I'm a 31 year old weather enthusiast from Central Ohio. Certified SKYWARN storm spotter.
By: Buckey2745 , 8:47 PM GMT on August 11, 2012
In December of 2007 I got my Oregon Scientific WMR968 weather station for Christmas. It was something I'd wanted forever, and I did lots of research looking for the best weather station in a limited price range. I was aware it was't a top of the line station, but I figured it did what I wanted. It recorded wind speed and direction, temperature, dewpoint, humidity, rain, indoor temp and barometric pressure. Everything you'd need, right? The kicker was it could also be plugged in to your computer and upload the conditions almost in real time to Weather Underground. Since I'm a computer nerd by profession, it sounded perfect.
Getting the weather station set up, though, was not perfect. When you get a weather station you never really consider what you will need to do to get everything in a good position for taking accurate readings. At first I had the hygrometer and its solar panel mounted to a wooden stake that I just pounded in to the ground in the back of my yard. It didn't look good, and it was in direct sunlight so the readings weren't accurate at all. I also had the anemometer set up the same way, which was terrible for wind readings. The rain gauge was the worst. I literally just had it sitting on the ground. Nothing was the way it should be.
Over time I began moving things in to better positions. The hygrometer moved to a shaded part of my house next to my chimney. The summer after I got the station I eventually bought a shield for the hygrometer and that definitely helped readings. The rain gauge eventually sat on a wooden platform I built until I cut the wire with a weed eater and had to splice it back together. The anemometer was the only thing that got a proper home pretty quickly. In March of 2008, right before our massive blizzard, I bought a chimney mount and installed it high above our roof line. Over time I migrated all of my components to the roof. The hygrometer hung nicely from the anemometer mount and the rain gauge fit perfectly on top of the chimney.
I cannot count how many times I got on top of that roof to fix a component that dropped its signal. Too many. I've been up there in rain, wind, and one time even snow. Stupid, I know. The WMR968 was absolutely horrible at reception with the console. Sometimes barely moving the antenna on one of the sensors an inch would drop signal. I've probably only had all sensors working at once about 20% of the time.
So when I moved three times in a year the WMR968 came along. And it didn't fare well. When I stayed with my parents for a few weeks it sat propped up against their back deck. Wind was blocked on three sides, rain was shielded by a roof to the north, and the hygrometer got direct sunlight and heating from a deck floor. The apartment setup was a lot of the same. When I got to my new house, the WMR968 had just about had enough. The radiation shield finally broke off of its mount, the rain gauge got a hole in it, and the anemometer just wouldn't spin right anymore.
As of right now the only thing my station is reporting is temperature. The anemometer and rain gauge, despite their close proximity to the station base, refuse to communicate anymore. I've got an expensive thermometer at this point.
So the search is on. I've started saving money and researching what my next weather station will be. My initial thought right now is the Davis 6250. It'll be pricey because of the stupid part you have to buy for hooking it up to your computer, but Davis is a solid product I think. A lot more solid than Oregon Scientific.
So tell me... what does everyone else recommend? What do you use and what have you heard about Davis or any other brands?
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.