13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
I bought this weather station from the often mention big box store and then read all the instructions from the LaCrosse website before I started installation. From reading the other reviews, there seems to be a lot of confusion about how it works and most of the problems are either dead batteries or buyers not understanding what they have bought.
The documentation (which you need to download from their website) is essential and you should know that their technical support is really backed up and I haven't gotten responses for days. But by persevering and taking my time, I was able to get my weather station functioning perfectly and I am very happy that I bought it. This is complicated technology. If you are impatient and expect to set the whole thing up in five minutes, or easily frustrated, or have a hard time with technology (or reading instructions), I would NOT buy this product.
I am a farmer and have been looking for a weather station for years that would record the weather data (temp, humidity, wind speed, and rainfall) so I could see the weather at my rural location over months (and hopefully years) and couldn't final anything that was capable of doing this that didn't cost hundreds of dollars.
This product can be used in three different ways:
- A stand-alone set of sensors and a monitor that lets you see the temperature, humidity, etc. on a LCD screen inside your house.
- Software (called Heavy Weather Pro) and a transceiver that plugs into a USB port on your PC so that your PC can collect the data being sent by the stand-alone weather station and stores it on your PC (NOTE - Both the box and the Amazon description clearly say it is for a PC ONLY, NOT A MAC. So if you ASSUME that the picture of an iPhone on the box somehow means that it runs on a Mac, you will be disappointed!). Also, your PC must be running the software around the clock for this function to work (although the stand-alone monitor can store readings for some time. I've had to restart my PC and not run Heavy Weather for hours and it still "caught up" the readings that were collected during that time). This software includes the ability to generate and print excellent graphs and reports to analyze your data.
- Finally, this product includes a subscription to a web-based product that collects the data stored on your PC and sends it to La Crosse's servers so that you can monitor your system from any device via the web. There is NO iPhone Ap, which some buyers think is included. You can access the remote monitoring simply by running a web browser on a smartphone, tablet, or PC. I have run this on both a Droid and an iPhone and it works and looks almost exactly like the picture on the box. This function (Alerts) also includes the ability to set up a message either by text or email that can alert you if the temperature goes above or below a certain point (like to warn you that you need to cover your plants so they do not freeze, or that your wine cellar refrigerator has failed and your prized Cabs are going to cook). Also, once the free subscription runs out, you have to pay a to continue it ($12 per year). If you do not use this function, the stand-alone system and Heavy Weather software function fine without it. When I set this up, it took a day or so for the data to be uploaded from my PC to their server, so just wait and check back before contacting Tech. Support.
You must install this product in the order listed above. That is, if you want to do the remote monitoring, you must first install the stand-alone system, then install the software on your PC, then finally set up an account on their website. I would recommend waiting for a few days at each step and making sure that everything is working and gain some experience before moving on or you will become very frustrated.
Also, their website is hard to navigate and if you go to the support page (to email their Technical Support), you will see three large squares that have big logos on them. These squares are actually icons, and you have to click on the icon that has "The Weather Channel" logo on it if your problem is with the weather station itself, or the icon that says "La Crosse ALERTS" if you problem is with the Alerts/Remote monitoring function. These will bring up a form that you have to fill in to get an email response.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
I'm at the point where I believe Lacrosse dumped a troublesome product on Costco to get it out of their warehouse. I am 4+ weeks into trying to get the units to work together & just gave up. Thank heavens for Costco's satisfaction return policy.
We have owned a La Crosse indoor/outdoor thermometer for years. Its propensity to drop the outdoor sensor's connection has been frustrating, but nothing like the C86234.
Out of the box, the C86234 connected fine, only to drop its connection to the rain sensor, then the anemometer. La Crosse's documentation is good and for the first time in my life I paid close attention to the date stamp on batteries: "the number 1 reason for warranty return" says La Crosse, "is batteries." "They must have 6-years of life left." Off to the store to buy fresh batteries & out comes the multi-meter to make sure batteries are not the problem.
Two weekends into debugging the unit I called Tech Support. "Bring all units indoors, lay them out in a triangle with the thermo-hydro sensor at the peak, cover the anemometer's solar panel & depress the reset button for 15-seconds." Success! Finally readings on all instruments. I relocated the thermo-hydro sensor so it had a direct line of sight to the anemometer & rain gauge, relocated the display to a location 6' from the Thermo-Hygro Sensor & enjoyed one full week of readings. Then came hurricane Sandy. Gentle (<40-mph -- we were lucky) winds & the display stopped reading the anemometer. Unmount all instruments, bring them indoors to the recommended triangle, re-test batteries, and follow all instructions including factory reset: no connections.
All in all I've spent well over 20-hours reading & re reading instructions & FAQs, removing/reinstalling batteries, doing factory resets, mounting/dismounting instruments and, as I said, I give up.
