What’s the Weather Like Today?

Hum along with me to the old tune, “Its Good News Week” if you know that one you are probably a baby boomer. It is a 60’s one hit wonder by a group called Hedgehoppers Anonymous! Not that I remembered–what did they do before the Internet?
I received this contraption for my birthday from my dear husband. This is a fantastic gift.  I love it. It is an Acurite Five in One Weather Station.

Five in One Weather Station

Five in One Weather Station with Dual Solar Panel Upgrade

I mounted it at the very top of the house. Not too difficult when I can just climb onto the roof from the rear of the house since it is bermed to a step right below the gutter. The device is installed level and mounted due south (according to my GPS) to get accurate wind direction and solar power for the thermometer fan.

Weather Station on House Top

Accurite Weather Station on House Top

This Five in One weather station can use PC Connect software downloaded from the site to transfer data to their website. But I don’t have a PC to connect to the display. I use a Mac Powerbook and I splurged on an iPhone so that I could buy a Flir One thermal imaging camera last Christmas. So I added the Acu-link accessory. It is a wireless bridge that plugs into the internet router and transfers the sensor data to the Acurite My Backyard Weather website. Then I can log in from my computer or phone (or iPad) anywhere there is a data connection to see the weather data from my rooftop.

Aculink Bridge

Aculink Bridge Instructions

The Five in One station measures Temperature, Humidity, Wind Direction and Speed, Rainfall, and there is a Barometric Pressure readout too. The icons on the website are configurable, add or delete options and place them in any order. The inside display is also configurable for some of the information widgets.
My website display setup looks like this:

Aculink Website Display

Aculink Website Display-Temperature gets nice and cool at night

And this is an example of the inside display screen with widgets on the lower half that I have chosen to display. Notice it is pretty hot inside as the weather starts to cool off outside. Opening the windows at night cools it down inside but only to about 73 or 74. We just have so much mass in the house that it takes longer than overnight to cool it down. So the chilling system should really help cool the mass and keep it cooler inside.

Inside Display

Inside Weather Station Display-about an hour earlier that the website display

The window at the bottom of the display is a ticker that tells the moon phase, the last rainfall, the current records for heat and cold etc.

One problem I had when the temperatures started to get hot outside is that the display was about 15-20 degrees higher than the actual temperature. The weather station thermometer is exposed to the hot sun and the way it is kept accurate is to power a small fan with a solar panel. I read on the user forums that the single panel is just not enough for hot summer temperatures and there is an upgrade that has two solar panels that makes the hot sunny day temperature readout more accurate. So of course I had to have one.

Temperature Sensor Add On

Temperature Sensor Add On

It was not too difficult to install, just had to keep track of the screws and not let the internal electronic box fall out of the device. The effect was not immediate, the temperature sensor stayed at 104 degrees when it was probably 90 but the next day the temperature did not skyrocket in the sun and seemed much more accurate. There is some calibration that can be done for the instruments but except for the temperature on sunny days they seem pretty accurate right out of the box.
I’m pretty impressed with this device. It does run on four AA batteries that come it. I will have to see how long a set lasts. In cold weather they recommend lithium batteries to combat the effect of the cold on alkaline batteries. The data collection memory in the inside display is full right now and I don’t have a PC to use the software to download it. I wonder if it would just show up as a USB disk on my Mac to download and empty the memory. (Didn’t work–did open iTunes though!)
The total cost was more expensive than purchasing the kit with the acculink bridge and temperature sensor upgrade included so look at the website and get that one in the first place (Currently: Acurite Model: 900WES) to get the full capability of the system.

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