See which way the wind is blowing

Very little activity on the writing front. You may have noticed that. Also zero radio activity since ARRL DX SSB. That might be my longest period without a QSO in the log ever. Does that mean I’ve been a couch potato all this time? Not at all. On the contrary. I’ve been doing double shifts in the homebrewing department. One big ham radio project that’s still going on: my field day ‘antenna raising structure’ v2.0. And a couple of small side projects. Let’s not forget a dozen projects in the garden. Like a big swing for the kids including a fireman’s pole to slide down. Now leave me alone you rascals and go play on that giant playset!

One of the side projects is a wind vane. I like to see where the wind is coming from so I can turn the antenna for least wind load. I have always done this by watching the ropes on the tower dangling in the wind but since they can’t move freely, that might be inaccurate. A fancy weather station is too expensive and overkill. I wanted a simple old skool solution: a wind vane. And now I have one. I made it myself from scrap material.

  • The arrow is a scratched piece of square PCB I cut diagonally. So in fact I have two arrows for symmetry and balance.
  • These arrows are held by small aluminum profile I saved from an old bent parasol. The PCB triangles are fixed to the rectangular profile by two M 4 bolts with a locking nut.
  • The swivel mount is a swivel wheel with the actual wheel removed.
  • Where the wheel’s axis was, I put an M8 bolt through a piece of 22 mm tubing. And a self-tapping screw to keep it from tilting.
  • I welded a square piece of flat stock as a base, and screwed that to the highest post of the children’s climbing tower. The tube might serve as a flag pole in the future. I leave the flag sewing to the XYL. Honey if you read this…
  • Finish: glossy raspberry red with a yellow accent, on a matt black support.

I did not provide a compass indication because I know where the North is.

It works! It didn’t cost much because all parts were in the junk box for many years. Once I got the idea of using the swivel wheel, it took me half an hour to cut, drill and mount and test the concept.

I get a kick out of making something useful with old rubbish and using parts that weren’t designed for the purpose it serves in the end.

One question remains: how to park a yagi with a rotary dipole on top when the wind blows hard? With the wind direction parallel to the boom so the elements take the wind? Or the elements alongside the axis of the wind so that the boom is perpendicular to it?

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