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Kestrel News

Kestrel Ballistics Firmware Update

Kestrel Ballistics Firmware Update 0

New Update Delivers Improved Navigation, Increased Gun Data Storage and Trace Location for Spotting

For Immediate Release

NK announces the release of a firmware update with features often requested by long-range shooters -- increased storage capacity for gun profiles, an expanded bullet library, trace spotting, and privacy PIN code when connecting. This significant update also contains many smaller usability enhancements and affects the Kestrel LiNK Wireless Communication app, the Kestrel 5700 Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics and Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics.

The following enhancements are included in the firmware update:

Gun Storage Capacity
Easily store up to 30 custom gun profiles, up from 16, that include an exhaustive list of rifles, loads and accessories to choose from.

Trace Spotting
View the new Trace value directly on Range Card for a more precise measurement option. The Trace calculation will display the Mils/MOA above your point of aim where the bullet will reach its peak and thus Trace will be most visible.

Optional Privacy Setting
With the addition of a Privacy PIN code in the Bluetooth menu, unauthorized and accidental connections can be prevented. Plus, protect saved data and enjoy increased security by using this Privacy setting in the Kestrel Ballistics LiNK app.

Custom Drag Model Memory
Keep Custom Drag Models saved in profile memory with the ability to seamlessly scroll to G1 or G7 models and back to custom without losing data.

Expanded Bullet Library
Access new and updated information in the Applied Ballistics bullet library via the Kestrel LiNK Ballistics app for an extensive catalogue of bullet data.

Saved User Name
After a firmware update, your Kestrel will now retain the user-generated nickname given to it, making it easier to find in Bluetooth search lists.

Shortcut between Weather & Ballistics Mode
Quickly switch between Weather and Ballistics mode with a simple double-tap action. With this update you’ll now return to the same ballistics screen you were on before switching to weather mode.

The firmware release is now available via the Kestrel LiNK or Kestrel LiNK Ballistics apps (both Android and iOS). You will be prompted to update your firmware when you connect your Kestrel Ballistics meter to the app. Owners of non-LiNK Kestrel meters can update via Kestrel LiNK for iOS and Windows using the Kestrel USB Data Cable.

About Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters

Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters are designed, developed, built, tested and supported entirely in the USA by Nielsen-Kellerman. Employed by thousands of users in hundreds of demanding activities around the world, every Kestrel meter is pocket-sized, rugged, accurate, waterproof, easy-to-use and backed by an industry-leading five-year warranty. Available measurements include wind speed, air flow, temperature, humidity, wind chill, heat stress index, pressure, altitude, wind direction, air density and wet bulb temperature. Advanced models include high-capacity data-logging with on-screen graphical recall and Bluetooth® wireless data transfer to computers and smart phones as well as built-in calculators for ballistics firing solutions for long-range shooting and evaporation rate for concrete placement.

  • Mike M
What are the temperature limits of my Kestrel Meter?

What are the temperature limits of my Kestrel Meter? 0

This is a pretty popular question! As the Kestrel specification sheet shows, the temperature sensor limits for Kestrel Meter’s is -20.0 to 158.0 °F | -29.0 to 70.0 °C. The operational range for Kestrel Meters is 14° F to 131° F | -10 °C to 55 °C. The operational range is where the Meter’s LCD screen is guaranteed to function properly.  As with all LCD displays, they do not like long term exposures to extremely cold temperatures as the LCD display will start to slow down and eventually white out. Many of our customers use their meters outside of the operational range to take readings within the specification range though. Measurements may be taken beyond the limits of the operational temperature range of the display and batteries by maintaining the unit within the operational range and then exposing it to the more extreme environment for the minimum time necessary to take readings. Basically, If you wish to take a temperature reading when it is extremely cold outside, keep the meter with you inside your dwelling or keep the meter on you if you are outside like in your jacket pocket. When ready to take your temperature reading, take the meter out and swing it around a little until the temperature stabilizes or if it’s windy, just hold the meter in the wind until the temperature stabilizes (See how to take accurate readings below). Then put the meter back in its happy place until you are ready to take the next reading. Just to prove a point, as you can see in the pictures, we placed a Kestrel 5500 meter with Bluetooth (LiNK) in a bowl full of water and placed it in a freezer for 24 hours. We were able to take temperature readings real-time while the meter was frozen in a block of ice at zero degrees Fahrenheit using an iPhone with the Kestrel LiNK app. We were also able to download data results from its entire time in the freezer. We could barely see the LCD display on the meter as it was covered by ice but we could see the display was on and functioning. While the Kestrel held up perfectly, we do not recommend freezing your Kestrel in a block of ice.

