Review of WindMate 200 digital device


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[FONT=&quot] What I look for in any new digital device is easy intuitive use. If I have to repeatedly refer to the instructions or get an 11-year-old to help me, I bypass the item in favor of old standbys. I got the WindMate 200, a digital wind indicator with a built-in compass, for the price of this review, and I’ll be keeping this device, rather than passing it on to the more patient or technologically savvy. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Please note, the WindMate could not be used while racing a Laser because of its digital feature. I’m looking forward to using it to hone my wind reading skills while practicing and for setting a race course when coaching or serving my turn on club race committee.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]In its closed position, the WindMate is small enough to fit in a pocket, being a little longer than a cell phone. When opened, an impeller at the top, a digital screen, and three control buttons, Mode, Units, and Set/El are revealed. It’s powered by a lithium battery.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The functions, or Modes, are Temperature, Windchill, Windspeed, Maximum Windspeed, Average Windspeed, and Compass (magnetic). [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]With the Units button, you can toggle Temperature easily between Fahrenheit and centrigrade. While in Windspeed, you can read wind speed in knots, mph (miles per hour), kmph (kilometers per hour), mps (meters per second), fpm (feet per minute), and bf (Beaufort Force). The Compass gives both a digital reading and cardinal points. In Compass mode, the Units button is used to Mark your course, and when you press Units again, you can read the crosswind direction. Pretty cool. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The Set/El button is used to calibrate the Compass for the presence of ferrous metals, so you could conceivably use the device as a compass in your car. Don’t play with checking your speed from your moving car though, as higher wind speeds can wear out the impeller.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The only criticism I have of the device was touchiness of the Mode button. Maybe it was just fumbly fingers, but when I first tried it, the thing tended to scroll right past the Mode I was looking for. That seems to have settled down as I got a feel for it. Regardless, if you are looking for a digital device that incorporates temperature, wind speed and direction in one handy device, the WindMate 200 is for you.