On the field weather equipment

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
Jan 18, 2009
Reaction score
Washington DC
I've often wondered if there are many other rocket folks out here that document their flights in a flight log and more specificlly record on site or as near as you can get weather conditions?
For as long as I've been flying I've been using some sort of
Weather gathering gismo or gadget to help record the conditions on the field. Some very Crude, others not so.. I'd like to see what other folks out there do, how do you determine if that darn W--- is blowing beyond the 20mph safe flight limit?
I'll start off with a few pic of the three on site stations i've concocted, Hope others will add some of there favorite gadgets:D

It all started for me with this very poor, inaccurate gorund level gathering of desk instruments and a second wall thermometer,
some spare parts,dixie cups, copper telescoping tubing,a little metal work and an old tripod launcher base. PLease excuse the very poor b&w photo is kind of getting old:)
That first experience showed me I needed to get some additional gismos to make the thing really functional. Money was pretty tight so we had to make do with the same "fairly accurate" desk temp/humidity/Barometer set that had been doing well for about 8 years. Purchased a really neat wind gage from Centuri and devised a way of mounting it so it was alway in the right position to read the ground level wind speed. setting the direction was easy with a standard Boy Scout Pathfinder compass I still use today. Raised this unit a little and made the direction indicator larger enough to be seen from any part of the flying field. Well it look kinda cool also:)

Set up #3 will have to wait for tomorrow and some photo work.
as far as wind speed goes I have seen people use those handheld pocket Kestrel wind speed thingies..

there are other brand names if you do a google search on wind speed meters..

there also wireless weather stations with an approx 300 ft range that has wind speed/direction aneometers,,,but they can be costly....

Heres a reasonably priced (<$200) wind speed direction and more:


they don't tell wind direction but anybody can use a flag or a thermal pole with streamer to figure that out visually.....

this is interesting:


I wrote them an email and asked them to come out with a model that also does wind direction ......
Originally posted by shockwaveriderz
as far as wind speed goes I have seen people use those handheld pocket Kestrel wind speed thingies..
there are other brand names if you do a google search on wind speed meters..
This is something I've wanted to pick up. I'm always curious as to what the actual "ground" speed of the wind is vs. my best guesstimate.
Well heres the station I've been using since 1991, If you attended TARC last year this station got a workout by the teams, It was fun. It will again be on the field for this years TARC flyoffs next month.

Shockie: Yeap i've seen those hand held wind speed meters used by Kite flyers.

Stones check with "into the wind" or one of the kite supply companies, I think the "floating ball" type as in Station #2 are still available for about 20.00 buck, checked over the years against "actual conditions" these inexpensive meters proved acurate to +/- 2-3 mph in the low range, about 8-10 on the high scale. The electronic wind meters start at about 85.00 and go all the way to 250.00
Just to keep it in perspective Weather Staion #3 without the flag pole or extenstion pole cost in 1991 dollars 168.00.
For my 7th grade science fair,(1979), I built a weather station. I was hoping to find it in my Dad's attic two months ago but never found it. All I still have is the "Weathertron" electronics enclosure I made for it. It went on to the state science fair where I got a little ribbon and certificate from the AMS.

It used Solo plastic cups on the anemometer, calibrated by holding out a car window and counting the beeps as the magnet went by the reed switch, a balsa wood wind vane made from parts from my designers special rocket parts kit (!!), a Hygrometer made with two thermometers and a shoelace, and a couple of barometers, one made with a jar and ballon and another one with an inverted test tube and a glass tube that my Dad helped me bend. (We snapped the first one). I bought the glassware from Lee Peister's Hobby Bench. How's that for converging hobbies?

I then wanted to be a Meteorologist, until I found out that my choices were: TV News or parking my butt in a weather station somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Fuhgetabowdit.

This thread has sparked my interest in building a new one that much more.

One more project to start and not finish! :p