Kestrel 5 Series Ballistics FAQs

  1. 1. Does the Kestrel 5 Series connect with mobile devices?

    Yes! The Kestrel 5 Series now has both Android and iPhone integration through our Kestrel LiNK iOS and Android Apps. Kestrel LiNK iOS and Android apps allow LiNK enabled Kestrel 5 Series Meters and DROPs to connect wirelessly with mobile devices to view real-time measurements, receive on-screen alerts, download data and perform firmware updates. The Kestrel LiNK Ballistics app, designed specifically for the Sportsman and Elite Kestrel meters, provides full gun management and access to the Applied Ballistics library of G1/G7 curves (Sportsman) and custom drag models (Elite).

  2. 2. How do I set up and use my gun with this device?

    For complete step-by-step instructions on setting up profiles and using a Kestrel Ballistics Meter please see the following document:

  3. 3. What application do I need to upload gun profiles to my Kestrel?

    Any of the LiNK Ballistics applications will allow you to transfer gun profiles to your Kestrel.  LiNK Ballistics for iOS or LiNK Ballistics for Android will allow you to use a mobile device to transfer gun profiles but you need to have the LiNK (i.e., Bluetooth) model. If you are using a Windows computer, you can use the Applied Ballistic Profile Loader (Version 42 or higher) to manage your gun profiles. Note: Please be aware that currently the Applied Ballistics Profile Loader cannot be used with Bluetooth. Therefore, you will need to purchase the USB Transfer cable to transfer files with a Windows PC.

  4. 4. How can I transfer profiles with a MAC?

    Unfortunately we do not have a ballistics application that runs on a MAC. You will need to find an Android, iOS or Windows device to use. Kestrel LiNK for MAC will only allow you to upload the weather data or update or upgrade your firmware.

  5. 5. What application do I need to view my ballistic solutions remotely?

    Both LiNK Ballistics for Android and LiNK Ballistics for iOS will display your ballistic solutions remotely. Both Kestrel Companion and Kestrel Companion Pro will show your ballistic solutions remotely as well but are only compatible with the Kestrel 4500 Applied Ballistic or 4500 Sportsman units.

  6. 6. How can I transfer data to my unit if I do not have the LiNK (i.e., Bluetooth) model?

    All models of the Kestrel 5000 Series have optical data ports that can be seen through the openings of the battery door. A USB Data Transfer Cable can be purchased separately, which plugs directly into the back of the Kestrel and extends to a USB port in your computer.  You will NOT be able to connect a non-LiNK model unit to a mobile device (e.g., any device without a USB port).

  7. 7. How can I transfer my gun profiles from my 4500 to my Kestrel 5 Series?

    Please go to this link and follow the directions provided:

  8. 8. What is LiNK for Windows/OS X/iOS/Android?

    We have separate LiNK applications without “Ballistics” in the title. These programs handle uploading the weather data from the Kestrel to a specific device. This weather data can then be exported into MS Excel. You can also update your firmware or upgrade your unit by using this program. Note: Please be aware that we are working on allowing you to update / upgrade your firmware with the LiNK Ballistics program above. Until that is available, you will need to use the basic LiNK program.

  9. 9. What application do I need to update or upgrade my Kestrel firmware?

    Until we update the LiNK Ballistics applications to include firmware updates, you will need to install one of the non-ballistic LiNK programs, Kestrel LiNK for iOS or Kestrel LiNK for Android

  10. 10. What application can I use to upgrade my Kestrel Firmware?

    Currently the mobile devices cannot perform firmware upgrades. An upgrade is defined as going from a 5000 Series Kestrel Sportsman to a Kestrel Elite with Applied Ballistics.  To upgrade your 5000 Series Kestrel Sportsman, you will need to connect to a Windows machine.

  11. 11. Which laserrange finders work with my Kestrel 5 series?

    Currently only the Bushnell CONX laser rangefinder is compatible with the Kestrel Elite and Kestrel Sportsman units.  However, we will be adding more Laser Rangefinder compatibility moving forward. If you would like to request your laser range finder be integrated with the Kestrel 5000 series, please contact the manufacturer of the laser rangefinder to let them know.

  12. 12. How do I open the battery door?

    As can be seen in the pictures below, place your thumb on the bottom of the unit and slide the latch from the “Locked” to the “Unlocked” position.  The battery door should pop up enough that you can remove it.  If you have trouble opening the battery door, some slight pressure DOWN on the battery door itself with your other thumb may help release the latch.

  13. 13. How do I close the battery door?

    First slide in the tab at towards the top of the unit, then gently press the bottom part of the battery door down until it snaps into place.  Ensure that the O-ring remains in place on the battery door when closing.

  14. 14. Do I need to use a battery shim with the Kestrel 5 Series units?

    No. Since the Kestrel 5 Series utilize only  one AA battery, there is no need to use the battery shim to separate the two AAA batteries in the previous version.

  15. 15. What types of battery should I use with my Kestrel 5 Series unit?

    NK strongly recommends continual use of Lithium AA batteries in your Kestrel.  Lithium batteries respond best in extreme temperatures and help prevent against any corrosion.  Customers can also use Alkaline or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh) if they prefer, but we recommend turning “Auto Store” to “OFF” when placing these units in storage to minimize the drain on the battery.  Also, please make sure you set the System->Battery setting to match the type of batteries that you are using.

  16. 16. What's new in the kestrel 5000 series?

    See chart below:

  17. 17. What are the main differences between the Kestrel Elite and the Kestrel Sportsman models?

