Sunday, January 12, 2014

Product review: Oregon Scientific BAR208HGA Advanced Weather Station with Atomic Time

I asked Santa for this weather station and he heard me. The weather station looks great, the numbers are big and easy to see, the unit has back lightening, it flashes an alert light when it detects icing conditions. I like the read out a lot better than the old weather station I have been using for 5 years. I had no problem setting up and making the two units talk to each other.

Everything was great until it began showing the temperature. The read out of the outdoor temperature was 12 degrees different (higher) from my alcohol outdoor thermometer and my old weather station. All three thermometers were located next to each other for testing purposes. I also checked the outdoor temperature provided by national weather forecast and it agreed with my mercury thermometer and my old weather station that the temperature was 32 degrees. The indoor temperature read-out was 2 degrees different from the two other thermometers I have an old fashioned alcohol thermometer and a digital temperature read out on one of the clocks I have (Oregan Scientific is showing 2 degrees higher).

I contacted support to see if there was any calibration procedure. I received the calibration instructions (included below) which reduced the difference in readings between Oregan weather station and the other thermometers to 2 degrees for outdoor thermometer and 1 degree for indoor thermometer.

1: Remove all batteries from the outdoor sensor (or all sensors if using multiple units) as well as the main unit.
2: Allow a minimum of 10 minutes for any/all capacitors to discharge.
3: Reinstall batteries into the remote (outdoor) sensor first. Press a paper clip or pin into Reset hole in the battery compartment.
4: Finally, reinstall the batteries into the main unit. Press a paper clip or pin into Reset hole in the battery compartment.

In addition to calibration the location of the outdoor unit is critical to the accuracy of the unit. The manufacturer recommends the following (note #3, which is was a new one for me)

(1) The outdoor unit should be in the shade
(2) The outdoor unit should be somewhat protected from the rain
(3) It should not be higher than 5 feet from the ground
(4) Should be placed on the surface that does not get warm (for example glass or metal are bad choices, wood is a good choice)

I have been placing my weather station sensors under the deck. This is close enough to the main unit to provide strong signal and meets all of the recommendations listed above.

Setting the time is not difficult but requires several steps

1. Turn off time synchronization by hitting down arrow on the front of the unit
2. Press mode button, then press up button. The weather station will cycle through the settings you can change. The first setting is the time zone. Time zone has a very small icon just above the seconds of the clock. Hit up arrow until this icon changes to your time zone and then press mode button to save your setting.

Despite the 2 degree inaccuracy of the reading I decided to keep the Oregan Weather station because the display is much easier to see than my old weather station.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★☆

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