BRUNTON ADC WIND
BY JERRY ADAMS
July 21, 2010
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.brunton.com
Listed Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight: 1.75 oz (50 g)
Measured Dimensions: 4.25x2x0.75 in (11x5x2 cm)
Brunton says it's waterproof and submersible but I didn't see anywhere how deep it's submersible to.
The Brunton ADC Wind (referred to as "the unit" below) is a pocket instrument for measuring temperature, time, and wind speed.
There is a LCD display that, in the default mode, shows the time including seconds, date including day of the week, and the temperature in tenths of a degree:
There are four buttons - mode, set, reset, and light.
If the light button is pressed, a backlight comes on for three seconds, enabling me to see it at night.
If the mode button is pressed, the display switches to wind speed mode. On the top of the instrument is the wind speed measuring propeller. It can be rotated to expose the propeller. When not measuring, it should be rotated back to protect the propeller from contamination. If the instrument is held up to the wind, the current wind speed is displayed. The maximum wind speed is also displayed.
The unit in wind measurement mode. Note that the propeller at the top has been rotated open, and I just blew on it which made it rotate:
To measure windspeed, I hold it up, facing into the wind:
If the mode button is pressed again, the wind chill is displayed.
If the mode button is pressed again, the display goes back to the default mode.
The unit can display in metric or English units. To switch, go to display windchill mode and press the reset button.
The unit has an alarm mode and a timer mode, but I haven't figured out how to use these.
While writing this report, I read in the user manual that the propeller can also be used as a crude mechanical compass. One of the propeller vanes is red. If the unit is held horizontally, the red vane points to magnetic North. This isn't very accurate or anything, but in a pinch it might come in handy.
I read on one of the comparison charts, but not in the user manual, that the unit can also measure water speed.
On the back of the unit is a battery compartment that can be opened with a coin.
Brunton also makes two other similar products that also measure air pressure and humidity.
The unit comes with a lanyard with clip, but I immediately removed this because it weighs extra, plus I always just hold it in my hand so this isn't necessary.
The listed weight is 2.4 oz (68 g) but I measured it as 1.75 oz (50 g). With the lanyard it weighs 2.0 oz ( 57 g).
I have used the ADC Wind on about a six backpacking and camping trips totaling about 30 nights. I've had it for about 6 months.
Mostly I just use the time/date function and the temperature function. I like the date display, because I often forget what the date is when I'm filling out a permit. I like the temperature function because it displays tenths of a degree digitally. I also have a crude bulb type thermometer, but I can only read it to a degree F (0.6 C) if I'm lucky.
I like the wind speed function because I make my own tents and it's interesting to know how fast the wind is blowing for testing purposes.
For displaying time/date/temperature and wind speed, the unit is totally intuitive. It was obvious to press the mode button. I never have to press the mode button more than three times to get back to the original display mode. It was obvious that the light button turns on the backlight for night viewing.
To reset the maximum wind speed, it is not at all intuitive. I had to read the user manual to figure it out. Press reset for two seconds, then press set, and then press mode button for two seconds.
One negative I noticed is that it takes a long time for the temperature to stabilize. If it's in my pocket or in the sun it warms up. If I then put it in the shade to properly measure temperature, it takes about 1/2 hour to get within a couple degrees F (one degree C) and one hour to perfectly stabilize.
The Brunton web site said the absolute accuracy is +/-1 C (1.8 F). I put it in a plastic bag in ice water and it got within 0.2 F (0.1 C) of freezing so the accuracy is better than they claim.
The temperature is displayed in tenths of a degree (F or C). When I was watching the temperature change over time, I noticed that it only displayed tenths of a degree F that corresponded to a tenth of a degree C. So, the unit doesn't really give resolution of 0.1 degree F (0.06 C) but 0.18 degree F (0.1 C). Only a nerd would understand what I'm talking about so this is a non-issue, just an observation.
I left the unit next to my sleeping bag numerous times, where it got splashed by rain, and it continued to function okay. One time, it rained a lot, the unit got submerged in a puddle, and then the buttons quit working. I returned the unit and got a new one. Brunton says the unit is waterproof and submersible.
Based on my experience, I would call it water resistant and not submersible.
I opened the battery compartment to see what kind of battery it had, and closed it again, but the unit wouldn't come back to life. I found nothing in the user manual about replacing the battery. I called customer support and they weren't very helpful.
I played with the unit some more, and determined that you have to really push on the battery cover when you close it to get it to work. I also noticed there are these three tabs that hold the cover closed that appeared to be cracked a little. I think this is a weakness of this unit. I replaced the unit because the buttons quit working, as I described above, and the replacement unit was the same.
The lesson here is, when you open or close the battery cover, push fairly hard on it to get it to work properly, and so the three tabs don't break.
The ADC Wind measures time, date, temperature, and wind speed.
It is very lightweight and small.
THINGS I LIKE
The unit displays time including seconds, date including day of the week, and temperature to tenths of a degree all at the same time without having to push any buttons.
It's easy to measure the wind speed and go back to time/date/temp mode.
The unit is water resistant as long as I don't fully submerge the unit for an extended period.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
The battery is difficult to replace, there's nothing in the user manual about this, and customer support wasn't very helpful.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
The unit quit working when it was submerged in a puddle for an extended period of time.
Minor nit - it's non-intuitive how to reset the maximum wind speed.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams