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Author Topic: Wind meters  (Read 4577 times)
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Ca Ike
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« on: June 28, 2011, 06:44 PM »

OK I know there have been threads on this before but the info has been rather scattered and sparse.  I've started playing around with wind meters lately just to try and get sense of how good or bad these things can be.  So far what I have been seeing is horrifying to say the least.  There seems to be no testing of any of these units to make sure they are consistent or even reading fairly accurate.  I got ahold of a dozen cheap HT-81 handheld meters from one of my business suppliers that was basically throwing them away since they were shipped by mistake and the distributor wouldn't take them back.  SInce wind meters come up here from time to time i started tinkering.  With this batch to start with I'm finding that not only are these things up to 12 mph off but all meters set side by side with only a couple inches in between won't even give the same readings within 1-2 mph of each other.  Set up on a rooftop next to a local weather monitor so I had a highly accurate meter to go by, not one of the meters even cam close.  WInds for the hour I was set up were 8-14 variable with 25mph gusts on the weather station but the meters were reading 2.5-7 with 12 mph gusts (and yes I had the meters set at the same hight as the monitoring station sensors).

What I'd like to know from those of you that use a meter for reference is:

What brand and model?
Measurement range?
Accuracy (compared to local weather station data)
Type of meter (vane, cup, hotwire)

Maybe from this we can get a sense of what meters people use have the best overall reliability/accuracy in the readings.  IF nothing else this might save someone from wasting money on a meter that doesn't work worth a damn.  ONe of the HVAC guys I know let me use his $800 combo vane/hotwire meter and even that one was off by up to 8mph in the same test set up so price doesn't seem to indicate better accuracy.  Unless your talking about the thousands of dollar monitoring stations.
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mikenchico
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 07:35 PM »

Wind Meter - Anemometer for the Adroid phone, it's accurate within about 20 mph  Roll Eyes  LOL ... surprisingly it is getting some decent reviews from a couple of kite flyers, at $4.25 I haven't actually tried it since I don't believe something that's based off of listening to the wind through the microphone could have any accuracy at all, but I guess it couldn't be much worse then what you're experiencing in your tests.

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chilese
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 07:40 PM »

Low wind: Find a smoker and watch the plume.
Wind moves about 1.5 ft/sec for every 1 mph.

Above that.
Find a leafy tree.
 5 mph = leaves moving
10 mph = branches moving
15 mph = tree moving

Most of the fliers I know estimate the wind speed, look at their meter to calibrate and put the meter away until next year.  Smiley

Personally, I don't own a meter. If the kite doesn't fly, I'll put up a lighter one. If I'm having trouble standing, I'll just go home.  Smiley
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Magpiesfooty
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 09:50 PM »

I actually got mine to measure dew point, when I am out stargazing with my catadioptric SCT telescopes. (Dew is a bitter enemy...)  Undecided


Like most flyers will tell you, they know when the winds are good enough to fly a certain kite. If the winds ae so light that you are having trouble getting them into the air, put them back in the bag. It is still a cool thing to have handy.

Happy Winds

Magpiesfooty
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ko
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 09:50 PM »

i had 1 .its around somewhere. now i use johns method. but i probably leave in less wind than he does ps i look at the water for my input. if the sand is moving so am i -----home
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have fun kurt
Ca Ike
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 10:57 PM »

Wind Meter - Anemometer for the Adroid phone, it's accurate within about 20 mph  Roll Eyes  LOL ... surprisingly it is getting some decent reviews from a couple of kite flyers, at $4.25 I haven't actually tried it since I don't believe something that's based off of listening to the wind through the microphone could have any accuracy at all, but I guess it couldn't be much worse then what you're experiencing in your tests.


well considering a 2mph wind can sound like a gale force on a vid I can't see that working well.   No one has any in the field use data on any of these? Hmm guess I'll have to try and talk some manufacturers int sending me some test subjects.  I'm pretty good at judging wind myself based on environmental stuff and there's plenty of info on that out there but not much in the way of meter reviews and comparisons. Good enough to tell me there's wind somewhere between 1mph and 50 mph isn't going to make me want to buy one.

Was driving on the freeway going 80 earlier today into a headwind that was sposed to be about 12, stuck one of the ht-81's out of the window and only got a reading of 32  Roll Eyes
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 11:23 PM »

You get what you pay for. The three meters I have experience with were all right around $100 at the time.

A big impeller surface is key. The little tiny ones are highly directional. Point it a few degrees away and the reading changes. Of course, a big set of blades on a $20 device aren't going to improve things much...

The only one I actually bought was a Kaindle Windtronic



A very good meter and one of two designs I've seen that are omnidirectional.