Shopping for home weather stations reveals a significant price increase when you look past La Crosse/Oregon Scientific, etc ($200 --> $600+). I'm afraid this is a case of you get what you pay for.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
1. Setup of sensors and display unit was simple. Complete 32-page PDF operations manual online is superb.
2. Setup of Heavy Weather Pro software / hardware including sychronization was simple. Complete 55-page PDF software user's guide online is detailed and outstanding.
3. Setup of Lacrosse Alerts PWS software was a little problematic, because software asks for a "Service Plan Key" while website provides a "Synchronization Key". These two things are one and the same, but I couldn't figure it out for a day, until I finally realized I hadn't used the "Sychronization Key" for anything. Once I entered the "Synchronization Key" into the "Service Plan Key" field in the sofware, I was able to see my weather data on the website (and on my iPhone). I had called tech support and left a message for someone to call me back. They called back the next day, which was great and somewhat surprising, but I had already figured it out on my own.
1. Sensors are accurate. I've compared indoor temp, outdoor temp and air pressure to other sources and they're all spot on. Indoor and outdoor temp is almost always within a few tenths of a degree compared to a Casio watch thermometer placed near sensor sites. Atmospheric pressure is spot on compared to pressure reading from the Casio watch and the pressure reading at the local airport (I check using a transceiver listening to control tower recording). Of course, the accuracy was my main concern, and should be yours, too. What good is an inaccurate weather station?
2. Hangs on the wall nicely. Should have come with mounting screws for the display unit, because you have to use really small screws. I didn't have any that would fit into the small keyholes on the back of the unit, so had to make a trip to the hardware store. The display doesn't have to hang on the wall. You can use the fold-out stand to set it on a counter.
3. Rain and thermo-hygro sensors are designed well for periodic battery replacement. Wind sensor has internal rechargeable battery charged by solar panel, so no backup battery to replace. Good design so you can stick the wind sensor in a fairly inaccessible location without ever having to worry about changing a battery.
4. Easy to see the forecast based on barometric pressure, and forecast is usually accurate.
5. Storm alert alarm went off for the first time today. Didn't know it was turned on, so it took a few minutes to figure out the cause of the alarm and to turn off the storm alert alarm in the setup mode.
1. Heavy Weather Pro shows all relevant weather data, and also shows battery life of each sensor and the display unit, which is really convenient.
2. Heavy Weather Pro is good for seeing real-time data and recorded data. I'm currently looking at 3 weeks of recorded data, which is pretty neat. I'm not sure if I'll ever actually use the data - other than helping my kids earn the weather merit badge for Boy Scouts - but still a neat feature.
3. Being able to see the weather data on my iPhone is great. There's no app to install. You just access the mobile version of the lacrossealerts.com website, where you have an account setup. Account is free for 3 or 4 months. It looks like there may be a service fee eventually. I hope not, but we'll see.
4. Re-synchronization between Heavy Weather Pro and weather station is required when computer reboots. Good news is that you don't lose any history from the station (at least not if you re-synch in a reasonable amount of time).
5. The "feels like" temp (i.e. wind chill) shown on lacrosselerts.com doesn't seem to calculate correctly all the time. I've seen it say, for example, "feels like" 56 when it's 43 out. I don't think wind chill values should ever be higher than the actual temperature, but I'm no meteorologist, so maybe I'm wrong. I ignore that value as displayed online because it just doesn't seem right. In looking back through 3 weeks of data in Heavy Weather Pro, I cannot find a single instance where the wind chill temperature was different from the outdoor temperature (we had very little wind). So, I'm thinking glitch in lacrossealerts.com.
I'm often looking at this weather station to see the forecast and current outdoor temp. We generally have pretty uneventful weather so the alarm features aren't really that useful for us, although it might be fun to set a low alarm for outdoor temp at -10F or something to see if we hit it this winter. Just having basic accurate weather information at our fingertips is nice. For the price paid locally, I'm actually sort of surprised at how well this works, and how it integrates with lacrossealerts.com for mobile access to the data. I'd definitely buy it again and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for an accurate, affordable weather station (and in fact, I did buy another unit as a gift for my dad).
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
Just off the roof for the fourth and probably final time getting this thing to work again. Worked OK when my kids gave it to me for a present. Then the wind speed unit blew off the roof where I had it mounted! Replaced that ($60) and set it up again with a TV mast antenna pole ($35). Worked for a while then, nothing. Spent the last three weeks reading blogs, FAQ's, up and down the ladder, pulling batteries, components, assembling them on the roof, starting them in "correct" order and getting no wind. So nearly $200 later, I have an indoor/outdoor thermometer, barometer, and rain gauge (which is so poorly designed, it amazes me. You have to unmount the thing in order to replace batteries).
