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AcuRite Atlas Weather Station 2019 Let’s take a peek at it, shall we?

Acurite atlas weather station

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AcuRite Atlas Weather Station 2019 Let’s take a peek at it, shall we? : It hurts my brain sometimes just thinking about how our lives would have been if we still had to depend solely on our meteorologic stations for weather updates. The advent of the personal weather station has been nothing but a blessing and in some cases, these portable devices are the reason why some people’s personal businesses have survived the test of time – and nature’s fury.

Our own personal weatherman. This device takes monitors and takes down different metrics like temperature, rainfall, windspeed and direction, relative humidity, and pressure. This collection weathering instruments is portable enough to fit on a pole in our backyard from where it can gather local weather data to keep a detailed historical weather data as well as help is make factual and more immediate weather decisions.

This may not seem like a neccesity to you until you have to go or a date or a crucial appointment and you’re caught in the middle of a thunderstorm. Let’s also say you run a small poultry, you’ll be eternally grateful for the data coming from the personal weather station that let’s you determine when to go crank up the heat in the poultry to prevent loosing thousands of your birds to hypothermia.

Fact is knowing what the weather holds before it actually happens is a massive timesaver and has helped many evade more disaster than we know.

How long have Personal Weather Stations being around?

Home weather stations have been around for almost two decades and make sense for many reasons. Firstly, makes and their weather apps have proliferated in popularity in the past decade or so. However, their weather reporting is only about as useful as those coming from the station whose data it is utilizing. Now, these stations could be miles away from your home which defeats the purpose of local and accurate data. A home weather station is mounted at your exact location and so the data it records is more accurate, actionable, and relevant to you for your particular need.

Besides measuring your weather metrics, these PWS’s have internet connectivity which means you can continue to monitor the weather conditions at your home, business, farm etc from anywhere in the world and share your findings with other lovers of weather like yourself.

What are the best PWS’s on the market?

Since the advent of the personal weather station, many companies have stepped into the space makes but only a few can claim market dominance. Weather Station brands like Davis, Netatmo, Ambient Weather, Bloomsky, and AcuRite are some of the top dogs in the weather game.

These brands continue to push to offer a better product with every release. Some of them include the Davis Vantage Pro 2, Davis Vantage Vue, Ambient Weather WS-2902 Osprey, Acurite Pro 01024, and the Acurite Atlas.

AcuRite Atlas is the latest arrival on the market

This weather station is the latest offering from AcuRite, the PWS brand whose sole purpose it seems is to dethrone Davis as the top PWS pick. The Acurite Atlas was finally released in 2018 after two years of touting and marketing the product. In that time, it was marketed primarily as the better alternative to the Davis PWS lineups – and with good reason too. One of them being that Davis – although an extremely reliable PWS brand – has not updated its software and console in nearly a decade, pointing to its possible stagnancy.

While AcuRite may have something going for them here, the two year wait saw other equally formidable players present jump into the space with their own solution to the aging Davis lineup. One of these devices (and arguably the best right now) is Ambient Weather’s WS-2902 Osprey.

However, the Acurite Atlas does have enough going for it and depending on what you’re looking for in a PWS, this may just be the choice for you.

Let’s take a peek at it, shall we?

What’s in the box?

When you purchase the AcuRite Atlas, what you get in the box is really up to you. The company made this PWS available in very “modular fashion”. Besides the weather station 5-in-1 sensor console and one of either the AcuRite HD touchscreen display or the AcuRite Access, each of which will cost you an extra $100.

And then there’s a slew of other add-ons and options out could get depending on your specific PWS needs. This affords the user a great deal of flexibility, customization, and scalability with the AcuRite Atlas.

The weather station must haves and optional accessories include:

  • 1 * AcuRite Weather Sensor
  • 1 * AcuRite Access
  • 1 * AcuRite HD Touchscreen Display
  • 1 * Lightning Detector
  • 1 * Wind Extension
  • 1 * Remote Battery Pack
  • 1 * Power Adapter

This is the best PWS from AcuRite so far. It comes with the standard 5-in-1 sensor capability of temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction. And then for this model, the company added to new swanky sensors for tracking UV exposure and light intensity. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

This model records some standard accurate readings from its five sensors. It can detect and record temperatures of –40° up to 158°F and to an accuracy of ±1°F. It picks up humidity of 1% to 99% to a ±2% accuracy. The Atlas’s wind speed capability stands at a max of 160mph with a wind direction accuracy of ±3%. Rainfall measures at 0.25 mm intervals (±5% accuracy); UV exposure measures up to an index of 15 (accuracy of ±1); and light intensity will read up to 120,000 lumens.

The weather console can also record and transmit data wirelessly for up to 100 meters (330 feet). The Atlas also boasts a faster data transmission time of at least 10 seconds.

