Oregon Scientific Weather Station with FM Radio (BARM688)
Is it beach weather?
- Offers accurate weather forecasts and indoor/outdoor temperature, inbuilt FM radio, alarm with snooze button
- Fiddly interface, limited appeal
The Oregon Scientific Weather Station (BARM688) is a smart little gadget with plenty of bedside-friendly features. It's almost like having your own personal weatherman without the bad jacket.
Price$ 169.00 (AUD)
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If you're sick of tuning into clueless weathermen or staring furtively at the clouds, then it might be time to invest in an Oregon Scientific Weather Station (BARM688). With the assistance of a remote thermo sensor, this handy gadget displays temperature and weather forecasts alongside the time. The inclusion of an inbuilt FM radio, plus a digital calendar and alarm, ensures that it has all the functionality you'd expect from a bedside clock.
The Weather Station monitors weather conditions via a wireless battery-operated sensor. The sensor has a range of up to 30 metres and can accurately forecast weather conditions within a radius of 30-50 kilometres. The sensor is easy to set up, with a wall-mount cavity suitable for hanging off hooks, along with an inbuilt table stand.
Once you've placed the sensor in the optimum position (Oregon Scientific recommends experimenting with different locations), the main unit will automatically search and connect with it. The sensor can read temperatures ranging from -30 to 60 degrees Celsius (!), which should see you through every conceivable weather condition. The device comes equipped with three separate weather channels, allowing you to set up multiple sensors in different locations.
Once the connection has been properly established, the clock will display a weather forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours, along with the current outdoor temperature. A large illustrated icon at the top of the screen lets you know whether it's raining, cloudy, partly cloudy or sunny. We tested the device on an on-off rainy weekend, and found it gave an accurate forecast, with the icon shifting from cloudy to rainy over the 48-hour period.
Unlike the lower priced Radio-controlled Projection Clock (BAR339P), the Weather Station comes equipped with its own FM radio. Reception and volume were both good. The Tune button automatically searches for stations (you can save up to eight stations at a time.)
With its sleek picture-frame-like design and blue backlight display, the Weather Station is a simple yet elegant device that will look equally at home in the bedroom or kitchen. The touch-sensitive controls do take some getting used to, however. (This is unusual, as we do not remember the BAR339P unit being quite so fiddly.)
The Weather Station also comes equipped with a secondary inbuilt sensor that displays indoor temperature, as well as a digital calendar and an alarm with an eight-minute snooze function (you can choose between your preferred radio station, or the obligatory beeping sound). A word of warning though: pressing any button other than the top-mounted snooze icon will shut the alarm off for 24 hours. Sleepy clock groping is therefore not advised.
The main unit runs on either AC power or three AA batteries. Annoyingly, you need to remove the battery cavity to insert the AC plug.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.