Oregon Scientific Weather Station Teardown

Model: BAR 806; Solar, Wireless

The Oregon Scientific BAR 806 is a wireless, solar weather station. Its LED display showcases forecasted weather, time and date of day, and temperature. Also, despite the “solar” attribute, it is not fully solar — the solar capabilities are an environmentally friendly way to save energy and prolong battery life. Lastly, the device did not turn on so I decided to start the teardown (especially since it’s capabilities are overshadowed by an iPhone’s weather app).

Tools

  1. Heat gun: for any glue/adhesives.
  2. Multitool (mainly pliers): to pry, pull and hold pieces.
  3. Pencil: to press on small pieces during the teardown and knolling process.
  4. Xacto knife: to make small cuts to snap off, open up and pry pieces.
  5. Screwdriver: unscrewing screws.

Steps

These show how I got inside the weather station. I pried the buttons off, along with the glass for the led screen, which separated the front from the back.

Once the back was open, the PCB was exposed and I began to remove each piece either by hand, screwdriver or plier to get ready for knolling.

Here are some process shots removing wires, circuit boards ontop of circuit boards, radio transmission springs, etc.

Lastly, I took a heat gun to the LED screen (in an attempt to remove the film) but no success, so I began to knoll the pieces.

Components, Materials, Parts

Parts of the Weather Station (Knolled image on the left)

Components of the Circuit Board (layered PCB with copper paths — I actually learned from Anne that they are double-sided and you are not viewing the back of one side on the other).

  1. Resistors: “R”, reduce the flow of current, are seen along each other in a series and are within yellow boxes on the circuit board.
  2. Capacitors: “C”, store electrical energy and are primarily seen on the large circuit board as Red, Green and Black “Chiclet” shapes.
  3. Diodes: “D”, allow current to flow in one direction, and look like a small fire extinguisher.
  4. Transformers: “T”, transfer power from one device on the circuit to another, and look like a match on the left side of the large circuit board .
  5. Integrated circuits: “U”, are microchips with many functions, such as storing memory, and are within black boxes or circles on this circuit board.
  6. Antennas: “antenna” or “H”, they transmit and receive signals. One on this circuit board is located on the upper right side and is a white box with a “3”. It is the humidity sensor.
  7. Transistors: “Q”, they amplify or control electrical signals, and are micro-sized black boxes on this circuit board.
  8. Black “Blobs” are components/chips encapsulated by epoxy. For this circuit, some control the LCD (on the larger PCB) while some process information from the sensors (on the medium sized PCB) to determine Barometric pressure.
  9. “EU/UK” Switch in the middle to toggle between radio signals.
  10. EM94AB (on the medium sized circuit): semiconductor for data regarding the Barometric pressure and weather clock.
  11. Unmarked semiconductor (on the small circuit): most likely for data of the temperature sensor.

Design Takeaways

This Weather Station is definitely unique and it’s interesting to see how all of the technology is packaged (I assume by machine) within the object encasing itself (for both indoor/outdoor use), and also on the circuit boards. It is so much data, energy and storage within such a small piece of hardware — very cool. Also, since many chips on the board have black epoxy over them, I have concluded that most of the technology is proprietary to the company as they also cannot be found on the internet. Then, it is interesting to see the various methods to achieve the same result, as seen from the antennas and transmitters for transmissions/signals. Lastly, I appreciated the switches for a user to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit (for weather) and EU/UK (for radio signals).