Bike Handlebar Bluetooth Remote Control for Phone Navigation and Music

I enjoy exploring new areas and listening to podcasts and music on my bike. My phone mounted on my handlebars works better than a Garmin type device for this. However, the touch screen is fiddly, especially when:

  • It's raining
  • It's cold and I'm wearing gloves
  • I'm riding off road on rough tracks and prefer to keep both hands on the bars!

Hence, I wanted a convenient remote control device to control basic functions like waking up the screen, zooming and panning around maps and controlling music. As an initial experiment I used the media keys on an old broken set of headphones and wrote an Android app that faked being a media player to capture the button clicks. This worked but convinced me to be more ambitious. I have also seen many courier riders (Uber Eats and Deliveroo) using their phones when riding mopeds and decided a flexible device might a market.

I decided to use a Nordic Semiconductor NRF5x series Bluetooth chip in the guise of a cheap "Core51822" module.

After a few prototype iterations it is now a usable product that I have used on several rides. A waterproof and practical case design is still needed and possibly swap from AAA batteries to something smaller.

The remote control is able to do anything an external Bluetooth keyboard (or in fact a HID consumer control device) can do without any extra app installed on the phone.

Now it is usable state I am selling off spare boards. It uses 5 standard tactile switches in a cross formation.

  • Designed for a Nordic NRF 51822 chip on a Chinese Core51822 module (available cheaply from eBay and AliExpress etc).
  • Dimensions are 70mm x 30mm
  • 5 standard tactile buttons (left, right, up down, middle) that pull to ground and an LED.
  • SWD pins are broken out to header for easy flashing of firmware.
  • LED is same pin (p18) as LED0 the Nordic development board.
  • Laid out for 2* 2x10 2mm pitch surface mount socket (although n.b. module is 2* 2x9 pins; i.e. 4 holes are unused in the socket). You could of course use 2* 2x9 socket. The surface mount socket (which can be soldered by hand) I use is:
  • Power source is intended to be 2*AAA batteries directly
  • Flying probe electrical test from JLCPCB.

Priced to cover costs- £2 (incl. UK 2nd class postage as a letter) by PayPal.

I can also supply the board hand soldered with components, firmware hex and even pre-programmed NRF module but cost would be much higher. Anyway, feel free to email