Wireless Weather Station Tips

Read these 10 Wireless Weather Station Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Weather Stations tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I improve efficiency in my solar -powered wireless station?

Solar-Powered Wireless Stations

You're energy efficient in every way. You even bike to work one day a week--and that's not just because of gas prices. Why shouldn't your wireless weather station be solar powered?

Even if you live in Seattle, the UVA and UVB rays can break through those clouds to reach your self-emptying rain bucket and hygrometer. Unless you live in a heavily polluted area, you can choose the solar alternative. A few tips to make the sun kind to your solar-powered wireless home weather station:

* Mount wireless sensors in an area with direct sunlight.
* Most wireless weather stations have sensors with radiation shielding, so extreme heat and environmental radiation won't interfere with the wireless connection.
* Check to make sure your wireless remote sensors have radiation shielding.
* If the range of your wireless remote sensors, rain gauges and thermometers, won't extend to sunny areas, consider buying wireless boosters or move your inside unit.
* Don't assume that cloudy days mean your wireless home weather station sensor units won't function. Still, in case of storms and inclement weather, have non-solar-powered backups.
* Place your solar-activated wireless weather station monitors so they face south, which is where they'll collect the most sun.

While you're monitoring the weather, you might as well save energy. That way, you can truly smile back at the blue skies you see smiling at you.

How far will the straight-line signal go with backyard stations?

The Straight Talk on Backyard Wireless Weather Stations

Your wireless weather station wind direction sensor perches on the front of your house, while your wireless home weather station main monitor rests on a console table in your backyard. Yet you didn't detect the wind until it blew the cover off your pool.

Straight-line signals weaken the more walls they pass through. In addition, readings from wall-mount or roof-mount sensors might be blocked by metal sheeting. Check your walls and roof for hidden metal.

Consider moving your front-door sensor to your backyard. Chances are that any wind you need to detect will come from that direction anyway. The fewer walls wireless signals need to navigate, the more accurate your readings will be.

That said, don't place your outdoor monitors too close to each other or they can cause inconsistencies. While readings usually vary, for example, one to two temperature points between monitors, you don't want to have one monitor proclaiming -15 degrees and one that tells you it's time to don a bikini!

A final thought: Your pool cover may have blown off because you didn't secure it, so check your own backyard before you worry about what's going on in the sky.

How do I extend the range of my wireless weather station?

Boosting the Wireless Weather Signal

Lost signals on cell phones and missed connections with your laptop don't bother you. In fact, you expect it. But signal problems with your wireless home weather station?

Normally, wireless weather stations have a direct signal range of up to 1,000 feet and 200 to 400 feet through walls. You can boost the signal by:

--Avoiding interference from other electronic devices at indoors and in the backyard.
--Placing outside units in the front of your home, out in the open and away from obstructions in the terrain, e.g. hills.
--Purchasing a wireless repeater to extend your signal range. The LaCrosse Technology model can add up to 330 feet.

Also remember that hooking up wireless weather stations to computers limits the placement in your house. Depending on the layers of wall and paint, your signal may have to work harder to get to the remote sensor. You can better your chances by using a laptop computer with your wireless home weather station.

Now if you could just figure out why your wireless optic mouse suddenly stopped working.

Should I choose a cabled or wireless weather station?

Cabled or Cable-Free?

You refuse to go cordless, love dial-up (why????), and are perfectly content to plug in your keyboard, thank you. You don't even own a cell phone. Welcome to the diverse world of electronics. But everyone has been trying to entice you to choose wireless weather stations.

Aha, you say, but cell phones are distracting, wireless/cable Internet is vulnerable to hackers, and I dodn't need to multitask while talking on the phone.

While your family and friends shake their heads, you gently remind them that you live in an aluminum-siding modular house and that wireless can't transmit well through metal. Plus, your weather station is, well, stationary.

But you're tempted to try a wireless home weather station, thinking that cabled weather stations aren't as chic-looking. The Davis Weather Monitor II looks like a Pocket PC and you can hide the cable when the monitor sits by your family room armchair. So you can at least keep up the appearance of being in step with this cable-free world...if only to avoid those gifts of cell phones and PDAs from well-meaning relatives.

Can I monitor the weather when I'm driving or flying?

Travel and Digital Wireless Weather Stations

It's time to get away. You're taking that drive through the Grand Canyon or the mountains in Sedona. Your digital wireless weather station , apparently has gone on vacation too. You know it's going to be hot tomorrow, but you don't know how hot, or whether you want to go star-gazing tonight.

Or you're aboard an airplane and want to read the outside temp. Better not turn on your portable wireless weather stations, they could interfere with the operation of the aircraft. If you're flying into a storm cloud, you'll know when the "fasten seat belts" sign comes on.

Your handheld Oregon Scientific digital weather forecaster shouldn't give you any trouble on your road trip. That said, mountains, especially ones with copper or metal deposits, can shield you from wireless coverage. Before you pack your wireless weather station, gather information about your route. Your fellow amateur meteorologists will be happy to supply information about your vacation spots or make sure that you pack the right gear for your business trip.

After all, whether you're camping under the stars or dodging the rain on the way to a company meeting, you need to be prepared.

Will radiation interfere with my wireless weather station?

