Making a Decision on a Wireless Home Weather Station
Back before my personal first purchase of a wireless home weather station, I realized I didn’t know that much about a personal residential weather station.
So I Started With What I Did Know at That Time
- I knew what a storm front was
- I knew what a high-pressure system was
- I knew what a low-pressure system was
- I was sure that I wanted to buy a wireless home weather station because they looked so neat! Just all the benefits that were presented to me, were really cool.
- I knew that I liked it when the weather changed, and I liked to keep track of weather forecasts
So with this keen interest in weather, I started my research into a personal residential weather station.
I could have a wireless home weather station at my personal home. This was a starting point for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed checking out all of the bells and whistles that were built into many great selections from industry brands such as La Crosse Scientific Technologies, AcuRite, Davis Instruments, Oregon Scientific Instruments, and Ambient to name a quick handful.
Features of a Weather Station That Caught My Eye
So as I continued with my searching, I saw very clearly that there were definitely features of a wireless home weather station, that all brands were offering.
With this in mind, I started zeroing in on a few of these features that so intrigued me.
Here’s a Short List of My Top 5 Features of a Home Weather Station
- The weather station I liked needs an Anemometer
- I really liked the colored screen on the display console
- I was wiped away by the future weather forecasts that are calculated for you. Most wireless home weather stations provide a 12-hour forecast
- I knew for sure that my personal weather station must be wireless for transmission and that if it could use Wi-Fi to use an app that would be even sweeter
- I love rain gauges. So I knew a rain gauge was a must-have for me
My searching lasted a while, and during my searches, I became much more comfortable and knowledgeable in understanding what I was looking at.
Over the last 2 years, I have become much more educated and can with ease share with you, how to best look at purchasing a residential weather station.
So without further adieu here’s my Top 10 list of what to look for.
My Top 10 Things To Be Aware Of When Purchasing a Wireless Home Weather Station
In my experiences with buying a color home weather station I have learned quite a bit about the good things, and some of the limitations with picking a good station for myself.
Here is my list of the top 10 things you need to know about buying a weather station. These are not in any order of importance.
You will need to make up your own decision on where your own priorities lie on these items.
- The Display screen on your home console is a point where people have varied opinions on what they like. I found out that there really are two options that the bottom line really is important to the buyer. They are is the screen a real color screen? Or is it a black and white screen? Well actually I have found that the screen really isn’t black and white but rather a grey color. When the backlight is on they are usually an amber color. Many customers prefer colored screens. The screen is really multi-colored, not a colored facing and it only makes the screen look colored. These types of screens, when viewed from the side or at any angles do not look colored at all. They only work when looked at straight on.
- The Accuracy of the Sensor Readings is Very Important
Some of the more inexpensive weather stations, sometimes do not have as great a range, nor do they present a long-range accuracy picture for you.
They don’t last very long. The accuracy can get tilted and inaccurate. The range of accuracy is usually supplied by the manufacturer.
Make sure you read customer reviews to see if people have had problems with the sensors remaining accurate over a period of time.
- The Backlight and Brightness on the Display Console Early on in my initial research phases, I was quick to realize that the backlight on the display console is a really big deal for most people. The problems apparently are outlined as follows. Most of these units have a power supply cord. Electrically powered. Most are backed up with battery power. The reason for this is that if the display is only powered by batteries, the backlight will only appear if a button is pushed. Then the screen will light up for only 10 seconds. So this allows you to read the screen, but only very quickly. With it being this way (with only battery power) the batteries will not last very long. If the backlight was on all the time the batteries would discharge quickly. So you will need to consider what way matters to you. The other thing is screen brightness. Most units have a very bright, mid-range brightness and dim setting. You may set which works best for you. Some people sleep in the room where their weather station console is set up, so brightness bothers them. Maybe the display may be set up where this brightness will not affect sleep for someone. All the models may be a little different, so be aware.
- Anemometers-the Material That They Are Built With and the Cup Size Conversion for Accurate Wind Speed
As one of the biggies for weather sensors, I thought that having wind speed provided was very important to me.
I also felt that I would like an accurate wind sensor so that I have accurate wind speeds given to me.
I found out that not all anemometers are created equal. Some companies appear to give you a more accurate anemometer than some other ones.
The materials used would be plastic and metal. Each type of material may give you a very different accuracy range.
I checked the wind speed accuracy out closely, making sure I purchased a home weather station with a good anemometer.
