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Palm Weatherguide module review
November 10, 1999

At a glance...
Description: Instant weather, and 24 hour forecasts
Software: free demo, requires 36k free memory
Available from: Precision Navigation
Price: $79.95

The Weatherguide from Precision Navigations is an amazing personal weather station. It turns your palm into a portable weather data collector and forecasting tool. The module is the same form factor as the Palm III series modem and uses two (included) AAA batteries. The module itself feels significantly lighter than a palm modem, weighing in at just under 3 ounces.

The module stores 24 hours worth of weather data in the module itself and only requires 36k of memory. It even stores and collects meteorological data when your Palm device is off or the module is unplugged. The Weatherguide takes samples once per minute when connected, and once per hour when disconnected. A pair of batteries should last about four to six weeks of continuous operation. You can also calibrate the unit to your specific altitude.

The unit comes with easy to use software that acts as an interface to the sensors in the module; you can even download a demo here. The interface has 3 main parts: The top section shows the current animated weather forecast, altogether there are six different animations. Clouds will scroll across on a cloudy day; sunny days show a beaming sun and rain falls when it’s stormy. The unit will even alert you if it detects severe weather conditions ahead. The trend graph in the middle displays the 24-hour changes in temperature or barometric pressure, you can shuffle between views simply by tapping on the current temperature or pressure below. The bottom of the screen displays the current temperature and pressure readings. You can customize the temperature output in Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvins, and pressure can be displayed in millibars of mercury, pounds per square inch, or atms. Arrows are also displayed next to the current readings to indicate the change in the sensor readings over the past hour.

I was pleasantly surprised with the accuracy and usefulness of this device. A few days after I received it, the Weatherguide was calling for showers and roughly six hours later it was raining. The device is very good at predicting rain and storms. I checked up on my local forecasts for their calls for rain and in each case the Weatherguide was just as, if not more, accurate as my local forecast. I got more accurate temperature readings and forecasts when I left the module by a window or outside. Obviously, the readings will be distorted if you leave it in a hot car or in the office all day. Like most people I like to know what the weather is like before I decide what to wear or if I need to bring a jacket, and I’ve come to rely on the Weatherguide as my own personal weatherman. I used to wake up in the morning and wait for my PC to boot, connect to the net and then hit wunderground.com for my forecast. Now I just turn on my Palm and I have it right when I need it, I can take it wherever I go.

The Weatherguide is an essential gadget for anyone who relies on or needs to know the weather at any given time. Everyone from hikers, campers, sailors, scientists to weather enthusiasts could rely on this for instant weather and forecasts on the go. You can place an online order and find out more at Precision Navigation.
The Palm Weatherguide


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