EMT Conduit-Mounted Weather Station Wind Sensors
Updated: May 15, 2022
This article is part of a series discussing methods for adding sensing capabilities to a DIY telescoping pole project made from EMT conduit. Here I present a method for using simple off-the-shelf electronics to continuously measure (1) wind speed, and (2) wind direction as part of a custom weather station project. The demo video is shared below:
Weather stations (both commercially-available and do-it-yourself (DIY) feature one or more of the following sensing capabilities:
Wind speed (anemometer)
Wind direction (weather vane)
Air pressure (barometer)
Volume of rain (rain gauge)
Air temperature (thermometer)
Commercial weather stations available for online purchase are convenient, but are also often:
Near-impossible to interface with hobbyist controllers such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi
Regardless, these kinds of products are still sometimes the best option for home weather station projects - in those cases, a telescoping pole constructed from EMT conduit (readily available from hardware stores such as Home Depot or Lowes) made using a telescoping coupling can serve as a low-cost and study mount such all-in-one weather stations.
For all other situations where a DIY solution is more appropriate for your project, in this article we present a method to measure and log wind speed and wind direction using low-cost, off-the-shelf electronics and hardware. More functionality can be added to this platform with the optional electronics modules listed below.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.
(Optional) 1 x Voxelab Aries FDM 3D printer
(Optional) 1 x 1.75mm black PLA filament
(Optional) 1 x Combined temperature + humidity sensor
(Optional) 1 x Air pressure sensor (barometer)
Telescoping Pole Setup
First, prepare the pieces of EMT conduit which will telescope inside of one another:
Wear protective equipment (e.g. safety glasses). Safety first!
Mark the desired cut length for the EMT conduit using a marker. For this article, we used three 5-foot lengths of 1", 3/4", and 1/2" EMT conduit.
Use a rotary cutting tool to cut the conduit to length.
Remove the sharp edge on the cut using a metal wire, or a rotary deburring tool or reamer.
Process the conduit as desired (paint, powder coat, etc.)
Assemble your telescoping pole - creating a telescoping pole from EMT conduit is easy using the telescoping coupling/clamp system from Elation Sports Technologies:
Press-fit the inner sleeve onto the smaller piece of conduit.
Install the injection-molded coupling/clamp onto the larger piece of conduit using a Phillips head screwdriver.
Extend the pole to the desired length by sliding the smaller piece of conduit, and then tightening the hand knob.
Additionally, for this project, in order to mount the wind speed and wind direction sensors on separate pieces of 1/2" EMT conduit, I utilized a conduit bender tool to bend and then cut to length an S-shaped piece of conduit. There are multiple video tutorials online detailing how to bend EMT conduit using this tool.
3D Printed Parts and Mounting the Electronics
To mount the electronics to the EMT conduit, I designed several custom 3D-printed parts, all of which can be found for free to download from Thingiverse (links are below):
I printed the parts using 100% infill on a Voxelab Aires 3D printer and 1.75mm diameter black PLA filament. The mechanical hardware used to mount the electronics are:
8 x M4 screw, 14mm length
8 x M4 hex nut
4 x 10-32 machine screw, 1/2" length
4 x 10-32 hex nut
An alternative method for mounting the S-shaped 1/2" EMT conduit piece to the telescoping conduit pole is to drill through both pieces of conduit and secure them using a 1/4"-20 bolt and nut.