Top critical review
A lot of toy for the money
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 18, 2013
I managed to assemble this station and make it work, although not without a struggle. The instructions are logical enough; they are just tiny since they are printed in eight languages. Seriously, buyers of this speak English, Swedish is not necessary! The pieces snap together easily. I had to download troubleshooting instructions from the OS website in order to get the temp/RH sensor to pick up - there is a sequence that has to be followed. The PC display would not work from the minidisk, but after much experimentation I was able to download the Weather Display software from OS, and it has very extensive capabilities when interfaced to the net. An inquiry of the OS service dept. was returned in five days with a constructive response. The unit is working well now. The real issue is accuracy, which will take some time to ascertain. Temp seems OK although the sensor should NOT be mounted in sunlight despite the little shield. RH/DP seems worthless but I will have to calibrate it when I get a "real" psychrometer. The wind speed (not dir.) also seems unrealistic, but position error is a big problem. The little mast that comes with the unit will mount sensors at 2 meter height, but correct placement of an anemometer is atop a 10m mast, or the data will be of little use. Haven't tested the bucket rain gauge yet. With correct station elevation entered the barometer compares well with nearby stations. The specs claim tolerable accuracy except for the anemometer, which is +-3 m/sec. The Man-Machine interface is oddly non-intuitive on the little desktop unit, but you can get used to it. The PC weather display is very complex and takes a lot of tweaking. The documentation is nearly impenetrable, but by finding the Wiki manual on the menu and being patient one can make progress to get a suitable customized display. I think OS is a little behind with their documentation since several links don't work, and the paper instructions for the software are hard to follow. You have to be willing to invest some time and effort. If you SERIOUSLY need correct weather data, get a Davis or a Vaisala, but this will suffice as a back-up in my case, and it looks like it can become a good Internet station site. As always, the most important thing is to mount all sensors according to meteorological guidelines therefore. I may submit an update on test accuracy later, but for now: Would I buy this again? Considering the low price, Yes, but you must be aware of the limitations of such a small unit.
UPDATE ON ACCURACY
After a month of operation, the unit is largely troublefree. Most readings are accurate except: rain is approx. 90% of actual even when taking out the leaf guard and cutting out the plastic cross hairs. Tipping bucket gauges are useless in solid precip! Get a manual barrel gauge from cocorahs.org and join the network. Pressure is off about 2mb with correct elevation, which is acceptable since it is consistent. RH occasionally drops to very low levels and then return just as abruptly. Temp is accurate only if you put a ventilated shield around it. Time synchs to WWV fairly swiftly only if you take the base unit outside for a while.
Squawks: Each unit is battery powered. Mount the anemometer so you can fish it down again for new battery. USB connection dropped off once requiring a cold start and data reset. The regular OS PC display has a high silliness quotient.
Major benefit: Download the free Weather Display trial version from the OS site. This is a fantastic piece of software built by a NZ dairy farmer! If you pay him $70 you get the full version and you're basically your own Weather Bureau, networked worldwide. Even the PC display is far better than OS's own.
Conclusion: Good station if you can't afford a Davis and you mount everything judiciously.