Oregon Scientific Makes Lots of Temperature Humidity Stations. But Which Ones Stand Out?
Here Are the Best of Oregon's Temperature-Humidity Stations
Oregon Scientific make a lot of home weather stations, from temperature recorders you can stick on a window to fully functioned instruments that provide information on everything from humidity to rainfall. You can find out more about them at the main Oregon Weather Stations page.
In the middle of the range are the temperature - humidity stations. Most of them collect information on indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, and, by adding a simple barometer to the indoor receiver/console, they become fairly basic weather forecasters. Adding humidity readings to temperature allows a couple of other calculations to be made - indoor comfort level and outdoor heat index.
The Heat Index is covered elsewhere in this site, but it is basically a way of measuring the risk of heat related conditions, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, on days of high temperatures and high humidity. Comfort level is much simpler - it recognizes that we are more comfortable on days when humidity is low.
Oregon has quite a few instruments of this type to choose from, but only a few of them live up to expectations. Most don't have a pressure display, or even a barometer, and one, the RMR203, requires an extra humidity sensor to be added to the package. Most include alarm clocks that are automatically reset daily through the Atomic Clock.
A couple offer a solar recharger on the inside console, which is nice and green but not entirely necessary. It might save you a little on batteries, but the best place for a solar power source would be on the outside sensors. Others are mostly cleverly designed atomic clocks with a weather function included.
Three stand out.
1. The BAR908HGA , or Blue Line Metal Weather Station
The BAR908HGA is fully functional and includes a barometric pressure display. It's big plus is a 70m transmission range, giving more flexibility in locating the outside sensor. All others only have a 30m range, which will be dramatically reduced by windows and walls. This weather station will handle extra sensors, and includes a comfort indicator and a heat index calculator. It is also the most expensive at $97.49, although you should be able to find it for a little less.
2. The RMS300 - The Wireless Temperature and Humidity Data Station
The RMS300 is much more basic - no barometer - but comes with a USB connection and software to link it to your computer. In theory this will allow you to keep long term records of temperature and humidity on your computer, but others have found the software slow and "buggy", and have suggested downloading other forms of free data logger software. At a recommended price of $59.99 this is no bargain, but there is little else around that will do the same thing. Most people who have bought one seem to be reasonably happy with it, particularly if they have installed improved software.
3.The BAR 388HG
If you are not worried about computer connectivity, solar power, or smart looks, there is one stand out instrument - the BAR388HGA. This unit has a full barometric display, shows temperature, humidity and pressure trends (rising, steady and falling), shows comfort level and heat index, has an ice alert which shows when conditions drop to freezing, and allows you to set alarms for high or low temperatures and humidity. It will handle extra sensors, and provides a basic weather forecast with 4 icons.
Although the listed price is $64.99, last time I looked Amazon had quite a few for less than $40.00. And it has one of the best customer approval ratings I have seen for recent Oregon products.
The prices of all Oregon models are very competitive, but beware. Consumer reviews are very mixed, although the three models mentioned above are quite popular with buyers.
If you get a good one and set it up properly you will probably be very happy, but the alternative will probably be a frustrating battle with Oregon's customer service department. They do provide support, but it can take time and reminders.
And no matter what home weather station you buy or own, its performance is only as good as the way it is set up.
The page on Setting Up will help you work out just what you need to do to get your weather station to work around your home. A little extra work at the beginning in weatherproofing battery compartments and cable connections will usually pay off big time in minimizing or preventing problems in data transmission. The article on Troubleshooting will help.
Whatever your choice, you will have entered the exciting world of weather observation and recording.
Oregon is an innovative company, and you may care to check through their complete range at the Oregon Weather Stations website. Many of their products are sold through gift shops, but you can always find a huge selection of Oregon Weather Stations at Amazon.
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Last updated 05/28/2011