Weather station goes solar, forecasts the future

Oregon Scientific's new line of small weather stations is called +ECO, drawing power from the sun while gathering inside and outside temperature and humidity data. The company found out we're always eager to know what the temperature, humidity, exact time and weather forecast are, so it sent us one to review. Where we pleased with its results?

The Oregon Scientific BAR332ESA weather station consists of three pieces: the main unit that shows you inside and outside temperature, radio-controlled time, and a weather forecast; a second unit that rides piggyback on the main unit with a solar cell on board; and a temperature and humidity probe that you place outdoors.

That small solar array detaches from the main unit, so you can place it in sunlight. After six hours pointing south, its included rechargeable AAA batteries are fully replenished, and Oregon Scientific claims it can power this little weather station for two months on a single charge. That ought to get us through the worst part of winter. Meanwhile, the main unit, which is also a fully functioning alarm clock, has a backup battery to keep on going when its little daughter is out gathering sunlight.

This is an attractive unit whose green and white livery makes no mistake about its green nature. We only wish you could remove the stand in the back so the unit could be wall-mounted, and we'd like to see a higher contrast display. Other than that, its temperature probe has a surprisingly long range, and its data matches up with the much more sophisticated weather probes we have here. For us weather nuts, this attractive little trinket might be well worth its $100 retail price (find it at Amazon for $82).

Via Oregon Scientific