The objective of my last blog post was to define what a “switch” is, what it does, the integration of its concept in nature and its technological application. In this post, I will show how simply we can make various detectors (wind, earthquake, rain) just by applying the concept of the “switch”.


From experience and observation, we know that when wind blows it applies force to stationary objects. The lighter the objects are, the more likely that they will get pushed by the force of the blowing wind. Tree leaves are a good example of this phenomenon. So, let us take our observation of this natural phenomenon and practically apply it to make a wind sensor.

Step 1: Mechanically Construct a Tree Branch Model

To make the wind sensor, we can simply try to mechanically model a tree branch with leaves. We can use an average spring to model the tree branch and attach metal strips in cross orientation on top of the spring. The metal strips are like leaves of the tree branch.

Step 2: Construct the Nail Prison for Detection

The last thing we will add are the four metal nails on four corners of a wooden block. The spring, metal strips assembly will be glued at the center of the wooden block with nails. The position of the nails will be very close to the metal strips’ edges. The reason for using the metal strips is to increase the contact area with the wind so that wind can easily apply force on the spring to push it. Moreover, when the metal strips get pushed by the wind, they strike the metal nails.

Step 3: Construct the Electric Circuit

Now, here we can apply our concept of the “switch”. We know an electric switch is basically an electrical contact which makes or breaks a circuit. We can consider the spring, metal strip assembly hitting the metal nails to be like a switch and attach a circuit to ring a buzzer or light a led to detect the wind is blowing.

Step 4: Make Rain and Earth Quake Detector

<p>Cool! </p><p>This inspired me.</p><p> I made a hinged wind vane double-pole-double-throw polarity reversing switch from plastic card and staples. It is too poorly made to do anything useful, but I might make a new one using conductive copper tape. I planned on making it for a friend who has one hand coordination problems (He has trouble rotating the drone (and only uses the throttle/rotate stick except when setting altitude hold and landing) and needed a way to keep his drone camera always pointing towards the direction the drone is headed, regardless of orientation so that he wouldn't have to rotate at all while changing direction. It would just be mounted between the camera, and gimbal mount, and would rotate via small geared motor. I like these simple electronic tricks! I sometimes wonder how old electronic devices did amplification, switching, signal generation, and all the other things we take for granted now that the transistor and digital electronics have been around for so long.</p>
<p>Very interesting! Thanks for sharing how this was made :)</p>

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