Saturday, January 30, 2016

Product review: Ambient Weather WS-8600 Weather Station

We have been using weather stations for many years, for the last year we have been using Oregon Scientific weather station. Oregon Scientific is a pretty well known brand, so I thought it would be useful to compare Ambient and Oregon Scientific.

The most noticeable difference is the display. Oregon scientific has a black and white LED display, it runs on batteries and the display gets dimmer as the batteries get weak. Ambient weather station home base unit runs plugged into AC. It has a bright digital display with a large choice of colors: red, green, blue, yellow and each color has different shades (for example, blue is dark blue or cyan). The visibility of the display is terrific, however if you are keeping the weather station in the bedroom it does generate quite a bit of light in the room. I came up with a solution for this by making it a "night hood" (you can see in my video) it is a square piece of felt which with glued edges that I put on it during the night. I remove it every morning and keept it under the weather station as a dolly.

The display has a lot of information, the display is easy to see, and most significantly the temperature is accurate as I used several different thermometers and the old weather station to cross-check the results.

The weather station is 4 1/8" tall, 5.5" wide, 2.25" front to back. The base is heavy, so the weather station is well balanced.

The setting of all functions was very easy. Each function has a dedicated button on the back. I thought the set up was easier than Oregon Scientific.

The outdoor unit runs on two AA batteries (which are not included). The location of the outdoor unit is critical to the accuracy.

(1) The outdoor unit should be in the shade
(2) The outdoor unit should be somewhat protected from the rain
(3) 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. I would estimate the distance between the two units to be 20 feet. The signal has to go through one wall.

I received Ambient weather station with the request for testing and review, as well as the request to provide feedback on the manual. I thought the manual was very good overall, very detailed. I provided some minor feedback on clarifying some diagrams and the seller makes the latest version of the manual available on line.

You can find "Ambient Weather Station" on Amazon via this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

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