Fitting your new Cycle Alert kit couldn’t be easier due to its predominantly wireless nature. Your kits include a quick-start guide and driver manual, but for more detailed instructions, simply check out the information and how-to videos below.
The Cycle Alert system notifies drivers of commercial vehicles to the presence of tagged cyclists who are in close proximity to the driver’s vehicle. The system consists of two parts, the Vehicle System and the Cycle Tags.
The Vehicle System is fitted to vehicles and consists of a cab unit mounted within the line of sight of the driver and a number of side sensors (number dependent on size of the vehicle) mounted to the vehicle exterior.
The cycle tags are attached to the handlebars or helmets of cyclists, or are integrated into other cycling apparel/accessories and are detected by the Side Sensors. The Cab Unit then displays the relative position of the cyclist.
This document describes the installation of the Side Sensors, installation of the Cab Unit, and commissioning and operation of the Alerting System in rigid body lorries, articulated lorries, buses and coaches.
The following items are required to fit the Vehicle System:
- M6 screws, nuts and washers or No 4 self-tapping screws and thread lubricant for Side Sensor mounting
- 2.9mm, 4.2mm, 6.5mm drill bits
- Centre marking tools for drilling
- Drivers and spanners to suit
- Drill with minimum chuck capacity of 10 mm
- 3 Amp fuse and in-line fuse housing
- Non-abrasive cleaning materials
- (FOR BUS/COACH) T20 driver
The sensors are wireless hermetically sealed sensors that detect the presence of a suitably equipped (tagged) cyclist. Figure 2 shows a sensor, the embossed Cycle Alert logo, and the underside of a sensor. All sensors (apart from the two rear sensors) should be mounted so that the arrow on the underside of the sensor points towards the front of the vehicle (this corresponds to the apex of the ‘A’ of the embossed logo pointing towards the front of the vehicle).
For the rear sensors, the arrow and the apex of the ‘A’ should point away from the front, towards the rear of the vehicle.
The fixing plate is the plate with the brass inserts. This plate attached to the vehicle and the Side Sensor is then screwed to this plate.
It is attached to the vehicle using either M6 nuts and bolts or with No. 4 self-tapping screws. Use M6 nuts and bolts when there is space behind the rigid structure to use a nut. Where there is not access behind the rigid structure, use No.4 self-tapping screws.
The outer clearance holes are used when attaching the plate using M6 nuts and bolts. When attaching the plate using No. 4 self-tapping screws, the inner clearance holes are used.
The spacer plate is used to increase the distance between the sensor and the vehicle. This extra distance reduces the attenuation of the radio frequencies used by the Vehicle System.
The Side Sensor is attached to the fixing plate using the M4 x 16 mm screws provided with the spacer plate, between the side sensor and the fixing plate.
Here’s a short demonstration video:
The number of sensors and the approximate locations of these sensors relative to the vehicle is determined by the vehicle type. These details can be found in Appendix A. Please note, the distance between sensors should be more than 4.5 metres. When the number of sensors and the approximate locations of these sensors have been determined, the exact location has to be determined by identifying a suitable structure for each location. The structure must have the following characteristics:
- It must be rigid structure
- It must be at a height above the ground between 0.5 m and 1.5 m
- The location must provide protection so that the sensor is unlikely to be damaged when the vehicle is in service
- Plastic or fibreglass structures are the preferred structures for attaching sensors to because these materials do not attenuate the radio frequencies used by the Vehicle System and are significantly easier to drill into compared with drilling metal structures
- If no plastic or fibreglass structure can be found in the correct location, metal structures can be used.
- Wherever possible, all sensors should be mounted to a structure with their flat surface horizontal. With the flat surface horizontal, there is no significant difference in performance if the sensor is attached to the underside or the topside of the structure.
- If the sensor cannot be attached to the top or bottom of the structure, it can be attached to the side of the structure with the flat surface in a vertical orientation.
- Please note, the two front sensors should be located in a position that is as front-facing as possible.
- Please also note that the two rear sensors should be located in a place that is as rear-facing as possible.
Here’s a short “How-To” Video:
When the exact location for the Side Sensors have been determined, the Side Sensors must be attached to the vehicle. To attach a Side Sensor to a rigid structure, complete the following steps for each sensor:
- Clean the location where the sensor is to be attached using an appropriate cleaning method.
