Please select your home edition
A+T Instruments BFD 2024 Leaderboard

A+T 500 series Wind Sensors - highest accuracy and faster response

by Mark Jardine 9 Feb 04:00 PST
A+T 500 series Wind Sensor © A+T Instruments

A+T Instruments may be a name that needs introducing to you in the world of performance marine instrumentation. They are a group of highly qualified engineers who are taking a no-compromise approach to designing and constructing the best sensors and instruments on the market.

A+T have gained a strong reputation in the superyacht and high-end race yacht sector, but their products are just as applicable for all sectors of the yachting market, and can provide you with the competitive edge to win races.

Today we're taking a look at the A+T 500 series Wind Sensors, which offer the highest accuracy and fastest response available. Every single aspect of the design has been studied to understand what makes for the best wind sensor, and how to deliver that information to sailors, be that using their existing processors and displays, or using A+T's own market-leading options.

Providing your marine processor and display with accurate wind data is essential as so many calculations are based on what is being provided by your wind sensor.

Let's make the analogy with a classic hi-fi system: if the needle and tonearm on a record player are of poor quality, then the resulting signal sent to any high-quality speakers will just be an amplified version and subsequently sound terrible.

Well-designed quality sensors are essential to getting accurate data on your displays. So, how have A+T achieved this? Let's look at the main points, working from the top. Sorry if this gets a bit technical, but it's these details which all contribute to the accuracy of the A+T 500 series Wind Sensors:

  • The vane has a high aspect ratio, with as little as possible of the main body in front of the vane, to ensure smooth and clear airflow.

  • The vane is made of carbon to keep it light and give it a faster response, with the user adjustable counterbalance kept deliberately stubby to reduce its moment of inertia*, allowing it to rotate easily.

  • The electronics inside the windvane consist of a coil with a sloping ring, sending the circuit board a signal indicating the direction the windvane is pointing. This measurement is analogue, and no two coils are exactly the same. So the board is put into a calibration rig, and stepped around in 4,800 increments to complete a full circle, creating a look up table which is stored on an EPROM** on the circuit board. This is what gives the vane the extraordinary 0.2 degrees accuracy.

  • The body of the windvane is graphite infused, which (due to its conducting nature) reduces the risk of damage due to static and storms. It's also stronger than plastic, which has become more and more important as the shock loads at the top of the mast increase on modern yachts.

  • The bearings on the vane and cups are ceramic, which give better performance, particularly at low wind speeds, and are corrosion resistant.

Importantly the A+T 500 series Wind Sensors are compatible with existing systems, so you can replace like-for-like to improve the accuracy of your wind readings straight away.

All parts and spares are held in stock, so if something does break, you don't have to replace the whole unit, just the part. These parts can in many cases be fitted to existing wands saving money and the environment.

We'll be taking a look at other A+T Instruments throughout the year, but wanted to start from the top, and cover the most important sensor. You can contact the team at A+T here.

* Moment of Inertia is expressed as I = Mr², where M is the mass and r is the distance from the axis of rotation.

** EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), is a type of programmable chip that retains its data when its power supply is switched off.

Related Articles

Winners choose A+T
Congratulations to Highland Fling 18 and SY Winsome Congratulations to Xavier Mecoy and the crew on board Gunboat 80 Highland Fling 18 and Harry Heijst and the crew on board SY Winsome for their achievements in Round The Island Race. Both boats are fully equipped with A+T's instruments. Posted on 27 Jun
Support is everything
The team at A+T are passionate about support and have experts on hand 24/7 A+T are passionate about support, whether it is helping to specify the detail for a new build superyacht, helping a yacht over Teamviewer when mid-Atlantic or opening the office on a Saturday to deliver some wind parts to an Open 60 team member. Posted on 25 May
The BFD: Not just another TLA
The brightest, biggest, and toughest full-colour marine display available Roald Dahl created the BFG and in the seminal game Doom, one of the sought-after weapons also shared that TLA (three-lettered acronym), but A+T have their own similar acronym for an anything but ordinary product... the BFD - the sailor's weapon of choice. Posted on 30 Apr
Trust A+T: Best in Class
Positive feedback from this Caribbean racing season Hugh Agnew recently sailed with SY Adela under Captain Greg Perkins in the Antigua Superyacht Challenge. They went on to win the Gosnell's Trophy - a great result. Posted on 18 Apr
A+T Instruments poised for 2024 racing season
Following remarkable 2023 achievements A+T Instruments, a global leader in marine instrument solutions, is gearing up for another promising race season after an exceptionally successful year in 2023. Posted on 20 Mar
Enthusiastic take up on advanced A+T architecture
An increasing number of super yachts and race boats moving towards Ethernet based instrument systems As experts in improving system performance, A+T have seen an increasing number of super yachts and race boats moving towards an Ethernet based instrument systems because in our modern era information flow is expected to be fast and readily available. Posted on 27 Sep 2023
Ronald Bunders joins A+T Instruments
Leading the company's technical support for super yachts and race boats A+T Instruments, leaders in the high-end yacht instruments market, have announced Ronald Bunders, highly acclaimed electronics expert, as Technical Sales and Support. Posted on 7 Aug 2023
Jim Thom joins A+T Instruments as Ambassador
To help A+T's continuing growth, which is running at 40% year on year A+T Instruments, leaders in the high-end yacht instruments market, have announced a new partnership with Jim Thom, highly acclaimed sailor, captain and expert on large classic yachts. Posted on 12 Jul 2023
A+T Instruments announces new Head of Sales
Pete Simmonds will lead the company's sales in super yachts and race boats building A+T Instruments, leaders in the high-end yacht instruments market, have announced Pete Simmonds, highly acclaimed yacht captain, as Head of Sales. Posted on 20 Jun 2023