Oregon Scientific Radio-controlled Projection Clock (BAR339P)
- Offers accurate weather forecasts and indoor/outdoor temperature, attractive touch-sensitive interface, projects time onto flat surfaces, alarm included
- No FM/AM radio, price
If you'd prefer to receive your weather forecasts 24 hours a day, the Oregon Scientific Radio-Controlled Projection Clock might just be what the weatherman ordered. If you're not too fussed by this feature however, $150 is a lot to pay for a radio-free alarm clock.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
According to common wisdom, the best way to gauge the weather is by sticking your head out the window and seeing how wet it gets. Alternatively, you could invest in the Oregon Scientific Radio-Controlled Projection Clock (BAR339P), which basically does the same job for you. With the assistance of an outdoor remote sensor, this handy gadget displays temperature and weather forecasts alongside the time. It also comes equipped with a dinky dual-line projection arm, so you can read data off your ceiling or wall. To be honest, we're not entirely sure how useful this device will be in the average household -- weather updates aren't exactly hard to get hold of, y'know -- but it does give an accurate climate reading, and will save you the trouble of peering creepily through your curtains in the morning.
The BAR339P monitors weather conditions via a wireless battery-operated remote sensor with a range of up to 30 metres. Once you have set up the sensor in the optimum position (a wall mount hole is included), the main unit will automatically search and connect with it. The sensor can read temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius, which should see you through all possible conditions, including a nuclear holocaust. Although the instruction manual recommends that you keep the sensor in the shade, it seemed to work fine for us in direct sunlight. (Though with that being said, we're not sure if the sensor is waterproof, so perhaps it's best to follow their advice.)
Once the connection has been properly established, the clock will display a weather forecast for the next 12 to 24 hours; covering a radius of 30-50km, along with the current outdoor temperature. Depending on the predicted forecast, the display unit changes colour; running the spectrum from red/orange for sunny, turquoise for cloudy, pink for partially cloudy, purple for rainy, and green for snow. A large illustrated icon also appears at the top of the screen, thus rendering all those fancy colours completely superfluous. We tested the device on an on-off rainy weekend, and found it to give an accurate forecast, with the icon shifting from cloudy to rainy.
As mentioned earlier, the BAR339P has an adjustable projection arm built into its side, which displays a reflection of the time and temperature on any flat surface. While this might sound like a gimmick, it will prove to be a godsend in the morning, allowing you to check the time with one bleary-eyed glance at the ceiling. The projection arm comes complete with a focus ring and an automatic sensor, which triggers the projector depending on the light intensity in the room.
With its myriad of climate-specific icons, shifting colour schemes and cannon-shaped projector, the BAR339P looks like the kind of device a James Bond supervillain might use to control the world's weather. (You may subsequently feel compelled to sinisterly stroke a cat whenever you check the time -- these side effects are normal.) Nevertheless, it remains an oddly attractive gadget that will look equally at home in the bedroom or kitchen. The touch-sensitive controls are an especially elegant touch and we found them to be pleasingly responsive.
The BAR339P also comes equipped with a secondary inbuilt sensor which displays the temperature inside, as well as an alarm with eight-minute snooze and calendar. The main unit runs on either AC power, or three AA batteries (the sensor uses one), though regrettably, no batteries are included in the sales package.
And that's the Oregon Scientific Weather Station in a nutshell. To be honest, we're not entirely sure how useful this device will be in the average household, but it does give an accurate climate reading for those who need it.
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