CU-module-300pxThe Wind Field Display is an embedded processor-based system that displays wind speed and direction conditions on indoor or outdoor LED displays. Applications include construction sites, sports and flying fields, shooting ranges, and boating docks where continuous awareness of wind conditions is needed. The Wind Field Display system supports a Wind Alarm feature that can be configured to activate a wide variety of external visual or audible alarms.

The Wind Field Display system is comprised of the following components:

1.  The processor-based Control Unit,
2.  The Wind Speed and Direction Sensors, and
3.  The external LED displays.


The Control Unit

The low power control unit is designed to run on 12v that can come from either a small battery (e.g. gel cell, LiPo 3S, etc) or an AC-powered module. The wind sensors are connected to the Control Unit via a small cable. The external LED displays are also connected to the Control Unit by either cabling or an optional wireless link. The Control Unit provides the user with considerable setup flexibility in wind measurement parameters and LED display options. The Control Unit's 2-line LCD display makes feature setup quick and intuitive as the following Setup Screen examples illustrate.

All Wind Field Display system options and parameters are preserved in permanent storage to ensure consistent operation through power cycles or outages.


vane-and-windsensor-125pxThe Wind Sensors

Embedded-Ability sells compatible wind speed and direction sensors. The 3-cup rotor wind speed sensor (anemometer) accurately measures wind speeds from 3mph to over 100mph. The wind direction sensor (windvane) measures the prevailing wind direction. Both types of wind sensors can be located via interface cable hundreds of feet away from the Control Unit.

The External LED Displays

C-equals-18For most applications the LED displays will provide outdoor viewing from a distance. The Wind Field Display system supports two types of displays for this purpose:

  1. Large dual 7-segment LED digits that can directly display numeric Current, Average, and Peak wind speeds, and
  2. A row of up to 15 separate LED lights that can be set to display a configurable per-light wind speed (e.g. 5mph per LED light).

The LED displays can be located up to 2000 feet away from the Control Unit depending on wireless options. For short distances cable can be used; for longer distances wireless is recommended. The standard wireless option provides a link for distances up to 750 feet. Additional antenna and wireless module options can extend this range if necessary.

Because LED display requirements vary from site to site the Wind Field Display Control Unit was designed with external display flexibility as a key requirement. The user has a setup choice between 7-segment display digits or a user-defined number of LED lights usually mounted on a vertical or horizontal pole. Embedded-Ability sells the large LED 7-segment display boards that can be mounted by the user in a variety of enclosures and locations. The user guide also describes installation methods for a row of up to 15 LED lights that can be configured to show wind speed in a "light bar" format. A common source of high intensity LED lights that can be used for this purpose are replacement auto lights such as brake lights and trailer running lights. Wiring up of these LED lights is straightforward and results in an economical yet very effective installation. 

Selected Product Features

  • Low power processor-based Control Unit
  • 2-line LCD display for intuitive parameters and options setup
  • Highly accurate display of Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Selectable wind speed units: Mph, Knots, Km/hr, and Meters/sec.
  • Individually selectable wind measurements: Current speed, Average speed, Peak speed, and Wind Direction
  • Fully configurable measurement intervals for all wind measurement types
  • External display support for 7-segment digits or discrete LED lights
  • External display connectivity via cabling or optional wireless link
  • Standard wireless range to displays up to 750 feet. Extended range options for up to 2000 feet
  • Control Unit can be configured as either a Control Unit Transmitter (TX) or a Remote Control Unit Receiver (RX) with the addition of wireless modules
  • Display interval and persistence settings for visual and power consumption control
  • Wind sensors can be wired up to hundreds of feet away from the Control Unit
  • Support for a wide variety of wind speed and direction sensors
  • Self-calibrating sensor interface for consistent performance over a wide temperature range
  • Wind alarm configurable for wind measurement type (Current, Average, or Peak), wind speed, and alarm-on duration
  • 30 minute wind history display via the Control Unit LCD
  • User-accessible precision wind speed calibration feature
  • Easy wiring connections via screw terminal blocks
  • Optional outdoor weatherproof NEMA-rated enclosure
  • Control Unit is firmware upgradeable so customers can take full advantage of future features and enhancements

Wind Field Display Control Unit Specifications

  • Wind Measurement Parameters supported: Current speed, Average speed, Peak speed, and Wind Direction in degrees. The measurement time interval for each speed type is user adjustable. The direction measurement "Trigonometric wind vector rolling average" smoothing filter interval is also user adjustable.
  • Wind Speed Units supported: Mph, Knots, Kilometers/hour, Meters/sec
  • Wind Alarm support: A wind alarm can be enabled for a Current, Average, or Peak wind speed that will trigger an alarm condition on the external LED displays, the Control Unit's LCD screen, and a relay-activated visual or audio-producing device.
  • Input power requirements: 7-16VDC @ 200mA max (not including external LED display current requirements). Typical current load = 30mA.

Note 1: LCD backlight = 120mA nominal, only on during button press operations. Automatically shuts off to conserve power after 1 minute of no button activity.
Note 2: Alarm relay activation current = 65mA nominal, only when the normally-open relay contacts are active (closed).

  • Operating Temperature: -10 to 65 degrees C (15 to 150 degrees F)

Note 3: LCD display contrast setting and display response times are affected by large swings in temperature (as are all low-power LCD displays).

  • External display current limits: 150mA maximum current per display segment (each 7-segment display digit has 8 segments including the decimal point). Factory high current option is available by request for 350mA maximum current per display segment.
  • External display voltage supply limits: 50V absolute maximum, 24v max recommended
  • External display LED configuration supported: Common anode

Note 4: The controller board electrically connects the display segment cathode leads to ground.