- The Actual Physical Size-Do I have Room For this read very carefully the dimensions of the following three things. Number one is how small or large is the display console? Where am I going to keep this? Does it work well with my room? Second, I need to know the actual size of the sensor unit, or the two sensor units. This makes it easier, to effectively mount for the best instrument readings from the weather sensors. Will I have room to wall mount the console or will I need to find a location where I can set it on the surface? I usually set mine up like a picture, standing up, and then I can angle it to get the best clarity for reading it. Third, where and how would I be able to actually mount this sensor suite or the group of sensors that were included with my residential weather station purchase. This does matter in the sense of I decided I wanted the best weather measurements possible. After a site survey, I would need to decide exactly where I could get the best possible readings from my equipment. I decided on a mounting pole, that I would need to mount my weather station from La Crosse.
- Data Logging and Storage of Readings History
Another thing that I needed to learn about was how to store the data that the sensors are providing. I needed to figure out how each unit could store history.
And I guess I needed to answer this and if this was even important to me to have that ability. Some weather stations require extra purchases to actually connect as a bridge to your computer for data storage.
Two such weather stations would be the AcuRite 01512 Pro Color Weather Station
and another station I reviewed was the
Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Wireless Weather Station
You can read these two reviews, to get an idea of what extra purchases would entail for a price, and you can read about them and what they will do for you.
In answer to this question, there are many different ways that the weather stations will have the ability to communicate with your personal computer.
- Does It Have An Atomic Clock or Not
The atomic clock appears to be a big point for people. I would say you need to make sure that it has an atomic clock ability.
The reason for this is that the entire calendar function, you know the Time, Date, Year part of your console readings needs to be set with the world computer set time. Also many have automatic time changes that happen twice a year included.
This will ensure that it is always accurate, plus when the time changes in March and in October, then you are covered. Hassle-Free for you!
- Snow Collects in the Rain Gauge Collection Tray
With many weather station owners living colder climate winters it has become increasingly more important than the rain gauge has a good track record on rain/precipitation collection and disposal.
This is very important to keep an accurate recording of rain, snow amounts properly. Any number of things can clog up the collection tray.
Things like, bird poop, flying seeds from local shedding trees, and then maybe also, leaves in the autumn getting stuck in the tray. This would cause it not to work anymore.
Please be aware of you need to keep the rain gauge free from debris, it can become a functioning problem, for the home weather station owner.
- How Well Does The Forecaster Program Perform
Many of the weather stations today are offering forecasts that are updated continuously by your weather station.
The forecasts are calculated by using your local home weather station’s sensor readings to figure out a weather trending pattern for you.
“Fairweather is on the way”, or “It’s going to be raining”.
So you can have your very own weather forecast by looking at your display console and reading the forecaster display section.
These forecasts often use attractive colored weather icons
to present you with what it thinks you will be experiencing in the next 12 hours.
Basically a local weather forecast for your location.
But how accurate is the forecast program? Many people are very happy with their results however, some people find this offering to be somewhat lacking according to their standards.
These local forecasters use some very colorful icons to highlight the upcoming weather conditions for your locality.
Most of these forecasters use the basic rising and lower barometric pressure, plus wind and temperature changes to give you what should be your 12-18 hour future weather conditions.
This is in a general sense obviously.
All three main manufactured choices for a home weather station offer the forecaster on their models. AcuRite, La Crosse, and Davis Instruments offer forecasters.
- How Well Does the Aspirating Fan Work
Checking out a weather station for the home can bring you another choice you may not be aware of. Many of the 5-in-1 sensor suites offer an aspirating fan with the sensor unit.
This fan is run by solar power and will be telling you it will be keeping the temperature reading at a realistic and accurate temperature reading.
You see, heat will build up in the sensor suite and cause the readings to trend towards reporting to you a false reading.
Not to your surprise, your outdoor temperature readings will transmit to you at inflated readings. Some aspirator fans reportedly work really well. Others, well maybe not?
You will need to decide on your own research, considering this matter.
My Summation on Buying a Residential Weather Station
I believe you can see, that buying a station from the many choices that many companies offer, can be a challenge.
I am sure if you read some of my reviews you will soon start understanding what all of these personal stations have to offer you.
Many of the home weather stations are very similar. Sometimes there are only one or two differences from another offered model.
You need to decide for yourself the following things. From this list, if you use the list, you will be successful in tracking down the best choice for you today.
- You need to decide which company you trust the most for quality and performance
- You need to figure out a price range you are comfortable with spending at this time
- you will need to decide where your interest level is right now. I put together a little, simple info-graphic to help you decide where you are.
After you decide on these three things you can easily decide which personal weather station you are most comfortable with at this date.
Good Luck with your research, I sincerely hope that this article may help you out in purchasing your very own home weather station.
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