Batteries are also just an option on this bad boy, because it comes fitted with three fit-to-size solar panels built into the sides of the weather sensor suite. These can comfortavly take care of the console’s power needs as long as it isn’t night time yet. In the night, you can lot for either batteries or use the power adapter, whichever option you go for. The plastic components on this suite are also relatively harder and more durable than in previous AcuRite weather stations. Don’t go dropping it on the floor though.

How to setup the Atlas

Weather stations that come as one rigid, inseparable unit can be clumsy and frankly, impractical. That’s the more reason I love AcuRite’s sensible approach to design on the Atlas. You can install it on a pole or mast as a single unit or separate the wind vane and barometer from the rest of the suite, thanks to the wind extension add on. This makes more sense if you want to get more accurate readings from those sensors. Install them to the wind extension and place them at the top of a pole that extends considerably into the air. The wind extension comes with a 30 foot extension cable that plugs directly into the Atlas sensor. The Atlas suite can be installed at eye level on the same pole. This shouldn’t take more than an hour and half to set up.

Next is to connect your Atlas suite to the AcuRite Access to enable internet connectivity. For the Atlas, AcuRite decided to switch out the SmartHub for the slightly better Access. SmartHub was its earlier offering to providing minted net connection for the sensor and it was not a very pleasant experience for people, mostly due to the difficult encountered during setup. After setup, you’ll have to sit back and wait for about half an hour for the Atlas to connect and start transmitting readings.

Situation report from the AcuRite Atlas

For a brand that sold its PWS as a contender for Davis’s makes they have done a fairly good job. The overall build of the sensor housing is worthy of applause, however, a closer inspection revealed some parts made of really thin plastic. This brings its durability into question.

Also in the day time, its solar panels have proven to be up to the task of keeping the Atlas firing on all cylinders. You will need to purchase four AA batteries (AcuRite recommends only non-rechargeable batteries) to power the sensor suite at night time though. For this you’ll need the add-on battery pack. After use, it has shown to be exhibit a comfortable level of water resistant. It also has a two-compartment design, with each compartment housing two batteries. This helps to eliminate sensor downtime even when switching out batteries. Or you could just go for the power adapter add on instead if buying batteries proves a hassle for you.

Also, I found this sensor gave better reasons than previous AcuRite sensors (like the AcuRite 5-in-1 Environment System). This is down to the company’s introduction of sufficient protection for the thermometer and hygrometer from excess radiation. Its readings are also within the margin of error of readings from both the Davis Vantage Vue and my local Weather Service Station.

Also, since I employed an extension pole for the wind sensors, their readings also turned out to be more accurate in comparison to when it was lower on the pole during testing. Just take note to stretch the sensors at least 30 feet in the air. Other readings achieved better accuracy as well. For the barometer’s readings though, I had to default it to the readings from a nearby setup to ensure my readings would be accurate.

The lightning detector is a small portable add-on that based on its objective is a very good addition to have. It is supposed to detect lightning strikes within 25 miles of the PWS, project distance to next strike as well as provide strike counter.

I didn’t get the chance to test this sensor as much as the others but in my testing it did register one false strike towards the end. Perhaps, it is possible that it was experiencing interference from the power lines and cables around my area. A good thunderstorm would help me do further testing as well as check if the power cables really do interfere.

Now let’s step inside. The display console or the HD display is a full 7-inch TFT touchscreen. This is perhaps one of the best components of the Atlas station. This isn’t to say it couldn’t have been better though. The interface could also use some work but at the moment it is user friendly and works sufficient my well. One thing it has going for it at the moment is that it sports a better display than the Davis’ consoles which are comparatively almost prehistoric in appearance and function.

The console gives the readings recorded over the last 48 hours in various formats. I especially liked the graph display option. If you’re in a dark room, you’ll also appreciate in brightness adjustment feature which doesn’t block out the data on display. With the console you can set an alarm for different weather conditions and events too which, I imagine will always come in handy. The one thing I didnt like about it is that its functionality is tied solely to the Atlas sensor suite. No other reading from an external AcuRite accessory will show up on the console.

These will show up on the AcuRite Access though by only if you’re using the mobile or web browser or app to view the data. The Access works really well too. A nice way to incorporate an Alexa technology into their smart home gadget.

In conclusion

The first thing that is clear is that the Atlas is an overall better weather station than everything AcuRite has released prior. It still does need some work though.

For instance, the wind extension (and perhaps a mast) should be part of the core offering and not offered as add-ons. This is because they are so critical to accurate wind readings. Ambient Weather is already ahead in this regard.

Also, AcuRite’s reluctance and sluggishness in integrating smart home connectivity is another plus for Ambient Weather WS-2902 station. However, the AcuRite Access does perform better that Ambient Weather’s skill in the way it controls what Alexa can and cannot report.

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The Atlas is pricier than all the other AcuRite weather stations before it. Still you are getting your money’s worth, plus it’s considerably cheaper than the Davis’ lineup.

In all, the AcuRite Atlas is already giving the Davis Vantage Vue a run for its money – and if it fully embraces smart home integration – could finally eclipse Ambient Weather’s WS-2902.

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