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66681EDIT: Philip Engle-Kestrel 4000

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  • Edward Ripley-Duggan
    Jun 7, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello Philip.

      Thanks for your interesting and articulate OR below. I borrowed a Kestrel
      for a while from a friend, in one of its lesser incarnations. I've always
      been tempted by the full version, as I found the smaller unit a toy, and of
      limited utility. Your edits follow. Please incorporate, and upload an HTML
      version to the OR test folder on BGT. Thanks very much!

      Ted.
      BGT OR Editor


      >Owner Review - Kestrel 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker
      >Review Date: May 16, 2005

      ### EDIT: Since this was sitting in the queue for a while, please redate to
      today's date. Thanks.


      >Product Description: A hand-held environmental condition monitor and
      >recorder with functions for altimeter, barometer, barometric trend, density
      >altitude, dew point, heat index, humidity, temperature, time/date, wet bulb,
      >wind chill and wind speed. This device calculates the minimum, maximum and
      >average values for each function. Data is stored automatically on a
      >user-definable time interval. From this data, the device can plot a graph of
      >trends and data can be exported to a PC.

      ### QUERY: Is this your description or the manufacturer's? If the latter,
      please specify.



      >Current Conditions
      >I have been in few (thankfully) situations where marginal conditions and a
      >late hour made it difficult to determine the risk of a decision. A few
      >years ago
      >I was with a group that was divided on whether or not to continue along an
      >exposed ridge in New Hampshire. We recorded 60-70 mph (97-113 kph) winds
      >earlier
      >in the day and temperatures were near freezing, making wind chill extremely
      >cold.

      ### EDIT: "...making the wind chill extreme." says it better, I think.

      > After making a brief attempt to climb up on the ridge, we decided to
      >retreat, based in part on the information we had gathered with the Kestrel
      >Meter.

      ###EDIT: I won't insist on this (you may not recall at this point), but it
      might be helpful and interesting if you were to state what the data you
      gathered was and how it helped you in your decision.


      >In preparation for each trip, I pull out the old college physics book and
      >freshen up on the relationship between barometric pressure vs. altitude,
      >as well
      >as temperature vs. humidity and dew point. I'm not suggesting that NK load my
      >college physics text into their device, but some basic definitions concerning
      >the nature of the measured data would be extremely helpful. Also helpful would
      >be some basic meteorological interpretations (i.e., falling pressure, high
      >humidity and high temperatures indicate unstable air and could preclude
      >inclement weather). I have a $30 electronic weather station at home that has
      >three readings: a rain cloud icon, a partly-cloudy icon, and a sunny icon.
      >These
      >readings combined with an arrow indicating a trend toward a rise or drop in
      >pressure is valuable data in less than two seconds. If the Kestrel 4000
      >provided
      >similar interpretation along with the ability to access the detailed data, it
      >could broaden the audience for this device (not to mention saving me from
      >nightmares about cramming for a college physics exam).

      ### QUERY: Does your unit contain a maximum-minimum thermometer? If not (as
      I believe is the case), do you think that this omission affects the utility
      of the instrument, as nighttime minimum tent temperatures are useful to
      know, and it's a drag to have to wake up to take them?


      >This is a very sophisticated scientific instrument and the thought has
      >occurred to me that I may not be the intended consumer for this product. But I
      >continue to see promotions for Kestrel in a number of backpacking and climbing
      >magazines so I've got to assume they want our business.

      ### EDIT: It's not an unreasonable comment, but extends (I feel) beyond the
      bounds of what the review should state into speculation about Kestrel's
      marketing. I don't think these two sentences add anything to the review.
      Please omit or add something that better analyzes your feeling that you may
      not be the intended consumer. Why should that be? Does effective use of the
      data collected demand a higher level of analysis than the average
      backpacker possesses? Does this limit its utility seriously, do you think?
      You rather hint at this in the discussion of the lack of interpretive data
      and I'd like to see this expanded upon.

      Incidentally, have you used this in conjunction with the Sierra Club's
      useful text on regional meteorology of a few years ago? This covers
      prevailing whether patterns in the Whites, for example. If I can dig it out
      I'll send you some info.



      >Pros Cons
      >a.. Lots of data to use for assessment/decision making in the
      >backcountry
      >b.. Buttons are intuitive
      >c.. Light
      >d.. Durable
      >a.. Data is difficult to interpret without additional reference information

      ###EDIT: Could you separate the Pros and Cons, please?


      Reply to: erd@...
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