Review: AcuRite Professional Weather Center 02032C – Updated

Overview
This is an initial review of the AcuRite Professional Weather Center model 02032C.  The review will cover the build quality, installation and configuration of this weather station. There will be updates to this review as information becomes available.

Background
Based on my experience with the last inexpensive weather station that I purchased, I decided to spend the money on either the Ambient Weather WS-1001 or the Davis Vantage Vue system.  The Ambient Weather station seems to be the best deal, money for value.  So what happened?  Walking through Costco I found the AcuRite system for $79.99, and by the time I purchased it, it was on sale for $59.99.  Unlike the La Crosse Technology system, this one is a all-in-one sensor, and there are no subscription costs.  And if it doesn’t work out, I can always return it.

Build quality
The sensor unit appears, at least initially, to be of very good build quality.  It’s definitely better than the La Crosse.  And since there is only one sensor to interface, it’s much easier to configure.  The display unit is typical for something at this price-point, not too bad, but it is made of cheap plastic.  The battery cover feels like it might snap in two when installing the batteries.  See the internals with the cutaway view (from AcuRite’s website).

Acurite_02032C (5) Acurite_02032C (1) 5in1-sensor[1]

Installation
Following the instructions, the installation went smoothly.  The sensor was discovered immediately (unlike the La Crosse) and data was being collected.  The base was fastened to a post, plumed and leveled before attaching the sensor.  Using a compass app, I located south and pointed the device in that direction as per the directions.

The next step was the installation and configuration of the software, web dashboard and optional Weather Underground interface.  This step can be eliminated if you only plan to use the display unit.  If you want to retrieve data, use the app or upload to Weather Underground, the software has to be installed.

PC Connect can be found here.  Once installed it will display the information gathered by the display.  Looking at the text window, the reader software was created by Valley Information Systems, going there will reveal a newer version of the reader, v4.0.  It appears to be quite powerful, giving you full control over the data collected.  I’ve not installed that version, nor do I have the display in mode 4 as recommend.  A future project….

acurite_software Acurite_WeatherUnderground

The Weather Underground interface comes via the My Backyard Weather page via aculink.com.  Obviously you need to have configured a WU account before attempting the configuration.  If you are created the WU account when configuring the device, it takes about a day before you can link up.

Conclusion
So far so good… there are more pros than cons at this point.  The only major drawback is for the online data to be updated, the display must be connected to a computer via USB, and the computer must remain on and running the PC Connect software.  If you have the display in kitchen, as I do, that could be an issue.  I’m going to get around that issue by using a USB extender and running the software on my NAS that’s in the basement.

Also worth mentioning that the weather data on the home page is displayed using a WordPress widget called WX Weather.

Manufacturer: AcuRite
Model: 02032C
Web: http://www.acurite.com/pro-color-digital-weather-station-with-pc-connect-02032.html
Place of Purchase: Costco
Cost: $59.99
Technical Support: 877-221-1252

 

UPDATE 30DEC14:  Check these additional posts regarding this weather station.
Mast upgrade project.
VIS Reader installation and configuration.

UPDATE 02JAN15:  The included Duracell alkaline batteries were replaced with Energizer Lithium batteries (per AcuRite’s recommendation).  Almost immediately there were loss of signal issues.  After a couple days of battling that issues, the original Duracell batteries were installed and in twelve hours, no loss of signal was detected.

UPDATE 04JAN15: Yesterday the display unit and sensor lost connectivity dozens of times, finally remaining disconnected.  When this happens, it will not reconnect on its own, and must be power-cycled to fix.  Submitting a request via AcuRite’s user forum.

UPDATE 28DEC15:  Last January I put lithium AA batteries in the weather station and it has worked without issue for almost a year (that addressed the intermittent connectivity issues).  Still using the same configuration, the VIS reader software running on a dedicated computer.

 

10 comments for “Review: AcuRite Professional Weather Center 02032C – Updated

  1. December 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    how much of the info does the station let you see? Could you see the raw data from it? then you could get a computer software to see it then.

    still a nice station. like that color screen.

    • Dave
      December 27, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      With that Valley Info Systems software, all the data is available and can be stored in a SQL database or CSV files… working on that bit tomorrow. Will install on my media server. Funny thing today the aculink website was offline for a couple hours. That’s exactly why I’m going to get that software running, so I won’t be dependent on a third-party.

      I should have mentioned in the review, the screen isn’t really color, there are just color areas on the LCD glass.

  2. January 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Are you using the 02032C to post on Wunderground? Just picked one up (02032c) & want it for that purpose. Have been able to get it set up and calibrated (except barometric pressure, having trouble with that). Great job on your review & site. Lot of folks can’t figure them out and just leave a bad review. would love to discuss this unit a bit with you. Thanks—-Jim

  3. Dave
    January 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the kind words, glad that you have found the information useful. The software that comes with it will update the WU, but throught the AcuRite website (the My Backyard page at acu-link.com. I would recommend using the VIS Reader software, check my review here: http://dave.spalla.com/?p=2636

  4. January 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Really great info Dave, Have been trying to get a handle on all of this for days. Started researching and getting set up with the software long before my 0232c arrived. Have my account Numbers w/WU and already had aculink downloaded & installed. Like you mentioned I’m not willing to have my computer running 24/7, so tonight I’m ordering the bridge from Acurite. Today for some reason my unit let me calibrate the barometer (would not let me the other day). Finished all the other calibrations, linked to my USB, fired up VIS 3.4.1.1 (came with Aculink software download) & WALA posted to my backyard. So VIS Reader is different? I love the spaceweather info. nice addition & looks like data is editable W/reader. Have sling hygrometer, manual rain gauge & several types of thermometers to work with so the 02320C won’t be alone. Thanks for all the concise and useful info (explained in laymans terms)posted on your site, Really been a help. —– Jim

    • Dave
      January 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Hi Jim,

      I’m ok with leaving the computer on, just not in the kitchen where the display unit is. I put up some info about the USB extension that I’m using.

      The VIS reader is nice because AcuRite is not needed up update various weather sites, including the Aculink My Backyard Weather. The other benefit is that all the data is available through the software.

      I’ve been using it for three weeks and it works really well.

      Thanks again!

      -Dave

  5. Pat
    March 31, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t remember any software included.Can I hook to a MAC ? Have no idea how to set Barometer .Firefox

    • Dave
      April 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      No idea about the Mac version… you would be better off heading over to the AcuRite forums.

  6. August 7, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I also own AcuRite 01036 Pro Color. It has 5-in-1 sensor. I bought is recently. All is good but I am having some problem with the PC connect. I think it’s because of it’s software. Are you also facing this kind of issue??

    • Dave
      August 10, 2016 at 10:09 am

      My connectivity issues were about the sensors communicating with the base unit. The lithium batteries resolved that issue, I have had the same set in the sensor for 1.5 years. The VIS software works without issue as well.

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