Ambient Weather released the WS-2902 Osprey in April 2017 making this one of the newer home weather stations around. The WS-2902 is a full-featured professional weather station designed for the residential weather enthusiast but with all the features demanded by experienced weather geeks.
Known for their 7 in 1 weather stations, Ambient delivers one in a whole new design, incorporating their latest improvements from their other models. Ambient refers to the WS-2902 Osprey as a 10 in 1 by counting the 3 indoor sensors along with the 7 outdoor weather instruments.
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Benefits of the 2902A Osprey
- Very easy to install, no special fittings.
- The most bang for your buck for a complete professional weather station.
- Includes all of the standard sensors + two more; solar radiation and UV levels.
- It’s an internet weather station, or not if you choose.
- No wires to hook up, all the parts communicate wirelessly.
- Solar powered; back up batteries last a long time.
- Easy to read indoor display.
- Super fast and easy help from Ambient if you run into a problem.
Indoor / outdoor temperature and humidity. The outdoor thermometer and hygrometer are enclosed in a passive radiation shield. People are reporting that the quality of the weather measurements are on par with far more expensive weather equipment.
Wind speed and direction. The wind direction vane includes a dampener to help remove the effects of turbulent air flow.
Rainfall, measurement is taken with a single tipping bucket mechanism instead of the usual double. This is to help eliminate false rain readings when the wind makes the weather station sway back and forth. Does it work? I’m not sure…
Barometric pressure, you have to manually set this. Look up the weather report for the nearest airport and use that number if your elevation is about the same.
Solar radiation, this is a measure of the solar power reaching the earth presented as watts per square meter. If you have solar panels or if you are a gardener, you’ll find this handy.
UV light, do you sunburn easily? A glance at this measurement will alert you to hazardous conditions.
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A Closer look at the WS- 2902A Home Weather Station
The 2902A Osprey design is an attractive alternative to the common weather instrument cluster. Instead of incorporating all of the weather sensors into as small an area as possible like most all-in-ones, the ws- 2902A has the major sensors mounted at the ends of a “Y” shaped platform. This design makes the WS-2902A very lightweight, coming in under 4lbs.
The 2902A Osprey is easy to install
Other than the unique look, the next noticeable feature is the simple u-bolt mounting bracket. The weather station is mounted by sliding it over the end of any pipe size from 1 inch to 2 inches and then just tightening the u-bolts. If you wanted to mount it on a wooden post or on the fascia of a building, you’d have to clamp the pipe on in some way.
There is some assembly required, but not much. The rainfall funnel, the wind speed cups, and the wind direction vane have to be installed. The outdoor array takes 2 AA lithium batteries and the indoor display takes 3 AAA batteries. Batteries come in packs of 4 right? …Oh well.
A couple things you should know…
One of the things you might notice is that the wind vane does not turn quite as freely as you would think it should. This is intentional, the wind vane movement is dampened so it doesn’t flip around wildly like most of the other ones do. This works very well.
Another thing to watch is that the rainfall funnel is securely attached. Make sure you turn it until it clicks, otherwise it can blow away. This is a nice feature that makes cleaning rain gauge easy. There is no need to disassemble the whole weather station, just unscrew the rain collector funnel off, clean the dirt, leaves, or bugs out and reinstall.
A solar-powered supercapacitor with battery backup
A less noticeable feature you will appreciate is the solar charged supercapacitor power source. This allows the use of lithium batteries for night time power instead of alkaline rechargeable batteries. Lithium batteries not only last a lot longer but more importantly, they will keep working when the temperatures get as low as -40°F.
Please put the batteries in first thing…
On the topic of the batteries, put them in first, before you remove the cover from the solar cells. The batteries will quickly charge the supercapacitor and then the solar cells will take over. If you don’t do it this way the weather station will try to run off of the solar cells alone and it will go into a “twilight” state to conserve power.
If you remove the cover first because you didn’t know this, just cover the solar panels up to completely discharge the supercapacitor. You may need to use a paper clip to reset the unit and then install the lithium batteries. A little strange, but that’s how it works.
The WS 2902A indoor display
Next, we come to the WS-2902 indoor display. It shows the seven weather readings from the outdoor unit plus the three indoor readings. (Indoor temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure) There’s your 10 in 1 weather station.
The display also calculates dew point, heat index, and wind chill.
Also shown is the time and date, forecast and trends, RF and WIFI status, moon phase, and high/ low events. The DST symbol stands for Day Light Savings Time.
The display isn’t perfect, but…
If there is a weak link in the system it would be the display. There are a few people that don’t like the fact that LCD displays have a limited viewing angle. All LCD displays from any manufacturer have the same limitation.
On the positive side, the 2902 Osprey has backlit colored digits on a black background which makes it far brighter and more readable than black digits on a colored background. Looks good too.
On my weather station, I put the display where it gets the best signal and I just look at my computer to see what’s up with the weather. I almost never even look at my display unit.
TFT (thin film transistor) LCD displays are better but are a LOT more expensive. At more than twice the price you can get a WS-2000 or the WS-1002 with a nice TFT LCD display that can be read from almost any angle.
Connecting the WS-2902A to the internet
The WS 2902 is a wireless weather station where the outdoor weather instrument array transmits a 915 MHz signal up to 300 feet to the indoor display which, in turn, retransmits a 2.4 GHz signal to your wireless router. From your router, you can upload your weather data to ambientweather.net and weather underground…but only if you want to.
Connecting the ws-2902A to the internet weather sites is easy for most people but difficult for others. The directions are clear in the manual and must be followed in order. Connecting was made much easier when Ambient replaced the WS-2902 with the WS-2902A.
While I find it easier to setup IP based personal weather stations through my computer, the convenience of using WIFI instead of having to keep a computer running 24/7 makes it worth the effort.
Some common problems encountered connecting the WS-2902A Osprey:
- The indoor weather display must be plugged in to activate the 2.4GHz WIFI. Then the WIFI symbol near the time display must be on and flashing. When the display is connected to the router the light stops flashing and stays on.
- On the older WS-2902 all of the control and setup options are accessed through a free setup app using your mobile device. This must be done through your 2.4GHz wireless router. The 5GHz function on a dual-band router has to be temporarily turned off until the setup is completed. NOTE: If you purchased the WS-2902A, all of the set-up is done through a direct connection between the display and your router. Much easier!
- Set up an account with Weather Underground separately and when completed, enter your info that WU emails you into the ambientweather.net account.
Use Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT…
You can set up your connected devices to answer your queries, “Alexa, ask Ambient Weather what the weather forecast is” or “Alexa, ask Ambient Weather what the weather was on (pick a date)” Or “Alexa, ask the NSA where my car keys are” — Maybe I’m just too old for this….
Now, I do find the IFTTT (If This Then That) capability interesting. Being able to have things in or around your home automatically respond to changing weather conditions could be useful. Or maybe you would like an email alert if certain weather conditions occur. The currently available services can be seen here: https://ifttt.com/ambient_weather.
- Very easy to install.
- Compares favorably with far more expensive stations.
- Easy maintenance, removable rain gauge funnel, no need to take the weather station apart to clean. Solar charged supercapacitor powers unit throughout the day and part of the night; batteries last a long time.
- Access your data from a computer or smartphone from anywhere.
- The LCD indoor display is harder to read at an angle. This is a common problem with most weather station displays. The solution to the viewing angle problem is a TFT LCD display, which is costly.
- Cannot use additional sensors. There has been some talk about making additional displays available to place in other rooms.
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Features and Specs
- Indoor and outdoor temperature, outdoor thermometer enclosed in a solar radiation shield.
- Indoor and outdoor humidity
- Wind speed, samples every second and reports 14-second average and highest gust.
- Wind direction, dampened wind vane that doesn’t whip around.
- Rainfall, reports rates and totals. Uses a single tipping bucket for fewer faulty readings.
- UV light sensor, avoid sunburns!
- Solar radiation sensor, great for farmers and gardeners. Also good for SAD sufferers.
Specs for the WS-2902A Osprey:
|Indoor Thermometer||14° to 140°F||0.1°F||+/- 2°F||64 seconds|
|Outdoor Thermometer||-40° to 149°F||0.1°F||+/- 2°F||16 seconds|
|Indoor Humidity||10% to 99%||1%||+/-5%||64 seconds|
|Outdoor Humidity||10% to 99%||1%||+/-5%||16 seconds|
|Wind Speed||0 to 100MPH||1.4MPH||The greater of:
+/-2.2mph or 10%
|Averaged over 16 seconds
sampled every 1 second for gusts
|Wind Direction||0 to 360°||1°||+/- 10°||16 seconds|
|Barometric Pressure||8.85 to 32.5 inHg||0.01 inHg||+/- 0.08 inHg||64 seconds|
|Rainfall||0 to 394 in||0.01 in||+/- 5%||16 seconds with rate and accumulation|
|Solar Radiation||0 to 200,000 Lux||1 Lux||+/- 15%||16 seconds|
|UV||0 to 15||1||+/- 1||16 seconds|
What people are saying
There are many comments about how easy the Osprey is to install. Several people had the weather station up and running in less than 15 minutes! Some people have questions about getting their station online and are very impressed with the speed and quality of the response from Ambient Weather when they have questions.
Read more comments about the Ambient Weather Osprey here.
Pretty impressive. Of all the personal weather stations I’ve looked at, this one has the most customer satisfaction. From the ease of setup and installation for the first time weather station owner to the positive comments by hardcore weather geeks about the quality and amount of weather data, makes the 2902A Osprey a pretty safe bet.
Almost everybody comments about how quick and easy it is to get help from Ambient Weather.
To me, the only shortcoming is the lack of expandability, but being that the WS-2902A already has 10 weather sensors right out of the box, it starts out ahead of most of the other personal weather stations. If and when they sell a second display unit, that would make it perfect.
Is there is a difference between the WS-2902 and the WS-2902A?
Yes. The original release was the WS- 2902 which connected to your router through the AmbientTool mobile app, and now the improved WS-2902A has direct connectivity with the router. This has eliminated some set-up problems some people ran into, especially with dual band routers.
The weather stations are both the same but for the steps for connecting to the internet, which has been made much easier.
I would definitely recommend the WS-2902A over the older WS-2902. So far, WS-2902A weather station owners seem pleased.
What is really amazing is the WS-2902A is already the second most used model used on Weather Underground! Considering that the 2902A was just introduced in April 2018 and is second only to the venerable Davis Vantage Pro 2.* Just give it time…
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* Reference : http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=34900.msg356114;topicseen#msg356114