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  1. #1
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Trikes and traffic sensors

    Can anyone here tell me if a trike with more metal closer to the ground is better at tripping traffic sensors than a DF bike? Also would it make a difference if the frame was steel or aluminium or something else.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Can anyone here tell me if a trike with more metal closer to the ground is better at tripping traffic sensors than a DF bike? Also would it make a difference if the frame was steel or aluminium or something else.
    Traffic engineers always tell me the loop is a 'mass sensor' but this is nonsense. There's no such thing in our current technological bag of tricks. Passing a *conductor* over the loop is what triggers the circuit. Given that logic, then a trike frame *should* work better than a DF frame (as long as it's not carbon.) But even a trike is a small bit of 'conductor' compared to a car.

  3. #3
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    Loop detectors work by creating currents in nearby metal objects and this is most effective if the objects form some type of loop for the current to flow. On most bicycles the most effective parts are the aluminum rims since these are closest to the pavement and are nice conducting loops. So a trike has a little advantage with three rims instead of two. OTOH, the effectiveness of the rims on a DF bike can sometimes be improved a bit by laying it on its side - especially if you're not sure exactly where the pavement loop detector is located.

  4. #4
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Visualize the field as toroidal (donut shaped) around the wire. You want to intersect as much as you can with the donut. If you line up sitting inside the circle with a wheel tangent to the wire you shouldn't have trouble. If you do then the sensor is probably set too insensitive and you can call the city to have it looked at.

    Here's an example of what I mean with a motorcycle. Traffic Signal Detector Hints Motorcyclists also have threads on their forums telling each other that one bike works better than another because of its wheel material, engine material, engine orientation (!), frame material, etc. But a bicycle should have little trouble setting it off if it's working properly.
    Last edited by Darth Lefty; 02-25-15 at 04:09 PM.
    Genesis 49:17

  5. #5
    Senior Member TroN0074's Avatar
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    Currently the traffic people are changing from wired loops detection to wireless, the wireless detection device looks like a hockey disk buried under the asphalt. It says that can detect anything that has stopped above it on an area of 6'x6'. These detections devices are placed in the middle of the lane, usually they install three of them with the first one just behind the stop strip then six feets apart are the other ones.

    If the intersection hasn't been modernized with the wireless detection devices then the rectangle of the wire loops should be visible on the surface of the road. ride your bike over the buried wire to put the signal on the controller, or just have a pedestrian traveling on the same direction as you to push the button to cross.

    Good luck

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