- Mark the two drilling locations for the chosen fixture type (nut and bolt or self-tapping screw) using the spacer plate with the brass inserts as a template.
- Drill the appropriate size hole for the chosen fixture type.
- Attach the fixer plate to the vehicle using the chosen fixture type.
- Insert an M4 machine screw into both holes in the sensor body.
- Using the two M4 screws, slide the spacer plate into position next to the sensor body base
- Screw the sensor and second spacer plate to the vehicle using the brass inserts.
- Move to the next sensor and repeat the process until all sensors are fitted.
For more information on how to fit the Side Sensors, please see the “How to fit an Alerting System” on the Cycle Alert website: www.cyclealert.com.
3.4. Bus and Coach
The following section describes the installation of the side sensors onto buses and coaches.
3.4. Determining the Position for the Attachment of the Side Sensors for Bus/Coach
There are two types of side sensor required for fitting buses and coaches.
The first type is a standard Side Sensor. There are 8 of these sensors. They are used for detecting tagged cyclists and are attached to the inside of the windows in the vehicle.
The second type is an “ignore” side sensor. This sensor is used to ignore all Cycle tags that are brought onto the vehicle by a cyclist who has detached the tag from their bike. The “ignore” sensor is attached inside the vehicle in a position where all passengers have to pass by and as close to the middle of the vehicle as possible ie on a bus the “ignore” sensor is attached to the door to the driver’s cab.
The following sections give details of the optimum fitting locations for these two types of sensors.
3.4.1. The Standard Sensors
The 8 standard sensors must be attached using the following guidelines:
- Each sensor must be at a height above the ground between 1.5m and 3m.
- The location must provide protection so that the sensor is unlikely to be damaged or tampered with when the vehicle is in service. For this reason, it is better to attach the sensor to the top of the window rather than the middle.
- Fit to clear windows rather than those with adverts/stickers attached to them because the advert/sticker may have metal film in it which will affect the range of the sensor.
Refer to Appendix A for extra information relating to determining the location of the standard sensors.
3.4.2. The “Ignore” Sensor
For Bus and Coach Vehicles, the ignore sensor must be attached using the following guidelines:
- It must be in a location where all the passengers will walk by on entry to the vehicle
- It must be as close to the middle line of the vehicle as possible so that only tags on the vehicle ignored
- It must be at a height above the vehicle floor between 0.5m and 1.5m
- The location must provide protection so that the sensor is unlikely to be damaged or tampered with when the vehicle is in service.
3.4.3. Attaching the Side Sensors to Bus/Coach
When the exact location for the Side Sensor has been determined, the Side Sensor must be attached to the vehicle’s window. To attach a side sensor, complete the following steps for each sensor:
- Clean the window where the sensor is to be attached using an appropriate cleaning method.
- Remove the backing tape from the double-sided tape from the fixing plate.
- Apply a thin layer of clear silicone sealant around the fixing plate.
- Attach the fixing plate to the window.
- Insert an M4 x 10mm anti-tamper machine screw into both holes in the Side Sensor.
- Screw the sensor and spacer plate to the fixing plate using the brass inserts.
- Move to the next sensor and repeat the process until all sensors are fitted.
The Cab Unit is a visual display with an audible alert that is used to provides the driver with location information when a tagged cyclist has been detected. It consists of a case with a screen, a mounting system, and an electrical power cable. The following sections describe these components and how they should be fitted to a vehicle.
The Cab Unit houses the electronics that are used to display the location of a cyclist on the Cab Unit screen. The case has two sets of buttons: a double button located centrally on the top face of the case and a single button located on the bottom face of the case. The double-button is used to adjust the volume of the audible alert. The single button is used to adopt rear side sensors. For more information about ‘adopting sensors’ see section 6.
It is recommended that the Cab Unit be installed using the RAM® components supplied. Because the driver must be able to see the screen, the Cab Unit must be installed so that it is in the direct line of sight of the driver, but where it will not obstruct the driver’s view when on the road. There is no requirement for the driver to make adjustments while driving, and it is advised that the volume should be adjusted only when the vehicle is stationary. For these reasons, the Cab Unit does not need to be installed within the reach of the driver when driving. The recommended locations for installing the Cab Unit are either the dash panel, on the driver’s windows, or to a structure above the driver’s window using the RAM base:
This suction mount base does not require any holes to be drilled and can be attached to any smooth surface, such as glass. It cannot be used on surfaces with a texture, such as dimpled dash panels. This base can be repositioned to suit the preference of individual drivers. It is advised that the Cab Unit is only repositioned when the vehicle is stationary.
