Has your weather app ever given you false information? Has it ever told you it was dry outside only for the rain to pour when you’re getting ready for your afternoon jog?
These inconsistencies often arise because there isn’t a weather station close to where you live. But if hyperlocal information is important to you, there is a solution.
A personal weather station can give you all the measurements you need specifically for your home area. This makes it possible to follow trends in your own microclimate and even share the data with your neighbors.
Ambient Weather WS-2902A
If you are in search of a weather station, one to consider is the WS-2902A by Ambient Weather. This Arizona-based manufacturer is one of the leading names in the industry.
The WS-2902A is a device that gives a wide range of information, including temperature, humidity, wind, rain, and solar radiation. It offers many options to store the data and share it with others. You can also connect it to other services and schedule actions dependent on specific weather conditions.
Who Is This Product For?
The intended audience of the WS-2902A is both beginners and seasoned weather buffs. The device offers impressive functionalities which even the fussy expert is bound to be satisfied with.
The product isn’t suitable for professionals in certain specific areas, however. If you’re a farmer interested in leaf wetness and soil moisture, you won’t get those readings with this device. Also, the device is not easily customizable.
Those who can expect the most benefits from this unit are modern users with smart homes. The WS-2902A integrates seamlessly with other automated home devices and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. This means that the measurements aren’t just seen as raw data, but can be used for specific purposes.
Like most weather stations, this kit has two main components. One of them is the display console that shows you the measurements. You place this inside your home, and you can order additional consoles if you want to have it in several places. The console measures inside temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure.
The outdoor sensor array performs the actual weather readings that it then sends wirelessly to the console. Here are the sensors in the array:
- Wind direction
- Wind speed
- Solar radiation
- Temperature & Humidity
- UV index
- Solar panel
Apart from the console and the sensor suite, you can, of course, expect to get the manual and AC power supply in the box.
Overview of Features
In what is a relatively small casing, the sensor array offers a range of features. It gives measurements that fall within the range of what most inhabitable places can expect.
The outside temperature sensor has a range of -40°F to 149°F. Most populated areas fall somewhere within these two extremes. In addition, you can measure indoor temperatures between 14°F and 140°F.
The WS-2902A can detect wind speeds up to 100 mph. There are places that occasionally get even stronger winds; if you live in such an area, you might benefit from a more robust weather station that can handle wind speeds over 100 mph.
Even though the rain gauge does its job well, it lacks a way of repelling birds. They might gather around the collector and clog the sensor with their droppings. If you want to avoid this, you could try to place makeshift spikes around the gauge to make sure it’s protected.
Sensors for UV and solar radiation are excellent additions to this device since they often aren’t part of home weather stations. You can use these readings to decide if you should go outside, and if you do for how long and whether you should wear sunscreen.
The WS-2902A runs on solar power, which is great because it saves you from worrying about recharging it. During the day, it collects enough energy to last through the night. In case that should fail, there are backup batteries that can step in, so you don’t lose any measurement updates.
There’s great value in the wireless transmission of data from the sensor array to the console. This works up to a maximum distance of 80 feet between the two. This means that if you place the sensors on the roof of your house, you’re not likely to experience any issues. If you plan to keep the sensors a bit further, you might want to look into ones with longer wireless ranges.
Apart from current weather readings, the device also offers weather forecast so that you can get a rough idea of what to expect. There’s also the possibility of checking past records to find trends. The console can display graphs on various parameters, but you can also export the data to your computer for further analysis.
The main selling point of the WS-2902A is how compatible it is with smart homes. The console connects to your router and can automatically transmit the data to the internet. This allows you to monitor the weather on the go with your phone, tablet, or computer. It connects seamlessly to services like Weather Underground and WeatherCloud to stream the data to your personal webpage.
You can also connect your device to IFTTT (short for If This Then That). This is a free service that automates actions based on certain conditions. This is ideal for you if you have a smart home device that can control your appliances. For example, through IFTTT, you can set your air conditioner to turn on every time your weather station records a temperature that’s over a certain threshold.
If you’re using Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, you’ll be happy to know that the WS-2902A is compatible with both. You can ask these virtual assistants to fetch real-time or past weather info from your device when you’re away from the console display.
- Wireless data sharing
- Smart home compatible
- UV and solar radiation sensors included
- Rain collector accessible to birds
- No mounting pole/tripod
How To Use
The WS-2902A is easy to set up as most of the components are preassembled, so you just need to mount it. The device doesn’t come with a mounting pole, which can be a problem since you will need to figure out a solution yourself. The wireless connectivity of the device is also pretty straightforward to configure, especially using the free smartphone app called Ambient Tool. It guides you through the steps to complete the process. Here’s a useful video about what to expect when installing your station.
As we said, the WS-2902A is going to satisfy most users, except those with particular needs. If you are looking for a kit that is customizable and can withstand harsher conditions, then you should consider the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2. It offers most of the same measurements (except for UV and solar radiation), but with a bigger range for most. You can combine it with numerous add-ons if you need additional measurements.
Designed for the modern household, the Ambient Weather WS-2902A is a versatile station that offers plenty of functionality and little clutter. If you are looking for easy remote access to weather data, or want to use this information to trigger concrete actions, then this device might be ideal for you.