Author Topic: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.  (Read 1096 times)

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Offline CheezWiz

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New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« on: January 26, 2024, 09:42:07 AM »
Hello all,
I just recently upgraded from a cheap Raddy system to an Atlas. Before that, I had an Oregon Scientific WMR-968 that ran great for 12 years!
I picked this station up at a great price during Acurite's Black Friday deals.

I am struggling with the Atlas, and my return window is about to run out. I just got it set up at the start of January, and I first noticed the issue where every day at 6 PM, it zeros out the rain totals data it sends to Weather Underground. This is an example of that:


I contacted support, and their first response was to reset everything. Well, I just got this thing going, and if it already needs to be reset, then it has serious problems.

I like the Atlas, but it has other issues as well.

1. It will not stay connected to my Eero mesh wifi. I had to use an old access point to make it work.

2. When it rains hard, the signal strength drops to zero, and it sporadically gets data. It is ~150ft away.


3. I could not connect it with the Acurite service and Weather Underground. The Acurite website seems to add spaces to the end of the station name and key. Using just the built-in interface to WU works. But that means I cannot also have it report to MyAcurite.

4. The screen is tiny, and I must get close to see most of the data.

I did notice that other reviewers on various sites had complained about the signal issue in the rain. Mine is in the middle of an open field a little over 8 feet off the ground with line of sight to the base. I did not expect to see full strength in normal weather and zero signal in the rain.

So, did I get a lemon here?

Offline VaJim

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2024, 10:01:56 AM »
You say you 'like' the Atlas, what is it you like about?

I'm sure you already know this, some of the mesh routers combine the 2.4 & 5g into one.  It's up to the device to figure out which one will work.  Not all wifi devices are compatible with mesh systems.

Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2024, 10:16:03 AM »
It has a lot going for it.
For one, The way they laid out the display, I get rain history for day, week, month year. Lightning data, etc... all on one screen without having to hit any buttons. (Of course, this is all moot if I have to factory reset the thing regularly!)
It has a simple interface with the three front buttons related to the soft menus. No need to fiddle with side buttons or hidden buttons on the back.
I like how it manages dimming and turning the display off. I have one display in our kitchen and one in our bedroom, so that is important for our sleep health.
Although small, to me the display looks great. I like that it has the aspirated temperature probe, although I see folks here saying theirs read high. My Raddy was certainly reading a bit higher in the summer heat, and I was hoping the Atlas would solve that. Another plus is the availability of spare parts for the Atlas.

As for the wifi, a device sold at the end of 2023 should be capable of connecting to a mesh wifi system. They have been around for many years now. Even the cheap Raddy had no issues with that. I had a spare wifi access point so I was willing to live with that. But the weather underground issue makes me think firmware bug or something, and I do not see that they even do firmware updates for their base units.

The signal thing was another part that has me wavering on the return fence. Neither of my previous stations had an issue like that.

As a side note, the Raddy only lasted a year before it started having sensor issues. The solar radiation sensor went first, followed by the UV sensor. They replaced it under warranty with one that reported data, but only 1/8th the original values for solar radiation and the UV never went above 2. So no more of those for me. Luckily my CC had extended warranty protection for it and refunded my $$.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2024, 10:33:16 AM by CheezWiz »

Offline Jim Ace

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2024, 08:59:35 AM »
Acurite stations have had connection issues for years, I tried many of their products with the same results. I have moved away from Acurite to another product and I'm happy I did.
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Offline wags1

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2024, 09:42:50 AM »
I have personally had lots of issues with my Atlas. AcuRite sent me 3 replacement wifi displays and an entire replacement Atlas sensor. None of it resolved all of the issues. The two things that I did that made it at least somewhat usable is to add the remote battery pack and go back to using my old AcuRite Access for sending weather data to the internet (MyAcuRite and WU). Honestly my plan is to move away from AcuRite, probably to either Ambient or Davis.

Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2024, 10:16:17 AM »
I have personally had lots of issues with my Atlas. AcuRite sent me 3 replacement wifi displays and an entire replacement Atlas sensor. None of it resolved all of the issues. The two things that I did that made it at least somewhat usable is to add the remote battery pack and go back to using my old AcuRite Access for sending weather data to the internet (MyAcuRite and WU). Honestly my plan is to move away from AcuRite, probably to either Ambient or Davis.

Thanks for the reply. I have until February 8 to return the station to them within the 90-day return window.
Would you mind sharing a bit more about the problems you experienced? Or were they basically the same as mine?

I was looking at the cheaper Davis with the new fancy display as an alternative, but I really hate how they make all of your data phone home and delay for 15 minutes before it can go to another site. That is just a money grab for an already very expensive station. I think that the ability to upload directly to WU at this point is the most basic function that all the Wi-Fi-connected stations should have. The ambient weather stuff appears to just be more Chinese mass clones, of which I have little faith in actually getting any longevity. But alas, those two appear to be the only viable alternatives. Wow, does Davis want a small fortune to add stuff like lightning detection!

Offline wags1

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2024, 11:43:39 AM »
This thread https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=44581.msg453904#msg453904 covers most of it. In addition I also experience issues where the sensor will stop reporting, like the batteries are dead, but just removing and reinstalling the batteries fixes the problem (and the batteries are not dead based on multimeter readings). Installing a remote battery unit makes it better but does not completely resolve the problem. Bottom line, IMO, is that the Atlas and itís WiFi displays have design and/or quality issues.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2024, 11:27:36 AM »
I just put my Atlas back up, and the first 15 minutes or so the signal was dropping off, but after that, it hasn't dropped any at all. I don't know what to think about the signal issue, other than the board must have a short in it.

Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2024, 11:47:25 AM »
I just put my Atlas back up, and the first 15 minutes or so the signal was dropping off, but after that, it hasn't dropped any at all. I don't know what to think about the signal issue, other than the board must have a short in it.

Are you talking about the WiFi signal? Or the received signal strength of the sensor to the base station? It seems that I have found people complaining about both.

For me, it is the signal strength of the sensor. On non-rainy days, it is 100% perfect. But as soon as we get precipitation, it will drop to zero, and then modulate. It will jump to full one minute, followed by several minutes of zero. This is happening even with minimal moisture in the air. That makes me think there is an issue on the sensor side of the house for me.

The thing that really baffles me is it sends zero total precipitation at 6 PM every night to Weather Underground. That has to be a programming error in the console. The console itself does not zero out, just the data it is sending to WU.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2024, 11:54:00 AM »
The outdoor sensor signal to base and access.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2024, 08:54:37 AM »
I went ahead and took the board out of my atlas. There is a thing in there called a crystal. I took a tiny nail and moved it a bit thinking maybe it had a poor connection. I've done this with previous 5n1's too, as my ABC channel kept changing on it's own, and that seemed to be the culprit. I also touched the solder with a soldering iron. I also cleaned the board pins. They seemed to have some goo on them. I put the system back into operation. It is now working without missing a beat. Who knows!? You can see it's updating very fast. Also I put the sensor way out from the house, 200 Feet. approximately.

https://www.wunderground.com/dashboard/pws/KNCJACKS23
« Last Edit: February 06, 2024, 08:56:45 AM by DoctorKnow »

Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2024, 11:51:00 AM »
Well, I may regret this decision, but I decided to keep it.
I got a great deal for it, and even with the sensor signal issues, it is not missing data that I have noticed.
Besides, the weather did not cooperate with me. To get it down and send it off in time would have required a significant shipping expense.

I may take it down one day and look at the board and see how they mounted the crystal in there.
I am a Ham Radio guy with some experience working on RF circuits. I am convinced there is still a minor design issue with these devices.

The weather underground issue is annoying, but the data still gets there.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2024, 01:49:58 PM »
CheezWiz, do you know if those crystals can be replaced? Do they go bad? I've got an Iris 5n1 that is eating batteries, so I'm curious if this thing is why? It doesn't seem to be the thermo/hygro chip, but it could be. I guess I could have 2 bad ones...

