All Together Now…

Another weekend has passed and I did not update on time, but I am going to update today and try to get back on the Saturday/Sunday bandwagon this weekend. Since my last post, however, I have received another anemometer from Shapeways and started working on assembling the components and writing the Arduino code to calculate wind speed and store the data with a time stamp to an SD card.

Getting the Anemometer together was trickier than I had anticipated. Gluing neodymium magnets that are ~1″ apart is no easy task. The 1/8″ x 1/16″ disks have a tendency to jump the gap to connect with an adjacent magnet. To solve this issue I had to be careful to not let the magnets get too close while inserting them into their respective pockets, which was difficult considering the size of the rotor and how little space there is to work with. Once I had carefully glued and installed the magnets and let the glue cure for a few hours, I snapped the 13mm bearing onto the clip in the rotor.

Once I had all the components for the rotor in place, it was time to prepare and glue in the Hall Effect sensor in the stator. Getting the sensor wired up was a straight forward soldering process: Strip the shielding from the cable and the individual conductors, slip on a few lengths of heat shrink tubing – one for each connection, solder the wires to the leads on the sensor, slip the heat shrink over the leads and solder joints and heat them up with a lighter (I need to invest in a heat gun with reflector), slide a larger piece of heat shrink over the three individual conductors to join them together, and finally heat that last piece up to finish it off. It seems like a lot of steps, but it takes virtually no time once you get the hang of it.

Gluing the Hall Effect sensor into the stator, however, was not so simple. One of the reasons for this is the size and shape of the stator doesn’t allow for a very good anchor point to attach some sort of clamp – binder clips, clothes pins, etc. On top of that, the rigidity and weight of the cable made it tricky to keep the sensor aligned while gluing. When I did mange to clamp the sensor in place, using an alligator clip from a set of helping hands, the cable would pull on the sensor and take it out of alignment.

After many frustrating hours of failed glue jobs and a slight modification to the free end of the cable, I was able to hook the anemometer up to my boarduino and upload some code to measure the wind speed.

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One Response to “All Together Now…”

  1. Hi Mark! Like the cameo 🙂

    Seth, you are a genius! How freakin’ coolio (http://themusic.com.au/i/525/350/cf/Artists/C/coolio/coolio_h_0513.jpg)

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