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Acu-Rite Weather Stations

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Hopefully this won't be considered advertising. I just want to share a decent, budget minded weather station for those with limited funds.

Three days ago I bought an Acu-Rite Model #01010w personal weather station, and so far I like what I see. Of course all of us would like to have a top of the line Davis unit, but not everyone can put down 3-7 Benjamins for this luxury. I know I couldn't. After looking around on line, I found the Acu-Rite model mentioned earlier. I liked what it had to offer for about 1/3 the cost of a Davis. My local WalMart had one in stock, so off I went to buy it.

The unit is incredibly easy to set up, and it took less than a half hour to assemble, mount, and start receiving weather data. All you need is to find or make a sturdy, fairly level surface and you're good to go. Mounting the 5 in 1 sensor consisted of using four screws to mount the base to a 2x4 cross member on our washline posts. After that, all I had to do was mount the sensor itself to the base, find true north, line it up, and screw the unit into the base post. The sensor is a 5 in on system, so it measures temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, and wind. It also has a solar powered fan in the temp/humidity sensor for accurate readings even in direct sun.

The indoor receiver is your standard LCD screen with what I would consider an easy to read screen, and even easier toggles for various conditions. It can be set up for metric or English units of measurement. The only disappointment with the display unit is you cannot have all English measurements for temp, dewpoint, and wind, but metric for pressure. It's either one or the other across the board.

As for accuracy, other than the rain sensor (it hasn't rained as of this post) everything else seems to be right on. Comparing temp, wind, and humidity to other local stations and airports, I am within a degree or two of all locations. Same with humidity and wind speed. The barometer is a different story. You can't set it manually for your location. It supposedly "learns" on it's own. It supposedly takes 14 days to do this so time will tell how it goes.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good station for the price. The fan aspirated temperature sensor is what really made me choose this unit, and I was surprised that a lower end station had this feature. All in all, I am happy with the purchase, and would recommend it to any budget conscious weather hobbyist who doesn't need the biggest, baddest weather station on the planet.

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I got the same model a week or so ago. I've temporarily mounted it about a foot off the ground to just check the sensors and make sure everything is working correctly. The temp and humidity won't be right due to it being so close to the ground of course but everything works well. We had some rainfall the other day with Isaac that had pockets of heavier showers so the rainfall was heavier in other areas. My rainfall was about 0.2" different than that of the airports a few miles north of here but a day or two ago we had a more uniform rainfall over the entire area and both the airport and I received 0.95" exactly. I'm just not sure how well it'll hold up to hail and of course, winter.

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I have had an acu rite thermometer for nearly a year and it has been pretty good. It's always close to what nearby stations have.

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I'm just not sure how well it'll hold up to hail and of course, winter.

We don't get much hail here, but I am concerned about winter as well. My worry is how the unheated rain sensor is going to work.

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We don't get much hail here, but I am concerned about winter as well. My worry is how the unheated rain sensor is going to work.

They don't when the temperature is below 0C.

Steve

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Seems like a lot of people are happy with the Acu-Rite stations. A bunch of guys on another weather blog

are having no issues and one of the developer is in there a lot asking for suggestions.

They are all waiting for the 5 in 1 bridge to come out still though.

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They don't when the temperature is below 0C.

Steve

I figured that was the case. I wonder though what damage the freeze/thaw cycle could do to the rain sensors, and if I should just cover it with something for the winter to keep moisture out and forgo rainfall readings for a few months.

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I figured that was the case. I wonder though what damage the freeze/thaw cycle could do to the rain sensors, and if I should just cover it with something for the winter to keep moisture out and forgo rainfall readings for a few months.

Not sure about AccuRite without looking up the specs, but most home weather station rain gauges use a tipping bucket. If its below freezing, the precip won't melt and there won't be any water on the buckets to affect it. Most of the gauge stays dry anyway, aside from the funnel and the buckets. Assuming that's what you have, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Having the sensors all together poses problems with exposure since the various sensors (especially wind need to be at different heights. The mounting option on a pole is not too feasible for me since my wind sensor is up 5 meters above ground ( 10 meters poses a powerline hazard). Otherwise the fan aspirated temperature sensor is a strong positive.

