Rainwise Weather Stations - Among the Best for Accuracy and Reliability

But how well do Rainwise Weather Stations compare to their competition?

Let's first see who they are competing with.

Modern weather stations fall into one of three groups

  • Inexpensive models designed for the home use, including manymodels from Oregon Scientific and La Crosse Technology.

  • Slightly more expensive models, with greater reliability and somecapacity for use in small scale agricultural and industrialsituations. Here Davis Instruments is a real stand out.

  • More robust instruments at the top end of the market. They eitheroffer greater strength, range and durability in a commercial oremergency setting, such as WeatherHawk and Capricorn, or have an attractive, more traditional appearance, like the Maximumrange.

Rainwise is a highly regarded manufacturer of wireless weather stations which fits into the third group.

Its latest model is the Rainwise MKIII. Rainwise can also build weather stations for specific agricultural and industrial uses, and also specializes in Hazmat monitoring systems, which can include radiation recorders.

It is much stronger than most weather stations, being designed to handle greater extremes of cold or exposure to salt in coastal locations. This is reflected in the two year guarantee by Rainwise Weather Stations for the sensors, and a five year guarantee for the solar panel, about the best around.

Rainwise weather stations are specifically designed for roof mounting, but include the option of cable or radio connection to a more conveniently located rain gauge. The occasional cleaning needed to overcome the attention of birds and the odd stray leaf is therefore much easier.

A mounting tripod is also available for $49.00.

(As usual, all prices are the manufacturers recommended maximum retail*. Discounts of around 20% may be available by checking retail outlets, particularly those on the net, and eBay is always worth checking for new and used models)

The range of recordings, their accuracy and update interval of the Rainwise Weather Stations Rainwise Weather Stations are among the best available, with the exception of wind direction which is only shown within a 22.5 degree sector - equivalent to a description of NNE, ESE etc. Otherwise, like the Davis Vantage Pro2 range, the standards meet the NIST (National Institute of Standards Testing) requirements.

Transmission range from sensors to receiver is stated as at least 433 feet (132m) , tested at the factory through two walls, which should be fine for most locations.

There is no doubt that Rainwise Weather Stations have a good record for reliability and service, and to some extent that is reflected in the price - $925.00 for the sensor and transmitter unit.

I guess when a manufacturer presents a number of options it may be difficult to advertise a price which includes a fully working model. Nevertheless it is annoying that the Rainwise base price does not include either a display unit or a computer connectiion. So add $295.00 for a computer interface (including software and data logger), or $260.00 for a standard Oracle display, or $395.00 for the multi display unit. The latter includes a few extra features including inside temperature and appears to be the better buy.

So it becomes a little difficult to work out pricing, and because retailer discounts are not spectacular for the MkIII Rainwise Weather Station it will be worth doing a little careful research, but you could start with Ambient Weather where you can get around 20% off.

On the good news side, the Rainwise MK III is capable of serving multiple displays, or displays and a computer interface, which makes it ideal for offices, schools or colleges.

So overall the Rainwise MK III Weather Station is a very strong, accurate and reliable unit, particularly in more extreme environments, and is certainly up there with other quality products such as the Davis Vantage Pro2. You may need to compare the specifications between them to decide on which serves your needs best, but for value, display and range of accessories, which extend its usefulness in many situations, the Davis Vantage Pro2 weather stations may be the better choice in most home situations.

Information on other Weather Stations can be found at the following links; La Crosse, Oregon, Davis, and WeatherHawk And go here if you would like some information on choosing a location and Setting Up your home weather station. Advice on some of the problems which can arise from time to time can be found on the Troubleshooting page.

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*Product links and pricing. The products I mention are, in my opinion, the best of the range in each category.But this doesn't mean they are just what you are lookingfor, and it is always worth following the link to the manufacturer's page.

But don't buy from there - in almost all cases muchbetter prices are available from both shopfront and internetbased retailers. At all times eBay and Amazon are worthchecking out, and you will notice many of the links go toAmazon. Amazon has built a very sound reputation for customerservice, given the huge amount of business that passes throughtheir website, and many products are accompanied by cleardescriptions, alternatives, and reviews from customers. Thesecan be very helpful, and I shop at Amazon myself.

But prices can change very quickly there, so if you have madeup your mind on a product and you see a good price there, grab it before it goes.

Where possible, I provide links to other retailers where their prices are competitive. Some may be better than they seem ifthe prices include delivery and, where needed, batteries - check the terms they offer.

Finally, I stand to make small commissions on some of the productsI recommend. A lot of work goes into building and maintaining asite like this, and I am not ashamed if I recoup some of the costs,and even make a little money on top.

That being said, I will and do recommend sellers where I will notmake anything for myself. One of these is Ambient Weather, a useful retail site with good supporting information. But if you visit there, don't forget to come back!

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Last update 12/05/2011