Converting your motorbike gloves to be cellphone compatible

2 replies [Last post]
GeelKameel's picture
Joined: 2007/06/21

During marshaling and especially during the CTCT it happens all the time that you need to operate the cell phone while riding. Opening WhatsApp messages or changing from one screen to another etc etc

Also, when you use the cell phone to navigate, any WhatsApp or sms that is delivered blocks out the navigating map. Then you need to re-activate the nav map.

It is a great schlepp to ride on your bike and you need to take off your leather glove to be able to operate the cell screen.

The cell phone screen works by detecting capacitance discharge on the spot where you touch the screen (the technique and software they use is very interesting, but not to be discussed here)
The tip of your finger works because the skin is electrically conductive.
A normal leather glove does not work because it is not electrically conductive. To make the glove work, you need to electrically connect your finger through the glove to the screen.

Three solutions:
1. Buy cell-compatible gloves - Flying Brick has three versions in stock.
The most expensive and least expensive versions worked okey when I tried them. The middle priced one worked very well (for me)


2. Cut a hole in the tip of the glove of the operating finger
This solution is cheap, works well, but is not recommended. 
It has some disadvantages --- the hole tends to grow bigger and bigger and the finger gets wetter and colder in cold weather.


3. Fit a metal conductive tip 
Note: Google suggests that you thread some conductive thread into the tip of the glove ... do not go that route, it is not practical!

Three reasons: 
a) The threading deforms the glove tip into something that looks like a raisin, 
b) The area/patch in contact with the screen is too small (invisible to the screen software) or too spidery (long treads and short threads mixed that confuses the screen software) 
c) The thread may scratch the screen 
The cell phone screen needs to detect a patch touched, not a tiny pinsize area. Conductive wire/thread creates a pinsized contact, which is invisible to the cell screen


What I did is easy and works very well --- Fit a thumbnail !

It is smooth and comfortable, works well and is quite easy to fit.

i. Select which fingers need to be modified and determine exactly where on the finger tip you need the contact
ii. Find two unpainted (brass or chromed) thumb nails
iii. Find the exact spot on the glove finger you would like to use

iv. Push thumb nail #1 from the outside into the tip of the glove on the spot you selected.

v. Turn that particular finger inside out (I used a long nose plier to grab the shaft of the thumb nail inside the finger and pulled it inside out)

vi. Modify and prepare thumb nail #2: Break the shaft free from the disc, then drill a 1mm hole through the disk

vii. Slip the modified disk over the shaft of the #1 thumb nail protruding from the glove

viii. Trim the shaft of thumb nail #1

ix. Knock the stubbed shaft with a punch in order to a) lock it onto the disk and b) to blunt off the sharp stub.

x. Turn the finger back to outside to outside.

xi. Test your handiwork on a cell phone
xii. Repeat modification on as many fingers as you wish




Jacques Botha R66's picture
Joined: 2012/10/02

To hell and back with Google on this one. Well done.

Andyman's picture
Joined: 2007/06/22

Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

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« February 2020 »


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