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Wireless wind vane alert

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Braam, Oct 17, 2017.

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  1. Braam


    Oct 17, 2017
    Hi,I am new to this forum and have hardly any knowledge of electronics. In search of a simple wireles wind vane that would alert me via mobile or internet that the wind has died down to start spraying in the orchards during the night. Any suggestions or help would be sincerely appreciated.
    I am from South Africa, so we do not have all the components in the world,the simpler the better.
    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2017
  2. bushtech


    Sep 13, 2016
    Hi Braam and welcome to EP
    Been thinking about your problem and got a real wacky idea.
    A normal PC fan has got 3 wires ( sometimes 4) Now the third wire is the interesting one, it sends a signal to the computer telling it that it's working. It's a brushless motor so spins freely. Now I wonder if this could somehow be used for your need. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than me will come along and tell me I'm loopy or tell you how to make this work.
  3. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    Detecting the wind speed is easy - as is creating a signal to 'switch' something. The hardest part (for someone with limited access to tech parts) is sending the signal via GSM or internet.

    It would be easier to fit a clock (timer) and solenoid-activated valve such that the valve is opened if the wind is 'zero' AND the time is suitable (night).

    As such, practically any 'fan' will generate a voltage when spun manually or via wind throughput and this voltage can be amplified to activate an electronic switch to apply power to the solenoid valve. If the solenoid power is, itself, switched via a timer (mechanical or electrical) then you have a signal that switches the water on 'at night' but only IF there is zero wind.

    Practically off-the-shelf parts available anywhere......
  4. ChosunOne


    Jun 20, 2010
    My guess is that Braam doesn't want the spraying to start the first instant the wind speed registers as zero. I don't know how winds work there, but I think in most places, it dies gradually and vacillates, and a given location will reach zero speed a few times before it's actually done for the night. you don't want to be spraying into the dying gusts of the wind.

    So I would suggest that the motor-turned-generator power a signal to keep a relay from starting a simply timing circuit. If the wind kicks up again, the timer is aborted/reset until the signal reaches zero again. Braam could best judge how long to set the timer for.

    Timers can be made very simply from basic components and probably in your case, don't need to be super-accurate. It's been awhile but I've made simple ( crude but reliable) timer circuits from a couple of transistors, a capacitor, and a couple of resistors.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  5. Braam


    Oct 17, 2017
    Hi, Lack of knowledge and English.I live in a small village/town and the wind are totally different in an urban area so getting up at night checking evey hour aint to good for me and then arriving on the farm just to see the wind is still going is even worse.
    By spraying I mean spraying petesides in our orchards.The reason for spraying at night is that most if the days are windy and not good for mist spray equipment.
    The time delay for gusts of wind is a real smart idea as it dies down .
    The gsm or internet acces is to act like an alarm and wake me up at night

    Thanks so far
  6. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    What distance from farm to home?

    Is it a distance that could be covered by a simpler radio signal? There are radio-data modules that have ranges up to 50km and very low price point, low operating current and very easily adapted to your needs.

    Look up LoRa modules. With a wind sensor and delay circuit (as suggested above) such a system would send an alert over many km and could be powered using solar cells.

    As stated, interfacing to GSM and/or internet is more complex and expensive for such a simple signal requirement.
    bushtech likes this.
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