Author Topic: Acurite Atlas 8 Review  (Read 2767 times)

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Offline ctccbc

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Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« on: May 01, 2018, 05:25:19 PM »
I was lucky to be involved in the beta-testing process for the Acurite Atlas 8. I've been a Forecaster for the National Weather Service for 29 years and have worked with lots of instrumentation. After testing a beta version, I now have the production version. Here are my initial impressions of the Acurite Atlas Elite 8.

The temperature data is far superior to the 5-in-1. There are now three panels of solar powered aspiration, the fan starts much earlier and runs later in the day eliminating the spikes in data commonly seen in the 5-in-1 and the temperature is almost always within 1-2 degrees of our local ASOS about 5 miles away. I was concerned that the amount of black plastic on the unit would cause overheating, but now that we are into late Spring, and FINALLY warm, I see the Atlas regularly 3 or 4 degrees cooler than the 5-in-1 on a sunny day. The units are side-by-side in my yard.

Wind sampling is pretty similar to the 5-in-1. Without a professional level ASOS, you will never completely capture all of the wind gusts, but there doesn't seem to be alot of difference in the systems with regards to wind. The precipitation, in most part, seems to be underdone compared to the 5-in-1 or my Cocorahs gauge. Only once in very heavy rain, have I seen the Atlas be overdone in comparison with the others.

While the touch-screen indoor unit is very attractive, there are a few things I don't like about it. Rain totals are given by event, week, month and year. I would still prefer a "since midnight" 24 hour total. Some of the menus are a little clunky to navigate, but I have gotten used to the unit.

Overall, I would give the Atlas high ratings, if for nothing else but the far superior temperature readings.  The wind and precipitation data, while not perfect, are sufficient for this type of weather station. The UV and lightning data is also nice to have.

I've never been a big fan of the MyAcurite website and I rarely use it, but it is nice that this system reports to Weather Underground RapidFire. It would be nice to see options added to send the data to CWOP and to use it in the website templates. Michael Walsh has indicated a reluctance to support the Atlas with the VISReader software. I know one person has developed AcuParse, but it is Linux based and seems quite difficult to set up. I'm not sure if Kevin Key will support the new Atlas through the Acurite Access or not. It would be nice if some software guru could develop a nice interface that would allow upload to Weather underground, CWOP and would also support local webpages through tags.

All in all, the Atlas is a very nice station.

Regards,
Chris
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 06:21:42 PM by ctccbc »

Offline CW2274

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Re: Acurite Atlas Elite 8 Review
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 05:45:49 PM »
Here are my initial impressions of the Acurite Atlas Elite 8.
I'm confused, is this the Atlas 8 or Atlas Elite? You're calling it both.

Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas Elite 8 Review
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 06:21:03 PM »
Sorry for the confusion, mine is the Atlas 8. Not Elite.

Chris

Offline CW2274

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 06:38:56 PM »
Thank you.

Online DoctorKnow

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 09:07:09 PM »
Chris,

Did you get a new Atlas to replace the original, or are you talking about the Access part? Acurite is supposed to be sending us all a new Atlas, and I never got one.

I agree on the thermometer/hygrometer readings on the Atlas. Today was a hot day and you can compare my Excelvan and Atlas on Wunderground. Both hit 85 in direct sunlight.

I originally had an Atlas 7 until acurite sent me a lightning chip to install making the unit an "Atlas 8".
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 09:09:33 PM by DoctorKnow »


Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 09:23:26 PM »
Yes I got a newer Atlas to replace the beta version.

Online DoctorKnow

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2018, 09:29:24 PM »
Thanks.

I guess I'll see what some of the others say. Maybe it's on the way.


Offline Glenn

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 09:18:57 AM »
Thanks for posting the review Chris. It was very helpful to get some perspective on the unit; especially compared to the 5 in 1 which many of us have.
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Offline worachj

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 09:33:07 AM »
I would still prefer a "since midnight" 24 hour total. Some of the menus are a little clunky to navigate, but I have gotten used to the unit.

Nice review on your Atlas 8, Thanks!

Glad to hear that the temperature readings on the Atlas 8 are better that the 5-N-1. That’s been my major gripe against my 5-N-1.

I also would prefer a midnight/midnight rain total, but it depends on their definition of a rain event. A long event time may be OK.
Quote
From my rain gauge manual:
When EVENT mode is selected, rainfall data is shown for the most recent rainfall. An event ends when no rainfall has been detected for 8 hours. An event may be a brief drizzle, or a multi-day storm.

 
Any idea on what the definition of a rain event is for the HD display?

Can the rain gauge can be calibrated to improve accuracy?
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 09:58:33 AM by worachj »


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Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2018, 10:24:47 AM »
Not sure about the rainfall calibration capability in the Atlas. I dont know how they define a rain event. I would assume that rain would fall, then have to stop for some period of time to count as an "event".