Radiation and Wireless Weather Stations

You successfully hooked up yet another wireless device: your indoor or backyard wireless home weather station. You never counted on radiation from your television, heater or other heat source to frustrate you and make you pull your hair out at the interference. Now you look as though a strong wind came up and blew away your hair. Your family scratches their heads: wasn't this $400 wireless weather station supposed to predict strong winds?

Before you go for the Rogaine, take your wireless weather station back and exchange it for wireless weather stations with radiation shielding. Radiation shielding inside a Davis Instruments or oregon Scientific wireless home weather station protects against harmful reflected or radiated heat. The shielding usually houses the transmitter, and the battery as well, so you won't have to buy "C" batteries when you're shelling out cash for a year's supply of Rogaine.

N.B.: Handheld wireless weather station indicators normally don't have radiation shielding, whereas complete wireless weather station kits do. Handhelds, especially aluminum portable wireless weather stations, may not require radiation shielding.

So the next time you're tempted to tear your hair out while configuring a wireless home weather station, make sure it's because the instruction manual is confusing and not because you're dealing with radiation.

How do I monitor temperatures in my greenhouse or pool?

How Does My Garden Grow?

They say that GPS satellite technology can pinpoint a water drop on a leaf in China. You're not interested in your Chinese e-mail gardening enthusiast pal's bamboo leaves. Well, maybe you are. After all, you don't want your own bamboo to look shabby, or taste bad when your friend finally makes the overseas trip to sample your moo shu pork with bamboo shoots.

Your wireless weather station says that the dewpoint is 50, not uncomfortable at all. But in the garden, your bamboo is wilting because your sprinkler system keeps overwatering! If you had a Wireless Leaf and Soil Temperature Sensor measuring the wetness level of your bamboo soil, you'd know how saturated the dirt is around your bamboo. You can't plant or manitain bamboo in completely damp soil.

Tip: You can adjust the sprinkler system to not water in the rain zone when your bamboo is located. Then, your wireless weather station can monitor the dampness of the soil in that zone.

But oh my! Your Chinese e-mail pal has arrived with her bamboo shoots, and they're perfect. If ancient enlightenment escapes you, try modern technology and wisdom may eventually come.

Why do outdoor and indoor wireless sensors display different temps?

Same Sensors, Different Temperatures

Your outdoor weather station sensor says that you don't need a jacket. When you go out for the evening, you shiver all night and it's not because your date is attractive. When you return home to check your indoor temperature sensor, it tells you what your goosebumps have been saying all night.

Indoor and outdoor sensors for wireless weather stations are designed for different environments. The heat sink for your indoor sensor shields against interference, although your outdoor wireless home weather station sensors should guard against radiation too. You get a more accurate reading indoors. In addition, your outdoor sensors have to detect temperature at a much greater range. In wireless weather stations, the greater the sensor range, the less accurate the readings will be.

--Use temperature sensors compatible with or at least made by the same manufacturer as your wireless weather station.
--Unless your outdoor sensors are solar-powered, place them in cool dry spots for best results.

You have your wireless weather station configured correctly. Now when you get goosebumps, you're wearing a jacket...and your date could be the love of your life. Your new pickup line: "Want to come back to my place and see my temperature sensors?"

How do I monitor temperatures in my greenhouse or pool?

Digital Wireless Temperature Monitors

The kids haven't complained of chills in the pool, but your daughter definitely has the sniffles.

The plants can't talk, but your parsley has wilted.

It's too hot in the greenhouse and too chilly in the pool area. Your wireless weather station isn't keeping up with the conditions inside the house or immediately outside, even though you can tell down to the minute when it's going to rain.

Fortunately, digital wireless weather stations have solutions, namely wireless remote temperature sensors that tell your desktop or wall unit whether the pool is caliente or your kids need sweaters when they get out. Steel-tipped probes sense drops in temperature and send them to the home unit.

Cool Tip: Your sensor needs to be in an area free of obstructions, so don't hide it in your tomato plants or near that poolside replica of the Winged Victory.

When your daughter has the sniffles, you can be sure that she caught it from the germ factory known as school and not because the pool water is the wrong temperature.

I don't have vision problems, do I need a jumbo digital display?

Jumbo Digital Wireless Readouts

You don't need bifocals or multifocals, even though you stare at a monitor, a petri dish, or do fine-motor tasks all day. So why would you need a large LED display in your digital wireless weather station?

A large digital wireless weather station LCD display is a benefit. There's no chance of misreading, say, dewpoint, mistaking a 50 percent prediction for an 80 percent prediction. (Dewpoint, by the way, is the measure of how heavy and moist the air is--at 80 percent, people wear hats. Indoors. In air conditioning.)

If you're a serious weather aficionado, you want to read the rainfall and the phases of the moon at a glance, as well as note the time the barometric pressure starts to drop. A large wireless home weather station digital display gives you clearer readings.

Effective home lighting in the rooms where wireless weather stations are located will also enable you to read the display more clearly.

Outside, a large LCD readout cuts down on the visual pollution and compensates for fading light, clouds (which your wireless weather station predicted would come) and dust.

So don't misinterpret your best friend's gift of a jumbo display wireless weather station as a sign that you need to sit a little closer to the TV.

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Guru Spotlight
Susan Sayour