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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Wind sensor

Anyone know a good, cheep, light weight, wind sensor with digital output?

This is going on an autonomous sailboat. We need to know wind direction. Not so much speed.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:26 PM
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You asked a month ago and there were responses:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1747380
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:41 PM
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Thank you, somehow I overlooked that. I should also clarify in case anyone responds to this one I need a wind vane. I think sensor was misleading and makes you think we need to know the wind speed.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:20 AM
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Wind vanes are really expensive and for a 2mtr boat, would have to be custom made. Monitor and scanmar both make wind vanes. Sounds like you will need to increase your budget. Ryan
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:33 AM
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Joined Feb 2006
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A small wind vane should be no problem. Its basically a feather on a spindle that is free enough to tend to always point downwind. On something like a yacht that rocks, it would probably need a counterbalance to reduce any tendency to point downward, especially making the assumption that it would be mounted at the top of the mast.
The problem is reading the direction, which would need something low mass and low friction that is capable of continuous rotation without running into an end stop. The only thing that springs to mind is a disk with binary encoding holes and a sensor for each ring of holes. 8 rings of holes, definition is 256 steps for full rotation, or one and a bit degrees. The follow on problems are getting the power requirement down to a viable level and minimizing the weight..
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 02:00 PM
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There are potentiometers available online that are 360 degrees of rotation as small as 1/2" in diameter that are waterproof. They aren't cheap. You could utilize that to monitor the voltage increase or decrease to give you the actual voltage where the "vane" is. This would then allow you to calculate the degree's of apparent wind.

We are working on something similar to be read off a digital 2.4Ghtz radio system to get wind direction and speed. Much simpler if you don't need to broadcast it through existing radio equipment.
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