It’s New Year’s Day 2019! As we start most days around the Cataldo house, we head to the refrigerator, take out some breakfast foods and beverages, and check the day’s weather on our Bushnell FX5 electronic weather center.
We got this wonderful device about seven years ago during a $50 rebate deal, and it quickly became something that the entire family looks at daily.
Today, on New Year’s Day, our Bushnell weather center presented us with this ominous message:
“B NELL OFFLINE 12 31 19”
Oh no! We immediately began searching for more info on what happened or why these devices may no longer be supported. These weather centers receive data from Ambient and Accuweather, both of which are still in business. So what’s going on?
These weather centers operate on the Ambient Information Network that sends weather, stock market activity, sport scores, energy pricing and usage using a paging network that utilizes encoded FM radio stations to send out a data broadcast signals to ambient devices. This network is unfortunately being shut down at the end of 2019.
October 2019 UPDATE: If you have an included model of Bushnell weather centers, Bushnell will replace them with free of charge when you mail your current unit in before 12/31/19. The replacement unit that they send is a La Crosse Wireless Color Weather Station CC85845v3.
Unfortunately, this unit is not comparable to the weather centers we’ve all grown to love. This La Crosse weather station has a wireless sensor to place outside your home which reports the current outdoor temperature to the indoor unit. It uses barometric pressure to predict upcoming weather, and there is no way to switch cities and look at forecasts for other parts of the USA — one of my favorite things to do with my Bushnell. It is an attractive unit though, and I do appreciate Bushnell offering any kind of replacement.
Here is the information on how to get a replacement unit: https://www.bushnell.com/weatherfx-replacement
October 2020 Update: These weather centers have proven to be far more enduring than even Bushnell thought possible. They are still going strong now, one year past the date that Bushnell began offering the La Crosse weather station as a replacement. Read the incredible comments below to see how many people are still relying on their units. (I’m quite irked that I sent mine back. Had I known it would continue to work for this length of time, I wouldn’t have!)
September 2022 Update: Yes, these units have been working for close to three years past the date the network officially “shut down.” On 9/6/22, many people have reported that the units are no longer updating the 5-day temperature forecast. Refer to the comments under this article for the most recent updates.
Reader Ed emailed the company on 9/2/22 and they confirmed they will still exchange these older units for a similar model, although the replacement I myself received uses barometric pressure to predict the weather, not an FM or internet signal.