Actual speed accuracy is somewhat subjective. Unless you're in really great conditions, you'll get a different reading at shoulder height and at the top of your reach. My goal was to compare my local airport's wind readings (the tower is right between my two flying spots) to my senses and a wind meter. Sort of a calibration. The back of my neck turned out to be very accurate, but I'd been flying three or four years at that point.

The real PITA, even at my advanced stage of kite addiction, is understanding what's happening in very low wind, like 2 and below, and I don't think any meter is helpful for that.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 11:28 PM by Allen Carter » Logged

Allen, AKA kitehead
Allen Carter
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 11:34 PM »

At comps, I've seen three good quality meters held up together and giving essentially the same reading. Maybe a couple of tenths variance. But, at most sites you could get vastly different readings from each corner of the field. There just isn't anything with sport kites that is precise or consistent enough to make a meter useful. We all know that manufacturers wind ranges are highly subjective, and that's about the only time metered force might be useful.

Pick reputable local weather sources, not personal weather stations, and refer to them frequently. You'll calibrate the back of your neck eventually.

At some point, a well loved kite becomes a pretty accurate meter. After looking at wind speeds in relation to a specific kite over much time, you get to know how the kite behaves in a certain, fairly narrow, range. I can tell 6 MPH on my 3PT Midi pretty darn accurately.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 11:39 PM by Allen Carter » Logged

Allen, AKA kitehead
Ca Ike
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 12:23 AM »

You get what you pay for. The three meters I have experience with were all right around $100 at the time.

A big impeller surface is key. The little tiny ones are highly directional. Point it a few degrees away and the reading changes. Of course, a big set of blades on a $20 device aren't going to improve things much...

The only one I actually bought was a Kaindle Windtronic



A very good meter and one of two designs I've seen that are omnidirectional.

Actual speed accuracy is somewhat subjective. Unless you're in really great conditions, you'll get a different reading at shoulder height and at the top of your reach. My goal was to compare my local airport's wind readings (the tower is right between my two flying spots) to my senses and a wind meter. Sort of a calibration. The back of my neck turned out to be very accurate, but I'd been flying three or four years at that point.

The real PITA, even at my advanced stage of kite addiction, is understanding what's happening in very low wind, like 2 and below, and I don't think any meter is helpful for that.


YEs this meter has gotten some really good marks and one of the few with detailed reviews from users.  I probably wouldn't have started this if I wasn't given these meters but having a good meter for when I'm tinkering on a project like my vented zeph or out with my R/c planes would be a plus
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RobB
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 04:53 AM »

I have this little Skywatch Explorer that was given to me as a gift. You can see it in action at the beginning of this video...

Flying the QPro on a beautiful November Day...


Notice that I sweep the meter a few degrees back & forth because it's a directional meter. From my experience, I would say it's pretty accurate, at least in winds over 3-4mph. It rarely comes out of my bag, and usually after I've been flying, just to see if my guess to the windspeed was close. I know the conditions by the back of my neck, and if it's too light for that method, I burn something and watch which way the smoke goes...  Cool
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DWayne
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2011, 05:23 AM »

I know the conditions by the back of my neck, and if it's too light for that method, I burn something and watch which way the smoke goes...  Cool

A pre-flight safety meeting?  Smiley

Denny
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I always wanted to be a procrastinator..........
I just never got around to it.
obijuankenobe
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 06:23 AM »


A pre-flight safety meeting?  Smiley

Denny

I thought everyone knew these were mandatory.  Or at least, they are where I learned to fly.  Smiley

Seriously though, I have one.  I used it.  I never have it with me anymore. 

I have learned that there is SUL 'wind', 'light wind', and 'standard wind'.  After that, it's not that fun anyway.  You don't need a meter to gauge the difference between a whisper, light, and standard wind.  At least not after some experience. 

To put in another way...if it says 4mph...do you go standard or UL?   Cheesy

obi
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 07:12 AM by obijuankenobe » Logged

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
RobB
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 06:29 AM »

Smoke 'em if you got 'em !      Cheesy
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thief
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2011, 08:27 AM »

Smoke 'em if you got 'em !      Cheesy

hey...some guy changed his username........hmm....witness protection mayhaps?
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Kites kayaks & corgis again!!!
RobB
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2011, 10:53 AM »

Smoke 'em if you got 'em !      Cheesy

hey...some guy changed his username........hmm....witness protection mayhaps?

Nope, now people will know who I am... the whole 'Must86' thing doesn't fit anymore, because I've given up my interests in cars. Kids & kites now...  Know anyone that wants to buy some Mustangs ?
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