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Oregon Scientific Pro Weather Station WMR89A review: A solid option for casual observers

Ed Oswald | June 2, 2016
This weather station doesn't have a lot of flashy features, and there's no mobile companion app; but many will find its low price tag compelling.

Oregon Scientific is one of the most prolific makers of weather instruments. With options ranging from your basic digital thermometer up to professional-grade weather stations, the company has something for everyone.

With such a prolific catalog, we asked them to send us a mid-range model with a solid set of features. They sent the WMR89A. At $170 MSRP (available at Amazon), this model comes in at the low end of their “professional” line, but it offers all the weather instruments a station should have: temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind, and rainfall.

Yes, the WMR89A lacks an app to access your data remotely, or any method to upload your data to the Internet, and it does suffer from accuracy issues from time to time, as most basic personal weather stations do. But for those with a casual interest in weather observation, Oregon Scientific’s basic personal weather station is more than adequate.

Oregon Scientific Pro Weather Station 
The WMR89A’s wind vane and wind gauge are quite accurate for a personal weather station in this price range. Credit: Ed Oswald

Setting up

Most of the WMR89A comes in pieces, so it does require a bit of assembly. You should have a Phillips screwdriver handy, since in some cases you’ll need to take sensors apart to install the batteries. It’s not that difficult, and the instructions walk you through step by step—including removing packing materials to prevent breakage (make sure you do, we forgot to remove fiber tape from the rain gauge and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t measuring rainfall).

Give it a few minutes to start reporting and you should be all set. If you want, head to Oregon Scientific’s support site and download their software, but be aware there it is Windows only (the Mac is not supported). That’s disappointing considering the increasing number of consumers who use Macs.

For the most-accurate weather readings, follow our placement suggestions in the buyer’s guide and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Our experience

We ran the WMR89A through a full gamut of tests, including a variety of weather conditions. In most cases, the station performed well, although from time to time we did encounter issues with accuracy, especially in humidity measurement.

We didn’t have problems with any of the sensors, and despite being made entirely of plastic, the sensor housings held up well during the duration of the test. Like the Netatmo, the sensors are completely battery-powered, and the batteries had a good deal of charge left after two months of continuous use.

Even the display console—one feature the Netatmo doesn’t have—runs on continuous battery power if you don’t plug in its power adapter. But it was still going strong after our two months of testing.

 

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