The Windtronic 2 From Kaindl
An Excellent Kiting Wind Meter!
In my opinion, the Windtronic 2 is the perfect wind meter for kite
fliers. Got one for Christmas, and it's the best toy this single-line
nut ever had ;-) In fact, this handy little device has been my constant
companion on nearly every kite-flying outing of ours since that Christmas Day.
Our Windronic 2 meter
At first glance, this wind meter looks and feels like something of a
toy. Sleek light-gray finish, plastic feel and surprisingly light
weight. Then you have to remind yourself that it cost well over 100
bucks when first released and is most definitely a precision instrument! Some respect is due. To re-express that in practical terms - don't let your 4 year old near it! Or your dog, if you have one.
A very neat, simple and sensible feature of the Windtronic 2 is the standard camera
screw-mount in the base. Many kinds of tripods for cameras can therefore
be used to mount the wind meter for ... ahem ... Wind Energy Data
Logging. That simply means the maximum gust strength and the average
wind-strength are continuously updated from when the meter was switched
To begin with, I was concerned that the mini tripods for
digital cameras wouldn't let the meter catch much wind. A ruler beside
the mounted meter measured the rotating cups at about 22 cm (8 3/4") off
the grass. However, I've found that in light winds, the speed this close to the
ground is not much different to the wind speed at shoulder height. However, in strong wind, the difference is easily measured.
The Windtronic Wind Speed Meter
is available on Amazon, where there are many very good reviews. Seems like I'm not the only one to enthuse about this meter!
Feature List For The Windtronic 2
Here are the features in concise list form. However, I've also
expanded on each point, sometimes with my own experiences or opinions...
- Comes with FREE Protective nylon case and 2 Year Manufacturer's Warranty.
Both of these you would really expect of a quality product.
- Manual or Stationary Operation
In other words, hold it up for a quick check, or leave it sitting for a while on a camera tripod to get a more accurate average.
- Selectable Units
Very simple. Just push a button repeatedly, to cycle through KM/H
(Kilometers/Hours), KTS (Knots), M/S (Meters/Second), MPH (Miles/Hour)
- Clearly Legible Large LCD Display
The display shows the following readings:
Current wind speed. (Logically, these digits are huge and very easy to read! Good for us over-40's with 'old age sight')
Maximum wind speed. (MX) (At ground level, and inland, I have found this is usually about 2 or 2 1/2 times the average)
Average wind speed. (AV) (Since the meter was turned on)
Beaufort number. (A bar graph showing current value is always displayed, regardless of wind speed units. A nice touch!)
- Wind Energy Data Logging
As already noted, this just refers to how the unit remembers the
maximum gust strength and average wind strength since the unit was
turned on. After 8 days of continuous running, it shuts itself down, to
prevent over-use. It's not designed to be a piece of weather-station
- Accurate Readings
The claim for the Windtronic 2 is... "A combination of precision
mechanics and quartz-controlled electronics guarantees the highest level
of accuracy over the entire temperature range."
Certainly sounds good, and seems in keeping with the purchase cost.
Sensibly, wind speeds are only displayed to the nearest whole unit once
the figure reaches 2 digits.
- Minimal Energy Consumption
Well, I haven't flattened the battery yet, but I expect it to last a
long time since I never use the unit for more than an hour or 2 at a
time. We'll see!
Final Thoughts And Day-Dreams
Due to its remarkably light weight, I fully intend to hoist my
Windtronic 2 up under a large kite one day, to get wind readings at
various altitudes! Even a 1.5 meter span kite could probably hoist it up
in moderate winds. Of course, great care would need to be taken to
protect the unit from shock. I'm considering a cage made from bamboo
skewers - light, strong and bendy to absorb the occasional bump!
Now this one is firmly in the 'day-dream' realm...
How about providing a super-accurate wind gradient service to the
local airport :-) With a bit of thought and organization, it should be
possible to take readings of wind speed and direction at 25, 50, 75,
100 feet, going right up to 300 feet. You'd need to attach a vane to the
bamboo cage to get direction. By standing under the kite with a
compass, you could read off wind direction to the nearest 15 degrees.
The Windtronic 2 is a great companion for any single-line kite
flier, as I can attest from experience. Get a true idea of what weather
each of your kites does well in. Of course, single-liners are just the
tip of the ice-berg here. Owners of anything from stunt kites to sailing boats to
paragliders could also make good use of this anemometer.
The Windtronic Wind Speed Meter
is available on Amazon. I got mine as a gift and it would certainly make a great gift for anyone who is into wind sports.
The video below shows the device in action. I had to take
it in the shade so the LCD display would be glare-free and thus
readable. Note how the spinning cups are slowed down, and even frozen occasionally, by the frame-rate of the camera! You can stare at it, mesmerized, for a full 30 seconds if you want to...
E-book special of the month (25% off)...
e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 120cm (4 ft) tall
Parafoil kite. This 4-cell kite performs best in gentle to moderate
wind speeds. That's 12 to 28kph or 8 to 18mph. Even in light
winds, this kite will hang in the air, although at low line angles.
In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids
should only fly it while supervised!
Every kite design in
the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...
- Materials are
plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
- Tools are a ruler,
scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
- All cuts are
along straight lines.
For the greatest chance
of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For
example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line
type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough,
since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small
differences from my original.
Get the e-book for making the MBK Parafoil kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.
The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.
May 19, 17 12:23 AM
The Philippines - a country yet to feature in these reports. Hence this short piece easily made the cut!
BACOLOD CITY - Locals here were…
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