Ready for assembly

Earlier this week, Wednesday I think, maybe Thursday, I received the updated version of the stator for my anemometer. When I got the piece out of the packaging, I immediately test the fit of the bearing into the socket and it fit amazingly! The next step was to attach it to some 1/2″ PVC pipe and take it outside to watch it spin, but there was a very minor issue – this version of the stator, even though the only change I made was to the socket, was a much tighter fitting over the PVC pipe. I can only assume this is a side-effect of 3D printing – each print of a model isn’t going to be 100% exactly the same: some minor differences are going to be present.

Since I’ve had the new part, I’ve been taking it outside on windier days to watch the cups rotate in the wind. After a few hours of playing with the current version, I noticed that the stator doesn’t hold the bearing as tightly as when I first received the component – another side-effect of laser sintered nylon powder. I can only assume that the perfect fit before was created by the excess dust that hadn’t been cleaned out at the factory of the future. No matter, the bearing fits well enough if the anemometer will be raised in its upright configuration and if I, or anybody else who buys this model, want to hang the anemometer upside down, we can add a dab or two of epoxy or CA glue to the inside diameter of the bearing socket and permanently affix the bearing to the stator.

The next step in this project is to install the 1/8″ x 1/16″ magnets to the inside of the rotor, wire up the Hall Effect sensor and affix it to the inside of the stator, and start working on some Arduino code to read and store the data to an SD card. Once I get that part complete, I can start working on my Python program to graph the data for easy visualization. After that, I get to figure out how to graph the live data over a USB cable.

The final piece of the project is going to be designing and ordering custom PCB’s for the standalone, salable, version. For that, I’m going to have to work on figuring out power management and storage. I’m thinking using a small(ish) LiPo battery and a solar panel to keep the battery charged during the day.

For now though, I need to work on the assembly and Arduino code…

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