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“During the summertime, I’ll disappear for hours on long rides to nowhere and back. But I have to admit on some rides I’ve gotten so lost I have trouble finding my way home. Happily I was able to build a solar-powered GPS mapping machine, mostly from old computer parts and software I had sitting around my office.” Author Brian Nadel‘s words in the introduction to his DIY Outdoors piece, “Solar-Powered Bike GPS,” from the pages of MAKE Volume 10, are further testament to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention. Brian’s homespun bike GPS cost him next to nothing to make because he had most of the parts on hand already (ah, the endless parts bin for that maybe-someday project do come in handy). He estimates the project would run about $150 total by combing through eBay and closeout retailers. Naturally, with the abundant varieties of bike, PDA, GPS receiver, and solar panel, you likely have to improvise for your personal combo but seeing how Brian set his up is the insight you need.

Here is the full article in our Digital Edition. No better time than a sunny summer day to get crackin on this project.

You can still pick up a back issue of MAKE Volume 10 in the Maker Shed.

Goli Mohammadi

I’m a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

I was an editor for the first 40 volumes of MAKE. The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. Covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made.

Contact me at snowgoli (at) gmail (dot) com.


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