Steve

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Not sure about AccuRite without looking up the specs, but most home weather station rain gauges use a tipping bucket. If its below freezing, the precip won't melt and there won't be any water on the buckets to affect it. Most of the gauge stays dry anyway, aside from the funnel and the buckets. Assuming that's what you have, I wouldn't worry about it.

It's a tipping bucket type system I believe. The specs say "Self-emptying tipping spoon (2-spoon)"

What about freezing rain? Couldn't that freeze inside the spoon area and cause damage?

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It's a tipping bucket type system I believe. The specs say "Self-emptying tipping spoon (2-spoon)"

What about freezing rain? Couldn't that freeze inside the spoon area and cause damage?

Not likely if its metal. If its plastic, that's anyone's guess. Davis uses metal buckets.

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Really thinking there is something wrong with my wind sensor. In the nearly 2 months that I've had the Accu-Rite station, I have not recorded a wind gust greater than 14 mph. Case in point, today. We just has a gust that rattled and banged the windows and porch roof extension, and yet it only recorded the gust as 12 mph. I realize that it's lower than standard height because it's an all-in-one unit, but somehow, I would think that the gust that rattled everything was more than 12 mph.

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I'll mention again that while my parents anemometer was at head height, it never gusted higher than 20 even though the airport gusted to 40+ on several occasions and 45 mph on one occasion.

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I'll mention again that while my parents anemometer was at head height, it never gusted higher than 20 even though the airport gusted to 40+ on several occasions and 45 mph on one occasion.

That's important to note. Often enough we would have winds gusting to 40-45 mph at D-M (3 miles away( and nearby high trees would show effects of similar speed winds while my wind sensor at 5m height would show 25mph and I at ground level with a handheld sensor would measure 17 mph.

Steve

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Thanks guys. I'll have to take a wait and see approach wrt the anemometer. If we get this crazy storm next week and winds in the area frequently gust over 40 mph, I would have to think that even at ground level they would be higher than 12 mph.

The thing that gets me, is that on light wind days, the cups spin and register readings of anywhere from 3-7 mph. Over the weekend, my wife had laundry on the clotheslines, and a few gusts made them flap nearly horizontal to the ground, and yet I didn't get a reading over 12 mph. Perhaps I'm overestimating the effects of wind on objects as opposed to the actual speed.

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Thanks guys. I'll have to take a wait and see approach wrt the anemometer. If we get this crazy storm next week and winds in the area frequently gust over 40 mph, I would have to think that even at ground level they would be higher than 12 mph.

The thing that gets me, is that on light wind days, the cups spin and register readings of anywhere from 3-7 mph. Over the weekend, my wife had laundry on the clotheslines, and a few gusts made them flap nearly horizontal to the ground, and yet I didn't get a reading over 12 mph. Perhaps I'm overestimating the effects of wind on objects as opposed to the actual speed.Hello Folks,

 

As luck shoud have it, I bought this modlel today for around $100 at walmart. Wife let me get it! I was taliking about not having an accurate temp reader etc to her. We looked at the lower models around $48.99. She grabbed the bigger model and was like why don't to you get this etc. I expressed my concerns about the system and money.  She informed just buy it!

I got the 2 yr warranty for $9 from walmart

My expectations were high  but low. I have a davis system in storage. I just moved to my new house etc. Can't put the davis system  up until spring due to various reasons with trees & mounting.

So far this system is awsome. I was concerned about the wind reader. I have a decent deck that is high & from my roof. It rips tonight. I have enough of an out put to risk distance from the roof. Summer with the leafs on trees willbe a challange. I still feel that I have enough lift to get decent  readings. Had a gust to 15 mph tonight.. Overall a fu system !!!

Main reason for buying this model was to get accurate temps and rain. Still not sure about the rain guage. I will compare to the test piple rain guage.

My wife bought a $ 2.99 flower temp gauge to track temps too!

Hopefully I can report back on how this systems operates.

 

Kindest Regards Friends,

 

Matt

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I bought one of these a couple months ago at Lowes for $99 and have been pleasantly surprised.  I already own a Davis and Peet Bros. system, but the aspirated temperature sensor was of interest.  They now have a wireless link that will send the weather station data to the internet without the computer running 24/7.

