Accuracy of temperature with the 5-in-1 sensor

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I really wonder sometimes of the accuracy of temperature with the 5-in-1 sensor at times. My sensor is mounted 17 feet off the ground and at a minimum of 10 feet away from anything that could possibly give off any radiating heat. My sensor is almost always 2-3 degrees higher on sunny days compared to other sensors in my area of other brands people have. This pic of WU there are three 79°F and they are Acurite 5-in-1 sensors. It is about 2pm est, sunny and breezy. Mine is the one with the circle. As you can see most sensors are 75°F and 76°F around these Acurite sensors. I have seen how the other 2 Acurite sensors are mounted. The one is mounted about 20 feet off the ground on a pole on their roof and the other is mounted about 30ft off the ground and on a pole on their roof about 10 feet above their roof. The Acurite sensors are reading the same within each other, but not in comparison to the other brand sensors like Ambient, Davis, and Lacrosse that are nearby. Just wondering what you guys think or have noticed this too. I am also showing you how mine is mounted.
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Mirwin2

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Posted 1 year ago

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Bill Martin

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looking at the others reporting show a range from 74-79 degrees. you can have micro climates with small variations. i have seen rain differences of 1" or more depending where the front comes in and this is a few miles away. i habe seen 1-5 degrees variation from these same sensors. none of this concerns me with micro climates. you will not be able to compare your readings to local tv/radio broadcasts.

if you really want to test temps, you will need to take a second sensor (T/H) and place it within feet of your 5in1.
comparing other units that are hundreds of feet to miles apart is a fool's errand.
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Mirwin2

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I understand what you are saying about the microclimates and understand they exist. The point I am making is the 3 Acurite sensors (including mine) are very similar or the same when compared to each other, but when these 3 Acurite sensors are compared to the nearby non-Acurite sensors. They are not similar. I guess you could say the range is primarily 75°F-77°F within the non-Acurite sensors and no range for the Acurite sensors, since they are the same. Look at the two in the top left, they are 5 degrees apart.
(Edited)
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Bill Martin

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Mirwin2:  same issue.  If you want a head to head comparison that removes many (but not all) of the variables, you'll need to move your Acurite near one of the non Acurite sensors or move a non Acurite system near your system.  So if you are good friends that doesn't mind you coming over for a few hours or them moving their stuff to your location, it really is not worth it.  Most brands have +/- 1 or 2 degrees of accuracy.  If one is on the high side and the other on the low side, you can quickly get 2-4 degrees of differences (2 degrees if both are +/-1 degree; 4 degrees if both are +/- 2 degrees).  You are trying to get 'absolute' which implies the exact same location.  Even at the exact same location, you will have the +/- variances that the sensors can measure. 

I would much rather have 'relative' to where I am physically located.  I never lost any sleep over the variations I have seen across a 1 mile let alone a 10 mile or larger radius. 

Just my 2 cents.
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Mirwin2

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I get it. This is just a consistent pattern compared to everyone else nearby that are non-Acurite sensors. The Acurite sensors are always a few degrees higher when it is sunny than the non-Acurite sensors. I notice this also even if I expand the area a little to the west and compare that area. I notice the same thing. The Acurite sensors read higher than the non-Acurite sensors. So that is why I question the accuracy. It really is not a big deal, but I was curious because of a pattern I observed. Thank you.
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Bill Martin

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Mirwin2:
the little solar powered fans are to help keep reporred temps where they should be. if fan is not running optimal, it would read higher temps. mist that have this issue ar 10+ degress off and very obvious. you could have a fan degradation issue but really need to talk with Chaney about this. you might to first look at their allowed variances for each.metric before you do. also compare variances of the units you are comparing with.

you can probably find sensors with 0.1 degree acuracy but accuracy comes with an exponential,not linear, cost.

look at various cooking probes like Thermapen instant temp probes.
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Mirwin2

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I am aware of the fan's purpose and I do not have a fan problem, I can hear it. If I did, it would be around 10 degrees warmer not 2-3 degrees and that means the other Acurite sensors all have fan problems then. All I am saying is that the Acurite temperature component may not be as accurate as the other brands at this time. Maybe the Atlas line will have more refined components. It's only 2-3 degrees, but that can be all the difference in some cases.
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Mirwin2

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I just checked the highs for the day of the weatherstations in the screenshot I have. All of the non-Acurite sensors ranged from 77°F to 79°F. The WeatherBug's high, up the street from me at a high school, was 76°F. The Acurite sensors ranged from 81°F to 83°F. My high was 81°F.
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Bill Martin

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You might want to look at specific Weatherbug models reporting and their corresponding prices. I think the lowest Pro was $350 and went over $1000. The non pros were $150-400 range. You can also look at Davis but will be paying considerble more. Just a question of what you are willing to pay. Chaney with Acurite appear to be targetting the lower priced entry area. Unsure if the Atlas will be significantly better performance than Acurite and justify higher price or if Chaney is overhauling their products with Atlas targetting 5in1 replacement. This is not a trivial situation/decision and few companies can truely straddle both high and low end/entry models.

Similar to cars: a Toyota will be $30K and you can purchase a Ferrari. Unless you have access to a closed track/road, the extra performance/handling is wasted with a Ferrari and it is quite simply a status symbol that you are willing to pay a huge premium for (upfront and ongoing).

it will be telling once more specs and pricing are released for Atlas. at this point it is all supposition and wishes....
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Bill Martin

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You might want to look at specific Weatherbug models reporting and their corresponding prices. I think the lowest Pro was $350 and went over $1000. The non pros were $150-400 range. You can also look at Davis but will be paying considerble more. Just a question of what you are willing to pay. Chaney with Acurite appear to be targetting the lower priced entry area. Unsure if the Atlas will be significantly better performance than Acurite and justify higher price or if Chaney is overhauling their products with Atlas targetting 5in1 replacement. This is not a trivial situation/decision and few companies can truely straddle both high and low end/entry models.

Similar to cars: a Toyota will be $30K and you can purchase a Ferrari. Unless you have access to a closed track/road, the extra performance/handling is wasted with a Ferrari and it is quite simply a status symbol that you are willing to pay a huge premium for (upfront and ongoing).

it will be telling once more specs and prices are released for Atlas. at this point it is all supposition and wishes....
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Mirwin2,



The guidelines below are when you are comparing readings. The accuracy on our products is +/-2 degrees. If the temperature is within that range, and you are following the guidelines below it would be considered within range. It is important to know the accuracy standard of the product you are comparing it with as well. All companies in this industry have an accuracy standard they need to maintain.

When comparing temperature, humidity or other environmental readings against other sources to determine accuracy, the comparative source MUST be in the exact same location where the original measurement is taken. 

Information on the television, radio, computer, or mobile app is NOT a valid source for comparison, because environmental factors fluctuate a great deal between different locations. Data from these sources may be for locations that are several miles away from where you're taking a reading.

When testing a product against another product for accuracy, be sure to allow products to sit undisturbed (without handling) side by side for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the products to acclimate to the environmental conditions. 1-8 hours is ideal for humidity testing. Also be sure to take into account the accuracy standard/tolerance for different products.

The accuracy standard for the Atlas & Atlas Elite is +/-1 degree. You can find that information on the link below:

https://www.acurite.com/atlas-environmental-monitoring-solutions/?ref=01-04-3

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Paul Schubring

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Your situation is almost identical to mine. In the heat of the summer I run about 5 degrees higher than other gauges in the area from about 2pm - 5pm (5 in 1 is in direct sunlight at this time). Cloudy days or winter, I'm usually spot on. If I move the gauge into the shade, then my rain gauge won't be accurate (trees). I tried adjusting the temp down a few degrees but it doesn't seem to report that on wunderground.
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AcuRite Jennifer

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Hello Paul,

If you have a smartHUB, and are making calibrations on My AcuRite or your display it will not transfer to Weather Underground.  The calibrations do not transfer because the information is sent to Weather Underground and does not go through My AcuRite.  Please reference the guidelines above regarding comparing readings, and accuracy.  If you would like to take a picture of the sensor and what is around it we may be able to determine if there is anything that could be a potential heat source.
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Carl Dierking

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I think the design of the 5-in-1 is inherently problematic. When the sun is out, the fan on my unit is happily whirling along and still the temperature runs 2-4 degrees too high. This is compared with NWS max/min thermometers in a shelter nearby.  On cloudy days the max temperatures are fairly accurate.  As Paul pointed out, you can't locate the sensor in a shady area without negatively impacting the precipitation. Perhaps a stronger fan would help, but I doubt there's much that can be done to mitigate the effect of the outer shell heating up in the sun.  As a result, I have my doubts about the accuracy of many max temperatures being collected by Weather Underground.

 
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AcuRite Rachell, Employee

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Hello Carl,
AcuRite’s accuracy standard for weather products is +/-2°F. When comparing two AcuRite thermometers, there may be up to a 4° difference in temperatureWhere are you located? If you are in an area where it is excessively sunny we do recommend using the PRO+ dual panel wind cup assembly if you are not already.
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Carl Dierking

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I'm located in Southeast Alaska which is by no means excessively sunny, although we have recently experienced a stretch of clear weather. Max temperatures have been in the upper 70s to low 80s on my NWS max/min thermometers, but the 5-in-1 thermal sensor is reporting highs in the mid to upper 80s.  Definitely over the +/- 2°F threshold.  The PRO+ dual panel wind cup upgrade may help, but it seems odd to have to pay money to fix a bad design.
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Jon008

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It's not a "bad design". It depends on if you are located north or south as to what fan model you should install. Sometimes the fan motors need attention or replacement depending on their environment also. Moisture, sand and salt can affect all mechanical or electronic devices in a negative way and they start to lose their full potential. Many users have posted tips on line of how to maintain and improve performance of these lower cost units.
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