Vortex Wind Speed Sensor

by Stephen Schaum FAll 2005 ITP
check out these links and info on reed swithches



INSPEED.COM LLC.- 10 Hudson Road Sudbury MA 01776 Phone(978)397-6813


  I chose the Vortex wind speed sensor after much research on finding 
a reasonably priced and tough anemometer which did not need an added
system to interpret and read its data, such as a weather station. The wind sensor
uses a reed switch to activate pulses (closing the circuit) after each full
rotation of its cupped rotor. These pulses are then sent through its DB-9 serial
connector to a computer which can then track this information using a datalogging
application. Inspeed was kind enough to throw in their datalogging software free
with the package. Follwing is a detailed journey of its deconstruction.


Now, for the important stuff:


Cost: $49.00 + (S$H)
Sensor Type: 3-Cup rotor, reed switch/magnet provide 1 pulse per rotation
Material Construction: Delrin body and cup assembly,housing bronze and Rulon bushings.
Input: Wind, rotation of the magnet over the reed switch to close connection.
Output: 1 pulse per rotation, equation:2.5mph per Hz(1Hz per rotation)
Rotor Diameter: approx. 5 in.
Speed Range: approx. 3 mph to 125+ mph
Mounting Bracket: aluminum mounting bracket with two holes for attachment.
Wire: Standard 25 ft.provided stripped and unterminated (serial connector included).
Display: Datalogging software available at http://www.Inspeed.com
Power: None required


 Anemometers are used to map wind velocity and duration within a specified exterior 
orinterior environment. Used in an array, they can be used to detect and
visualize the changing wind forces over a certain landscape or terrain. Mostly they
are used for observation purposes and the aggregation of weather information to help
visualise weather systems over a certain region. I plan to use the sensor to adjust the rhythm
and pace of a music composition or video using Max/Msp and Jitter.

...And here is the patch in jitter and some pictures of the application in progress...


  I tied the digital serial output from the wind sensor to a jitter patch which sonifies 

light patterns on the surface of a river through a field recording of the water and the surrounding environment. The wind sensor manipulates the rythm of the field recording along with the patterning of the processed video, and enables the viewer to experience the ovelap of both patterns (wind and light)at once...in a way this project is combining three sensors(the video camera, microphone and anenometer) and visulizing their recording and realizing interference patterns between them. What I would like to do in the future is to collect all kinds of environmental data at one specific site during a given time period and overlap these patterns to create new visualizations of their relationships to one another... It's too bad I didn't have the wind sensor until after I took the field recordings, it would have been interesting to see how everything relates. Also, this is a good way to datalog information from different sensors in different forms like music and video...Here are the pictures...