Weatherflow Wind Meter - the "Vane Project"

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by Tricktech, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    I recently picked up a Weatherflow and I have to say, so far it's a very cool device. I have been playing with it in conjunction with the Strelok Pro Application (iOS) which I have used for some time. I have been impressed by the level of integration and simplicity once the Weatherflow is paired to the app. Precision shooting is all about the details, so every bit of help I can get - I'll take it!

    I was frustrated by the lack of a weather "Vane", and noticed that the Kestral line has a commercially available vane for $50, but is a poor substitute when used with the Weatherflow. Mostly the balance is off, mounting or modifying the cup to hold the Weatherflow is just clunky.

    I have looked high and low for a commercial product or even some DIY plans (that didn't include hot-glue, duct-tape, or jamming some foam into the Kestral vane cup) - but came up short. So I went to work designing something that would be practical, durable, balanced, and accurate.


    So here we go...

    Weatherflow_Vane-1.jpg
    • Davis Instruments replacement wind-vane (7904)
    • Fidget Spinner bearing
    • 1/4" ABS sheet
    • 1/4-20 tripod mount adapter (male\male)
    • 1/4-20 1" standoff
    • 5/16" Shoulder bolt 1\4-20
    • 1/4-20 nut and lock-washer
    • 1/4" rubber washer
    • 2-56 x 1/4" Button head screws
    • ...and a little Loc-Tite
    I had to supplement the toolbox with a couple things along the way with things like a 21.3mm Forstner Bit that allowed me to press fit a 22mm bearing into the ABS firmly enough to stay put - but I had most of what I needed around the shop.

    The Davis Wind Vane had to be modified to allow for the bearing plate to fit flush by removing some of the internal structure and a 1/4" hole needed to be perfectly centered - through the top... which was pretty easy since the only useful structure inside the cup on the bottom of the vane was a 1/4" shaft mount which served perfectly as a guide for the hole.

    The real fun began with the design and machining of the base plate. This had to be concentric and wanted it flush-fit. The edges of the plate were beveled to match the angle of the inside rim of the vane's cup. I made a jig so I could duplicate the plate if I needed to fabricate more. (two friends asking for one already, more on that later. lol)
    Weatherflow_Vane-3.jpg

    Once I had it together I was happy to find the vane is balanced and spins true and free. The spinner bearing might even spin too free, but the last thing I wanted is losing the vane's sensitivity because of a greased up sticky bearing. One design change I am considering at this point is a taller standoff on top to mount the Weatherflow meter so that it sits above the height of the fin on the vane. I want to experiment with it, but I feel like the airflow is a bit disrupted by the face of the meter being perpendicular to the vane. In practice, it's averaging out, but I am still going to test with a standoff.

    Weatherflow_Vane-2.jpg

    About any tripod will do depending on your exact needs... but for initial testing I just grabbed a tabletop tri-pod and started testing.
    Weatherflow_Vane-4.jpg
    Weatherflow_Vane-5.jpg

    SO... I pulled this out at the range and immediately had two friends ask if I would build one for them... which got me to thinking about the possibility of doing a "batch" of them. My machining process is certainly repeatable, but the last thing I want to do is order the parts to do 2, and find out there is a demand out there for more - I'd rather source the materials in bulk.

    So the idea of "selling" these or building more is on hold until I can discern the interest level in the community...

    Is there an interest? Would you buy one? Does this inspire you to go build your own?
    PLEASE let me know in the thread if you would be interested or if you see an improvement in the design that needs to be addressed.

    If justified, Ill generate a thread in the classifieds if it comes to that. :)

    In the meantime, I plan on a review of the Weatherflow when used with the Strelok Pro App... with the vane of course. ;P

    THANKS!
     
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  2. milanuk

    milanuk Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'd be interested, for sure. I like my WeatherFlow as is, but it would be nice to be able to have it set up and running constantly without having to juggle it in one hand, and my phone in the other. Personally, I could probably make a home-brew / DIY version if I really wanted to... but whether or not I'd ever find the time/motivation with various other projects...
     
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  3. Round1

    Round1 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I'd be interested.
     
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  4. Uthink Uknow

    Uthink Uknow Gold $$ Contributor

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    Have you arrived at a cost after the requisite lawyers, engineers, market strategists are dealt with? Also how long and high is it, minus the Kestrel and the tripod?
    It is a definite improvement over what I have seen used. I would be interested.
     
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  5. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    Nothing locked in yet, but I'm thinking it would be comparable to the commercially available Kestrel unit (No Tri-pod or Weatherflow) @ $45-50. A lot of it would depend on the level of interest and how much I can source the parts in "bulk".
     
  6. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    Dimentions: 9" overall length, 4.5" high (Just the vane and base)

    It's small enough to fit in a cheap pistol case with the meter. :)

    IMG_0174.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. Uthink Uknow

    Uthink Uknow Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’d be interested.
     
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  8. normmatzen

    normmatzen Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'd be interested!
     
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  9. wa11abee

    wa11abee Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am interested. Well done
     
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  10. MN50Shooter

    MN50Shooter Silver $$ Contributor

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    I would be interested in this vane setup. Very nice design. Please let us know the cost and how to get the funds to you, if you decide to make these.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  11. Pete Roberson

    Pete Roberson Gold $$ Contributor

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    Count me in for one!
    Thanks!
     
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  12. Capt. Oblivious

    Capt. Oblivious

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    That is awesome, well done
     
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  13. boltfluter

    boltfluter Gold $$ Contributor

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    Nicely done! Looks very professional. Hope this takes off for you. :D:D

    Paul
     
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  14. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    I agree - as technology improves and devices like the Weatherflow meter are more readily available at an entry level price ($70), the rules should move to allow for them. I get the argument that traditionalists want to see skills like flag reading, which is arguably an art form, as a part of the competition since it's a real method of separating the men from the boys (& girls). Purists see it as a "Cheat" - of course the same used to be said for calculators in the classroom, now they are a required "School Supply".

    Personally, I don't compete - but I shoot at distance for the fun of it and knowing what factors go into my shot... more importantly, why I may be missing. Flags are cool, but coupling what I see in flag behavior with data from the meter gives me the ability to correlate the two and learn from it.

    I think we will get there someday - rules and governing bodies are slow to change. :)
     
  15. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    SO... Quick Update TRIAL RUN!

    Weatherflow_Vane-2 - Copy.jpg

    I really didn't know what kind of reception this would get - but it looks like the 24 hour test yielded 6 or 7 interested parties - which is probably enough to justify a batch of 10 or so to see if the Henry Ford in me can figure out a feasible assembly process.

    THANK YOU so much for the kind feedback, PMs, and comments! Hopefully they will continue once people have the units in their hands! LOL

    That being said - I place a few orders for the parts and expect to have enough for the trial in a week give or take a couple days... so stay tuned!

    PLEASE continue to express interest here as this whole endeavor unfolds... but once I have the first batch built, I will post them in the classifieds. I will do my best to send messages out to those who expressed early support here FIRST. :) ... but inevitably, they will go out first come first served.
     
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  16. Steve Nicholas

    Steve Nicholas

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    Please consider me for one of your tools.

    Thanks,

    Steve Nicholas
    Guarcoach@charter.net
     
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  17. Texas10

    Texas10 Gold $$ Contributor

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    A word of caution, be careful about using someone else's product as a base for yours. Best to get permission from Davis. Just be sure not to mention shooting sports.
     
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  18. Tricktech

    Tricktech Silver $$ Contributor

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    Yeah - I have already reached out and have had some conversation with them. So far all is well, but it was in the idea stages... working on dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s.

    THANKS!
     
  19. wkdickinson

    wkdickinson Silver $$ Contributor

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    I would be interested in one also.
     
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  20. Kevin57

    Kevin57 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I am interested.

    Kevin
     
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