I should have bought this much earlier. I now have the information I was missing.
What's new with the Kestrel Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics over the previous Kestrel 4500 Applied Ballistics series:
Bluetooth LINK work with PC/Mac via Dongle
Bluetooth LINK to Smartphones / Mobiel / Android / IOS
Takes 1 AA battery (instead of 2 AAA)
Battery door is in the back, sealed away from the motherboard, should your battery leak as was common with all the 4000 series
Improved high resolution screen for any lighting (even sunlight) and easy on your eyes.
Intuitive user-interface screen navigation
Multiple Languages: English, French, German, Spanish
Scratch and breakage-resistant window
All meters include both options of Red (NV - Night Vision) & White backlights.
Slightly bigger, not really noticeable difference. Fits same cases.
Roughly 10,000 data points.
If you select the Bluetooth Kestrel LINK model, your meter includes custom communication software designed to quickly and easily configure your data transmission frequency, download logged data, graph data and transfer data to other applications. It is no longer necessary to purchase an interface separately, the new Kestrel Meters with Bluetooth include the software necessary to communicate wirelessly at a range of up to 100 feet with a clear line of site (walls or obstacles will effect this range).
Do I need a Dongle or Cable?
There is a free app for the Ballistic Profile Loader. This is what you use to load your Gun/Ammo combinations to the Kestrel. However, if you want to connect to your computer via bluetooth (BTLE), you will need this Dongle. A workaround to upload any data if you don't have this would be to export from your mobile smartphone and email it to yourself and open it on your Mac/PC. On the 4000 series you did not need theDongle.
The Kestrel 5000 USB cable is another option. This is most common to use with multiple meters. Example being, you need 20 AB meters, and you want to save money by not purchasing the LINK meters. You could get 20 non-LINK meters, with just 1 cable and load up all your meters with the Mac/PC version of the Profile Loader.
All 5000 series meters will have both a bright green backlight, which is great for even high sunlight conditions, and a night-vision preserving backlight. The red night vision (NV) backlight incorporates optical filter to reduce overall brightness and minimize blue and green spectrum light to preserve night vision. (Note: This 'night vision' is not compatible with night-vision equipment.) Basically, with the red backlight, your eyes don't need to adjust when looking from your meter to the horizon in night time use.
This Kestrel 5500 with Kestrel LINK will work in conjunction with compatible range finders like the new Bushnell Elite 1 Mile CONX range finder you've been reading about. This is expected to come out in 2016. It will also work with many other apps on the market for ballistics and weather functions. It's the most popular for ballistic applications due to the compass with crosswind functions.
The Kestrel applied ballistics meter combines sophisticated environmental sensing features with long-range shooting ballistics information in one hand-held device. The built in Applied Ballistics software provides all of the following:
The Kestrel Shooter's Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics Technology measures up to 15 environmental parameters and allows users to select from either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients (BC) when calculating a trajectory at the range. The handy, portable meter also offers the “Litz” measured BC library of over 225 bullets, which is considered to be the most extensive source of measured data for modern small arms bullets. Users can also train the Kestrel Shooters Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics software to match a specific rifle based on observed impacts at long range with the ballistics calibration feature, which offers even more accurate data points for users to rely on. With easy access to more accurate BC data, shooters have everything they need to make a much more precise trajectory calculation in a compact and durable Kestrel meter design.
The Kestrel Shooter’s Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics allows users to select either G1 or G7 ballistic coefficients, or to be even more specific and select from an entire library of Applied Ballistics Custom Curves for more than 200 common long-range bullets.
Please note that access to the full Applied Ballistics Custom Curve library REQUIRES the Applied Ballistics Profile Loader PC application together with either Bluetooth® data transfer capability and PC, or the Kestrel Computer Interface accessory. The Applied Ballistics Profile Loader is available free to download on this page. For full gun and bullet profile customization and backup, we recommend our customers purchase the unit with Bluetooth wireless data transfer for ease of use and functionality.
Kestrel Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics with integrated Bluetooth® technology offer the ultimate in portable and accurate environmental data. Now, both real-time and logged data can be transferred wirelessly and automatically to a MAC/PC, or Smartphone. Yes, even iPhone. Making a Kestrel Shooter's Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics and Bluetooth® technology the perfect tool for virtually any job that requires quick and reliable data.
You can enter all your data manually except for custom curves. There are several custom curves preloaded, but if you want a different one, you have to download it from PC.
You can load up to 16 guns, one bullet each. In the case where you have multiple ammo types for a given rifle, you have to enter a whole new gun for each ammo type.
The main differences between the two models is The Applied Ballistics model has a different truing application with drop scale factor, it has bullet length as a standard gun input (used to calculate spin drift) offers +\- angle input and has the ability to use G1,G7 and custom drag profiles. The unit comes Pre loaded with 7 custom curves, and the Gun loader will have over 100 custom drag profiles to use. These will NOT be able to be manually added, they must be done through the software... So you'll either need the bluetooth or the USB interface.
The Horus has not been updated to the Kestrel Meter.