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SkipperEarly

SailTimer Wind Vane

13 posts in this topic

Has anyone gained experience with the sailtimer windvane? I intend to use it with iPad2 and iRegatta for club regattas.

I am specifically interested on how easy is it to calibrate the unit and reliability of the wifi connection.

 

Thanks for replys ohmy.gif

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Yes, the wifi connection is very reliable, the same as all wifi is.

 

For calibration, there are two approaches. In the Owner's Manual (available on the web site), it explains that you can calibrate the unit when it is installed. You just turn the axel for the wind direction to the desired direction, before putting the wind arrow on and tightening it in that direction.

 

The second approach is in the SailTimer app for iPad/iPhone, from the same manufacturer. On the Set-Up panel, you can adjust the calibration in the app itself, for any offset up to 360 degrees. The SailTimer app (www.SailTimerApp.com) also allows you to display your optimal tacks and the Tacking Time to Destination (TTD). When receiving the wifi data from the SailTimer Wind Vane, these tacking results are automatically updated as the wind changes.

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In case anyone else wants to know, I emailed them about Android support and got this reply:

 

Yes, we are hoping to come out with the Android version in the winter, and have mentioned this on our FAQ page at SailTimerApp.com because we get this question alot.

 

If you want to be notified, we have an email newsletter that you can subscribe to. The form is on the home page at SailTimerApp.com . We mention updates like new versions of the app every month or so in the newsletter.

 

Note that if you use a different app on Android right now and at least want to get real-time wind speed and direction onto it, we have a new wireless, solar-powered anemometer that comes in both bluetooth and wifi versions, and sends standard NMEA sentences.

 

Android support is not mentioned here:

 

http://www.sailtimerwindvane.com/FAQ.html

 

though I eventually found it at sailtimerapp.com:

 

http://www.motionparallax.com/TCDVDs/4versions/FAQ.html

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Anybody that owns one of these that would care to testify as to its construction quality?

 

Compared to what devices from Raymarine, Garmin, etc. offer, this thing looks like a steal.

 

Jim

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In case anyone else wants to know, I emailed them about Android support and got this reply:

 

Yes, we are hoping to come out with the Android version in the winter, and have mentioned this on our FAQ page at SailTimerApp.com because we get this question alot.

 

If you want to be notified, we have an email newsletter that you can subscribe to. The form is on the home page at SailTimerApp.com . We mention updates like new versions of the app every month or so in the newsletter.

 

Note that if you use a different app on Android right now and at least want to get real-time wind speed and direction onto it, we have a new wireless, solar-powered anemometer that comes in both bluetooth and wifi versions, and sends standard NMEA sentences.

 

Android support is not mentioned here:

 

http://www.sailtimer...ne.com/FAQ.html

 

 

...trying to do some polite advertisement here :rolleyes: We have a free regatta timer for Android which is also part of our regatta starting app Start2Win.

 

Have fun!

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Yes, the wifi connection is very reliable, the same as all wifi is.

 

For calibration, there are two approaches. In the Owner's Manual (available on the web site), it explains that you can calibrate the unit when it is installed. You just turn the axel for the wind direction to the desired direction, before putting the wind arrow on and tightening it in that direction.

 

The second approach is in the SailTimer app for iPad/iPhone, from the same manufacturer. On the Set-Up panel, you can adjust the calibration in the app itself, for any offset up to 360 degrees. The SailTimer app (www.SailTimerApp.com) also allows you to display your optimal tacks and the Tacking Time to Destination (TTD). When receiving the wifi data from the SailTimer Wind Vane, these tacking results are automatically updated as the wind changes.

 

 

Ok, so here's a really stupid question. Is the wind direction calibrated directly from the vane or from the vane to a compass unit? Only asking because I have a Freedom 25 with a rotating wing mast, although the vane would stay stationary in relation to the mast, the mast goes back and forth almost 180 degrees. Everything looks pretty slick but that is a deal breaker.

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Having started this thread I can now contribute some experience, as I bought the unit and used it.

Unfortunately I suffered some delivery delays as import into the EU from Canada is slow, this is beyond SailTimers control though!

 

1. The service of the manufacturer is great, they are really responsive, had some warranty issue and unit was replaced without fuzz!

2. The WindVane mast unit is robust (someone earlier had such worry). Its up to the installer to mount is also robust on the mast. The transmission unit (bluebox) is acceptable but could get improved. Batterylife is ok for racing but would be an issue for cruising. A direct 12V powerinput would be a great enhancement. The on/off switch is rather flimsy and the firmware should be configurable via a browser interface. I guess a future version will enable this, as this would allow also the transmission frequency (powersaving!), calibration correction, trasmissionlog etc to get configured.

3. The calibration is the only real weakness ! Software driven calibration need to be implemented in each app separably, which defeats the benefit of wlan connectivity. Currently its only supported in the SailTimer app. I would prefer to have iNavX and iRegatta support this, but both are currently not available. The hardware calibration, meaning to climb up the mast and adjust the Wind-arrow with a tiny imbus key is not a viable proposition.

 

 

Hope this helps, the concept is great once all is working! For Europe the racing season is unfortunately on hold for a while - will share more experience next year.

 

Ahoi

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Ok, so here's a really stupid question. Is the wind direction calibrated directly from the vane or from the vane to a compass unit? Only asking because I have a Freedom 25 with a rotating wing mast, although the vane would stay stationary in relation to the mast, the mast goes back and forth almost 180 degrees. Everything looks pretty slick but that is a deal breaker.

 

There is an explanation about this on the FAQ page at SailTimerWindVane.com:

The vane itself does not determine the direction; this happens in the app. Different apps may use different methods. Up to version 5.3, the SailTimer app (and Charts Edition) used the boat's GPS heading while moving to derive the wind direction using the vane. If the boat is docked and you still want to see the wind direction, there is also a Set-Up option in the SailTimer app to set the Docked Heading manually. But starting in version 5.4 of the app, the internal digital compass in the iPad/iPhone is also an option. That compass heading works particularly well when you are swinging at anchor and want to monitor the wind direction.

 

This is also an interesting page on the same site: SailTimerWindVane.com/iOSapp.html. It shows special features that are only available in the SailTimer app with the Wind Vane, like: the graph of the apparent & true wind speeds and boat speed for the day; the optimal tacks as a chart overlay; the Tacking Time to Destination; and custom polar plots for an individual boat.

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