NASA wind head unit sticking. ( For NASA lovers only please)

pcatterall

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Don’t start you NASA haters!!! I’ve had mine for 4 years and no probs and another for 4 years on a previous yacht......I like mine... so there!!

We had noticed that low wind speeds from one direction the direction would stick.
So up the mast ( of which more later!) mainly to fix the trilight ( Manufacturers name suppressed!) took WD 40 and gave the wind unit a good soak, there seemed to be some crumbly black gunge under the bladeand also some white stuff ( crumbly paint?) anyway I cleaned it out as best I could with one hand and sprayed a bit more.
The readout does seem more responsive so I hope my efforts worked.
Question:- under the vane is there some sort of washer/bearing which might have deteriorated? I could see a cap on top of the vane and guess that if I had prised it out I could have lifted off the vane to see for myself. Any way for next time I go aloft is there a spare part that I should have in my bag?
Thanks for any ( non slangy offen NASA tips) !!
 
 

Trundlebug

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I've had mine for around 7 years now and it's still fine, although it does whine a bit when the whirly thing goes round and I don't think it's as free as it used to be so probably under reading speed (which is good as SWMBO doesn't get so scared about the wind speed).

I thought the bearing was plain PTFE on the whirly thing, not so sure about the direction arrow but thought that would be the same, so a bit surprised it is crumbling on yours?

You don't think it's just salt crystals built up over the years from a marine environment?

Edit: Forgot to add, the best place to go for info is the NASA website itself and look for the spares section. Bits are listed and sold direct and service is very good at good prices, or as good as you'll get from anywhere else.
Failing that, phone them up and ask, they're always helpful providing you're not a NASA hater!
 
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MM5AHO

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I wonder if a drench with hot (not too hot to burn yourself when you spill it) water first is a good idea.
Then, rather than WD40, which dries out and accumulates gunge, PTFE or silicon spray to lubricate?
 

pcatterall

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Cheers Trundlebug.
the spares list doesn't show any kind of washer or bearing so I guess there was some crud build up. Possibly seagull poo that washed off the outer surface but collected under the head unit?
 

LittleSister

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Edit: Forgot to add, the best place to go for info is the NASA website itself and look for the spares section. Bits are listed and sold direct and service is very good at good prices, or as good as you'll get from anywhere else.
Failing that, phone them up and ask, they're always helpful providing you're not a NASA hater!

Cheers Trundlebug.
the spares list doesn't show any kind of washer or bearing so I guess there was some crud build up.

The website doesn't list all the spares available (or at least didn't last time I looked). Give them a ring - they're very helpful.
 
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Under the vane there is a large circular magnet built into it's underside. When this starts to corrode a quantity of magnetic dust builds up under the vane and grinds away at the plastic case. Being magnetic it sticks to the magnet and won't wash away.

If it was mine, I would remove the vane and clean all the gunge away and the give the magnet a coat of red oxide paint. A new vane would only be about £15 from NASA.

The vane is held on by a star washer accessible under the top cap. Watch out for a couple of other tiny washers above and below the vane.

If the wind speed is reading low, I suspect the bearing in the anemometer cups has worn oval and the cups are wobbling round. (this is what happened with mine). Again a replacement is about £15. I made a new brass bush for mine. But whether there'll be enough lubrication for it, only time will tell. But it cost me nowt to try.
 
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