Arduino Anemometer on the cheap?

Anyone got any thoughts on how i could make a Anemometer to measure wind-speed using the arduino?

It is funny,in this moment i have in my hands and old mouse, and thinking about to use the IR-sensors and the cilinders located in the side of the inner ball to develop a anemometer.

Take a look to thisplace to take a look about how to extract the components

There are also other posts with ideas about anemometers and arduino:

Check on google, there are a lot of ideas (no codes, but at least ideas).


Thanks madepablo, some really good links!

Other interesting links:

have fun!

I did this back in 1985 using ping pong balls and an opto slot detector.

Okay, coming back to the anemometer by the use of the components of an old ball-based mouse, it will be possible to adapt this idea to measure the RPM of the anemometer, following the idea and sketch proposed in this instructable:

I think that we could have a lot of fun with this project. Enjoy!

I'm definately thinking a quadrature encoder (aka rotary encoder). One can be salvaged from the scrollbutton of a PC mouse. OR perhaps better for your purpose you can make one yourself.

Hi Aniss1001,

I have a very old mouse recovered from the garbage bin without some component, so i am not so worry about to kill the mouse. But i agree with you that is better to do your own. Thanks for the link, i think that i will go through it to develop my anemometer. Thanks!

I'm definately[sic] thinking a quadrature encoder (aka rotary encoder).

Strictly speaking you don't need a quadrature encoder, as an anemometer only spins in one direction (and wind speed is a scalar quantity), you just need an interrupter of some description.

The anemometer in my 1-wire weather station has a reed switch and a magnet. The roughest part to solve is having a GOOD bearing on the spinning element that will stand up to the elements year in year out.

It looks like I count 2 pulses per revolution... I'm not sure you need something more complicated. A mouse interrupter would provide way more sensitivity than you need if you want to count revolutions that translate to Miles per Hour wind speed.

Yeah, the idea to use the mouse dispositive is to translate it later from RPM to m/h or km/h. But i am in agree with you that this is only if you need something more accurate.

madepablo, I am not sure what meant by:-

Okay, coming back to the anemometer

After my post. It was a link to my anemometer I posted.

Many of these were made at the time. I even heard of one being calibrated in the wind tunnel of British Aerospace. Several hundred were made and I got lots of good feedback. It was very low cost and used just on opto slot detector. I even sold on to a person in Greenland! I don't sell the bits any more but it uses the system of brass tubes and rods you get in model shops.

I just got a simple wheel encoder up and running using a 2$ IR sensor (qrb1134)…

It actually works :wink:


Please, don´t understand bad. Your project with the anemometer (as well as others of your projects that i saw in this forum) are great and provide a huge background and useful experience for the novices such as myself.

When i said coming back to the anemometer… “by the use of a ball mouse”, i was coming back to talk about the use of this components started in previous posts. I was not trying to say that your anemometer was bad or not useful. I am sure that your system is really proffesional meanwhile this one that i have on my by the use of an old ball mouse is a simple, not accurate, and for sure not so valid. But i have not experience on electronics, so this is an starting point to learn about sensors an electronics.

So, please, don´t believe that i was trying to discard your device, just only providing other information and other ideas. If what i wrote sound bad to you, i am sorry, but it was not my intention. May be it could be cause because my very bad english (it is not my native language).

So, thanks for your comments and ideas in this an other posts. Please follow sharing your experience with us.


OK fine. ;)

I tried to reproduce this tachometer to develop an easy anemometer: However, i obtain rare results. But i am not sure if this is because i am a rocky on arduino or because there is a problem in the circuit. I saw that somebody said something that the circuit is not completely correct. Could somebody confirm with circuit is correct. In that way i could discard my self such an error source.... :-)



here you could see my solution for a cheap anemometer based on a QRD1114 sensor. I hope you could have ideas to develop your own one.

Enjoy it!