SailTimer News



OpenCPN and SailRacer apps

More apps can now connect to SailTimer Wind Instrument™

The wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™ has an extensive list of innovations, even though it has the lowest price on the market.  It is wireless, so if your mast is already stepped, you can raise it without needing to lower or climb the mast.  There are no wires to run down the mast and through the cabin walls.  It does not need to be calibrated to the bow of the boat, because it has a digital compass right in the wind direction arrow.  It is the first masthead anemometer with crowd-sourcing, since live wind maps are much better than coarse marine weather forecasts made hours earlier.  It also continues to gain new features as more apps support it and add new functions. This means that it is not a one-time purchase;  you can wake up tomorrow, and it can do things that it did not do today... 

OpenCPN for Android: the longstanding open-source chartplotter for PCs is available from the Google Play store, and now connects to the SailTimer Wind Instrument™. The wind gauge in the screenshot above can display apparent or true wind direction or speed, with many choices from this menu.  OpenCPN can also display vector or raster charts.

OpenCPN started as a free chartplotter for computers (background here).  Many of the devotees have been asking if there is a way to receive the wireless transmissions from the Wind Instrument, and now there is.  The Android version of OpenCPN (above) can receive the Bluetooth 4 transmissions and retransmit to Open CPN on Windows, Linux or Apple computers.

SailRacer is another app that has recently added the connection to the SailTimer Wind Instrument.  SailRacer is a performance app, with a visual starting box showing Time-To-Burn and unique graphics displaying lay-lines, compass, wind direction and oscillations, and polar plot. The connection to the Wind Instrument has been added in SailRacer for Android and iOS.  

The full list of apps that can receive the wireless transmissions is on the Wind Instrument web site. If you have any questions about configurations, apps or other technical enquiries, our technical support is happy to help.


 

Factory Seconds

If you have pre-ordered:  We have a small number of Wind Instruments on hand with minor blemishes.  Everything works perfectly and the warranty is still the same, they just have a very slight cosmetic issue.  If you don't want to wait for your normal pre-order, let us know and we can send one of these out to you with next-day shipping.

New customers:  We also have some factory seconds available at a discount.  These work fine and are covered by the normal guarantee.  But they come with a US$100 discount because of an issue with overall surface quality from molding.  Don't worry, it is not visible at the top of your mast.  If there are none in stock, the shopping cart will give you a message.  When we have these available, they have next day shipping.  See the shopping cart link for Factory Seconds on the bottom of our accessories page.

 

Update on Wind Instrument Shipping
The recent mid-year update to our molding process is complete now.  That slowed the production, but is an important improvement that will keep your Wind Instrument on the leading edge for years to come.  We don't use a clamshell case with a gasket that gets condensation inside and that will inevitably leak.  We have developed an advanced system for encapsulating the electornics in the tail in a thin layer of solid plastic.  This keeps your cost low, and does its job well.  This is the only masthead anemometer that is submersible (so it even works with small sailboats that can flip).  The manufacturing is back to normal, with double the molding capacity now.  We will be catching up on the worldwide pre-orders as quickly as possible through August. It is not practical for us to respond to email asking when in future a package will be sent.  We can't estimate that with any degree of accuracy, and individual correspondence about shipping timing takes our personnel away from technical support and manufacturing/shipping.  The estimated timeframe for new orders is shown on the web site order page 24/7, and existing pre-orders will obviously be faster than that.  We send all orders by FedEx, and email a tracking number when the package is sent.


SailTimer Mini-Server™ Coming Soon
The SailTimer Mini-Server™ is being finalized now.   There are some interesting new capabilities with this new product.  It is a small and submersible.  It runs on 12-volt DC power, has both Bluetooth 4 and wifi, and has wiring connectors for NMEA 0183.  That means you can receive the wireless Wind Instrument transmissions, and send wind data to your wired network and cockpit displays. 

The Mini-Server can also display a wind gauge on any device with wifi and a web browser.  So it can receive wireless wind data from the masthead on Bluetooth 4, and you can view the wind speed and direction on a PC, on a mobile device browser, or even on an e-reader (which is easy to see in direct sunlight, inexpensive, and has very long battery life). 

As another example of how we are opening up innovative new capabilities for sailors, the Mini-Server stays on your boat in the marina when you go home, and runs on 12-volt power. It can connect to marina wifi. That means that for the first time ever, boat owners can be at home or office and check wind conditions at their boat.   That data can also be sent to our crowd-sourced wind maps, for live wind data from every marina where our Wind Instruments are.

We hope to announce the official launch date with photos and specifications in the next newsletter.  The Mini-Server can be pre-ordered now for US $350.  It is likely to be shipping in 6 weeks.  So far, we still have about half of the initial production run available for new orders.


 




Lightest breezes

Someone told us that it looks like the wind cups are too small and don't have arms on them to get leverage, for spinning in light winds.  But having arms actually makes wind cups turn more slowly.  When a figure skater pulls their arms in, their spin speeds up (ref.).  We have done extensive testing on optimal cup design.  Here is a new YouTube clip (21 sec) showing our wind cups turning and the wind direction arrow moving with just 1-2 knots of wind

These innovative blades are also the only ones designed for sailboats. Unlike other anemometers, these maintain equal accuracy when sailing along heeled over.  They function like wind cups when the boat is upright, and turn into propellers when they lean away from the wind. 

The SailTimer Wind Instrument™ is wireless, and works with 3rd-party apps. It is simple to install and use, and at US $350 for advance orders it costs a fraction of standard masthead anemometers.

 


 

 

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