Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

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Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby FISH » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:14 am

Sandbanks is a pretty big draw from all the major centers within a 3-5hr radius, so it seems, on the handful of big days we get. I know I rely heavily on forecasts and wind readings to make decisions about heading to the place or certainly to support the outlandish tales of house-size waves out in the middle. Do you?

Anyway, I am starting to pursue the idea of installing an anemometer at Sandbanks, probably best done at West Point. I know the logistics of West Pt are challenging (no power, no infrastructure, and lots of trees/no clearing near the point itself), but I think it is worth pursuing and seeing what can be done (with the help of some knowledgable experts on anemometers).

I have sent an 'Install-a-sensor' request to WindAlert (http://help.weatherflow.com/hc/en-us/ar ... n-my-area-) which I believe is the parent company to iKitesurf, iWindsurf, etc... If this is of interest to you, please consider supporting this. How? Not sure yet. There might be a few ways support would help, not sure what those are yet. It may come down to the supporters paying for the infrastructure, at which time WindAlert may then add it to its domains and start to cover expenses, or maybe not at all.

Clearly there will be some hurdles, including i) siting the anemometer (exposure, power, comms), ii) getting permission/support from SBX Provincial Park, i.e Ontario Parks), and perhaps iii) getting support from Friends of Sandbanks and iv) maintenance.

Anyway, let me know if there is interest. I've also requested a quote from Campbell Scientific on a remote anemometer.
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby rondeauboy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:10 am

Howdy Fish - I installed and maintained the SailFlow (i.e., iWindsurf, etc.) weather station (various versions) at Rondeau since it first went in around 2005, until this year. The technology has greatly improved over time and has basically eliminated the need for any utility infrastructure. With today's SailFlow equipment, all you need is some type of sturdy pole to mount the sensors to, a clear view of the wind, a clear view south for a solar panel, and access to a Rogers cell network. Our first station required power, a phone line and constant maintenance. Today, maintenance requirements are extremely rare...change out the batteries every couple years, clean the solar panel if you are bored, and maybe re-set vane direction after a HUGE blow.

BTW...our sensor at Rondeau (up until last year) had been in Rondeau Provincial Park...no issues for me...I just had to get permission from the park Superintendent to mount it on a light post out on the park pier. Two years ago the pier was decommissioned and we had to remove our sensor and relocate it.

Hope this info helps...

Dave
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby FISH » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:02 am

It sure does help Dave and sounds promising to me particularly with the provincial park and the equipment quality. I think our challenge will be find a suitable (in terms of capturing the wind from as many directions as possible) and safe (in terms of vandalism) place to put the device.

If you have any links to suppliers of the equipment that would be great, or, did Sailflow source/provide that? What was the structure set up for who pays equipment costs, wireless carrier costs, etc...? What I would guess is that they might expect users to pay for the initial install, then judge based on subscribership in the area whether or not they would foot the bill for ongoing costs (?).

Cheers,
FISH
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby rondeauboy » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:24 am

Mike - WeatherFlow (parent company...sorry I said SailFlow earlier) supplied all equipment at no cost to me (installer and proponent). When the equipment did require a phone line, they even paid our club's (original host site) phone expenses in the off-season to keep it going year round in order to collect data (we normally disconnected our phone line). As well, any replacement parts are supplied and shipped on their dime. Your (local) only expense is your time to install and maintain, and maybe you will have to supply a ladder depending on the install itself.

Regarding the actual sensor location...very rarely will you have a site that provides a clear view of the wind in all directions, so you just have to site the sensor to view the most common winds...in Rondeau, that is our prevailing south-westerlies...which provide for the biggest draw of sailors.

As the site needs an advocate, or advocates, to have a new sensor installed I would suggest polling the local sailors to see who already are iWindsurf subscribers, and if not, would they consider subscribing to help advocate for the install. Remember too that SailFlow also has other "sites" that use and provide this data to members...iKitesurf, FishWeather and SailFlow (big boats). So poll the kite surfing, fishing and big boat communities too. Is there a direct-access big boat marina nearby for fishermen and big boat sailors? Is there a local big-boat racing community? Also send them some pics of the place on a busy day and tell them of the potential market area (Quebec, US, Ontario) based on the usual sailor demographics.

Truth is, with the cellular connection and the deal they have with Rogers, their actual site operating cost is quite small compared to what it was even two years ago. This is the reason why you see more sites popping up in Ontario in the last year or two.

SailFlow is the only way to go in my opinion as they supply the equipment, the support, and the online interface for accessing the data.
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby FISH » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:27 pm

Thank you again. I did not know any of this but I bet I will hear back from WindAlert soon about their standard approach to new sites. Sounds very promising. Next time I am there I will scope out the point some more with an anemometer in mind. SW/W produce the best conditions, but S works as does NW, just not as good and typically not drive-worthy. If we accept that SW/W is the priority (and we can accept poor data for the other viable directions), then I think it opens up our options to looking at the beaches as well. There are unfortunately no docks/harbours/structures on the shoreline here. Salmon Pt, outside the park is also a very good option, but starting to get closer to the Pt. Petre existing weather station.

Many thanks! Might have some future questions too!

Cheers,
Mike
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby old whitey » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:36 am

Ooooh starting to sound good Fish.
I am more than happy to go and talk to Robin (Park Superintendent) about this.
Was also thinking that if West point can't go (pole placement etc.) even the new parking lot at MacDonald Lane has some light standards I believe that might support something. Maybe not quite as good as a closer to the water location but better than nothing I'm sure.
Barring that - let's just cut some trees down on Tom's front lawn and put something there :)

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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby rondeauboy » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:47 am

Here is a pic of the current installation at Rondeau...components to worry about:

1) vane and anemometer (van arm needs to point north) (note we bent a piece of angle iron to mount the vane/anemometer to keep it away from the post)
2) beehive (barometric pressure and ambient air temp)
3) solar panel (need to point south)
4) sealed box containing computer components and batteries...mount at about 8 ft off ground to keep people out of it.

Pretty simple stuff actually...
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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby Moodey » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:55 pm

Good idea. I could help install and support this.

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Re: Anemometer at West Pt, Sandbanks.

Postby FISH » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:56 am

Thanks Moodey - I'll keep you posted, may need your help yes. Just starting to get a bit of feedback from the WindAlert crew.
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