Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Great System for the Price, Instructions & Support, Not So Much
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.