The Windtronic 2 From Kaindl

An Excellent Kiting Wind Meter!

In my opinion, the Windtronic 2 was (see the update further down) the perfect wind meter for kite flyers. I got one for Christmas one year, and it was the best toy this single-line nut ever had ;-) In fact, this handy little device was my constant companion on nearly every kite-flying outing of ours since that Christmas Day.

At first glance, this wind meter looks and feels like something of a toy. It had a sleek light-gray finish, a 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 on.

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 in.) 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.


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Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads—printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.


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:

The Windtronic 2 anemometer LCD display.LCD display
  • clearly legible large LCD display
    The display shows the following readings:
    Current wind speed. (Logically, these digits are huge and very easy to read! That's good for us over-40s 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) (This is measured since the meter was turned on.)
    Beaufort number. (A bar graph showing the current value is always displayed, regardless of wind-speed units—a nice touch!)

  • 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.
Windtronic-2 wind-meter parked on it's little tripod.Windronic 2
  • selectable units
    This is very simple. Just push a button repeatedly to cycle through KM/H (Kilometers/Hour), KTS (Knots), M/S (Meters/Second), MPH (Miles/Hour)

  • 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 eight days of continuous running, it shuts itself down, to prevent overuse. It's not designed to be a piece of weather-station gear!

  • 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."
    That 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 two 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 two at a time. We'll see!

UPDATE: The Windtronic meter was once available from Amazon and many other outlets, but sadly no more. The device has apparently gone out of production. 

On the bright side, there is an amazing level of choice when searching online for these types of devices! In particular, try searching for kestrel wind meter.


Final Thoughts and Daydreams

Due to its remarkably light weight, I fully intended 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! I did put the meter up once and it did get a small bump or two, but survived.

Now this one is firmly in the "daydream" 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, and 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 the wind direction to the nearest 15 degrees.

The Windtronic 2 is (if you can find one) a great companion for any single-line kite flyer as I can attest from experience. You can get a true idea of what weather each of your kites does well in. Of course, single-liners are just the tip of the iceberg here. Owners of anything from stunt kites to sailing boats to paragliders could also make good use of this anemometer.

The video 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 :-|


As mentioned earlier, there's more kite-making on this site than you can poke a stick at :-)

Want to know the most convenient way of using it all?

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads—printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

Every kite in every MBK series.