The Netatmo Weather Station was reviewed back in early 2013. As technology improves I thought it would be a good time to look at the latest version of the Netatmo Weather Station to see how the product has developed. Especially as being British the start of every conversation usually resolves around the weather.
The basic weather station still includes a lager indoor and smaller outdoor module providing detailed reports on the current temperature, CO2 pollution, humidity and a decibel meter.
With the latest version, you have the option to purchase a rain meter and/or a wind meter, both key features when monitoring the weather. The App has also received huge updates from the original version.
The product is still perfectly designed with both the indoor and outdoor modules finished in a weighty silver one-piece aluminium body and packaged in a way Apple would be proud of.
Once you take the modules out of the packaging, set up is very simple and follows the original method. Simply download the free Netatmo smartphone app, plug the indoor module to the supplied USB power adaptor and follow the onscreen instructions. Set up takes less than 5 minuets and whilst you have to click through several screen, each step guides you forward. It would have been nice to have less screens to click through, but once set up you won’t ever need to do this again.
To connect the Netatmo Weather Station to your WiFi network in order to report the weather data, you simply plug the USB cable from the indoor module to your device during set up as instructed and the settings are transferred from your device to the weather station. Simple really.
Using the supplied velcro strap, simply wrap it around an object such as a drain downpipe and snap the outdoor module into place. Personally I would have preferred something a little more robust than a velcro strap. I have used cable ties to fully secure the outdoor module.
Setting up the wind and rain modules are as simple as the main unit. It did take me a few attempts to sync the modules, but this may have been to do with the distance the modules were away from the base station. Once I moved them closer, set up continued as expected. I’m still unsure why the modules needed to be so close, especially as I placed them back in the location outdoors I wanted and they sync and report back perfectly well.
The Wind Module doesn’t use the typical rotating cup method, but instead utilises ultrasound technology which allegedly produces more accurate reading.
The rain module works by simply catching the rain and fitting down though a sensors that monitors the drops fallen. I’m not sure I get the beat reading from this module as I always feel it rains a lot more than it reports, but we are talking millimetres so it could be me.
You can only add one of each wind and rain gauges to your weather station. It would be nice to have the option to addition additional modules.
If you wish to mount the wind or rain module you will need to purchase the additional mounting brackets, one for each module. Each module connects to the mounting bracket using the standard screw thread found on Digital SLRs, so if inclined you could mount them on a tripod for example.
As an added bonus each of the wind, rain and outdoor modules are supplied with the correct number of pencil batteries. There is no need to find additional batteries to get you up and running. A nice touch.
The official mounting bracket is supplied with robust metal straps ensuring the mount and module doesn’t move once secured in place.
When you have finished the set up, there is no further action required and you can head to either your smartphone app or the web based app.
The iPhone app is the perfect replacement for the default weather app supplied by Apple. Taking the forecast from Weather Pro, you are shown a forecast for the next severn days in the middle of the screen. The bottom part of the screen displays the CO2 reading, the decibel volume and the humidity. All these readings are taken form your personal weather station.
The top part of the screen details the current weather conditions, current temperature, temperature highs and lows, pressure and dew points. A simple swipe to the left reveals the outdoors ozone reading. The greener the better.
If you have the additional wind and rain modules, you’ll be able to swipe to the right to be shown detailed rain fall expected in the next 24 hours, the past hour and the total accumulated in the previous 24 hours.
A further swipe to the right will display detailed information taken from your wind module such as wind direction, wind speed and gust speed. You are also shown the current wind direction and speed.
Again, all of these readings are taken from your personal weather station.
Within the smartphone app, you can set up push notifications based on change of conditions. For example, you can set a notification when it starts to rain, the wind picks up or the CO2 levels rise. I changed the settings over a period of weeks to ensure I was not overloaded with notifications.
Using your same account details you created during set up, you can head over to the web based app to view the same weather information. One of my favourite features is the ability to share your person weather station information with those you invite by email. Those invited can use the smartphone app or web based app.
Another fantastic feature within the web based app is the ability to download your achieve of data. This CSV file will allow you produce personalised historical reports if you are that way inclined.
On my Mac I have used Fluid to create a local web app, but it would be great to have a dedicated Mac/Windows App as well.
At first I wasn’t convinced by the next feature, but after using the Netatmo Weather Station for the past few weeks, it’s a fantastic addition (and completely optional).
The Netatmo Weather Map allows you to share you Weather Station with the masses. I was taken back by the number of Netatmo Weather Stations in my area, each sharing their data. Clicking each pin on the map loads up the live weather information being reported by the Netatmo in that location.
Looking at my personal location, its not 100% accurate. This must be intentional as no one would want to advertise they have expensive kit outside.
The Netatmo Weather Station can become expensive if you decide to purchase the complete set up.
The Weather Station currently is £139 direct from Netatmo. The Wind Gauge is £89.99 and the Rain Gauge is £59.00. The mount for the additional modules is £19.99 and you’d need two if you have both. Additional indoor and outdoor modules are also available, but I personally don’t see a need for these. The total cost is closer to £330.