How can a company with such a good reputation have such a junky system with so many poorly designed components and such a quirky system for setup? Maybe the company has outlived its good reputation - I know that I will no longer seek them out in the marketplace.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2014
I always carefully followed Lacrosses intricate instructions about start up sequence, and never had any problem getting unit to power up and display temperatures ok. First indoor display ate batteries every 2 weeks - research on Lacrosse website suggests they are aware of this problem with a lot of their units. Spent 80% of purchase price on shipping unit back to them for warranty replacement. Replacement came quickly, this time outdoor sensor failed in 1/2 day. Threw away the whole unit in the junk electronics recycling bin and got an Accurite which has no corny restrictions on start up and seems superior in most ways, about same price as junk Lacrossse.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2014
But, that's the best thing I can say about it.
wind speed indicator has never gone above 9.6 MPH (Gust) although we had in excess of 40 MPH
rain gage never registered.
So, I decided to get a 2nd unit (Costco is pretty good about returns) & it's worse .
after playing all night & 1/2 my morning. let wind speed indicator set under 100 watt bulb all night. I get nothing but dashes.
I'm done with La Crosse.
I wind chimes give me a better indication of how bad it's blowing outside.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
I purchased the Lacrosse C86234 from Costco. I got everything to connect fairly quickly except for the wind sensor. I found the instructions and FAQ's on the Lacrosse website. It all made good sense. I followed all of the instructions and the rain and thermo/hygro sensors sync'd up every time without incident. The wind sensor was still not functional. I even loaded the free software from Lacrosse and got the USB dongle to sync the software with the weather station without any issues.
I was hoping to work with Lacrosse to replace the defective wind sensor rather than return the whole package. Lacrosse recommends using their web form for technical support. They claim a 2 or 3 day response time, but expect more than a week. Lacrosse tech support basically emails the FAQ's and other support tips that are already available on the web site, so not much help there. After repeatedly saying that I had followed all of these and just needed a replacement wind sensor, they just sent me another page from their website on setting up the wind sensor. Already been there and done that over and over.
Finally, I got tired of Lacrosse not being able or willing to replace the defective wind sensor, so I took the whole package back to Costco for a refund. This seems like it would be a good product if you get a fully functional package on your first try. If not, I recommend you return it rather than expect support from Lacrosse.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2012
Well, again, I purchased this weather station at the same big box store as the other reviewers. The reason I'm writing this review on Amazon is A)I know that I always turn to Amazon for the most accurate reviews, so I would like to assist others if I can, and B)I popped over to Amazon to see what the price was.
I've just finished setting up the unit with the wind/speed/direction, rain gauge, and Thermo-Hygro Thingy, and so far, I am very pleased.
Setup was very simple, just follows the very clear step by step instructions. Every thing is transmitting properly to the base unit even through walls, around corners, etc. The units can be up to 200' away if you have a clear line of sight, less if you don't, of course.
It would seem to me that the one star review on this page was due to a faulty unit. Ya gotta remember, though, just because one unit is defective, it doesn't mean 10,000 units are automatically no good.
I've had a smaller LaCrosse unit for several years now, and it's still working great! This one adds the wind direction and the rain gauge, so it's a step up.
I only gave it four stars because I haven't yet tried the software / usb setup. Matter of fact, I came over to Amazon because I had gone to LaCrosse's site to d/l the software, and when I saw the MSR of $279.00 I said Wha...? I can't tell you what I paid at C*****, but even at Amazon, this is a bargain.
If it's anywhere near as reliable as my old unit, I will edit this to Five Stars!
(Edit) Okay! It's up to Five Stars. The software and USB stick are synchronizing to beat the band! The software graphics are a little dated, but then, who isn't? I may discover a few quirks or oddities as I proceed, but I'm sure they would be minor to the point of negligible.
La Crosse C86234 Wireless Weather Station - Very Cool!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
I wish I had not even bought this cheap weather station ..... Wind and Rain gauge are crap ........... I bought it from Costco and knowing they check out their products for reliability, I thought this would be great to own, its NOT ..........
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2014
The product works as it is designed. That's good and that's bad...
Good: For current conditions, it's great. Seems accurate and gives all the data you are looking for.
Bad: For historic conditions, the engineers/programers should be down the road! I am so perplexed by the lack of logic in the programming. For rain you get: 1-hour, 24-hour, week, month and total. Here's a hypothetical: Today is Thursday, you received 1" of rain within the past 24-hours and 2" on the Monday prior. You also received 4" two weeks ago. Logic would mean you would have the following data: 1-hour, 24-hours = 1", Week = 3", Month = 7". No, not with this company. Week mean last week, so after the 24-hour period the rain you received this week disappears until next week when it shows up again. The same for the month. Month mean last month, so you will just have to wait. Your rain will show up for the first 24-hours then disappear until next week then disappear until next month.