Traffic Light sensors - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Traffic Light sensors

Any hints or tricks on how to get the dang traffic light sensors to turn the light green when your the only person at the intersection?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:03 AM
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Hi Winfield-

There is anecdotal evidence that you can ride your motorcycle along the "seam" that contains the sensor, but that is often not enough for the mechanism to notice the combined weight of you and the bike.

Eventually the light will "time-out" to allow pedestrians and other "lightweight" folks to cross the street. There are some traffic signals in my area that I can only describe as magical...they have a long green for the perpendicular traffic but can sense the moment another vehicle approaches. They turn green for a few seconds and then revert. I wish all signals could be built with the same technology.

~ Blue Jays ~
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:37 AM
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I was told by a cop that when comming to the light if no other traffic is there and you think youll get stuck flash high and low beams, to help trip lights with optical sensors. As Blue says ride and stop on the seams if there are any for wt sensors... if no seams are visible use the left side of the lane.

That's what I was told!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:45 AM
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I usually don't even bother. I'll wait until a reasonable time has passed, check to make sure everything is clear, and head on through. Of course, a lot also depends on the intersection itself. There have been times where I elected to wait for a car to come up behind me, as the intersection was just too fucked up... Converesly, on some lonely country road, where you can easily see any traffic, I don't wait too long....
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:45 AM
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Most of those sensors dont work on weight. They are a coil under the pavement.
As a metal car passes over the coil, it generates current in the coil, which the computer sences. Now a bike being a whole lot less metal then a car, and being aluminum instead of steel, it doesnt generate a whole lot of current. So you got 2 options to increase the ammount of current generated.
1. Pass over the sensor much faster. This is amusing, but difficult since you dont know where the actual coil is burried.
2. Attach a magnet to the bottom of your bike. Yeah, you might add a few ounces, but it should do the trick.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 09:29 AM
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I ride to work at 3am, usually not much traffic around, just look around to make sure no one is around, then run the reds.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:38 PM
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And if all else fails, throw her in neutral, put the kickstand down, get off, and go hit the button to cross the road
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Vash
...2. Attach a magnet to the bottom of your bike. Yeah, you might add a few ounces, but it should do the trick.
Anybody try this?

On my way to work in the morning motorcycles can use the carpool lanes on metered ramps. The ramp I get on usually has a huge line of cars but the carpool lane is empty so I use that, but I never get the green so I just end up going. I get a ton of dirty looks because people think i'm running the red, but I know its never gonna change!

"Let us celebrate our arrangement with the adding of chocolate to milk."
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the ideas. The last couple of times I have had to just "run the reds". I might try the magnet trick. Thx.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 05:06 PM
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My solution was to run it, Get a ticket and fight it in my trial.

I had a lot of experiece being an Architect for a Fast food chain where loop detectors are installed in the drive thru lanes and knew what the problem was before crossing. I was found NOT Guilty BTW.
In my preparation for trial, the City engineer I met said to approach the intersection over one side of the loop. You can usually see where the loop is from the sawcuts made when they installed the detector loop wire. Most City detectors are retrofits and have sawcuts. For my particular light, aligning over the wire still did not work. The problem with the loops is they usually extend past the stop stripe because people stop past the stop it to see on-coming traffic.
If set too sensitively (usually what is needed to detect a bike) detector loops will also pick up traffic in the crossing lanes and "Lock up". If not sensitive enough even, magnets, kickstands and bike alignment over the loop wire will not work.
The best thing to do is contact your City's traffic engineer and have one of the engineers meet you at the light giving you problems and calibrate it to detect you. For the light I had a problem with, the calibration was set to max sensitivity to get it to work. They may not be willing to do this because of the lock up issue. My city won't recalibrate all the lights, only on a case by case basis. Until I complain about a specific light, the calibration is set "for cars, not bikes". The City I live in is also switching to video detection which works way better than detector loops.
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