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Looking for a wind sensor for a candle-blowing game, I stumbled upon this one:
http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/sensors/Reports/InspeedAnemometer
http://www.inspeed.com/anemometers/Vortex_Wind_Sensor.asp

According to Inspeed, "it is a reed switch -- we monitor 2 pins on the COM port to measure timing and determine wind speed."

I've used a Sharp IR proximity sensor, but being the newbie I am, I am not sure how to transfer the input from the sensor to my computer.

Will I be able to connect this directly to Arduino, from its wire to Arduino analog input pins?

Or, can I connect the sensor to a DB-9 Serial/COM cable like the NYU person did, and using a Serial to USB adapter, can I plug the sensor into my computer so that I can monitor the input using serial proxy and OS X terminal?

Any clue would be helpful.
Many thanks,
fattik
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I've got a little op-amp based wind sensor board that I burned for my students. It works fine with just a puff of air. It's not so great at getting normal breaths (too slow), but it doesn't sound like that's what you're after.  


It works like this, two temperature sensors sit on top of two surface mount resistors, which act as heaters. One temp sensor-heater is covered, the other is exposed. An op-amp amplifies the difference between the two sensors while cancelling out the common mode (absolute) reading. When you blow on the exposed sensor, it is briefly cooled off, and the signal is raised. The raised signal is amplified and fed through the exposed sensor's resistor, which heats up the sensor and cancels the signal. The response to getting puffed on, takes about .25 to .5 seconds and then about another second or two for the signal to go low again - read it with an A/D in. The parts are about $4-5 in small quantities.

I'll eventually release it as a kit but it's way on the back burner.

email if you want a board and we'll work something out - I burned quite a few.

pbadger AT verizon   DOTTY  net
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 10:08:34 pm by paulb » Logged

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Custom made sensor! That's awesome.  smiley-grin

Yeah I just wanted to know how to read the data coming from a serial device like this. Nevertheless, thank you for sharing this. I'll definitely keep this for reference. Great to know you can make one that detects candle-blowing-level wind. Hopefully I'll get to create my own parts in the future.
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I'm not evevn close to an expert but here's my 2c's:
The anometer you have linked would work on it's own, but since it communicates via serial, you won't be able to have it work and communicate with your computer via arduino at the same time.  But since it works via reed switches, which are to my understanding just on/off then you can use it and take out the serial communications part and have the reed switch attached to a digital pin somehow and have the arduino communicate with your computer.
NB I may be wrong above as I'm still a newbie to the arduino as well.

On a side note, I'm in the process of making my own anometer, but mine is to be ultra portable for measuring the wind speed while I windsurf.  I'm using a gutted pc fan and used http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Based-Optical-Tachometer/ to input rotations of the fan.  It's still a work in progress, but I have my sensor assembly made and it works, I'll post pictures when I have time tonight.  I plan on writing something up because I'll be using a LCD and make it battery powered too.
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