Fidget Spinner Anemometer

This is a ThinkerShield + Fidget Spinner + Light Gate Anemometer.

An anemometer is used to measure wind speed. Light gates send a signal every time the light beam is broken. Using a fidget spinner with halved ping-pong balls to catch the wind, the light gates can sense every time the spinner makes a rotation. The faster the spinner rotates, the faster the wind, and this can be measured with lights and buzzers on the ThinkerShield.

Step 1

Step 1

3D Print the mounting from the .stl file in the linked GitHub, or design your own! It will need to hold the fidget spinner on a stand, and have places to mount the light gates.

Step 2

Step 2

Cut in half 2 ping-pong balls, and stick one half to each arm of the Fidget Spinner. Make sure they all face the same way!

I used bluetack, but hot glue would probably work better.

Step 3

Step 3

Attach the light gates to the top and bottom on the mount using the mounting holes. Make sure they line up!

There are 2 different gates, one is an emitter and one is a receiver. It doesn’t matter which one goes on the top or the bottom.

Step 4

Step 4

Sit the figet spinner on the rod, and your anemometer should be constructed!

Now we need to wire the light gates up to the ThinkerShield, and write the code.

Step 5

Step 5

Wire up the two gates as in the diagram. The yellow (or white) lead is the signal lead and will tell the arduino if the beam is broken (LOW) or unbroken (HIGH).

The red leads are VCC and the black are GND.

Step 6

Step 6

Upload the code in the linked GitHub to the arduino.

Basically, we check each time the beam goes from unbroken (HIGH) to broken (LOW). This happens 3 times for one full rotation of the spinner. Each time we break the beam, we count up by 1. Once we hit 3 counts, make a buzz noise, and start counting again!

Add a comment