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October 23rd, 2013

For Hunting Season — Get a Free Weather App for Your iPhone

Hunter weather radar AppIt’s hunting season now, so here’s an App that may aid you hunters headed out into the wild. Realtree offers an iPhone application (“App”) designed for hunters that displays up-to-date radar images, current conditions, plus wind speed and direction on an interactive Google map. The Realtree Weather Base Station automatically detects the user’s current location. Or you can simply type in the name of a location of interest and the application drops a pin on the map, marking that location and providing current weather conditions, temperatures, forecasts and highs and lows. The Realtree Weather App for iPhone is now available on the iTunes store for FREE.

Hunter weather radar App

The iMap-enabled Realtree Weather application, developed by weather leader Weather Decision Technologies, Inc., (WDT) detects the user’s location and provides local radar data, as well as current conditions, a 7-day forecast, humidity, wind direction and dew-point data. The Realtree application delivers severe weather information, including the latest US radar, IR satellite and lightning strikes. The Realtree App also provides direct access to national conservation and hunting news.

Hunter weather radar App

“Weather is a high priority for any hunter or outdoor sportsman,” said Mike Gauthier, vice president of sales for WDT. “With Realtree’s mobile application, we are bringing the most powerful, innovative and accurate weather, radar and satellite data available in the United States, transforming any iPhone into a reliable decision-making tool for the nation’s 23 million hunters.”

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November 4th, 2009

Affordable Timex Offers Temp, Air Pressure, Timer Functions

Temperature, Atmospheric Pressure, and Altitude — all these things can and do affect bullet ballistics. Moreover, temperature changes can alter powder performance and chamber pressures. The smart reloader takes the predicted ambient temperature into account. And when calculating your come-ups and windage click values, you need to factor in Temperature, Air Pressure, AND Altitude.

Kestrel 4000 Weather TrackerHow do you keep track of these important variables when you’re shooting? The Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker®, is compact and provides a wealth of information: atmospheric pressure, altitude, density altitude, temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind chill, dew point, and heat index. We like the Kestrels and recommend them. But at $279.00, a Kestrel 4000 is too expensive for many shooters.

Timex now offers a solution. Selling for about $60.00-$75.00 (street price), the Timex Expedition® Adventure Tech™ watch (item T41501EA) displays Altitude, Barometric Pressure, and Temperature (ABT). The thermometer function records temps from 14° F to 140° F. The Altimeter reads from -2,296 feet to +29,520 feet with 10-foot resolution. The Barometer tracks current and sea level pressure, and provides a graph of pressure changes over time.

Timex Altimeter Watch

Encased in a stainless housing with a resin band, the Timex watch is water resistant to 50 meters, and offers many other nice features, including dual time zones, countdown timer, alarm, and backlit nightlight (very handy). The countdown timer is very easy to set and activate; and yes the timer can be used effectively in a shooting match.

There are other quality watches, such as the Suunto Core, that provide Altitude, Atmospheric Pressure, and Temperature read-outs. But, at under $70.00, the Timex is one-fourth the price of the Suunto. Amazon.com is currently offering the Timex Temp/Altitude/Barometer watch for $62.88. It is offered with a silver band as well as the black shown above.

Useful Tool or Just Another Gadget?
Is this watch really useful or just another piece of male jewelry? Well just last week a friend was developing loads and he wanted to input the ambient temperature, and current air pressure. The Timex gave us the desired data. (Note: it’s best to take the watch off your arm when gauging air temp). For this editor, the Timex ABT watch is a useful tool. I bought one and use it during load development and when shooting competitively. Negatives? Well the Timex IS big and thick, really thick, but then it’s much handier than carrying BOTH a digital thermometer/altimeter AND a separate count-down timer.

Here’s an owner’s review: “I have been through a Nike ABT, a Swiss Army ABT, and a High Gear ABT watch this year alone. None of them, which cost quite a bit more, have been as accurate and durable as this Timex. It has a better fit, was easy to use and read and just plain ‘on the money’ as far as forecasting weather and altitude. Also, I have not had to take it off my arm for 10-15 mins to get a decent temperature rating. It has always been within 1-3 degrees of actual temp. And I live in the Carribean in a tropical climate… so, for it to be this accurate is a statement in itself.”

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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).

Permalink New Product No Comments »
August 15th, 2009

Omni-Directional Windtronic 2 Wind Meter

Windtronic 2 wind meterIf you want to win shooting matches you’ll need to gauge wind speed and direction. While many shooters use the excellent Kestrel line of pocket Weather Trackers, many top shooters are turning to the Windtronic 2, a German-made unit that measures wind speeds from any direction.

The Windtronic features rotating cups mounted on a vertical axis. With this design you don’t have to align the unit with the wind, unlike the Kestrel WindMeter or SpeedTech WindMate™ devices. Many users feel the Windtronic’s unique design allows it to read wind speeds more accurately; it certainly can respond to shifting winds more easily. The omni-directional functionality of the Windtronic allows it to be mounted on a stand or tripod and continuously display current wind speed, max wind speed, and average velocity.

The Windtronic 2 doesn’t guage temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, or density altitude, unlike the more advanced (and expensive) Kestrel 4000/4500 model pocket weather trackers. The Windtronic only records wind speeds, but it does that one task exceptionally well.

Made in Germany by Kaindl Electronics, the Windtronic 2 comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty and normally retails for $99.00 on Amazon.com. Other dealers include Windtronic.us and Windpowersports.com.

Windtronic 2 wind meter
Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 20 Comments »
September 11th, 2008

Kestrel 4500 Offers Full Set of Functions Including Crosswind Values and Density Altitude

Every long-range precision shooter can benefit from an accurate, full-featured portable wind and weather monitor. Right now the relatively new Kestrel 4500 is the best hand-held weather station on the market. Introduced at the 2007 SHOT Show, The Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker is a complete weather instrument, offering instant and accurate measurement of wind speed, wind direction (including crosswind and headwind/tailwind), temperature, humidity, density altitude, barometric pressure and numerous other derived functions. The Kestrel 4500 has a built-in digital compass, a feature not found on other Kestrels. This allows you to track and log wind direction as well as wind speed. Wind direction is displayed in degrees and cardinal compass points.

Weekend shooters and military snipers alike have been calling for a Kestrel Meter with crosswind calculation for years — and the Kestrel 4500 now offers that capability. By means of its built-in digital compass, the Kestrel 4500 provides Wind Direction and velocity, Crosswind direction and velocity, and Headwind/Trailwind direction and velocity. In addition to these wind functions, the Kestrel 4500 will also display: Max Wind Gust, Average Wind Speed, Temperature, Wind Chill, Relative Humidity, Heat Stress Index, Dewpoint Temp, Wet Bulb Temp, Barometric Pressure, Altitude, and Density Altitude. These features are illustrated in a handy flash-based “Virtual Tour” that shows all the Kestrel 4500’s product features.

CLICK HERE for Kestrel 4500 Virtual Tour with Feature Demos.

Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker

The bright yellow Kestrel 4500 is available for $289.00 from Kestrelmeters.com. An olive drab version with Night Vision-friendly backlighting is offered for $309.00 from the same vendor.

Full Review of Kestrel 4500 by SniperWorkx.com
A very detailed field-test of the Kestrel 4500 was conducted by Sal Palma for SniperWorx.com. In his write-up, Sal Palma explains why a precision shooter needs a tool such as the Kestrel 4500: “Altitude, temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity are critical pieces of data. As is wind speed and direction. What used to be a good 300-yard zero may now be a full minute or more off. At a range of 300 yards, a one minute error makes a 3″ difference in the point of impact. The [Kestrel 4500] has some major and significant new features not found in any of their other models. To start with, the 4500 offers a built in electronic compass, the compass can be configured to indicate true bearings as well as magnetic. In addition to the basic wind functions the [Kestrel 4500] also provides crosswind, headwind and tailwind data.”

CLICK HERE to download SniperWorkx.com KESTREL 4500 Review in .pdf format.

Kestrel Sponsors U.S. Teams in Spirit of America Match
Nielsen-Kellerman, maker of Kestrel Weather trackers, is sponsoring the U.S. Long Range Rifle Teams in the Spirit of America Match (SOA) running this week at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM. The SOA features one of shooting’s most prestigious international matches, the America Trophy Match. This September, the Match will be held for the first time since 2005. The national teams from Great Britain and Australia will compete against the U.S. National Team shooting at distances from 300 to 1,000 yards. The U.S. Long Range Rifle Teams consist of the National Team (who include former members of the Palma® team), the Veterans’ team, and the USA Young Eagles Under 21 / Under 25 team.

“The effects of wind and weather play a huge role in our sport. Not only does the wind affect the flight of the bullet, but differences in altitude, pressure, and temperature can also change the bullet’s impact,” said Dennis Flaharty, Team Captain of the National / Palma® Team. “Tools like the Kestrel Pocket Weather Tracker can often mean the difference between being a winning team, or being at the weather’s mercy.”

Permalink Competition, Gear Review 2 Comments »