HowTo: WinDIY – Assemble the windvane

The WinDIY wind vane is mounted at the end of the device carrier. It should help to align the wind turbine always in the direction of the wind.

How you can set up the wind vane is described in the following article.


Safety instructions

I know the following hints are always a bit annoying and seem unnecessary. But unfortunately, many people who knew it "better" from carelessness lost their eyes, fingers or other things or hurt themselves. In comparison, a loss of data is almost not worth mentioning, but even these can be really annoying. Therefore, please take five minutes to read the safety instructions. Even the coolest project is worth no injury or other annoyance. https://www.nerdiy.de/en/sicherheitshinweise/

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Requirements

Required tools

Required material:

In the following list you will find all the parts you need to implement this article.


Collect the parts you need

Before you can start building the wind vane, you must of course first have all the parts you need together. A complete list of the required materials and tools can be found above in the material and tool list

On this picture you can see all the components that are needed to build the wind vane.

The STL files required for printing can be found here: https://github.com/Nerdiyde/WinDIY/tree/master/vane

I printed the parts with the following settings.

  • Perimeter: 5
  • Infill: 30%

The screws should preferably be made of stainless steel so that they do not rust from moisture.


Assemble frame parts

The wind vane basically consists of a frame that is made from the same aluminum profile as was used, for example, on the WinDIY wing. Later a sail will be clamped in it to give the wind more (or even more) attack surface.

For the first frame side you need the 14cm long aluminum profile, two M3x20 countersunk screws including nuts and the two “corner brackets”.

Now insert the aluminum profile into the first corner bracket as shown and drill through one side of the aluminum profile with a 3mm drill bit – as shown.

Now repeat this step …

… also with the other corner bracket.

Then you can prepare both conrerBrackets as shown below, each with one screw.

To do this, insert the screw through the screw hole as shown and …

… unscrews one of the M3 nuts from the inside.

Then pull the screw including the screwed nut into the recess provided …

… and then insert the aluminum profile into the corner brackets as shown.

Now you can screw in the screws further. You should then clamp the aluminum profile inside.

For the next step you need the two remaining aluminum profiles.

The longer one comes to the front (in the picture the right side) and the shorter one to the back.

Now repeat the same steps as with the previous corner brackets …

… to fix the aluminum profiles with one M3x20 screw each.

Another view.

Another view.

Another view.


Assemble the base brackets

The base brackets later connect the long aluminum profiles to the device carrier.

The structure of the angled and vertical support is almost identical. We start here with the angled one.

Now insert the first M3x20 countersunk head screw through the angled bracket into the base as shown.

Close-up of the inserted screw.

Now secure the screw on the other side with an M3 nut. The nut should lie in the recess shown.

Now repeat this for the remaining free screw holes.

Completed, it should now look like this.

The structure of the vertical bracket is almost identical.

View of the screwed vertical bracket.

View of the two screwed brackets.

Another view of the two screwed brackets.


Assemble the base brackets with the frame

In this step, the previously built frame is connected to the brackets that have just been prepared.

Insert the prepared frame – as shown – in the brackets.

The inserted aluminum profiles now have to be screwed to the brackets.

To do this, you have to connect the vertical and …

… also the angled bracket to the frame.

To do this, drill again (as is now almost the norm) through the screw hole through one side of the aluminum profile.

You repeat the same for the angled bracket.

As soon as the holes have been drilled in both aluminum profiles, you can clamp them as before using the remaining M3x20 screws including nuts.


Cut and insert sails

Your wind vane is almost ready now. In the last step, the sail is used, which should give the wind a surface to attack.

For this you need the parts shown

Close-up of the parts needed.

Now place the frame on the fabric you want to use for the wind vane as shown.

I used a foil here that is also used for building kites. A normal plastic bin bag should also work. 🙂

Now lightly trace the inner contour with a pen.

Close-up of the traced contour.

Now you can cut out the shape of the wind vane based on the recorded contour.

The corner angles that have been printed out are now glued to the film as shown.

Repeat this for all corners.

Your sail should look something like this.

Now you can test again whether the sail fits into the frame. The corner parts should be at least one cm away from the frame.

For the next step, you now have to lay your sail down so that the glued-on corner parts are under the sail.

In this step you have to make the holes for the screws, which later connect two corner parts per corner.

The easiest way to do this with plastic materials is with a soldering iron.

Now repeat this for all holes in the corner angles.

Now you can put on the matching counterpart of the respective corner bracket and use the M3x6 countersunk screws …

… and screw the M3 nuts on the opposite side.

If your sail does not yet fit 100%, you can now cut it a little more precisely.

Your finished sail could look like this. 🙂

Cable ties are best suited to clamp the sail in the frame of the wind vane.

Now fix the sail in the frame with the cable ties as shown.

This works easiest if you have already mounted the frame on the device carrier.

By pulling the cable ties tighter in the corners, you can adjust the tension of the sail precisely.

It should hang tightly in the frame without wrinkles.

Make sure to cut off the excess ends of the zip ties.

Once the sail is fully tensioned, your wind vane should look something like this.

Close up of a corner.

Close up of a corner.


I hope everything worked as described. If not or you have any other questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Also, ideas for new projects are always welcome. 🙂

Fab

P.S. Many of these projects - especially the hardware projects - cost a lot of time and money. Of course I do this because I enjoy it, but if you appreciate it that I share these information with you, I would be happy about a small donation to the coffee box. 🙂

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