To attach a suction mount base to a vehicle, complete the following steps:
- Select a suitably smooth surface within the cab of the vehicle for the base to be attached.
- Press the suction mount onto the material and rotate the top of the base clockwise.
- To reposition the mount, turn the top of the base anti-clockwise, reposition the base, and repeat step 2)
- Please see the following “how-to” video:
When the base has been installed, the connecting arm, Cab Unit adhesive plate, and Cab Unit must be attached. The Cab Unit adhesive plate must be positioned such that it central to Cab Unit case but does not cover the speaker grill. Figure 8 – Cab Unit assembly a) the connecting arm, b) the Cab Unit adhesive plate, c) the rear of the Cab Unit case, and d) the rear of the Cab Unit case with the adhesive plateFigure 8 shows the connecting arm, Cab Unit adhesive plate, and the recommended fitting of the adhesive pad. To assemble the Cab Unit and mounting, complete the following steps:
- Clean the surface of the rear of the Cab Unit with the alcohol wipe provided.
- Remove the pale yellow coloured film from the adhesive pad.
- Attach the adhesive pad to the cleaned surface ensuring all bubbles are pressed out.
- Remove the clear film from the adhesive pad.
- Attach the base to the adhesive pad.
- Unscrew the tightening screw on the connecting arm so that the ball of the base can be inserted into one end of the connecting arm.
- Insert the ball of the Cab Unit into the other end of the connecting arm. Unscrew the tightening screw further on the connecting arm if this process is difficult.
- Position the Cab Unit in the desired orientation and screw in the tightening screw in the connecting arm until the Cab Unit is held rigidly in place.
- To reorientate the Cab Unit unscrew the tightening screw, reorientate, and retighten the tightening screw.
The Cab Unit is supplied with 2 m of cable. For the Cab Unit to operate, this cable must be connected to a 12-24 volt DC supply. This supply must be switched on and off by the ignition. This prevents unnecessary charge consumption when the vehicle is not in use and increases the battery life of the Side Sensors. The supply should be protected by a 3 Amp fuse (not supplied). To connect the Cab Unit to the electrical supply in the vehicle, complete the following steps:
- Ensure that the vehicle ignition is turned off. If required by company procedures, disconnect the vehicle battery.
- Determine a suitable location for the Cab Unit.
- Under the dash panel, route the power cable to the selected supply.
- Attach an in-line 3 Amp fuse to the red wire of the Cab Unit power supply.
- Connect the Cab Unit wires to the selected supply using the following colour code:
- Red = positive.
- Black = negative/chassis
- Reconnect the vehicle battery if disconnected.
N.B. The Cab Unit will not operate if the polarity is reversed, but it will not be damaged.
Please take a look at the following video:
5.1 Diagnostic Test – No Tag Required
- Switch on the vehicle ignition and observe the Cab Unit. The red LED indicators will flash. The number of flashes indicates the number of side sensors detected and which side of the vehicle sensors are located.
- After 30 seconds, if all Side Sensors have been detected, an audible alert of, “Active” is broadcast. If one or more Side Sensors are missing or not functioning, the Cab Unit broadcasts an audible alert detailing the location of the missing/defective sensor. The possible alerts are the following:
a) “Fault: Front Sensor” – one of the two front sensors are missing/defective
b) “Fault: Right Sensor” – one of the right (middle) sensors is missing/defective
c) “Fault: Left Sensor” – one of the left (middle) sensors is missing/defective
d) “Fault: Back Sensor” – one of the two rear sensors are missing/defective
The audible, “Active” must be heard. If any other alert is heard, investigate which sensor or sensors are causing the problem and rectify.
5.2 Manual Test – With Cycle Tag (Optional – Tag not supplied as standard)
- When the audible alert, “Active” has been broadcast, a second person should stand in front of the vehicle more than 2.5 metres away but less than 50m from the vehicle with the tag activated and attached to their index finger in a vertical orientation as per the supplies instructions for attaching a tag to the handlebar of a bike.
- The central white LED indicator should be lit, indicating that the tag is detected but not within 2.5m of the vehicle.
- The second person should then approach the front of the vehicle, keeping the tag between them and the vehicle until they are within 2.5 metres of the front of the vehicle. When the tag is within 2.5 m of the vehicle, the Cab Unit display should match figure b and an audible alert of “Cyclist” should be heard.
