Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Build Your Own Video Game Exerciser!

Suppose you already have an exercise bike and would like to use it as a PS2 controller to play racing games. One option is do it yourself: get the parts from Radio Shack and build a small circuit board that connects the components.

That was Bill Pfeil's project at the Maker Faire in San Mateo last week, and it worked quite well. I got to see a standard recumbent exercise bike being used to play Crazy Taxi. Bill writes:
Build your own exercise fitness bike video game controller for less than $20 in electronics! All parts are available from your local RadioShack(tm).

Here is what you should already have: A PlayStation 2, a Pelican TT Cobra racing wheel for PS2 (around $20 at Fry's Electronics), and an exercise bike (or other fitness equipment). The exercise bike needs to have a speed/distance monitor. If it has this monitor, it should have the motion sensor we need already built in.

Full details, including a larger circuit diagram, are here. Good luck!

UPDATE: in the comments, Kevin notes that GameCycles (which usually has an ad on this page - go click it, you know you want to...) sells a prebuilt solution to the same problem. The NeoRacer PS1/PS2 Game Controller sells fully assembled (apart from providing the input source) for $35. For those who don't want to assemble their own circuit board.

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Blogger iportion said...

That sounds so cool.
Thank you

4/27/2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

You can also do this using a NeoRacer PS1/PS2 Game Controller. This controller is fully assembled and sells for $35. This includes, a PS1 Game Controller, wired to a microcontroller. It plugs directly into a PS1 or PS2 game console. All you need to provide is a signal source. Many bikes use a magnet and a Reed sensor. In this case, it’s just a matter of connecting two wires. has these in stock. They can be found at

If there's enough interest, our sister company 3D Innovations we could provide kits or assembled hardware to connect to other game consoles or even the PC.

4/27/2006 11:59 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I forgot to mention, that the NeoRacer controller allows you to assign the pedal motion to any button on the game pad.

4/27/2006 12:10 PM  

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