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I need to change my earlier assessment.  I knew in colder weather there would be issues with the rain gauge.  In snowy conditions accumulations gather on the 5 in one sensor impeding the anemometer from turning.  I would be interested if someone with a Davis Vantage Vue had a similar problem.  Seems the Davis anemometer might be mounted  a little higher on the sensor unit.

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Can these communicate with cumulus? If so, low wind readings can be calibrated out via software.

Calibrated to what standard? Believe me when I say there's a big difference between winds experienced at 10m vs winds at significantly lower levels and I'm speaking from 9 years of following data on a mesonet system as well as taking actual ground level measurements.

Steve

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Calibrated to what standard? Believe me when I say there's a big difference between winds experienced at 10m vs winds at significantly lower levels and I'm speaking from 9 years of following data on a mesonet system as well as taking actual ground level measurements.

Steve

 

Calibrated, as in, wind is known to be 20 kts at 2m, yet station says it's 5 kts at the same height/location, so a correction value is entered in Cumulus to read 20 kts.

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I mounted mine about 6 ft above the ground. After using it for a few months I've discovered the following. The temp is about 3-5 degrees off in direct sunlight but spot on when it's cloudy or at night. The dew point is a few degrees off either way but sometimes has very large errors. The anemometer is probably pretty close given the height, number of trees, houses and other obstructions around. The indoor readings are accurate. The pressure is off, but I heard you can reset it by pulling the batteries when it's at 29.92". Not that big a deal to me though since it does show rises and falls in pressure, they just aren't an accurate number. The rain gauge is pretty spot on as well to the neighbors gauge. 

 

We experienced freezing rain, sleet and snow a few weeks ago and I left it out there. There was probably 0.2" of ice buildup on the unit and it did of course stop recording precip once the rain gauge froze up. We had convective rain recently and the rain gauge recorded 0.72" of rain which was 0.05-0.1" more than a nearby station, but considering the convective nature, I'm not sure if it's an error or not. 

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Calibrated, as in, wind is known to be 20 kts at 2m, yet station says it's 5 kts at the same height/location, so a correction value is entered in Cumulus to read 20 kts.

That's the procedure, but where do you get the other 2m wind at the same location from? To calibrate means to compare and adjust to a known standard which itself has been calibrated against a NIST standard instrument.

About wind sensor icing, you think snow is bad wait until you get freezing rain-of course your rainguage won't function either.

With convective rain, you can get a difference of 0.05-0.1inch or more over a distance of yards. I've seen it pour in the apartment area about 100 feet behind my house I and was getting nothing.

Steve

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That's the procedure, but where do you get the other 2m wind at the same location from? To calibrate means to compare and adjust to a known standard which itself has been calibrated against a NIST standard instrument.

About wind sensor icing, you think snow is bad wait until you get freezing rain-of course your rainguage won't function either.

With convective rain, you can get a difference of 0.05-0.1inch or more over a distance of yards. I've seen it pour in the apartment area about 100 feet behind my house I and was getting nothing.

Steve

 

I work in a career field with easily accessible calibrated sensors and instruments.

 

That being said, I realize that most don't have such access. One could purchase (or borrow) a kestrel and use the average between the station and the handheld device and have a more reasonable, albeit not "calibrated to standard" measurement. Most of us aren't really concerned about having standardized, calibrated measurements anyway. "Good enough" is good enough for most hobbyists.

 

 

 

mine (anemometer) is located on my garage roof, approximately 30' AGL. I have significant windblocks in the area, so it's more or less used to determine windy or nonwindy. If I want official measurements, I use KLNS data which is less than a mile from my backyard.

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The snows builds up on the sensor and stops the cups from turning.  We had 10 inches of snow last night and it is all sitting as a pile on top of the sensor.

I bought one about 4 moths ago and had that issue too.  Not much you can do about it but gently brush the snow off.  Mine is mounted on a pole about 12 feet agl.  

 

My pressure reading is a bit off also.  I'm gonna try what JoMo said with the battery removal and see if that works to adjust pressure after winter.  I assume that will reboot the "14 day algorithm learning period", so I'll wait for warmer temps.  

 

Rain gauge has operated fine with the extremes I've experienced.  I've had snow, sleet, grauple, heavy rain, freezing rain, etc., with big (extreme) temp fluctuations. 

 

I'm satisfied, not a bad set-up for the money.

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