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Works Pretty good, but a couple of quirks..
on August 27, 2012
We've had the WMR100 for a little over a year, and, generally, it works Ok. BUT, there are some issues with it that you should be aware of. Some background...our weather station is hooked up to a computer, and the results are reported to Weather Underground. Although the unit works Ok stand-alone, there are some well known issues if you are trying to use it with a computer:
1. Placement- WMR100 apparently has lousy electrical shielding. If it is placed too close to the computer, it will have trouble communicating with the outdoor sensors. This is pretty variable, but we finally solved the problem by getting a 15 foot USB extension cable, and getting the WMR100 a good distance away from the offending computer. Some folks suggested putting ferrite cores on the USB cable, or foil around the base station, but the only thing that worked reliably for us was getting the unit separated from the computer as far as possible.
2. Power supply for base station- Well known problem, you can look it up on the net. If the base station is hooked up with the supplied AC adaptor, it will not always report the data to the computer. Again, it has been theorized that this is because of the very poor shielding of the device. Solution? Well, for us, we just never plug it in. Use with the 4 AA batteries, and replace the batteries when they get weak (about 4 to 6 weeks for typical alkaline batteries, lithium lasts quite a bit longer). This is a somewhat expensive solution, but it makes the station much more reliable. Have considered trying a different power supply, ferrite cores on the cable, but so far, just using batteries only is simple and effective.
The station itself is fairly accurate, and probably as good or better than anything else in this price range. Sensors are more durable than I would have guessed, and don't really chew the batteries at all. I replace the batteries every fall with Lithium, and seem to get a good year out of them, at least the first batch.
If you can live with a few fairly simple workarounds like we did, you'll probably be pretty happy with it.
If you know of a better weather station for less than $200.00, I would certainly like to hear about it. Unfortunately, really good, really reliable weather stations seem to start at around $500.00 for something you can hook to the internet, and that is a little out of my budget right now. So, I will stick with the WMR100 for now.