AcuRite Atlas Weather Station Review

The AcuRite weather station was recently on the market after two years. The first time we heard about the AcuRite product was back in 2016 when they were planning to go against Davis Instruments in the personal weather station segment. However, with the company releasing the product in 2018, we were quite curious if the AcuRite Weather Station could stand against the VantagePro 2 or the Vantage Vue.

The Atlas has the same target in mind that they had previously: to provide consumers with a modern alternative to increasingly obsolete Davis’ systems. They want to provide better connectivity and increased accuracy at a better price.

Pros

  • Diverse monitoring and data collection options
  • The wind sensor and wane separate easily
  • Includes a variety of weather sensors that are suitable for all kinds of weather
  • Notifications are sent to you via email and phone notifications
  • Brilliant TFT HD colour display
  • Has 11 different weather instruments for accurate weather ratings
  • The Weather Station is affordable
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • You might need to invest in an additional $250 on supplementary kit extensions
  • Not very cost-friendly
  • There may be an inaccuracy with the lightning detector
  • The main weather component is battery-powered
  • Not solar-powered
  • Comes with a small pole but not a practical mounting solution
  • Additional tools may contribute to pricing

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The Installation: a Modern Modular System

The system isn’t difficult to set up because this product features an “ISS” – An Integrated Sensor Suite. This all-in-one unit is mountable. You will need to remove just the back by sliding it off the ISS, slide back on the rear part of the hardware. After that, simply tighten it using the knob. The good thing is the mounting hardware is already present.

You could also mount this on a wall, but that isn’t preferred. For the positioning of the device, mount it on top of the pole (or at least 6 feet above the ground). This would allow the thermometer sensor to be placed correctly.

At the very least you will need to purchase a $150 5-in-one sensor suite. In addition, another device that allows you to display the weather data is collected. You can even buy the AcuRite Access, which connects the system to the cloud so you could easily logon into the AcuRite app (which is available on both iOS and Android). You could also go on buying the AcuRite Atlas Touchscreen Display which offers direct monitoring.

Both of these cost an additional $100. If you want the premium experience, you may buy the wind extension kit, which costs an additional $30. You could even go for other supplementary kits such as the Lighting Detection Module (priced at $40), or the remote battery back for the Sensor Suite (priced at $20). On a rough estimate, you’d be needing around $250 to set up the entire thing.

Setting Up the Atlas

According to previous customer reviews, setting up the AcuRite Weather device with a cloud was a strenuous and time-taking job. The previous server was SmartHub AcuRite Access replaced. Just keep in mind that you’ll be needing to set up Access as the final step.

Furthermore, All-in-one sensor suites tend to be quite frustrating. But if you purchase the Wind Extension Kit, you can separate the anemometer and the wind wane from the sensor suite itself. This is pretty easy to do. Moreover, it will give you more valid wind readings because you can locate those instruments at a height that’s closer to where wind measurements are taken universally, at Weather centres, etc. Depending on the accessories you buy, it would take around an hour to an hour and a half.

Connectivity

The Atlas Weather Station has pretty decent connectivity when you consider the transmission range and the sensor suite’s location. It can transmit data from up to 330 Meters above eye-level, depending on how many obstructions or construction materials are present in the way.

A good idea would be to connect the Access device to the My AcuRite device online. Your weather data is easily accessible on your PC, Tablet or even your mobile phone. You even have the option to change weather configurations to the conditions you set. There are pre-existing weather stations that often charge you extra.

Moreover, it also allows you to connect and transmit data to the Weather Underground site to share weather data. The same applies to the WunderGround App. You could simply just log on to your account and select the “Share Weather” tab. You could then select the “Publish Weather data to Weather Underground” and the rest will take care of itself. There’s also a “Rapid Fire” support by Atlas, which updates wind speed at 10-second intervals and other data uploading in 18-second intervals.

The light intensity data does not load to Wunderground for some reason, but this is a minor issue in our opinion. Wunderground for some reason does not assess the light intensity data and to be honest, this is a minor issue.

AcuRite Atlas Display

Their new high-definition display is definitely a plus point. The Acurite 01007M Atlas weather station has a TFT display that is vivid and bright and provides you with a lovely experience. The display also features various modes like auto-dim and sleep mode. Moreover, another convenient feature about this is that this can be set up whichever way you want.

The table-top or mounted on the wall. The wall mount bracket it comes with can assist this. It also has an SD card slot for you to collect long-term weather data. You may also set all kinds of alarms for specific weather events that you may want to keep your eyes on.

The visual features consist of a scrolling ticker that gives a quick view of the heat index. You can see wind chill and feel-like temperature, present in the upper right corner of the screen. You can also view the current temperature i.e today’s and yesterday’s high and low records. Furthermore, you can program your weather alerts to your liking, and track trends by graphing the measurements. The review graphs on the console are a good feature to keep track of the data and the weather patterns.

User Interface

The user interface, however, isn’t as refined this may present itself as a problem when compared with other competitors. It looks nice around the corners and even functions well, but it’s far from outstanding. There’s room for improvements because various customers have said that it looks amateurish. However, this is still better than the Davis interface, which looks completely outdated, like something from the ’80s or ’90s.