  • External display types supported: Dual 7-segment digits or up to 15 linear LED lights.
  • Wind sensor input terminals: Speed, Direction, Sensor voltage +, Sensor voltage -. All sensor inputs are voltage and transient protected.
  • Wind sensor voltage supply: Selectable 4.75v or 5.0v volts depending on the sensor models installed. 100mA maximum load, 20mA or less for most sensors. The sensor supply is overload, thermal, and short-circuit protected enabling the Control Unit to continue operating in the event of wiring or sensor faults.
  • Wind alarm relay contact ratings: 8A @ 30VDC resistive load, 4A @ 30VDC inductive load. Absolute maximum voltage to switch using this relay: 30VDC. E-A does not recommend the switching of any 100-250VAC devices. Attempting to do this will not only void the warranty but it could potentially expose the user to dangerous voltages on the control board and terminal blocks. Beware!
  • Optional Wireless Link Specifications:
    Remote Displays supported from a master Control Unit: up to 6
    Frequency usage:
    8 selectable channels between 2400-2485MHz (U.S. ISM band)
    Power output: 1mW (0dBm) standard, 100mW (+20dBm) high power option.
    Antenna type: external 2dBi removable 4" whip antenna standard, optional longer whip or yagi antennas available for longer range needs.
    Link Range: Standard option: up to 750 feet, assuming clear line of sight between the TX and RX antennas, and no interfering 2.4GHz signals such as wifi present. Range can be less with obstructed path or other signals in wireless band. Up to 2000 feet with high power and/or antenna options; contact E-A for details.

    Note 5: To utilize the wireless link an additional Control Unit with the wireless option must be purchased and connected to the remote display boards.

Wind Sensor Specifications

Note: While Embedded-Ability does sell the excellent and accurate wind sensors described below the Control Unit supports other models that address a range of different needs including price, durability, sensitivity, and accuracy. Contact E-A for details on other models supported.

Wind Speed Sensor (anemometer)

  • Sensor type: 3 cup rotor
  • Sensor speed range: 3mph to over 100mph.
  • Sensor signaling method (2 product types): magnetic Reed switch contact closure or Hall Effect sensor. Signal pulses are proportional to wind speed.
  • Sensor signaling rate: 1 contact pulse/second = 2.5mph
  • Construction: High strength POM thermoplastic rotor cups, stainless steel rotor shaft, high grade commercial rotor bearings, aluminum mounting bracket.
  • Sensor cable specs: 3 conductor, 28AWG or larger, twisted wire pair preferred on lengths exceeding 250 feet. Maximum recommended cable length = 500 ft.

Wind Direction Sensor (windvane)

  • Sensor signaling method: Utilizes a Hall Effect sensor which offers these advantages over other designs:
    (a) It delivers direction information without a deadband (others have a 5-10 degree band where the sensor returns the same value)
    (b) It has very little friction which means the sensor can detect much lighter wind direction changes
    (c) It has a longer potential life compared with potentiometer-based designs
  • Sensor voltage supply: Requires an external voltage supply at 15 mA typical (provided by the Wind Field Display Control Unit).
  • Direction range: 0-360 degrees, zero deadband
  • Accuracy/linearity: +-0.5%
  • Sensor cable specs: 3 conductor, 28AWG or larger. Maximum cable length depends on cable type (typ. 400-500 feet).

Wind Field Display Product Options

Go to "Store" page to purchase.

  • Wind Field Display Control Unit + front panel only
    The Control Unit board + front panel comes assembled with 1.5" #4-40 threaded standoff spacers, ready to custom mount in your own enclosure. An optional wireless module can be purchased and installed onto the Control Unit board. A small 4" whip antenna (included) must be installed externally to any enclosure that is used.
  • Wind Field Display Control Unit in NEMA-rated Box
    The Control Unit comes mounted in a NEMA outdoor-rated box. PC/PBT blended, UV-stabilized plastic light gray base with dual latch clear PC cover. A foam gasket makes the enclosure usable in a wide range of adverse conditions. An optional wireless module can be purchased and installed. This option includes an external antenna connector factory mounted onto the box. A small 4" whip antenna (included) is then attached to this connector.
  • Wind Speed Sensor, Reed switch type
    3-cup wind speed sensor (anemometer) includes 25 feet of interface cable and a 2-hole aluminum mounting bracket suitable for mounting to the top of a pole.
  • Wind Direction Sensor, Hall Effect type
    Wind direction sensor (windvane) employing a long life Hall Effect magnetic sensor. Sensor range is a full 360 degrees (zero deadband). Accuracy is +- 6 degrees. Includes 25 feet of interface cable and an offset 2-hole aluminum mounting bracket.
  • Sensor Cable
    Add additional wind sensor cable as needed (25ft, 50ft, or special order custom lengths up to 1000 ft). Cable specs: 3 or 4 conductor*, AWG 18, solid wire, no shielding, sun-resistant outer jacket.

* Number of cable conductors depends on the type of anemometer you will be using (Reed switch or Hall Effect) and whether you will also be installing a speed and/or direction sensor.

  • LED Display Boards
    Large LED 7-segment digit boards, utilizing red high intensity LEDs, available in standard 5", 7", or 9" high configurations. These display boards are ready to be wired and mounted in a suitable location and optional enclosure based on your special needs.  Contact Embedded-Ability for help in specifying the right display solution for your application.
LED board 9inch

Wind Field Display User Guide for V1.2 (PDF, ~700kbytes)

Wind Field Display Quick Start Guide (PDF, ~130kbytes)



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