Looking for the Wndsn store? This way, please.

Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter: The Telemeter Side

The Telemeter side hosts a set of scales to measure angular size as well as a nomogram to determine distance or altitude from the measured values.

What is a Telemeter?

The Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter in Acrylic; Telemeter side. (Model: 7x7x500q90i30

The Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter in Acrylic; Telemeter side. (Model: 7x7x500q90i30)

A tool for makeshift navigation and rangefinding, the Wndsn Telemeter enables you to do more than merely guessing distances. Find an object of known size at the distance you need to measure and let the baked in trigonometry do the rest for you; all by aligning the provided string across the scales.

This means that you can copy dimensions from the real world onto a small ruler in your hand and read the matching distances directly from the engraved scale.

Wndsn Brass Telemeter

Wndsn Brass Telemeter shot from the Wndsn 2017 lookbook.

String demo'ing

Calculating with the Nomograph scales.

In the face of potential high-frequency disturbances, low tech becomes valuable as a backup or main tool.

All the calculations, trigonometry, and maths you need - hidden in a piece of string. Our distance nomographs revive ancient technologies and unite them for the first time in one low tech, high value instrument.

The string, the special setup of the measuring scale, and the trigonometry in the calculating scales are doing the work, thus preventing mental calculation error and eliminating the need for specific mathematical knowledge.

The credit-card sized brass Telemeter is easily carried in a wallet and can be used to measure arbitrary lengths since the degree scale happens to double as a centimeter scale.

The Idea

How can we ensure successful navigation, surveying, rangefinding, and local positioning in adverse conditions where guesswork isn’t good enough?

At Wndsn, we ask two questions in order to devise our solutions:

  1. What happens when the lights go out.
  2. What can we provide that can't be improvised.

When electronics stop working, all our usual strategies and technological solutions are unavailable. Rangefinding can be improvised without specific tools, but we can make a difference by improving the accuracy by one or even two orders of magnitude.

The worst case model, based on our high frequency research, is a reality in which electricity and data networks aren't available or accessible.

The solution is to go back before the age of electricity and look for tried and true knowledge that was good enough for thousands of years. The answer is obvious: low tech.

Navies around the world still (and again) offer sextant training to their midshipmen, knowing that there is always a place for the art and science of low tech (but high utility) navigation. The sextant and its predecessors, traditional celestial navigation, surveying, triangulation, as well as analogue wayfinding techniques form the DNA of our Telemeters.

The Principle

The distance from eye to measured object, and the height of the measured object, form two sides of a right triangle, and thus determine an angle:

D = S * d / s

where D is the distance to the object, S is the size of the object observed, d is the distance from the measurement device to the observer's eye, and s is the apparent size of the object observed.

We are making use of trigonometry to determine the relationships between values we have, values we are able to measure, and the values we need to calculate.

Wndsn Telemeter in action

The Wndsn Telemeter in action.

Wndsn Telemeter setup

The Wndsn Telemeter setup.


The word Telemetry is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure; and we do exactly that; measuring from afar.

A telemeter is a device used to remotely measure any quantity. It consists of a sensor, a transmission path, and a display, recording, or control device. Telemeters are the physical devices used in telemetry. Electronic devices are widely used in telemetry and can be wireless or hard-wired, analog or digital. Other technologies are also possible, such as mechanical, hydraulic and optical. (cf. GQT)

For our distance measuring instruments, for mission-critical durability and reliability, we prefer the analog and graphical kind of telemetry.

Shop Wndsn Telemeters