- The second person should then walk around the vehicle with the tag, keeping within 2.5 metres of the vehicle to test that the tag is detected around the whole perimeter of the vehicle.
Please see the following video:
Each Vehicle System must be regularly checked to ensure it is functioning correctly. The maintenance check consists of the following procedure:
- Switch on the vehicle ignition while observing the Cab Unit.
- After 30 seconds, if all side sensors have been detected, an audible alert of, “Active” is broadcast. If one or more Side Sensors are missing or not functioning, the Cab Unit broadcasts an audible alert detailing the location of the missing or defective sensor or sensors. Please see Point 5 for the list of possible alerts.
Please see the following demonstration video:
For fleets of lorries where there are no trailers than tractor units, trailer packs can be purchased separately and can be “adopted”.
Articulating lorries require the ability to adopt the Side Sensors of the trailer that it is currently attached to. This is achieved by completing the following procedure:
- Press and release the “adopt” button. A green LED is lit in the centre of the Cab Unit screen for up to 10 seconds
- When the green LED turns off, one of the following audible alerts are broadcast:
- a) “Adoption Complete” – All working sensors on the new trailer have been adopted successfully
- b) “Adoption incomplete” – No sensors have been adopted. Check trailer for sensors.
A lorry can be driven without a successful adoption of trailer sensors, however your Cycle Alert vehicle system will not be fully operational.
The Side Sensors for rigid body lorries are supplied as a set, therefore no adoption is required.
The following sections detail solutions to issues that can be experienced during installation or operation.
The main reason a Cab Unit does not start up is due to power supply issues. Check the following before contacting Cycle Alert:
Turn on the vehicle ignition.
Check that the 3 Amp fuse used to protect the Cab Unit has not blown. If the fuse has blown, replace the fuse and try again.
Check that the cable supplying the Cab Unit has not been damaged.
Check that there is a good electrical connection between the Cab Unit and the vehicle’s power supply.
If none of the above solutions fix the issue, contact Cycle Alert for further support.
If the location of a cyclist is incorrectly displayed by the Cab Unit, check the following causes.
Unscrew each sensor and check that the correct sensors have been installed in the appropriate location. If a sensor has been installed in the incorrect location, reinstall the sensor in the correct location. See Appendix A to determine where your numbered sensors should be fitted according to your vehicle type.
Determine which sensors are missing and order replacements. Your Cycle Alert Vehicle System ceases to be fully operational until the replacement sensors have been fitted to the vehicle. If none of the above solutions fix the issue, contact Cycle Alert for further support.
7.3. The red LED indicators are displaying more than one of the LED indicator patterns
When two or more tags are detected close to the vehicle, combinations of the LED indicator patterns shown in Figure 9 are displayed by the Cab Unit. This is normal operation. Each pattern refers to one or more tag found in that location. When more than 15 tags are detected, all LED indicators are illuminated.
If the audible alert cannot be heard, increase the speaker by pressing the right-hand volume button. If this does not fix the issue, contact Cycle Alert for further support.
Appendix A – The number and location of Side Sensors required to fit different types of lorries
The Cycle Alert system is designed for use on rigid body lorries and articulated lorries. The overall total length of the vehicle determines how many Side Sensors are required. The distance between sensors on the same side of the vehicle must not exceed 4.5 m. For this reason the following configurations are recommended:
A.1. Rigid body less than 9 m long
Rigid body and articulating lorries with a total length that is less than 9 m six Side Sensors. The locations of each sensor are shown in Figure 11.
A.2. Rigid body and articulating lorries between 9 m and 14 m long
Rigid body and articulating lorries with a total length that is greater than 9 m but less than 14 m require eight Side Sensors. The locations of each sensor are shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11 – Rigid body lorries and articulating lorries with a total length that is greater than 9 m but less than 14 m
A.3. Rigid body and articulating lorries between 14 m and 17 m long
Rigid body and articulating lorries with a total length that is greater than 14 m but less than 17 m require ten Side Sensors. The locations of each sensor are shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12 – Rigid body lorries and articulating lorries with a total length that is greater than 14 m but less than 17 m
A.5. Bus and Coach
Vehicles such as Buses and Coaches require 8 Side Sensors and an “ignore” sensor. The locations are shown below: