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Reviews Categories | Weather Stations | InSpeed Vortex Wind Gauge Help


Reviews Summary for InSpeed Vortex Wind Gauge
InSpeed Vortex Wind Gauge Reviews: 5 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $49
Description: 3-cup wind sensor unit rated to be accurate to 125 mph. Various display options are offered by the manufacturer, from a modified bicycle computer to a standalone display and data logger.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.inspeed.com
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K2JN Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2012 21:33 Send this review to a friend
Simple but effective.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased the Do-It-Yourself Anemometer Kit then mounted it up on my antenna mast along with my inverted-vee. Soldering the glass reed switch was tough and I actually cracked the first switch while assembling it in the case. Fortunately, the kit included a spare. So far, it's held up to 60+ mph gusts. The best part is that the unit does not contribute to RFI since the sensor feeds data via a cable vice RF transmitter. In addition, the unit responds in real-time without the sampling delay found in wireless units. InSpeed also sells simple visual wind direction vanes and I have a couple deployed around the property.
 
KF7P Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2012 18:04 Send this review to a friend
Great tool!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been looking for a low cost wind speed gauge for a long time, and this one is great! I ordered the DIY pole mount anemometer kit, which is a little less expensive than the assembled versions. This came with a bicycle computer as the display, which records wind speed, average speed, max, and some other biking functions that don't apply. I like that the update rate is about 1 second; so I know what the wind speed is RIGHT NOW as opposed to the once every 12 seconds update I get from the LaCrosse station I have. These guys also sell some related accessories, such as a switch that can shut off / turn on any kind of electrical appliance if the wind speed exceeds a pre-set level (automatically lowering the tower comes to mind!). I may upgrade to the wind software in the future so I can see current conditions on the monitor and the history of wind at my QTH. Get it!
 
AB7E Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2008 00:39 Send this review to a friend
No Breakage Here  Time owned: more than 12 months

I've now had this unit for an additional year, and this last spring hit us with some of the worst clear weather wind gusts I've ever experienced. I live at the southern end of a mountain range in Arizona, and the winds generated by rising air currents in April and May swirl around the ridge line and create these little mini-tornadoes that roar across my hillside lot like a freight train. I measured more 80+ mph gusts than I could count this spring, a couple dozen in the mid 90's and one that broke 100 mph. Usually these whirlwinds drag all sort of debris with them, carrying it hundreds of feet in the air, but so far the cups on this sensor have held up just fine. My unit is mounted on a pole about thirty feet above the ground (ten feet above the roof of my house). Maybe its a good thing I didn't use a mag mount ;)

I have to add, though, that I'm not all that impressed with the Windware software I bought to use with it. The pulse rate from the sensor is extremely low compared with the processing speed of any computer built since the 70's, yet Windware wants to have top priority over any other running application and gets buggy when it doesn't get it. I switched to a bicycle computer with much better results.

I still give the sensor a 5, but only as a standalone unit. The software is at best a 2.
 
N6JSX Rating: 2/5 Jul 8, 2008 12:09 Send this review to a friend
Not Good for SkyWarn Mobile OPs  Time owned: more than 12 months
Four years ago I bought a mobile mag mount unit for SkyWarn use (replacing my PEET). The main reason I got it was the anemometer cups were attached directly to the rotating disk (PEET cup/arms constantly break while mobile).

I've now had two broken cups, the first happen within months of owning the unit - where quickly replaced FREE. Now I'm waiting for my second set of cups.

I saw the owner at 2007 Dayton and told him of the problem. Recommended how to fix the problem but changes to the mold were to costly.

The problem in mobile OPS is the constant severe changes of wind direction while driving at high speed putting twisting torque on the perpendicular intersection of the cup to disk mount. The high speed buffeting winds (like when passing 18-wheelers) twists the cup until fatigue finally snaps the cup off. For mobile OPs either reduce the size of the cups or increase the amount of plastic at this joint!

The other method is to only put the mag mount on the vehicle when needed - a wet pain to do.

Current product configuration as sold has a short life span in mobile SkyWarn OPs. It's just a mater of time before a cup will twist off making the purchase/purpose moot.
 
AB7E Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2007 22:17 Send this review to a friend
Accurate, versatile unit at a reasonable price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted to track average and maximum wind speeds at my QTH before making some choices on a new tower and antennas, and after checking around I bought the basic Vortex 3-cup anemometer sensor unit packaged with InSpeed's Windware display software for a computer. The anemometer alone sells for $49, but the sensor and software together sells for $99 (except that as of this writing the software alone is special offered at $30 ... go figure).

The sensor unit has worked fine for the six months I've been using it, and the response time to strong wind gusts seems good (less than two seconds maybe?). The concept is pretty simple ... the 3-cup sensor spins a magnet across a reed relay once per revolution, which correlates to 2.5 mph per pulse. The simplest display offered by InSpeed is just a bicycle computer loaded with that calibration factor, but I can't see any reason why that shouldn't work well. The sensor is supposedly accurate up to at least 125 mph. It comes with about 25 feet of wire (this is NOT a wireless unit) but InSpeed says it will work with several hundred additional feet of your own.

The Windware software displays minimum, maximum, and average wind speed (you can choose mph, kph, or one of several other units) over user settable intervals down to one minute. The software can also be set to indefinitely datalog to a file in .csv format for easy import into Microsoft Excel, from which it can be archived, shared, or graphed as you may desire. The Windware software lets you specify a maximum speed that when exceeded latches one of the pins on the 9-pin RS-232 connector supplied with it.

Almost all the user reviews for this unit that I could find on the web were positive, and my experience has been the same. All in all, this turned out to be the most reasonably priced option for recording wind speed data that I was able to find.

The standalone InSpeed sensor is also now supported by WeatherDisplay, a popular but more comprehensive, more expensive, and separately available software package that will automatically upload graphed windspeed data to a web site.
 


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