Offline daman

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2024, 08:49:05 AM »
CheezWiz, do you know if those crystals can be replaced? Do they go bad? I've got an Iris 5n1 that is eating batteries, so I'm curious if this thing is why? It doesn't seem to be the thermo/hygro chip, but it could be. I guess I could have 2 bad ones...
Doc you been around you know on these 5n1 if they start eating Batties its most likely the temp/thermo board.
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Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2024, 09:27:11 AM »
CheezWiz, do you know if those crystals can be replaced? Do they go bad? I've got an Iris 5n1 that is eating batteries, so I'm curious if this thing is why? It doesn't seem to be the thermo/hygro chip, but it could be. I guess I could have 2 bad ones...
Doc you been around you know on these 5n1 if they start eating Batties its most likely the temp/thermo board.

Those crystals are typically bulletproof. They have a huge operating temperature range and are usually made of quartz. I doubt that one would cause the issues with battery life. However, a poor solder joint could certainly be responsible for the signal issues as well as a poorly designed circuit board. I might try to take mine down one uneventful spring day and have a look. The battery issue would likely be due to a device that has a failing IC or sensor.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2024, 09:56:36 AM »
CheezWiz, do you know if those crystals can be replaced? Do they go bad? I've got an Iris 5n1 that is eating batteries, so I'm curious if this thing is why? It doesn't seem to be the thermo/hygro chip, but it could be. I guess I could have 2 bad ones...
Doc you been around you know on these 5n1 if they start eating Batties its most likely the temp/thermo board.
Probably, but if I spend the money on a replacement, I want it to work. Now that I have fixed the Atlas, I'm not messing with it.

Offline CheezWiz

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2024, 10:10:04 AM »
DoctorKnow   Do you also have your Atlas reporting to MyAcurite? I was not able to make it report to both. I am also curious to see if your device zeros out the daily total of rain at WU at 6 PM like mine does.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2024, 12:50:56 PM »
Yes, mine reports to Myacurite, but through the Access hub, not a wifi display. It would be your display that is doing this. I could be though because of a reset of the Atlas Sensor. When I pull my batteries, and put them back in, it will send a signal of rainfall. You can check a couple of days ago on my weather Underground where it sent .39 - I did not tip the bucket. It also reported on Myacurite.

Offline daman

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2024, 11:55:29 AM »
CheezWiz, do you know if those crystals can be replaced? Do they go bad? I've got an Iris 5n1 that is eating batteries, so I'm curious if this thing is why? It doesn't seem to be the thermo/hygro chip, but it could be. I guess I could have 2 bad ones...
Doc you been around you know on these 5n1 if they start eating Batties its most likely the temp/thermo board.

Those crystals are typically bulletproof. They have a huge operating temperature range and are usually made of quartz. I doubt that one would cause the issues with battery life. However, a poor solder joint could certainly be responsible for the signal issues as well as a poorly designed circuit board. I might try to take mine down one uneventful spring day and have a look. The battery issue would likely be due to a device that has a failing IC or sensor.
Not so, I've had 3... go bad and every time I've replaced the board it solved the battery drain issue, matter of fact my last replacement and I'm still going on the set of batteries after repair. 3 years, so it's a pretty safe bet that that's an area of suspect they're far from bullet proof.

Also cures the -40 temp issues.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2024, 12:00:18 PM by daman »
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Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2024, 11:59:30 AM »
Daman, I found another thermo/hygro board in my shed, and had to solder it to fit the plug for the 5n1. I'll let you know if it fixes my battery drain. If it does, I'll order a board. I'll know in a couple of weeks. Right now, it's working fine and no signal loss either.

Offline DoctorKnow

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2024, 07:50:11 PM »
So as soon as it got dark this evening, my Atlas died! Weird... Will have to check it out tomorrow.

Offline daman

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Re: New Acurite Atlas and issues, about to return for refund.
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2024, 11:02:42 AM »
Daman, I found another thermo/hygro board in my shed, and had to solder it to fit the plug for the 5n1. I'll let you know if it fixes my battery drain. If it does, I'll order a board. I'll know in a couple of weeks. Right now, it's working fine and no signal loss either.
Good, like I said every time it fixed my drain issue.
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