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Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen
Affordable entry-level unit
Easy wireless setup
Really bad viewing angles
No wind direction
No rainfall measurement
The AcuRite 00589 Pro Color Weather Station is a great entry-level unit, but it’s missing key measurements like wind direction and rainfall.
AcuRite is an up and coming challenger in the world of hobbyist weather stations, and their Pro Color 00589 kit offers an affordable vector of entry into the hobby. This weather station comes with an attractive multi-color display and the main sensor body that’s capable of measuring wind speed, barometric pressure, ambient temperature, and humidity.
My go-to weather station is the venerable Davis Vantage Vue, so I was able to set up an AcuRite Pro Color 00589 sensor head near my Vantage Vue and really put it to the test. I ran them side by side for about a month, keeping track of the relative accuracy of the Pro Color versus my Vantage Vue and local NOAA readings, and I found the Pro Color to be a surprisingly competent little weather station for the price.
Like most hobbyist weather centers, the Pro Color 00589 has a single sensor head that incorporates all of its outdoor sensors. This isn’t ideal, as you typically don’t want to take measurements like temperature and wind speed in the same location or elevation, but this is an issue that most hobbyist weather centers share in common, including significantly more expensive units like the Davis Vantage Vue, Ambient Weather WS-2902A, and AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M.
In terms of the overall design, the Pro Color 00589 is very well thought out. It has a somewhat ice cream cone-like design, with the wind speed anemometer seated on top, followed by radiation shielding that serves to protect the barometer, temperature, and humidity sensors.
The bottom of the cone separates from the radiation shield to reveal a battery compartment. Unlike a lot of the more expensive weather stations, this unit uses standard AA batteries and doesn’t have a solar panel to help keep them charged up.
Finally, you have the mounting base, which is well designed. It includes two sets of mounting points, allowing you to mount it to either a horizontal or vertical surface depending on what you have available. You can also forgo the base and mount the sensor unit directly on a pole.
Setting up the AcuRite Pro Color 00589 is just about as easy as it could possibly be. Unlike some more complicated weather stations, this one is almost fully assembled right out of the box. All you have to do is install the batteries, set the channel switches within the sensor unit and receiver unit to the same channel, slip the mounting bracket into the sensor unit, and the setup process is almost done.
With both units powered up and set to the same channel, you have to set the time and date on the receiver unit, and then choose what temperature, wind speed, and pressure units you want it to display. After that, you have to install the sensor unit within 300 feet of the receiver, and you’re ready to start measuring.
Setting up the AcuRite Pro Color 00589 is just about as easy as it could possibly be.
Once you have completed the initial setup process, your Pro Color 00589 will need an additional two weeks to gather forecast data. During this time, you’ll see a learning mode message on the display. After two weeks have passed, your Pro Color 00589 will start to provide basic weather forecasts based on historic data and current readings.
AcuRite bills this unit as part of their Pro Color line, meaning the displays are color instead of black and white. In fact, the display is a basic two-tone LCD with a multicolored static background. The effect is that each section of the display has its own color, which helps each one stand out, but the display itself is just a basic backlit LCD.
The display is crisp and easy to read, even at a distance, with large numbers and icons providing all of the most vital information at a glance. The one issue is that the viewing angles are awful. It looks great if you look at it from above, but the numbers fade when viewed straight on, and the display is blank if you view it from underneath.
If you plan on mounting the display on a wall, which is an option due to the included hangar slots, make sure to mount it below the eye level of the shortest person who will need to use it on a regular basis. There is some ghosting when viewed at extreme angles from above, but a viewpoint that’s even slightly below the center of the display totally wipes it out.
The display is crisp and easy to read, even at a distance, with large numbers and icons providing all of the most vital information at a glance.
This weather station includes an anemometer for wind, temperature sensor, barometric pressure sensor, and a humidity sensor. These sensors are all rated as being fairly accurate, and that was my experience. The temperature tended to show a degree or two too low outside when compared to my Vantage Vue, other local stations, and NOAA’s closest station, but they were pretty close.
I also found the barometric pressure readings to be a bit low and the humidity readings to also be a bit low, but wind speed remained pretty much in line with my Vantage Vue.
This unit doesn’t have any way to measure wind direction or rainfall, so keep that in mind if those are measurements that you want to be able to keep track of.
The AcuRite Pro Color 00589 doesn’t have any kind of connectivity beyond the wireless connection between the sensor unit and the display unit. AcuRite does sell an identical sensor unit with an updated base station that’s capable of uploading data to Weather Underground, but this unit doesn’t have that functionality.
The AcuRite Pro Color 00589 isn’t a good buy at the MSRP of $130, because you can get the upgraded version that’s compatible with Weather Underground at that same price point. Priced at around $80 to $100, this is a much better buy. You miss out on some important sensors, connectivity, and a bit of accuracy compared to more expensive units, but it’s a great starting point for anyone looking to get started with weather as a hobby.
Monitoring the weather can be an expensive hobby, and the AcuRite Pro Color 00589 represents a fairly affordable entry point.
With an MSRP of $166, and a street price closer to $90, the La Crosse Technology C83100-INT (view on Amazon) is a direct competitor of the Pro Color 00589 in terms of both price and functionality.
La Crosse is more commonly associated with inexpensive desktop temperature and humidity monitors, but the C83100-INT is more or less in line with lower-end models from AcuRite and Ambient Weather. It includes indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity sensors, wind speed, rainfall, and barometric pressure.
In addition to adding a rainfall meter, the C83100-INT also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to keep track of your sensors via a phone app or even share your data to an external service.
I like the AcuRite unit a bit more for overall durability and the slightly lower price, but the La Crosse unit is worth a look if you want to add both a rainfall meter and Wi-Fi connectivity for an additional price.
Neither unit measures wind direction, so you’ll have to step up to a more expensive device for that.
A decent weather station for beginners.
Monitoring the weather can be an expensive hobby, and the AcuRite Pro Color 00589 represents a fairly affordable entry point. It lacks some of the sensors and a bit of the accuracy of more expensive models, but it’s very easy to set up, works quite well, and even provides a fairly accurate micro-forecast once the learning period is over. Look elsewhere if you need wind direction and rainfall measurements, but the Acurite pro Color 00589 is a great option if temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure are all you need.