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Kestrel weather meters get an update

Nielsen-Kellerman’s Kestrel 4500 with Applied Ballistics is a long range shooting staple. It’s used by scout/snipers, precision shooting competitors and hunters as a one-stop shop for environmental information and ballistic firing solutions. The entire line got an update today, but we’ll focus on the changes to Kestrel’s meters designed for shooters.

The 4500 Shooter’s Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics is replaced by the Kestrel Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics. Its little brother, the Kestrel Sportsman Ballistics Weather Meter, is now the Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics. There’s no mention of the Horus Ballistics version moving forward.

The Elite and Sportsman get iOS and Android weather and ballistics apps, optional Bluetooth Smart connectivity, USB connectivity, a tripod vane mount, a larger, higher resolution screen with a user selectable standard or night vision backlight, and an updated user interface. For those that don’t know, the Sportsman is a slightly less feature-rich version of the Elite, designed for shooters working inside 800 yards.

The headlining update is Bluetooth Smart (A.K.A. Bluetooth LE and A.K.A. Bluetooth 4.0) connectivity. Piling on one more A.K.A, NK calls it “LiNK” and it allows the weather meters to share information with smartphones, rangefinders and, someday, gun mounted and in-optic displays. The ‘Smart’ part of Bluetooth Smart, we’re told by NK, is its power conservation features.

The LiNK (Bluetooth Smart) feature isn’t standard on the new meters, and it’s not cheap. The base meters base prices are $609 for the Elite and $419 for the Sportsman. Add $100 and $140, respectively, for LiNK. The Elite ships 11/20/2015, and the Sportsman, 11/13/2015.

Today, Nielsen-Kellerman is releasing its all-new K5 line of Kestrels, which replaces the Kestrel 4000 series. Loaded with features such as Android and iOS connectivity, a dual-color backlight screen, a weather vane and measurements of over 10 environmental variables, the K5 family is NK’s most user-friendly, innovative line yet.
This series includes the 5000 Environmental Meter, 5500 Weather Meter, 5100 Racing Weather Meter, 5200 Professional Environmental Meter, 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics and Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics. All are drop-tested, waterproof and dust-proof and just as rugged, reliable and dependable as previous Kestrels. All K5s use AA batteries, and they are backed by NK’s industry-leading 5-year warranty. And that’s just the beginning.

When customers spoke about past products, NK listened. “We painstakingly addressed every complaint or problem users had with the 4000 series,” says Alix James, NK’s CEO. She believes that optional connection with Kestrel LiNK, powered by Bluetooth Smart, is one of the line’s best features. “Data communication opens the door to creating solutions for users, especially where environmental measurements, decision-making tools and guidelines intersect,” she points out, adding, “being able to pull these measurements straight into an app is so powerful.” Michael Naughton, NK’s VP of Business Development, adds “K5 Kestrels can communicate to iOS and Android devices using Kestrel and third-party apps, and they’re compatible with software on Windows and Mac computers.” Another standout feature is the lightweight, transportable weather vane mount, which “can be put up instantly for research, safety monitoring, hazmat response and more” says James. Other improvements include a high-contrast, high-resolution display screen that is easy to read in all lighting conditions, a dual-color LED backlight and a corrosion-resistant battery compartment.

In its never-ending quest to make customers’ jobs and hobbies safer, easier and more efficient, NK’s K5 line includes several industry-specific models. The 5100 gives auto racers real-time, trackside environmental data. The 5200 has a Delta T measurement, which facilitates crop dusting and spraying. Product conception for the 5400 Heat Stress Tracker was built around “many of the well-established heat stress guidelines for military, athletics and occupational safety” says Naughton. Special LED beacons and warning buzzers on the K5 Heat Stress Trackers will help athletes, military personnel and workers stay safe in hot, humid conditions. The Kestrel with Applied Ballistics models give shooters unparalleled accuracy by combining accurate measurement of critical environmental factors with an advanced ballistics solver. These new models, says James, “will appeal to experienced and competitive long-range shooters right away because of the new app and laser range finder connectivity, but we’re looking forward to helping  new recreational and beginning competitive shooters and hunters succeed in hitting long-range targets as well.”

“I am very proud of the entire line,” says James, adding that the Kestrel 5 series models all “feel great in your hand, are easy to use and navigate, and pack plenty of functionality into a small, portable package.” Customers can support their new Kestrels with many accessories, including MOLLE/PALS carrying cases, spare impellers, tripods and more. Engineered with performance, precision and safety in mind, you can always count on Kestrel.


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