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Re: [TowerTalk] Where can I get a *simple* *cheap* anemometer fortower

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Where can I get a *simple* *cheap* anemometer fortower
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 06:22:40 -0700
List-post: <>
At 06:36 PM 5/9/2007, Rick Karlquist wrote:
>I would like to monitor wind speed using a simple
>cup anemometer to determine when it is time to
>crank down the tower.  In looking for anemometers,
>I have only found extremely expensive solutions that
>indicate wind direction as well as speed, and require
>a complete "weather station" in the shack, and even then, no
>analog wind speed output voltage.  All I want is a cup
>assembly connected to a velocity to voltage transducer
>(tachometer sensor).

Do you actually need a voltage, or just something that tells you when 
the speed is over a certain value.  For the latter, how about a 
pendulum hanging in the wind with a conductive ring around it (like a 
pinball machine tilt sensor).  If the wind blows hard enough, the 
pendulum is pushed to the side, makes contact, 
etc.  Calibration/adjustment by the "hold out the window of the car 
on the freeway" approach.

It will also sense earthquakes, but in that case, you probably also 
want to crank the thing down.

Another, more direct approach to your problem:  What about a 
straingage sensor on the tower itself, using IT as the sensor. Put 
the strain gage at the base and when the strain exceeds some TBD 
value, it's time to crank down.  Omega engineering has cheap 
straingages that you can just glue on.  You might also be able to 
just measure the deflection of the tower by a variety of means.  Say 
you had a Laser pointer shining up along side the tower, and a 
reflector at the top that would move into the beam when it deflected 
too much.  When you see the beam coming back down, it's time to crank 
it down.  Or, put the laser at the top pointing straight down, and 
have a ring/annular shaped photo sensor.  If the light hits the 
sensor, you trip.  Probably want to pulse the laser so that you can 
AC couple the photo sensor to eliminate the effects of daylight.



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