flarenut (flarenut) wrote,

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$59.99 saved is a penny earned

You know those projects that end up taking much more work than they should, and really ought never have needed doing in the first place?

Today I finally finished fixing the wind sensor on my cheapjack weather station. Winter before last the mounting pole fell down (note to self: wood shrinks, band clamps don't) and broke the sensor mounting plate, the tail of the wind-direction vane and all three arms of the anemometer. A few weeks ago, when the snow melted from where I wanted to put the thing, I went down to the basement with the bits and learned:

1. Parts not made of soluble plastic, so the plastic-welding cement had no effect whatsoever.
2. The solvent in my big bottle of superglue had evaporated, leaving a congealed mess that might hold if only it would set.
3. It wouldn't hold well enough to withstand brushing against my drill while I was trying to put it up.

4. The other big bottle of superglue, the "gap-filling" one, hadn't evaporated.
5. But that glue didn't stand up to vibration, say, a drill turning a mounting screw.
6. You can drill a tiny hole with the point of a file and insert a piece of wire to reinforce this stuff.

7. The sensor didn't work anyway, because
8. The internal batteries were dead and corroded (which I found out by disassembling the sealed part and finding them loose inside).
9. Just replacing them didn't help because
10a. You can't pull the circuit board out to replace the batteries without breaking a crucial part of the wind-direction sensor.
10b. Resetting the display to sync with the transmitter in the wind sensor is no help because (thanks, intertube forums) the wind sensor sends its data to the temperature/humidity sensor, which then passes the information (along with rain-gauge data) to the display.

Finally sorted all of that, and now I apparently have working sensors, although I'm not quite sure because the way you force the display to sync with the transmitter in the temperature/humidity sensor is by pushing one of the mode buttons until it beeps, and doing this also puts the display in some kind of weird cumulative-data mode that's too complicated to read.

Next step (because there is a PC dongle, but it doesn't talk to a Mac): OpenCV.
Tags: gadgets, the stupid

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