Vortex Storm Chaser Anemometer

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Mar 21, 2004
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Location
Urbana, IL
I purchased one of the magmount Vortex anemometers for my vehicle this spring. However, it only made it out once. I put it on top of my car upon intercepting a storm and after driving for about 30-45 minutes I got out of my car and saw that one of the cups had snapped off. I didn't encounter any hail and the winds never went above 40-50 mph.

My question is, has anyone else had any issues like this. Or, do others have this anemometer and have had no issues? I will be purchasing another magmount anemometer this winter for next year, and did like the vortex model and would like to just order another from them. However if there's a running history of them just randomly breaking like this I'll try somewhere else. My gut feeling is that mine was simply a freak occurence.
 
Having one of the is just about "normal" for anyone that uses the plastic anemometer cups. I use the Davis equipment and make sure I carry a couple of spares with me as I'm always busting a cup at some time or another.

Don't forget rocks being thrown up by a vehicle in front of you and the combined wind speed of your traveling and the prevailing winds.

Right now, my entire assembly is going bad due to the bearings being worn out. So I'll be replacing that in the near future.

The only one's that "don't go bad" in a short amount of time are the "research grade" equipment. This would be the RM Young and such. Of course they are way out of my budget so I'll continue to replace and repair as I need to.
 
Talk to the company that makes it. I don't have any experience with that particular brand, but e-mailing them should answer it pretty quickly. I would think since it's a moving part and bound to get a little wear and tear, especially the mag mounts and mobile applications, they would have replacements available.
 
Yeah, I wouldn't have started this thread if I had simply looked a little harder and tried to find only the plastic cup part of the system. Here I was planning on just buying the whole thing over.. :rolleyes:
 
Another newb question I guess...

I bought another plastic cup portion, but how do I remove the broken set? I've checked all the screws I can find, but none remove the actual cup portion. What am I missing? ;)
 
I purchased one of the magmount Vortex anemometers for my vehicle this spring. However, it only made it out once. I put it on top of my car upon intercepting a storm and after driving for about 30-45 minutes I got out of my car and saw that one of the cups had snapped off. I didn't encounter any hail and the winds never went above 40-50 mph.

My question is, has anyone else had any issues like this. Or, do others have this anemometer and have had no issues? I will be purchasing another magmount anemometer this winter for next year, and did like the vortex model and would like to just order another from them. However if there's a running history of them just randomly breaking like this I'll try somewhere else. My gut feeling is that mine was simply a freak occurence.

Mine blew off the top of my SUV last summer; bolt snapped and off it went.....with the front magnet still stuck to the top of my chase vehicle (anemometer hanging by the wire only inches from my back window). I was running about 80 mph at the time and into a 10-15 mph headwind, but was still surprised (read 93 mph at the time it snapped off). I thought it (the magnet and attachment bolt assembly) was tested to 115 mph+ ....

I replaced the broken bolt with a stronger one, but have still been reluctant to test it's limit again. I was lucky once (no scraped roof or busted window); replacing a new 4Runner's rear window would be very expensive (not sure the warranty would cover such damage either; since it would be my fault).
 
Hey Drew,

I have the vortex and have had to replace the cups already too. Mine has two screws holding a metal plate to the underside of the assembly. When you undo those screws and take the plate off, you can see the bottom portion of the axle that goes through the assembly. You want to take a pair of plyers and grab hold of this metal rod tightly, and with your free hand pull the plastic cups up. It takes a bit of force, but the cups will come up off the rod. Just push the new cups back down on this rod and you are set.

My replacement cups came with an extra bushing and other pieces, which I did not need. My vortex is still out of comission, however. The cable got closed in the door last spring and it severed. The LCD display is lying somewhere on a dirt road in Kansas. I don't know if I'm going to buy a replacement and fix it. Sometimes the device seems to be more hassle than its worth, and i never came close to getting a severe wind speed on it (that wasn't from driving on the interstate with it still on the roof).

Skip
 
I as well have an inspeed mag mount anemometer and had a cup break off randomly as I was driving down the interstate. I called inspeed about it and they informed me that if you leave the anemometer on your vehicle and drive down the interstate for long periods of time the anemometer will sometimes self destruct and drop a cup. I had mine for about 6 months before this happened and after informing inspeed of what had happened they gladly replaced my cups for free. Other than that I have not had any problems with mine and have recorded higher wind speeds with it that I verified with my kestrel. The strongest gust I have had was 56mph. I really haven't gotten but one chance to use it in svr wx, so this spring will be its big test. The anemometer does seem to lag a bit on its readout thus it may take a second or two to display the proper wind speed.
 
I had an Inspeed on my truck/car for nearly two full years with no major problems. That included driving at highway speeds for well over 100,000 miles. Driving at 70mph into a good headwind, I'd routinely get the cups spinning over 100mph for extended times. The plastic mount for the cups broke in Geary, OK on May 29, 2004 after a stationary 114mph reading, most likely due to being hit with a twig or small piece of debris. Ever since, it was out-of-balance and it made an awful noise. A few weeks later, the entire cup assembly desintegrated while I drove down the highway. I think that is a pretty impressive lifespan for the thing. I got free replacement parts for it, the owner is pretty good about getting you spare parts when there are problems.

When I had it mounted on my truck, I had a pvc pipe mast for it mounted in one of the bed rail post holes. This dampened any rotor vibration sounds. On my Freestyle wagon, the anemometer was mounted on the roof rack, which amplified the slightest vibration noise through the roof. The incessant noise got too annoying so I've not reinstalled the Inspeed on the car since.
 
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I have had mine for a few years now and have had to replace the cups 1 time due to damage from being in a core and the owner gladly replaced them for free. They are very good about replacing parts. I need to replace my bushing this year as it is starting to whine a bit.

I have measured winds over 100mph a few times with no issues. One thing I did notice is you have to check and make sure the screws that hold the magnets on are tight. I have to tighten them every once in a while due to vibration. Otherwise I love mine.
 
Just an update....

I road tested my Vortex anemometer this evening on I-20 with no problems. It was nearly calm windwise.....so I could get a good gauge on accuracy; during the 20 mile interstate drive, the max wind speed on the anemometer read 85.2 mph (and during the drive, I briefly reached 85 mph on a downgrade).

About the only problem I noticed was the noise/ vibration on my 4Runner's roof caused by the anemometer cups....for some reason at it's loudest when I was running 30-40 mph (much louder than at higher or lower speeds).
 
I just ordered my Vortex anemometer, should be getting it next week.
 
We just installed out Inspeed anemometer for this spring and have gotten a pretty good first impression. We have ours on a custom pole mount and have tested it in winds up to 90mph without problems.

Here are a few photos of the mount:

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/tornadojunkies/IMG_5849.jpg

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w84/tornadojunkies/IMG_5848.jpg

Does anyone use Inspeeds Windware data logging kit? It looks like it would be more beneficial in data collection than just the lcd that they provide...

Caleb
 
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