December 2nd, 2015

Affordable Weather Meter Works with Mobile Devices

Weatherflow weather meter bluetooth kestrel wind speed air pressure temperature

That smart phone in your pocket is really a miniature computer. What if you could harness that electronic brain to work as a weather meter? You’d just need a way to feed the smart phone environmental data — temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind velocity and so on. Well now that’s possible with the new $69.00 Weatherflow Smart Phone Weather Meter.

This portable, multi-function Weather Meter provides key weather data to your iOS and Android Mobile devices wirelessly via BlueTooth. The unit measures temperature, humidity, air pressure and dew points. With its built-in impeller, the Weather Meter will also record wind speed (average and gust), and wind direction. You can hand-hold it or attach it to a pole/tripod with a standard camera mount. This wireless Weather Meter is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and all major Android devices. The best thing is the price — right now the unit is just $69.00 at Amazon.com.

Reviews by Weather Meter Purchasers

By Wiley on October 2, 2015 — Verified Purchase
I own and love the original WeatherFlow Wind Meter but when I saw this new one that includes temperature, humidity and pressure for under $100, I had to have it. My new weather meter arrived two days after I ordered it and I am amazed at how good this thing is. Solid and well-built, it’s super comfortable in your hand. The hard carry case is nice. The App is pretty simple – start the App and push the button to connect. The meter connected without issue to my iPad mini and my Galaxy S5 (Android) phone. It displays the extra sensor information elegantly, and the data agrees very well with the Davis weather station on my neighbor’s house. Saving and sharing reports is simple. Something cool that’s not obvious until you play with the App a bit are the ‘more data’ you can see (wind chill, heat index, crosswind, headwind, and many others including some I didn’t know existed). I’ve used various Kestrel meters over years and while they are good sensors, Kestrel’s higher price and lack of smart phone integration (or any easy way to get data off the thing) have been frustrating. [Editor: Kestrel’s brand new 5000 Series Weather Meters do offer Bluetooth connectivity as an optional extra.]

Weatherflow weather meter bluetooth kestrel wind speed air pressure temperature

By Richard W. on October 27, 2015 — Verified Purchaser
Great device for the price. It would be nice to interface it with ballistics Apps… but it provides relatively accurate readings and is very small. Finding wind direction is a bit manual (you have to face the device into the wind), but how hard is that? The Bluetooth connectivity is great, you don’t actually have to have it physically connected to the phone — you can put it where you need it.

Technical Details — Compatibility and Settings
The WeatherFlow Weather Meter processes data via a free downloadable App for iOS or Android. The unit works with Apple iPhones 4S or newer, Apple iPads Gen 3 or newer, iPod Touch, and “all major Android devices”. Wireless functionality requires support for Bluetooth version 4.0. You can select either English or Metric units via the “settings” menu. Wind speed units/range are 0.5 to 140 mph; 0.4 to 122 Knots; 0.8 to 225 kph; 0.2 to 63 m/s. Pressure units/range are: 8.9 to 32.5 inHg; 300 to 1100 mbar.

Product Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 14th, 2014

Wireless Sensor Measures Temp and Humidity Inside Gun Safe

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensorHere’s a smart new product that monitors the temperature and humidity inside your gun safe — with a convenient LCD display unit located on the outside of the safe. You don’t need to string wires or cut a small hole in your safe — there are two separate components, one inside and one outside. The sensor unit (on the inside) communicates wirelessly with the display unit (on the outside).

The new GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer was designed to display the temp/humidity in your safe without the need to open the safe. NOTE: the wireless LCD display can show BOTH in-vault AND in-room humidity and temperature levels. You can attach the display to the vault door with its built-in magnet, or simply place the display unit on top of the safe using the handy flip-out kickstand. The unit costs just $20.89 at Amazon.com.

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor
Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer Specifications and Features:

  • Measures In-Vault and In-Room humidity from 20% to 95%.
  • Measures In-Vault temperature range from 14°F to 122°F.
  • Measures In-Room temperature range from -4°F to 158°F.
  • Records Min/Max temperature and humidity history.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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July 2nd, 2013

Monitor Barrel Temps with Heat-Sensitive Strips

Thermometer barrel heat accurateshooter.comMany parts of the country are experiencing a heat wave right now. It was 117° F in Las Vegas yesterday. Unfortunately, this is “prime time” for shooting matches, so competitors may have no choice but to shoot in very hot weather. When ambient temperatures soar into the 100s, you need to be especially careful about barrel heat. Bad things can happen if your barrel gets too hot. First, with some barrels, the point of impact (POI) will shift or “walk” as the barrel heats up excessively. Second, even if the POI doesn’t change, the groups can open up dramatically when the barrel gets too hot. Third, if the barrel is very hot, the chamber will transfer heat to your loaded cartridge, which can lead to pressure issues. Finally, hot barrels wear out faster. This is a very real concern, particularly for varmint shooters who may shoot hundreds of rounds in a day. For this reason, many varminters switch among various guns, never letting a particular barrel get too hot.

Bar-L shooting temp strips

How do you monitor your barrel temperature other than guessing by “feel”? BAR-L Benchrest strips visually display heat readings from 86 to 140 degrees F. Think of these strips as compact, unbreakable thermometers. These adhesive-backed strips can be used to monitor barrel heating. Put a strip on the side of the barrel and the barrel’s temp will be indicated by a stripe that changes from black to green. These strips are easy to read. The green box displays the current temperature of the barrel in both °F and °C. We recommend using the Benchrest strip (86F to 140F), shown in the middle. There is also a “General Purpose” strip that reads to 196 degrees (bottom row).

Installation: Before placing the temp strips on your barrel, clean and degrease the barrel with alcohol for better adhesion. Once in place, the plastic-covered strips should provide years of service. Note, we do not recommend use with high-polished blued barrels.

Value-Priced Temp Strip 10-packs
If you have many rifles, McMaster.com (a large industrial supply house) offers the handy reversible, 7 temperature, 86F to 140F strip (item 59535K13) for $10.71 per pack of ten (10) strips. That’s an excellent value.

Another source for BAR-L Temp Strips is Neconos.com. This vendor offers Bar-L temp strips for $9.00, or $25.00 for a 3-pack. From the Neconos Online Catalog, search for “Bar-L” to find the Temp Strips. Three temp ranges are offered: 32F to 86F (Moderate Zero); 86F to 140F (Benchrest): and 86F to 194F (Gen’l Purpose).

Controlling Ammunition Temperature is Important Too
Igloo MaxCold 70 Roller CoolerKeeping your loaded cases at a controlled temperature is vital for maintaining good ES and case life. At a late summer varmint match we observed pressure signs with cases that had been sitting in direct sunlight for about 15 minutes. As we were running a “moderate” RL15 load, the pressure indications were surprising. Testing over a chronograph, cases that had been sitting in direct sunlight showed velocities up to 70 fps higher than those that had been kept in the shade. Using QuickLoad’s temperature function, we calculated from the rise in velocities that case pressures had increased by over 4,000 psi–just from 15-20 minutes in direct sunlight! Accordingly, you’ll want to keep your ammo out of the sun, in an insulated container. The Igloo Ice Cube MaxCold 70 Roller Cooler can hold enough ammo for a multi-day varmint safari or a week at Camp Perry. It’s large enough to also store water bottles and cold beverages.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 4 Comments »
January 4th, 2010

Monitor Barrel Heat with Pen-Sized IR Thermometer

You never want to run the barrel of a precision rifle too hot. Excessive barrel heat kills accuracy, increases copper fouling, and can cause rapid barrel throat wear. Over the years people have devised various means to cool their barrels — from electric fans to dunking in tubs of ice water.

But how do you know if your barrel is too hot? Consider a “non-contact” thermometer that reads your barrel’s “infrared signature”. The $20.00 Kintrex pocket-sized, non-contact IR thermometer is ideal for shooters at the range or in the prairie dog fields.

Just 3.2″ long, and weighing a mere 1.3 ounces, the waterproof Kintrex IRT0401 (IP67) is small enough to carry in your pocket, and will easily stow in any range bag/box. The unit measures from -67 to 428 °F (-55 to 220 °C). Given the low cost and compact size, we highly recommend you get one of these units.

KINTREX IRT0401 Compact Waterproof (IP67) Infrared Thermometer

Kintrex is a respected manufacturer that also makes larger hand-held IR thermometers for industrial and shop applications. Priced at just $19.95 on Amazon.com, the tiny Kintrex is one new gadget that every serious shooter should have. Given the cost of replacing barrels these days, can you afford NOT to have a good temp gauge for your match or varmint barrel?

If you have more room in your range kit, and want a larger unit with longer battery life for daily shop duty, we recommend the Kintrex IRT0421. A top-selling tool, this $47.08 unit has a full-sized pistol grip and features laser targeting for ultra-precise temp-gauging. It records temps from -76 °F all the way up to 932 °F (-60 to 500 °C). Black & Decker also offers the versatile TLD100 IR thermometer, which can be used for thermal leak detection in the home as well.

KINTREX IRT0421 Non-Contact IR Thermometer with Laser Targeting Black & Decker TLD100 IR Thermometer and Thermal Leak Detector
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October 10th, 2009

New Compact Minox Weatherstation

Here’s a new product we found on SWFA.com. Minox, famed maker of miniature cameras, has released the new Minox Weatherstation to compete with the Kestrel weather meters. The Minox is very compact and very light. It measures 4.68″ H x 2.28″ W and is just 3/4 of an inch thick. And it weighs just 2.36 ounces (67 grams)! This is definitely light and small enough to be carried in a shirt pocket.

Minox WeatherstationThe Minox Weatherstation has all the functions you’d expect, plus a few more: Wind speed, Barometer, Altimeter, Thermometer, Hygrometer (Humidity), Windchill, Dewpoint, Clock, Stop-Watch, Alarm, Timer, Race Timer. Of course it can display both °Celsius and °Fahrenheit, and the Hygrometer reads from 1% Relative Humidity through 100% Relative Humidity. The barometer function uses five graphically arranged columns on the LC display to show not just the current air pressure hPa, but also changes which have occurred in the last 24 hours.

We like the fact that the Minox offers timing functions as well as weather data. This way the Minox can do double-duty as a match timer. That’s one less piece of kit to bring to the range.

Kestrel 4000 handWith a “street price” of $249.00, the Minox Weatherstation is priced on a par with the Kestrel 4000 and is about fifty bucks cheaper than Kestrels’ top-of-the-line 4500 model. How does the Minox stack up against the Kestrels? Well, the Kestrel 4000 outputs Density Altitude, while the Minox (apparently) does not. The Kestrel 4000 can also record data points and download these to a computer. The Minox doesn’t offer a PC interface. The more expensive Kestrel 4500 has a digital compass so it can plot wind directions (crosswind, headwind, tailwind). It seems then, that the main advantages of the Minox are compact size and light weight (2.4 oz. for Minox vs. 3.6 oz. for Kestrel 4000).

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