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Solar Gadgets for Summer

Davis Instruments Vantage Vue Cont’d

Once I got the sensor package on my roof, pointed it to north and attached it to a vertical pipe that used to hold a TV antenna, I made sure it was sitting flat with the bubble level that’s built in. It took about 15 minutes to physically set it up.

After that, I went inside and spent a few minutes to go through the display screen’s calibration and establish contact with the sensors. The sensors wirelessly transmit data every 2.5 seconds and the connection has a 1,000 foot range, according to Davis. It uses frequency hopping technology that’s reliable and secure.

Now, I can see what the temperature is outside at a glance, see the moon phase and view a graph of rain fall over the past month. It even has a sense of humor. During bad storms, the screen says “it’s raining cats and dogs.”

There is a back up battery for the sensor suite, but it only needs to be replaced every several years. The better the sunlight, the less often it needs to be changed. So far, I’ve had it on the roof for a year and a half and the battery is still running fine.

It’s an amateur weather man’s dream come true.

Easy SetupTime-Consuming Setup
Precise Weather ReadingsOnly Sensors are Solar-Powered
Wireless Display

Sends Data to PC

Final Score: 3.5/5


Brian Nadel
Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets.