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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/10/2010

I had mentioned that yesterday, just as I was getting ready to leave the site I'd discovered that my anemometer seemed to be missing from its perch atop the ridge overlooking Tanglewood. Originally purchased to gather data for what I had hoped to be a small wind turbine, I continue to download data even though I've decided on solar PV, since it's very good (and yes, geeky) to have site weather data on hand. Once we're up here, I plan to have the weather station hooked up to provide continuous downloads and (eventually) configure everything to upload to the Internet as a mountain weather station for the region.

So today we headed up to find out what was going on. Well, that was my plan; Colleen elected to stay down at the site and burn some trash cardboard and whatnot. On the way up I spotted a fantastic ice shelf over the creek, formed as the heavy snowfall of the past few weeks melted and the stream ate away its base.  It was very pretty.

Once I hiked up to the top of the ridge, I quickly saw what had happened to my anemometer. As you can clearly see in the pictures below, it had fallen off of its mount and was hanging down in the rocks at the base of the installation pole--no wonder it was only measuring zeroes! The sensor housing itself was fine, but the anemometer was a bit beaten up--not so bad that it can't be saved, but bad enough that I couldn't repair it on site. The anemometer itself (the part with the spinning cups) was very stiff when I first found it, but a bit of work got it spinning freely again. The wind-direction sensor, however, remained pretty stiff--it wouldn't react to any but the strongest winds right now.

Lacking the right tools on site, I've brought the anemometer down to do some repair work at home. I think that the direction sensor is just jammed on its post (probably as a result of the fall) and that I can fix it once I take it off. I'd also noticed that there's a fair amount of pine-tree pollen in the various anemometer crevices (it gets everywhere up here) and so it might have gummed things up a bit. I'll know more once I take apart.

An annoying development to be sure, but at least I don't think I'll lose too much data.

Kinda fun though, in a "look - a geeky thing!" kind of way.  :)

Steven in Colorado Springs

Photos

The ridge of ice over the creek. Gorgeous, isn't it?
Another shot showing the gap a bit better.
Side shot. The thickness of the ice is probably the only thing keeping it from collapsing at this point.
Long shot of the shelf itself.
Closeup shot.
Anemometer down! It's not gonna read very well hanging down like this...


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