Special note: The temperature operational range was originally developed using the older Kestrel 4 series meters. The newer 5 series meters screen is more advanced and durable and we believe can be left in colder temperatures and function properly. We will test this theory during the winter of 2016-2017.

Kestrel Meter in Ice

How to take an accurate temperature reading with my Kestrel

For best accuracy when taking temperature measurements you must keep the air moving around the temperature sensor and keep the Kestrel out of prolonged, direct sunlight. If there is a strong breeze, just point the Kestrel into the wind. If there is no wind, swing the Kestrel around in a circle on its lanyard or rapidly wave it back and forth in hand. This ensures that the sensor measures the temperature of the air rather than the temperature of the case. Alternatively, if you have time, allow the Kestrel to rest where you want to measure the air temperature (NOT in your hand or in direct sunlight if there is no wind) until the case temperature equalizes with the air temperature. When equalized, the display will read a constant value. Be aware that this could take a few minutes, particularly if there is no wind.

  • Mike M
Trusted & Accurate Portable Weather Monitoring for Firefighters

Trusted & Accurate Portable Weather Monitoring for Firefighters 0

For over two decades, wildland firefighters have relied upon Kestrel Weather Meters to provide accurate, fast and reliable measurement of weather conditions on location.

As every firefighter knows, weather conditions are one of the most critical variables in fighting a fire. Wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity are all measured frequently, tracked in detail, and entered into fire behavior models to inform decisions about deploying personnel, materials, and suppression tactics such as digging a fireline.

The Kestrel line now includes a full range of meters and loggers, including models with built-in Probability of Ignition (PIG) and Fine Dead Fuel Moisture (FDFM) readings. Wireless data transfer to smart phones and tablets using Kestrel LiNK™ makes communicating real-time conditions easier than ever. Heat stress prediction models help keep personnel safe from heat injury during training and operations.

Kestrel Fire Weather Meters are ready to take measurements instantly, with no setup or lookup tables required. PRO meters have the FDFM and PIG tables built right in, and log temperature, humidity and pressure even while off.

“As a United States Aerial Delivered Firefighter, I require the best gear available to accomplish our missions. The Kestrel Fire Weather Pro weather meter provides me with the highest technology made to date. I count on precise measurements on a fire or any other emergency incident. Kestrel is my choice for professionals,” explains Jason A. Ramos, a veteran firefighter and author of the memoir, Smokejumper.

  • Mike M
Introducing Blaze Orange to the Kestrel 5700 Elite Meter lineup!

Introducing Blaze Orange to the Kestrel 5700 Elite Meter lineup! 0

Kestrel Elite Meters

Kestrel Ballistics Meters have only been available in Olive Drab and Desert Tan up until late 2015 when Black was added to the newly released Kestrel 5700 Elite Meter with Applied Ballistics line. New for 2016 is the introduction of Blaze Orange to the Kestrel 5700 Elite Meter lineup! Blaze Orange is a bright sharp looking color, similar to a safety orange. This meter is hard to miss if dropped in the woods, grass or in the water. AllKestrel.com is also offering Blaze Orange with our popular Kestrel Ballistics Bundle Deals as well.

Knowing your environmental conditions can mean the difference between a hit or a miss in long-range shooting. The Kestrel Elite and Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meters with Applied Ballistics combine precise environmental measurements with 21st century ballistics solvers, providing users with elevation and windage holds customized to their weapon system and bullet. When you are ready to pick up your Kestrel Ballistics Meter, AllKestrel.com has them in stock. Over 99% of our orders ship within 24 hours!

  • Mike M
Kestrel 5500 survived the Blizzard of 2016!

