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Fine Offset parts source?

Discussion specific to Fine Offset and similar rebadged weather stations
harrym1byt
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Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:25 pm

The bearing seems to have failed on my wind direction sensor. Maplin used to sell such parts at very reasonable cost, but as everyone knows - Maplin is no more. Has anyone found an alternative at reasonable costs? I don't want to pay silly money for parts, because this is now an old system.

ellbee
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby ellbee » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:00 pm

I don't know about individual parts, but Greenfrog Scientific supply the Aercus fine offset stations, and list complete sensors as spares on the website, see https://www.greenfrogscientific.co.uk/accessories/

They don't mention the WH 1081, the equivalent seems to be the 1093. It might be worth asking if they are compatible. Obviously a bit more cost than just a bearing though...

harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks - and yes it is the same item, but a bit expensive at £19 plus (maybe) P&P. If I cannot find one at a more sensible cost, I might look at trying to replace the bearing.

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Super-T
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby Super-T » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:29 pm

I've always found that a bit of wd40 frees the bearing up for another few years. Unless of course the bearing is completely frozen.

AllyCat
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby AllyCat » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:37 am

Hi,

They seem to be available for £15.50 + £3 shipping here. That seems ridiculously high as it's more than the price of their Wind Vane and Rain sensors. :shock:

Waters and Stanton (£10.95 + shipping) appear to be out of stock, but a search for "Ambient", or similar keywords. might find them somewhere else in UK.

However, the bearings are a "standard" size (10mm x 5mm comes to mind) and there should be several threads in the FO or Homebuilt sections, were suppliers are suggested at just a Pound or two.

AFAIK all the anemometers with that appearance are electrically compatible (a simple reed switch, which is also replaceable), but some may be in "black" plastic or have a "long" cable (for the stations that don't have a Wind vane).

Cheers, Alan.

harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:48 pm

The bearing had completely rusted and disintegrated. I have managed to get the old one off, without too much damage, so now I need to source a replacement. I bought one before, with the idea to rebuild the anemometer, but the complete sensor was so cheap from Maplin, it wasn't worth continuing to repair. So somewhere (???) I do have a spare bearing.

I have measured it as 5mm internal, 10mm external diameter, 4mm deep. Has anyone found a good source for these please?

AllyCat
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby AllyCat » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:33 pm

Hi,

I normally just search ebay.co.uk, amazon or google but wasn't very successful this time. However "simply bearings" rang a bell, so try this. I've never used them but they seem to have free postage (but +VAT).

Somebody did recently suggest that you should wash out the grease and replace with light machine oil or WD40, but I'm not sure I'd bother.

Cheers, Alan.

harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:49 pm

I have found and ordered these - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192529245201

10 of them for £2.93 delivered. I expect they will probably have a little more drag because of the seals, than simple open bearings - that might help reduce the flutter that these direction sensors seem to suffer. It suggests they are stainless steel, so hopefully the should be longer lasting than the originals which suffered rusting up. I suspect the drag will be too much for the anemometer, but the seals are usually easy to remove.

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Ned
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby Ned » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:44 pm

I'd be interested to hear if bearings with rubber seals help reduce direction flutter without being too stiff. In my system (and my previous WH1091) the bearings in both wind instrument use bearings with shields (metal) which are low drag and ideal for the anemometer.

harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:48 pm

I have ordered the replacement bearings from China, which could take a month to arrive - I will report back when I have tested them. If they turn out to have too much friction, I can always remove the seals.

harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:55 am

The ordered bearings arrived this morning, all ten loose in a poly postal bag, so I got on with fitting one to the wind direction vane. The rubber/plastic bearing shields seem to offer no more resistance to movement than the metal shielded type, the vane was just as free to move. So I would suggest, equally fine to use on the anemometer, should one be needed.

My anemometer failed a few years ago and vane later failed, because they had used used plain steel bearings, which had eventually rusted. I bought a replacement anemometer from Maplin. Whilst I had the two down, I decided to heck the bearing which was fitted to the Maplin anemometer - it was a metal shielded stainless steel one and still in good condition.

10 bearings for £2.93 inc. delivery :o 29 pence EACH. How do they do it???

AllyCat
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby AllyCat » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:54 pm

Hi,

Yes, I noticed that although a Chinese seller, the bearings were "UK stock", which usually doubles or triples the price. That Maplin could sell the anemometers for £2.49 suggests that they must cost (very) much less to manufacture in China. And I learned the hard way that also the reed switches need to be of "good" quality since they must operate millions (or even billions) of times over their lifetime. I calculate that Steve's FO managed to notch up several million operations (>1 million revolutions) in just one day, when he was up in the Orkneys!

I must admit that I missed your reference to "direction" (i.e. the Vane) in the first post. It's interesting that Maplin actually charged £10 for a replacement Wind Vane, which is the "Sale" price now being charged by the seller I linked in #5, so the only real difference is the cost of shipping. But this seems to be an exception; I guess there isn't much demand for replacement wind vanes. Also there appears to be two types (using either reed or Hall sensors) but I've never examined the Hall type and would be interested to know if they are fully compatible. They don't need to be "opened up" to determine which type they are, the reeds will click faintly when the vane rotates, the Halls should be silent!

Cheers, Alan.

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Toxic17
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby Toxic17 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:26 pm

AllyCat wrote:Hi,

Yes, I noticed that although a Chinese seller, the bearings were "UK stock", which usually doubles or triples the price. That Maplin could sell the anemometers for £2.49 suggests that they must cost (very) much less to manufacture in China.

Cheers, Alan.


Maybe thats why Maplins went bust :lol:
Regards Simon

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harrym1byt
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Re: Fine Offset parts source?

Postby harrym1byt » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:31 pm

AllyCat wrote:Hi,

Yes, I noticed that although a Chinese seller, the bearings were "UK stock", which usually doubles or triples the price. That Maplin could sell the anemometers for £2.49 suggests that they must cost (very) much less to manufacture in China.
Cheers, Alan.


The 8 day delivery and lack of any customs declaration, suggest they were sent from UK stock. It is not always the case on ebay, some claim to be UK sellers and somehow express items over from China, versus the usual three to four weeks.


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