Another negative is the not programmed interface to assist other paired devices that provide supplementary data. Therefore, all of the additional AcuRite accessories you have configured with your AcuRite Weather Station may not be able to display their individual workings or readings. The only way these can work is when paired with the web browser or your phone, remotely.

Weather Instruments

AcuRite usually has All-in-one sensors that seem to be quite inflexible. Furthermore, this version has its own sensor named the “Atlas Weather Sensor”. This is modular for expandability and is Acurite’s most reliable and valid weather sensor to date. An internal aspirating fan powered by 3 solar panels placed on the side of the sensor. This has increased the accuracy of the humidity and temperature readings.

The instruments in this device are: for humidity, an Indoor/Outdoor hygrometer. For temperature, an Indoor/Outdoor thermometer. For indoor barometric pressure, a barometer. Similarly, for wind speed and direction, a wind vane and anemometer. And for rainfall measurement, you’ll find a self-emptying rain collector. Lightning sensor and UV Sensor along with a light intensity sensor.

One thing that customers seem to like is the radiation shielding around the hygrometer and thermometer sensors. As it provides the most accurate readings. When tallying, the readings were at par with the National Weather Service and the Danis Vantage Vue.

The power source of the weather instruments is via battery. The previously mentioned solar panels on the aspirating fan are only for that component and do not power the rest of the Weather Station. Because of this reason, we recommend that you invest in an Atlas Remote Battery Pack. (Please note that this differs from the 5-in-one remote battery pack). To facilitate you, AcuRite also makes an additional AC Power Adapter for the weather sensor.

Atlas Accuracy

Atlas boasts a high accuracy rate, with a high-frequency rate. The collective measures of the Temperature Range, Humidity Range, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Rain, UV Index, Light Intensity, lightning are all incredibly accurate. It is worth mentioning that the Accuracy has significantly improved from the previous 5-in-one AcuRite System. There were quite a bit of similarity in the humidity and temperature readings in comparison to Vantage Systems and the NWS.  Barometric and rainfall pressure readings also appeared to be accurate, and a definite improvement over the AcuRite consoles we’ve tried and tested.

However, it is important to calibrate the barometer with a nearby weather rating to obtain the most precise readings.

The lightning detector is pretty useful and also works well, as long as you stay away from early model stations. If you happen to do so, you will need to send back your ISS to AcuRite for recall/warranty repair. There may also be a faulty wiring problem that may inadvertently mess with the module and fan. As result, administer the false strikes as readings.

There may also be the possibility that due to interference from the power and cable lines that are in the city’s power grid, they may cause false readings to register too. Because the AcuRite device is usually mounted on a high post. However, customers have also reported that after servicing and reclaiming their warranty calls, the product no longer presents this issue. AcuRite is quick to provide customers with repairing services.

Upgradability

This is a very important factor where customers do question their value for money. When purchasing, you have the option to choose either buy the colour console with an HD touchscreen, or the station with an access module (which is used for AcuRite’s internet connectivity) or both of these. If your budget allows you to buy both of these, we’d highly recommend getting them for the best user experience. There is also a supplementary lightning detector placed inside the battery compartment.

However, we need to address the battery situation in this product. This product is powered by batteries and you may need to change the batteries frequently which can prove to be a rather difficult task because the device itself will be mounted on a mast that is high well above into the air, around 33 meters. However, if you invest in a remote battery pack or an AC power adapter, which may even allow you to turn off the main power supply off the ISS unit.

While both are helpful, we’d suggest that you don’t really need the remote AC adapter because the ISS will still run on internal and removable batteries lasting 8-13 months. You can even add in additional sensors, but as we previously mentioned they may not be compatible with the console interface.

While the sensor quality improved vastly from the AcuRite Pro 5-in-1 version the features have undoubtedly improved. For example, the wind vane in this device can function even at a speed of 160-165mph so even under extreme weather conditions, it works like a charm.

The ISS also has a light intensity sensor along with a UV index which is an added benefit. However, it isn’t as good as the Davis Vantage Pro2 but it isn’t useless either.

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Why Should You Buy it?

First of all, let’s narrow down how and why this would work for you. According to the price and accuracy, this is a good product. AcuRite has definitely improved on elements like the integrated mounting system, the HD console (which at least on the better is better stylistically) and also with the extensive range of upgrade options if you want an absolutely prime user experience.

One thing that is amazing in this version is the ability to extend the anemometer to official reporting heights with the wind extension kit. It’s not very often you get to see this, especially at this price margin.

Even with the problems that are arising with some of the pieces (which AcuRite is doing well to remedy with the prompt warranty/repair services they offer) – it isn’t exactly a very significant issue, except that some data and time may be lost in the process.

Moreover, the AcuRite Access device targets the Smart Home Enthusiast Market. They say how the IFTT system delays the triggers that activate your smart home appliances, but that isn’t a big problem but home integration is. Especially since you have AcuRite Access.

All in all, we hope this detailed review provided you with the insight needed to decide if it’s worth your money. All in all, in comparison to other similar options in the market, the Acurite Atlas is a decent option and we recommend it.

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