Kestrel 5500 survived the Blizzard of 2016! 1

Kestrel 5500 weather meter review
We recently had our 4th largest snowfall on record here in the Philadelphia area. We received 23" - 24" of snow starting Friday afternoon and ending Sunday morning. Since this was a blizzard, we thought it would be a great idea to try out a Kestrel 5500 Weather / Environmental Meter with Bluetooth LiNK in our back yard to measure wind speed, wind direction, humidity, pressure and temperature. While we knew the Kestrel would log the data for easy download to our iPhone with the Kestrel LiNK app, we also wanted to see the real-time readings during the storm wirelessly, again using our iPhone LiNK app. It only took a few seconds to have the Kestrel collapsible tripod, Kestrel rotating vane mount and Kestrel 5500 Meter in place and ready for action. We checked to make sure the Bluetooth was on and communicating with my iPhone. Everything was a go! It had already started snowing. We had about 6 inches on the ground when the winds started up. What we quickly learned was that unless you have a super heavy duty tripod, don't expect a standard tripod to stay up in high winds without being anchored to something. I dug around in the shed and came up with some tent stakes and pounded them into the frozen ground near each leg. We rubber banded the legs to the stakes, ez-pz. Again, all was working fine but forgetting the Kestrel auto shutoff feature was on, we went back inside where it was nice and toasty. After discovering the Kestrel shut off in a couple of hours like it was supposed to do, which also cutoff the Bluetooth communication, we went back outside to fix the issue. This time in snow pants, boots, heavy gloves, winter coat and a shovel. The auto-shutoff function has different increments as well as off. I turned it off. After that, the Kestrel held up great. One thing we were interested in was if the impeller would clog with snow, which it didn't. It was spinning freely when I fetched the setup from the snow. The Kestrel held up great. We look forward to trying it out in other scenarios!
  • Mike M

What improvements are in the Kestrel 5500 vs the Kestrel 4500 Meter? 3

Hi, The Kestrel 4500 series meters were extremely popular but technology has changed and it was time to incorporate new technology into a new design. Valuable customer suggestions were also used in the 5 series design. Overall length, width and thickness are barely changed. As with the 4500 series, the 5500 series is as rugged (drop tested to MIL-STD-810G standards), waterproof (sealed to IP67 standards) and floats.

Here are the major differences:

  • LiNK wireless connectivity (Bluetooth Smart / BTLE)
    Robust, easy connectivity to both iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Windows and Mac computers. (Computers require optional Kestrel USB Dongle.)
  • Kestrel LiNK for mobile
    Get real-time, right now, with remote data viewing on phones and tablets up to 100’ away. Kestrel LiNK also provides easy data export, threshold alerts and simple firmware updates. At this time there are apps for iOS (iPhone, iPAD) and Android smart phones & tablets
  • USB Data Transfer Cable
    Newly designed for 2015. No longer needed is the cradle as the optical IR cable plugs directly into any 5 series meter. The cable is waterproof, lightweight and low profile. It packs away much easier than the older style 4 series USB data transfer cable.
  • Intuitive user-interface
    Easy to use, icon-based interface with widely spaced keys makes the Kestrel easy to use in multiple languages.
  • Corrosion-resistant battery compartment
    Batteries can be lethal to any electronic device. We have all been there. The battery compartment of the Kestrel 5 series meters has been isolated to reduce damage as a result of a leaky battery.
  • Scratch resistant / breakage resistant window
    Rigid & Scratch resistant, the new polycarbonate lens with scratch-coating will help reduce damage to the display. We also offer a lens protector in our store for added security.
  • Dual color backlight
    Popular customer request! In the past, many of our customers wanted the Olive Drab or Desert Tan color but with a standard backlight. For nighttime operations, the NV or night vision preserving backlight is indispensable but it may be a little more difficult to see during bright daylight hours. For this reason, the user can easily switch between standard white backlight or NV backlight on any 5 series meter!
  • Larger, higher contrast screen
    Another popular customer request from our customers! "I can read everything fine but can you make it a little bigger and make the characters stand out a little more?" The new Kestrel 5 series display is larger and has a higher resolution which makes fitting more on one screen attainable. Charting, graphing and text are easier to read which will keep eyestrain to a minimum even during bright daylight hours.
  • More secure battery door
    Rather than on the bottom of the unit, the new Kestrel 5 series battery door is located on the back of the unit. It is much larger, uses a larger o-ring and is easily opened without tools. Also you will notice that the lanyard no longer attaches to the battery door hinge
  • Battery
    Yet more popular customer requests! "I lost the shim to my Kestrel 4500". "AAA Batteries are harder to find in the field than AA." Since the (2) AAA batteries used with the Kestrel 4500 have been replaced by a single AA battery in the Kestrel 5500, the ever unpopular battery shim has been done away with. The Kestrel 5 series meters now work with an easily accessible single AA battery which requires no shim. "When it comes time to replace the included Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery, we strongly recommend lithium. Lithium batteries have a longer shelf life, last longer and are much less likely to leak.
  • Colors
    The Kestrel colors have changed to go along with current needs. You will notice that the 5500 now comes in three colors. The NV designation has been removed since each 5 series meter now includes an easily switchable white / NV backlight. Also, the Applied Ballistics Elite meters now come in three colors (Olive Drab, Desert Tan and the newly added Black).


  • Mike M