Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blinding You with Science

Q: How do you know if you live near a meteorologist?

They have an anemometer on the roof.
In my latest project, I have finally moved my anemometer (wind sensor) for my weather station. I had it on a post in the back yard, but it became apparent that I was not accurately capturing the wind readings. We would have big wind events, and the anemometer would never show a gust higher than 15 mph. So I decided to put it on the roof, where it would be high enough and unaffected by other buildings, trees, etc.

This turned out to a bit more of an ordeal than I thought. I didn't have a tripod, and so ordered one from Amazon, after several attempts where the sellers wouldn't ship to Alaska. Then I had to buy lag bolts and roofing tar, and a post to put the anemometer on. I tried PVC pipe, but once I had it in place, I realized how bendy it was and that that would affect the readings. So I bought a bit of plumbing pipe. Of course, afterwards I read that I was supposed to use non-conductive pipe because the static electricity will build up and mess with the readings. Oh well, we'll see if the readings get strange before I make a change. I'm not climbing back up on the roof at the moment!

Dad asked me "Are you really going to drill holes in your roof?" As you can see, the answer is yes! Of course! People do it all the time for satellite dishes. And this is in the name of science!

Next part of the process: getting my computer running as a "server" so I can get my weather station to show up on the Anchorage Forecast Office mesonet.  And yes, this is something I would brag about. My nerdiness has no bounds!


Anonymous said...

I am impressed that you did this yourself! I need to move ours to a more open area.

Be careful on the roof. It is easy to be working hard and step back and off; forgetting how close to the edge you are.

Surprised the PVC pipe would bend. I used a 2" PVC on ours and if it bends then then we have much bigger problems than an inaccurate wind velocity reading.


L said...

Don't worry, Dad. I was actually a little nervous climbing onto the roof and had to take a couple of tries before I could get off the ladder! So I was very cautious.

My PVC pipe was only 1", so that the u-bolt that came with the anemometer would fit around it. This made it extra bendy. We'll see how things go come Tuesday, when we're forecasted to have our next big windstorm!

Anonymous said...

[wow I am really behind on your blog again - how does that happen?]

>Be careful on the roof

obligatory dad advice here ... but I second that!

Uncle C