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on 23 December 2014
I love it.

However you will start to obsess about programming it so it reflects the true cost of electricity... You can't however calibrate to give quantitative feelings of happiness, guilt or anger...

But you will impress the wife and friend (just 1 friend will appreciate this) when you can learn to detect what applicances are running in the house just by reading the power consumption and praising the wife when you see the average consumption was 3p/hour when you were out at work...

Its a powerful too I feel.. maybe TOO powerful for some to fully appreciate.

Excuse me while I connect to my IP cam remotely that I have keenly trained on my owl monitor (not the 3 month old for which it was originally intended) - so I may check what the power consumption is right now.

21p/hour? WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING AT HOME? BOILING THE KETTLE FOR RUNNING THE BATH whilist microwaving the dinner and running the fan heater and hair drier?

Oh Ok - I see the cleaner is round... no problem carry on.
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on 12 August 2017
This is more expensive than the basic unit on the basis that you can download the data and use it to build up a profile of usage. The problem with is the software that enables you to do that. I tried a number of times to access the data, having downloaded software and each time the download process failed to download anything. It just sat there saying "Waiting for data."
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on 23 October 2014
Great product. Everyone should have one of these. We recently moved house, and have found the new place less efficient with electricity than we expected. We bought this device to pin down where the overspend was coming from. This has been great. And has made us much more conscious with what uses power up.

If you are reading this lusting, and humming and hawing over whether to buy this, go ahead and buy this one.

The box comes with everything you need, and the instructions are super clear. You get a plastic and metal clip which you fasten on to the input power on the mins board. This is easy and com,teeny safe, as you don't cut the power or anything, you just clip it over the wire. I fitted ours in about 5 seconds, and am not particularly good at that sort of thing,

The device then "finds" the ,Ian unit - takes about 2 to 3 minutes to do so ... I was surprised it took so long, but it appears to have a stable connection, and works over long distances, and does not seem to mind the signal going through walls etc,

Everyone should have one of these, and I think ours has paid for itself already, and is fun to use, as you can walk around the house switching things off to see how much they use. An electric Aga uses a LOT of electricity...
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on 26 March 2016
As a stand alone unit it's fine, very easy to set up and the batteries last for years between changes.

Should you want to plug it into a PC to use it's terrible, the software is truly terrible. The newer (2015) update is smoother, but removed the option to download data. I've installed both the new and old programs to download the data but the format is saves it in is beyond mad, if you plan to data mine the data yourself be prepared to ask nasa to use their computers.
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on 28 October 2017
So you can link upto your pc but will only show you tracked data since it has been connected via usb. Whilst you can download data to minute by minute detail in csv file you can only go back 30 days, also exporting the data via the software takes ages. Simple things that could be improved.
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on 3 August 2012
Well I've had my owl for a few weeks now. It came from Amazon very quickly, was packaged well and was very easy to install. The display unit is portable around the house and it provides a very easy to read indication of power consumption - the reading lags by 5 or 6 seconds as you might expect.

When I get up in the morning it shows the steady state house-resting consumption and as things like the kettle get switched on the display is updated. When the dishwasher, electric iron, kettle, oven, washing machine and tumble dryer are all on together the high reading looks very scary and reminds me to use less power. from this perspective it's very good.

It tells me the temperature - I don't know what that's all about - slightly useful but in the few weeks I've had it I don't recall needing to check the house temperature - perhaps in the winter maybe.

The "split tariff" feature is useless unless the rates vary on a daily basis. My electricity supplier sells me units at two prices - a high price for the first bunch of units and a lesser amount for subsequent units - the Owl does not cater for this.

the Software? Well it installs and works fine but it appears to have been specified by somebody on work experience - it does not do much for the user. Buy the Owl for the display unit because it's very good but do not expect to be able to learn much - or anything - from the software.
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on 21 June 2013
Basically, I think I expected too much of this item. I bought it largely on the strength of other reviews. It works well enough. Was easy to set up and connect. UNTIL I came to connect via USB. The software is basic. If you don't download the data every 30 days or more frequently you lose data. You have to be pretty experienced with Excel if you want to import the data and use it in any meaningful way.

Other disappointments

The range from the sensor unit is limited. It could only manage 1/2 the distance the library cheapy we were borrowing could manage. I wanted to use it in the study - upstairs and diagonally opposite the sensor position in a pretty standard house. It frequently lost contact with the sensor and I have now had to put it at the top of the stairs.

I don't really trust its readings. I know these devices are not noted for their accuracy but it reads higher than the library supplied device and for some odd reason does not read zero when everything is off, which the library one does.

As long as you don't want to use it more than 10 metres from the sender unit and all you want is an indication of your consumption and are happy with the graphs the software generates itself or are prepared to build your own spreadsheet and are familiar with writing excel formulae then it is OK I guess.

P.S. It wouldn't connect my PC when I - accidentally - plugged it into a USB 3.0 port. It wasn't recognised.
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on 27 November 2012
As we all know the price of electric is sky rocketing and we all want to save money and for £34 this product will pay for itself in a short time. My wife and I were surprised how much we wasted, the microwave just on stand by uses 1p and hour and the TV dvd player free sat box was costing us 1.5p and hour. I know what you are thinking this is not much but we are now saving £3.50p a week by turning stuff off. We have checked our electricity bills for the last 3 months and we are saving approx £15 a month so for just over 2 months our Owl will have paid for itself.
We have this set up beside the tv so we can see at a glance what is switched on and now we make a point in switching them off and my wife and I can see we are saving money and it gives you a good feeling inside when you know you are giving less to the Electricity company.
I would highly recommend anyone of you to get one of these, money well worth spending.
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on 28 April 2017
Thanks to all who've thrown light on the mechanism employed by the device. One point - many have commented that it tends to read 'high' compared to consumption as reported by the household meter; on the assumption that the device measures current and performs the familiar 'watts = amps X volts' calculation, the device's reading can be nicely tweaked by setting the voltage parameter somewhat less than the (optimistic) 230 - mine works nicely at 220.
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on 11 March 2014
My Windows 7 64 bit on a PC recovered from blue screens a couple of times since installing the software and my Vista 32 bit laptop gave a message (some jargon involving contacting the manufacturer which would be more trouble than it's worth) so I uninstalled it but I don't regret trying.
The unit itself can display 'cost per hour and total cost' but I prefer the mode 'kW being used and total kWh to date' to be on constant display and by putting the 'kWh used to date' on a spreadsheet every morning and using some simple formulas I can see the cost of the previous day and the estimated bill in a few months time if I were to keep to that particular cost per day. So it does help to monitor attempts to reduce usage.
As a footnote to anyone worried about rf emissions from the transmitter, they are immeasurable on the electrosmog meter.
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