AcuRite Access: why?

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Today I received an Acurite Access, which I purchased due to the "forced upgrade" from the AcuRite SmartHUB in order to continue using the sensor network have deployed through my home.  I bought the original SmartHUB system and sensors less than one year ago.

While the new Access features are not valuable to me and the SmartHUB was working great, I found enough value in the MyAcurite portal to pay the "upgrade" cost in order to continue using it.

I was not feeling great about that, but I did it anyways.

After plugging in the Access and trying to configure my network, I realized: the Access only supports 7 sensors instead of 10 like the SmartHUB - and guess what - I have 9 sensors!  Now I have two sensors that I am not able to use.

So now I am very irritated about AcuRite's product choices and lack of customer focus.

There is no reason to deprecate perfectly good hardware.
There is no excuse for releasing "upgrade" hardware that regresses capability.
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c.s.messer

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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George D. Nincehelser

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It's not a regression in capability.  Quite the opposite.

The value of the upgrade will become glaringly apparent once the new sensors and features start coming out.
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c.s.messer

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The AcuRite Access supports only 7 sensors.  The AcuRite SmartHUB supports 10 sensors.  7 is less than 10.  This is a regression in capability.
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George D. Nincehelser

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Yet it has much more memory and horsepower to support new features and sensors.

That's a progression in capability.
(Edited)
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c.s.messer

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Advancement in one capability is not mutually exclusive of regression in another capability. Arguing that "supporting fewer sensors is not a regression because of unreleased feature X that will be glaringly obvious later" when the current capabilities are diminished is silly.

I'm super excited to see what new features and sensors are coming to take advantage of that extra memory and compute. That said, again: 7 is less than 10, which means I don't have capacity in my AcuRite Access for these new sensors. 

Maybe some of that extra memory and horsepower could be deployed towards supporting, say, 14 sensors instead of 7.  That would be a pretty exciting upgrade and then I could really look forward to adding some of the to-be-released sensors to my collection.

George, since you appear to have some knowledge on this - can you share more about the change in memory and compute?  What sensors and features can we look forward to? Is there some technical limitation on sensor count? What is the limiting factor in the SmartHUB that causes this hardware to be deprecated?
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George D. Nincehelser

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This has been beat to death before.

The SmartHUB hardware has been around for many years.  The design will be over 8 years old when support is ended in 2019.

There just isn't enough memory left in the SmartHUB design to support further feature updates or sensors.  The firmware can no longer be reliably upgraded due to lack of memory space.  The network controller is limited to 10Meg half-duplex which creates a problem for some Gigabit switches.  There's no stable real-time clock available.  The antenna design is lacking.  It's been very unreliable for some people, etc, etc.

These are all issues that people have been griping about on this forum for a long time.  Contrary to your claim of "lack of customer focus", most of the new features in the Access have been customer-driven.

The Access takes care of all of these issues with a completely new design.  New sensors such as the Atlas are currently supported.  Other new sensors introduced at CES 18 are coming out, too.  The sensors are going to be reporting much faster, and the Access is going to be doing more local processing to cut down traffic on the myAcurite link, while at the same time allowing for expansion and interaction with other "smart home" systems.

They set a limit of 7 in the Access likely to manage performance expectations yet support the bulk of the current customer base. The Access is/will be doing a lot more than the SmartHUB every could, and it may not be entirely clear how performance will pan out.   If things go well, maybe the limit will be lifted in the future like the SmartHUB hardware was lifted from 3 to 10.  Things are not set in stone.

Sure, "7 is less than 10", but there's a whole new road ahead with the Access where the SmartHUB is a dead-end.

This is simply not a regression in capability, and as I said earlier, the differences are going to become glaringly obvious with time.
(Edited)
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c.s.messer

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Thank you for "beating the dead horse" on my behalf. 

Your explanations of why the SmartHUB was lacking in capability and reliability, why it is not perfectly good for many users, reasoning for capping Access sensor limit to manage performance expectations, and historical precedent for raising the sensor limit as capabilities are tested are answers to my question "why?".

I am satisfied now.
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Fred Flinstone

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File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.  It's not hard to do.  Enough complaints and they are/will look into it.  My states Attorney Generals Office is taking the matter into consideration and also told me to file the complaint with the FTC since they sell to all states in the US.