    See comparison chart below. More information can also be found here:

  18. 18. Can I upgrade to the Kestrel Elite if I bought the Kestrel Sportsman?

    Yes. You can purchase an upgrade from the website and a file will be emailed to you that will allow you to remotely upgrade your unit.  The upgrade needs to be done on a Windows machine, however, so customers can choose between a Bluetooth® low energy dongle and USB cable depending on preferred connection method.

  19. 19. Can I upgrade my non-Ballistics 5000 Series model to a Ballistics model?

    No. Currently ONLY the Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics can be upgraded to our Elite model.

  20. 20. Can I trade in my Kestrel 4500 (or different model) to get a new Kestrel 5 Series unit?

    Yes. You can always trade-in an older Kestrel, regardless of its condition, by using our Customer Trade-In Program (details here).

  21. 21. Can I get the Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics with LiNK without the Vane Mount?

    We intentionally packaged the vane mount with the Kestrel Sportsman Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics with LiNK because we feel strongly that this is the best solution for long range shooters.

  22. 22. Why isn't there a Night Vision option for the Kestrel 5 Series?

    All of the Kestrel 5000 series units have the Night Vision option in addition to the standard white backlight.  There is a menu selection that allows the customer to toggle between both options

  23. 23. How many data point do these units store?

    The Kestrel 5 Series Ballistic models can store over 12,000 data sets.

  24. 24. How often do I need to calibrate the Kestrel 5 Series?

    Wind Speed – NK sells factory calibrated replacement impellers that can easily be installed by the customer. NK recommends replacing the impeller every 2-3 years depending on usage.

    1. Humidity – NK uses a different humidity sensor on the 5 series models. The Kestrel 5 Series employ a highly accurate, calibrated, digital humidity sensor.  Based on the sensor manufacturer's specifications and NK testing, drift on this sensor over time is minimal and field recalibration is likely to degrade accuracy rather than improve it. Factory calibration to validate and certify accuracy at a minimum of two RH points is available from NK.  In the event NK observes a significant number of tested sensors exhibiting drift greater than +/-1%RH/year, NK will develop a recalibration routine which can be installed via firmware update. During the five-year warranty period, NK will repair, recalibrate or replace any Kestrel 5 Series or DROP which drifts more than +/-1% RH/year since the date of manufacture.
    2. Temperature – The thermistor in the Kestrel 5 series should not need to be recalibrated. If you think your sensor is incorrect, please contact
    3. Pressure – The pressure in the Kestrel 5 series should not need to be recalibrated. If you think your sensor is incorrect, please contact
  25. 25. How do I connect my Bushnell CONX Rangefinder to my Kestrel Ballistics unit?

    View this informative video, connecting Bushnell CONX to Kestrel. NOTE:  If you are holding down the laser button on the rangefinder, the rangefinder will ignore any commands from the Kestrel. You will need to release the button on the rangefinder in order for the two devices to communicate.

  26. 26. How do I pair my Kestrel with my computer?

    Kestrel 5 series units with LiNK will need to use an NK-supplied Bluetooth® low energy Dongle to connect with a computer.  The Kestrel 5 series will not work with any internal Bluetooth® low energy modules.  To connect, insert the Bluetooth® low energy Dongle into an open USB port. On the Kestrel, go to the Main Menu->Bluetooth® low energy and turn it ON. Set Conct to “PC / Mobile.”  Open the application on the computer and select the Kestrel as the device to connect to. There is no more “pairing,” “COM port numbers,” or “PIN Codes” to worry about for those familiar with the 4000 series.

  27. 27. How do I pair my Kestrel with a phone?

    Make sure Bluetooth is turned ON on your phone. On the Kestrel, go to the Main Menu->Bluetooth® low energy and turn it ON. Make sure Conct is set to PC/Mobile.  Next go to the application that you are connecting with on your phone and select the Kestrel as the device you would like to connect with.  Please note: if you do not find the Kestrel on your phone’s “standard” Bluetooth® low energy connection screen, that does not mean that the Kestrel is not working properly. Please first go to the application and try to connect through the application. The Kestrel should connect.

  28. 28. Why is my computer not finding the Bluetooth® low energy dongle?  

    Please see our LiNK for Windows Bluegiga Dongle help guide for this issue: HELP GUIDE

  29. 29. Why is link for windows showing "searching for dongle"?

    Please see our LiNK for Windows Bluegiga Dongle help guide for this issue: HELP GUIDE

  30. 30. Why are some of the values in my profile appearing as 0.000 such as Bullet Length or Bullet Diameter when I load them to the Kestrel Elite or Sportsman?

    Typically we see this issue in foreign countries where commas are used as the floating point delimiter.   The Ballistics applications do not handle commas (,) correctly as the floating point delimiter, so you will need to use decimal points (.) instead.   You can typically change these settings on Windows by going to Control Panel->Region and Language->Formats->Advanced->Additional Settings.  On the mobile apps, make sure you are always using a decimal point between the ones and tenths digits instead of a comma and this should resolve the issue you are having.

  31. 31. Why do I have an elevation and windage values being shown when I set the range to 100 yards, since I have my gun's zero range set to 100 yards?

    Kestrel Ballistic meters have default winds set at 5 and 10 mph. The wind values will slightly adjust your elevation because of aerodynamic jump and spin drift. If you remove the wind values from the Kestrel, your elevation and windage should show zero at your zero range. To correct this, on the main ballistic screen highlight Wind and press the center button. Adjust WS1 and WS2 to 0 by using the right and left arrows. Go back to the ballistic screen and your elevation and windage should now show 0.


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