other UIs will be available for UIB - provided they make sense.

I realised that after reading the datasheet before I posted the first time, but it appears that currently the STAT pin only operates as follows:


“bFlex reports the low voltage condition via the STAT pin on the PCB. STAT will drive high (~2.5V) when the low voltage condition is detected. It will drive back to 0V when the low voltage condition is no longer detected.”


While the main output LED’s can be configured in a number of ways, It would be cool if you had a few more options with the actual STAT pin output and could configure it to operate like the two options I posted, or at least something similar.

"Option 1 would be to have STAT high until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go low.

Option 2 would be to have the STAT pin low until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go high."



Darell said:
Excellent. We aim to please.
The nFlex has been my “rock”. I have built a fair few of my own drivers, and when they have let out the magic smoke I simply switch back to the nFlex and continue on. I remember George was a little concerned with how I wanted to run that particular driver to begin with, but after a few emails he sent one off and it’s survived my abuse for a couple of years now with no problems at all. :thumbsup:

Be sure to keep us posted as you work on ideas Darell!

Dave.
 

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off road considerations

darelldd said:
Press and hold to cycle is likely the best bet. I try to reserve a click from off to be ON, and a click from on to be OFF. Its REALLY nice to have consistency in that, so no matter what else you remember, you can ALWAYS click on, and click off. The rest is just gravy. So we can use press from off and press from on to adjust things and/or cycle.
Thinking of the conditions of MTB night riding...

A click from the on position could easily occur while attempting a press. Say you hit a bump and your finger comes off prematurely, suddenly it's really dark. With that in mind, my ideas are:

1. 2 modes, full power and low power. Full is used for riding, low is used for around camp. Mediates current.

2. Each mode has 4 settings, very low, low, med, high. Like lowrider suggested, if a setting is at either boundary (off or 100%) it's deleted fromt he sequence.

3. Adjustment: double click to go dimmer, click to go brighter. The idea here is that when you need less light a double click is easier to manage.

4. Long press (at least 1 second) for off.

5. Can the voltage warnings be configure to act more as a guage (eg 1/2 time remaining...)?

6. Somehow lock the settings so when I loan the lights they don't come back mixed up!

Thanks for your work on this, I've got some bFlex's on the way and am stoked to start getting more features from my Cree, K2 and LuxIII systems.
 

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hairball_dh said:
Thinking of the conditions of MTB night riding...

A click from the on position could easily occur while attempting a press. Say you hit a bump and your finger comes off prematurely, suddenly it's really dark. With that in mind, my ideas are:
Thanks for bringing it back to the end user, rather than UI theory...

Fact of the matter is, you are trying to do a lot with a single button. No matter what, it will be a code, and people will have to remember in a less than ideally intuitive way how to operate their light. Also, there is power in common language - a lot of lights operate on the "click on", "click to change light levels", and "press and hold to turn off". If you do something really different, it will be weird for people to get used to, and on the showroom floor might be a turn off, so to speak.

Personally, i don't think there is anything wrong with the standard approach, assuming you have just a couple light settings. Beyond that, it definitely gets cumbersome, and you need to start looking into fancy UIs. I would contend at that point, though, sticking with a single switch is a bad design decision.

Back to the original thread, i think a simple click to turn off is a bad idea. You want it to be hard to turn off the light. I know i adjust light level while i am riding, and don't want to get cast inadvertantly into darkness.

On should be easiest
Changing light levels can be less easy
Turning off should be hard

-Damon
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the clarification, Dave. I think we're on the same page now. ;)

Low_Rider said:
Am I going around in circles yet? :D :p
Well, sure. But as bike riders, that's pretty much what we do.

While the main output LED’s can be configured in a number of ways, It would be cool if you had a few more options with the actual STAT pin output and could configure it to operate like the two options I posted, or at least something similar.

"Option 1 would be to have STAT high until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go low.

Option 2 would be to have the STAT pin low until the low voltage condition, when it would then be selectable to either have the STAT pin flash at 1 second intervals, or go high."
I gotcha. Just wanted to make sure you knew that we were already at least PART way there.

Be sure to keep us posted as you work on ideas Darell!
I'll do my best! I can tell already that it won't make everybody happy, but hey - what does?
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #17
hairball_dh said:
1. 2 modes, full power and low power. Full is used for riding, low is used for around camp. Mediates current.

2. Each mode has 4 settings, very low, low, med, high. Like lowrider suggested, if a setting is at either boundary (off or 100%) it's deleted fromt he sequence.
Interesting concept. Two chain rings, and a 4-speed cluster. My guess is that we'll just end up with a choice of four levels. Way the heck easier to deal with. Always remember that we're dealing with just one button here!

4. Long press (at least 1 second) for off.
I'm hearing this more and more...

6. Somehow lock the settings so when I loan the lights they don't come back mixed up!
The menu settings are basically "locked out" Changing the brightness back to where you want it would always just be a click away. This is yet another reason that more simple = more better. I want the minimum number of changeable items to make the product useful. You add more, and suddenly you are eaily lost in a maze of button clicks and presses.

Thanks for your work on this, I've got some bFlex's on the way and am stoked to start getting more features from my Cree, K2 and LuxIII systems.
Great! The current bFlex will give you an idea of how the current UI's work, and what we're "starting" with.

Thanks tons for your input.
 

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EVnut
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
GMF said:
Thanks for bringing it back to the end user, rather than UI theory...
Indeed that's what we're here for. The bad news is that however it works out in the end, it'll all have to conform to the "theory" as well. Working around the limitations of a single button interface is the single biggest challenge that we face with these UI's.

Fact of the matter is, you are trying to do a lot with a single button. No matter what, it will be a code, and people will have to remember in a less than ideally intuitive way how to operate their light.
Yup. The idea is to make it as simple and intuitive as possible. Making it perfect is not an option.

Also, there is power in common language - a lot of lights operate on the "click on", "click to change light levels", and "press and hold to turn off". If you do something really different, it will be weird for people to get used to, and on the showroom floor might be a turn off, so to speak.
Interesting that you bring this up. You say "a lot of lights" do this, and yet the experience I have is that UI's are all over the map. I have seen very little consistency. If I had to take a shot at the most common, it would be: Click on-high, click-low, click-flash, click-off. Nothing to remember, but also very tedeious to operate. If "simple" is the top priority, something like that would be the result. When I started thinking on the UIB, my first thought was similar to yours - I wanted to keep the on/off business identical to how we've done *our* past UIs. That way everybody who uses any of the UIs knows exactly how to turn it on and off without having to think. I'm quickly coming around to the fact that the UIB will break away from "our" convention in that regard though. The UIB will just be what is best for biking. I have no intention of doing anything "really different" from other lights that are out there, unless they make no sense at all. Please also realize that we aren't out to make a commercial bike-lighting product with this. We want to have a small, efficient circuit and UI that appeals to the somewhat skilled do-it-yourselfer. If there comes a time that we can get a real commercialized product rolling, then a purpose-built circuit with potentially multiple inputs would be in order - and that would be awesome. The power switch would be separate, and maybe a slider for brightness so you could tell at a glance what "gear" you were in. No chance shutting it off while trying to change levels, and you go to any new level directly from any other level. But that's a challenge for a different day. Today we're trying to figure out how to best implement a bike light UI with just one button interface.

Personally, i don't think there is anything wrong with the standard approach, assuming you have just a couple light settings. Beyond that, it definitely gets cumbersome, and you need to start looking into fancy UIs. I would contend at that point, though, sticking with a single switch is a bad design decision.
I'm still not sure what the "standard" approach is. Click on, click low, click flash, press off? My problem with that is if you want to adjust while on the go, you rarely want to cycle through the modes you don't want. Yet with only a few modes, and by not cycling through OFF, at least it is usable. I would personally much rather get almost immediately to the mode I want, without having to cycle through unwanted modes. And yes, it is complicated, and the extra complication has to be weighed against the drop-dead-easy cycle approach. The single switch is not a design decision for a bike-specific application. The circuit exists, and we're trying to adapt it for this use. I agree that one button is not ideal. We have, however, already made some amazingly powerful and simply UIs in the past with just this one button.

Back to the original thread, i think a simple click to turn off is a bad idea. You want it to be hard to turn off the light. I know i adjust light level while i am riding, and don't want to get cast inadvertantly into darkness.
This is what I'm coming to realize. I also wouldn't likely be fooling with ANY light at any critical riding moment! Seems like press for off is a concensus.

On should be easiest
Changing light levels can be less easy
Turning off should be hard
This makes a nice little poem. :)

Thanks for your input!
 

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EVnut
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161 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
This is great, guys. I just went back to my original outline that I didn't share with anybody yet... and re-shaped it with many of these suggestions. So far it looks like a great balance of totally simple, yet useful features... It'll have a strobe option that won't get in the way of the "constant" mode and will have adjustable levels when on. In fact, it is so simple now, that it doesn't seem like I've done anything. That's when you know you've done something right!

Off will be via a PRESS.

I'll let it ferment a bit longer while we wait for others to find this thread and comment. At this point, it follows GMF's poem to the letter.
 

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exacerbated member
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241 Posts
I have a question.
Is this to be a mtn bike off road light strictly or a muli use commuter light?

The reason I ask is because of the two (for me) disturbing attributes that seem to be included as givens. The strobe utility, and the mention of a handle bar mount.



Beyond that I would like to see this scheme used.

Click once to light in dim mode then press to ramp up and release to set when desired illumination is reached. Press again to continue ramp up. To ramp down, click and then press until desired illumination is reached. Three clicks turn the unit off.
 
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