If all you’re looking for in a weather station is accurate temperature readings, the Meade Instruments TE653ELW-M is a low-cost option we recommend. The only drawback was some difficulty setting it up, but once we installed it, the station was accurate and easy to use.
This is a basic weather station and only includes an outdoor sensor that takes temperature and humidity readings. If you don’t care about wind or rain measurements and just want to know what how hot or cold it is outside, this is a fine station for you.
Setup is relatively easy, though we did find that the Meade station’s outdoor sensor is more finicky than others. Most stations we tested, including the La Crosse 308-146, connect easily with an indoor console, but for this one we needed to put the batteries in the outdoor sensor first, and then put them into the indoor console. Once we did this, the sensor and console communicated fine. Make sure you set them both to the same channel so the console can receive the signal.
For a week we compared the results of all the weather stations in our comparison with top forecasting sites Weather Underground and Weather.com. Among the basic stations, the Meade Instruments TE653ELW-M was the most accurate, though it did tend to overstate temperatures by a degree or so. It’s recommended that you place the sensor in a shaded location – under the eaves of your house is ideal – so it doesn’t get direct exposure to the sun and give distorted readings.
The console is minimalist, with a smaller display area than the others we tested. A lot of information is crammed into that area, including a 12 or 24 hour forecast, indoor and outdoor temperature, and barometric pressure. The console doesn’t light up and doesn’t have an AC adapter, small things we noticed improved the usability with other stations.
Of the low-cost stations we reviewed, this was one of our favorites. It’s a very simple weather station with no frills, but once set up it will provide you with accurate temperature readings. Though the indoor console isn’t as flashy as others, it is easy to program and offers a wealth of information in a small package.