What’s the temperature, Kenneth?

Growing up, I used to start every day by looking at the outdoor thermometer that hung on my parents’ bedroom window. In retrospect, it was an odd thing to do, because frankly the temperature in Newport News never varied that much, but it was comforting to have objective evidence of how hot or cold it was.

That’s the only thing that explains our latest household gadget: an Oregon Scientific Cable-Free Thermometer. It comes in two pieces, a base station with a large digital display containing two temperature readouts, and a remote unit that’s meant to be mounted outdoors or placed in some other remote location. In between is nothing but a 433 MHz radio signal.

The base station can support up to three of these remotes, so when we build on to the house and add that wine cellar (heh), we can track the temperature there as well as outside. And the frequency doesn’t interfere with cordless phones or WiFi.

So far everything has been working just fine with the unit. I haven’t tested the claimed 100′ range yet, since the best mounting place for the remote (which apparently shouldn’t be too exposed to the elements) turns out to be the outside of the kitchen wall near where the base station is sitting. We also haven’t had any extreme temperature days; since Friday, when the unit arrived, we haven’t even had a day in the 20s. But it’s nice to know what’s going on outside.