Offline worachj

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 10:36:20 AM »
My main gripe with rain events is not knowing when one starts. On 2 to 3-day rain events I have no idea of what the event period is so the rain total becomes confusing.

Does the display show a start time for the rain event?


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Offline BeaverMeadow

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2018, 10:54:00 AM »
I have the HD display with the 5 in 1. The method of rainfall calculation is probably the same as on the display of the Atlas. I  don't like the way it calculates: a few days ago it was raining outside and the displayed rain total on the main screen was going down instead of up because it was raining harder when the 48 hour calc commenced and thus diminishing the displayed rainfall amount faster than it was increasing from the rain that was currently occurring.

If they want to give a 48 hour running total it would be better on a secondary screen, not on the main screen.

That said, it's a very nice color HD display that I enjoy looking at for current outdoor conditions.

Offline worachj

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2018, 11:14:48 AM »
I have the HD display with the 5 in 1. The method of rainfall calculation is probably the same as on the display of the Atlas. I  don't like the way it calculates: a few days ago it was raining outside and the displayed rain total on the main screen was going down instead of up because it was raining harder when the 48 hour calc commenced and thus diminishing the displayed rainfall amount faster than it was increasing from the rain that was currently occurring.

If they want to give a 48 hour running total it would be better on a secondary screen, not on the main screen.

That said, it's a very nice color HD display that I enjoy looking at for current outdoor conditions.

Like you I hate the 48-hour rain total on the 5-N-1 HD display for the exact same reason you gave. Rain events for the most part is alright as long as you know the time and length of the event but would prefer a 24-hour midnight/midnight total.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 11:17:01 AM by worachj »


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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 09:54:11 PM »
Thanks.

I guess I'll see what some of the others say. Maybe it's on the way.

I wouldn't worry about it just yet.

There's a lot of confusing information floating around right now... maybe that means something is about to happen.

Offline nincehelser

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 10:02:41 PM »
Not sure about the rainfall calibration capability in the Atlas. I dont know how they define a rain event. I would assume that rain would fall, then have to stop for some period of time to count as an "event".

On the older displays, a "rain event" was defined based on continued rainfall and a certain amount of change in the barometric pressure after the rain had stopped.

I don't think any of the newer displays are using that "rain event" definition anymore.

I have to agree the Atlas display is a bit confusing on how it displays rainfall for different time periods.  Personally I'd prefer "rain since midnight" so things would match up with wunderground and myAcurite, but I know some others would prefer a different period, like rain since 7:00AM (or whatever) to match CoCoRaHs and other official rain maps.

Online DoctorKnow

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2018, 08:54:44 AM »
Thanks.

I guess I'll see what some of the others say. Maybe it's on the way.

I wouldn't worry about it just yet.

There's a lot of confusing information floating around right now... maybe that means something is about to happen.

OK. Thanks.



Offline sinan0310

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2018, 11:44:30 AM »
any pics?
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Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2018, 12:19:47 PM »
Here is a picture of the Outdoor unit and Indoor Touch-Screen Display. The Touch-Screen picture was taken back in the winter, hence the 21 degree reading!

Chris

Offline worachj

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2018, 03:42:33 PM »
In the above picuture for the HD Display I wonder why the weekly total is 0.0 and the above total for the last 7 days is .27. Something doesn't seem right.

EDIT:
I guess I can see where the .27 rain total occured 5 days ago , and the week total started on Sunday 3 days ago.

So I think I understand the difference.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 03:46:06 PM by worachj »


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Offline nincehelser

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2018, 04:20:30 PM »
In the above picuture for the HD Display I wonder why the weekly total is 0.0 and the above total for the last 7 days is .27. Something doesn't seem right.

EDIT:
I guess I can see where the .27 rain total occured 5 days ago , and the week total started on Sunday 3 days ago.

So I think I understand the difference.

That could be it, but if that picture was from "winter", it's a display from the beta period.

As was mentioned in the other thread, there's still some testing going on, so it's difficult to say what's "production", what's "beta", and what might be somewhere in between.

Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2018, 05:19:21 PM »
True, I could have posted a picture from the new HD indoor unit, but it looks exactly the same. Didn't figure there was any difference.

Chris

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2018, 05:29:38 PM »
I don't know about the rest of you, but I would gladly turn down my revised final version of the Atlas for the opportunity to test the Atlas Elite. I also hope that CWOP sharing will take place with one of these models. I have asked for the wind extension add-on so that I can mount the hardware on the top of my mast without the whole unit.


Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2018, 06:46:02 PM »
I totally agree about the CWOP upload and the ability to tag the data for use in website templates. Doesn't sound like Michael Walsh at VISreader is inclined to support the Atlas but maybe some other software guru can give it a shot.

Offline ctccbc

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2018, 06:50:30 PM »
Here's an updated current photo of the new indoor unit.

Offline BeaverMeadow

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Re: Acurite Atlas 8 Review
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2018, 06:58:21 PM »
Can the main display's rain total be changed from 7 day to 1 day?