Help Request: VORTEX STORM CHASERâ„¢ WINDOW MOUNT ANEMOMETER

It's on my list of purchases for next year so I'd be interested in feedback as well. Was a pain in the butt sticking my hand out the car or standing in the rain taking a wind measurement with my handheld one.

please don't hijack the thread with the worn out mobile mesonet arguments
 
Hi Tyler

I noticed it on your web-site. I was curious if other people had any experience with that particular anemometer.
 
I use one and really like it. I have had no problems with mine and it has experienced and survived some of the most extreme conditions I can imagine for an instrument with moving parts.
There are those who have adverse things to say about a single anemometer set close to the top of a vehicle and with no other instrumentation - I say "whatever". The thing works great and I can make accurate on-the-fly reports using its measurements.
I must admit, I use my Kestrel 4000 when weather conditions are good enough. For those "I don't want to stick my arm out the window and ruin my $350 Kestrel" moments, the Inspeed anemometer is there for ya!

Feel free to ask me if you have specific questions.
 
Originally posted by Steve Miller OK
I use one and really like it. I have had no problems with mine and it has experienced and survived some of the most extreme conditions I can imagine for an instrument with moving parts.
There are those who have adverse things to say about a single anemometer set close to the top of a vehicle and with no other instrumentation - I say \"whatever\". The thing works great and I can make accurate on-the-fly reports using its measurements.
I must admit, I use my Kestrel 4000 when weather conditions are good enough. For those \"I don't want to stick my arm out the window and ruin my $350 Kestrel\" moments, the Inspeed anemometer is there for ya!

Feel free to ask me if you have specific questions.

Hey Steve

Thanks for the information! Sounds like it might be what I am looking for. Something quick and easy to use while spotting. I assume from the web-page that it records the highest wind speed?

Thanks again for the replies everyone!

Beau
 
I also have one of these and really enjoy it. I do have the mag mounted version instead of the window mount. I havent had any issues except after a year it became a bit noisy but some graphite into the bearing assembly took care of that. It was well worth the investment if your not trying to take scientific readings and are just trying to get general wind speed. It wont be as accurate as a high $$ instrument and the windflow over the vehicle may interfere a bit but its still close enough.
 
One more thing to add. Lorenzo Majno, I believe he owns Inspeed, is super nice and very helpful. He has gone out of his way to assist me with my mag mount version which was actually the first of its kind. I was a "test user" and the unit has been perfect, as described in my previous post.
I am an anti Wal-Mart consumer who thrives on the customer service aspect of retail sales so there is something to be said about my comments about the company itself. Very good!
Lorenzo has made it a point to send me new bearings before each chase season without my requesting them. Nice touch...
Anyway, buy one, you will like it!
As for recording the max speed, it will do that. It will also give average speed and, of course, real-time speed.
 
I've been using the pole mount for a couple of years on two different vehicles. I bought mine before the mag-mount version came out, so on each vehicle I had to rig a special bracket to mount it.

I've tested it using my speedometer on calm-wind days, and the margin of error is consistently only +-3mph. The vehicle's slipstream influence is actually not that significant with the Inspeed mounted a few inches off of the roof. This seems to go against aerodynamic principles, but for some reason, in practice it works OK.

The highest stationary wind readings I've measured with the vehicle-mounted Inspeed include 114mph in Geary, Oklahoma on May 29, 2004 and 102mph in Fort Pierce, Florida during Hurricane Frances' eyewall in September of 2004. I've seen it hit over 120 a few times while driving 75mph into strong headwinds in South Dakota.

The bearings will eventually go out on the rotor if you leave the unit installed on your car all the time (which I used to do, subjecting it to long periods of +80-90mph readings while driving on the interstate into headwinds). When the bearings go, it will result in vibrations that reverberate loudly through the roof of the car. So, I'd only install it on chase days to extend its useful life.

A nice thing is that you can leave the unit on the car while you are parked at work or at home for an extended time, and it will record and display the highest gust that occured during that period. It's also nice when stopped observing a storm - you can reset the highest gust indicator and leave it while you go watch the storm, then come back and see what the highest reading was without having to hold a Kestrel the entire time.

Also, the guy that makes these anemometers is great to work with and has sent me replacement parts free of charge. Just as a disclaimer - my old setup is pictured on their site, but I'm not a 'paid endorser' or anything of that sort. It has just worked well for me.
 
I've had the mag mount version for the last two years, and I love it! The magnet is very strong. The anomemeter blew off only twice. Once, a screw came loose from the magnet, but that was easily fixed. The second time happened this year, but I can't fully remember the conditions. The impact of it bouncing against the side of my car broke one of the cups off. However, I also own the hand-held version so I can just change them out.

All-in-all, I love it. I'm looking into the PC software to use because I don't have a good place to place the readout display. If you use the display that comes with it, try to figure out how to rig a light to it. It's not backlit, so sometimes it's a bit hard to read.
 
I got the mag-mounted "storm chaser" version myself. Lorenzo was quite helpful and responsive and even offered to part-out the unit if I wanted to buy an extra set of cups and bushings (the unit uses bushings, not bearings, so they will wear, but not for quite a while). But I do like how you can turn the unit vertically around the mounting screw, which "locks" the cups in place. That way you can leave it on the roof without it spinning, extending the life of the bushings.

The only thing I did not like was that the mag mount version is only about 4" tall. Some on here have said this works, but it has a lot to do with your vehicle's profile. Mine was going on a boxy XTerra, so the aerodynamics aren't that good. I wanted to get it as far out of the turbulence as possible, so I replaced the aluminum mount with a 20" steel bar that I bent to shape. You can see it here:

anemometer.jpg

xterra1.jpg


I will say one thing....this sucker is TOUGH!! It was just about the only piece of equipment on the roof that survived the softball hailstorm on May 12! And I know it got hit because it was knocked off the roof...but the cups were fine. Impressive. :D
 
I will say one thing....this sucker is TOUGH!! It was just about the only piece of equipment on the roof that survived the softball hailstorm on May 12! And I know it got hit because it was knocked off the roof...but the cups were fine. Impressive. :D

I hit a tree branch at 40mph with the Inspeed on my Ranger last year. The rotors/cups didn't break!
 
Good product.........only downfall is no windvane (I like to know when a storm goes from inflow to outflow dominate) The cups are lexon (bulletproof material) good stuff in the hail.
 
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