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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Robust build quality
No UV/solar radiation sensor
No Wi-Fi connectivity
Screen has poor viewing angles
The AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M is a well-rounded weather station that is sturdy, accurate, and easy to set up.
We purchased the AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
These days, the weather grows only more unpredictable, and home weather stations like the AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M help us stay ahead of hazardous conditions. Even a less-expensive system such as this can be a useful tool for predicting and planning around weather patterns.
The AcuRite 01036M has two units: a base station and a sensor array. The base station is the screen where the information collected by the weather station is displayed, and where indoor temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity are measured. It is constructed of high-quality plastic and can be mounted on the wall or on the included stand. It can be powered with the included wall socket adaptor or with 6 AA batteries (not included).
The weather station is operated via two rows of buttons—one below the main display, and one below the weather ticker display. There is also a selector button on the side of the screen. The buttons are very tactical and require considerable pressure to operate, producing a very loud click when pressed.
Reset controls can be found in the battery compartment on the rear, which is also where the power and USB ports are located. Cables from these ports are routed through a small hole in the lower portion of the compartment door, which is an awkward design—it would have made far more sense for the ports simply to be located on the exterior of the device rather than in an interior compartment.
The unit seems quite durable, and we expect it to stand up well to extended use.
The second unit of the weather station is the outdoor 5-in-1 sensor array, which features wind speed and direction sensors, as well as rainfall, temperature, and humidity sensors. It is made from a tough, weatherproof grey plastic that is attractive in a chunky, no-nonsense sort of way. The unit seems quite durable, and we expect it to stand up well to extended use.
Included with the sensor array are a mounting bracket and associated hardware, as well as a pre-installed debris filter to prevent the rainfall gauge from becoming clogged. It runs on four AA batteries, which are unfortunately not included.
The built-in solar panel does not recharge the batteries. Instead, it runs the internal aspirating fan that is used to cool the sensor array to produce more accurate temperature readings.
AcuRite obviously put a lot of work into making the 01036M as easy as possible to set up. This is thanks to clever design as well as the included instructions, which are remarkably easy to follow.
A screwdriver is necessary to mount the sensor array, either on the included mounting bracket or on top of any ¾-inch pole. Make sure it’s correctly aligned to true north, with the solar panel facing south, and that it is perfectly level (the built-in bubble level makes this a lot easier).
The only major flaw we found in this design is that if using the mounting bracket you must drive the included screws into the plastic, thus creating permanent new holes in the bracket. This means we needed to be extra careful that the sensor array was properly situated before attaching the screws.
AcuRite obviously put a lot of work into making the 01036M as easy as possible to set up.
Setting up the base station and connecting it with the sensor array is very simple—once both are turned on, they automatically connect in seconds. The maximum range between the base station and the sensor array is 330 feet, but that will depend heavily upon how much the signal is obstructed by walls and other objects.
Our only concern in the connection process was in making sure that both the base station and the sensor array were on the same channel. The channel is indicated in the battery compartment of both devices with a switch that has three different options: A, B, and C. Our weather station came with both the base station and sensor array set to channel “A,” so no adjustments were necessary.
Once this is accomplished, simply set the time, date, language, and units of measurement, and you are good to go.
Though the display uses rather old and antiquated technology, it is certainly readable, and it’s easy to recognize different information due to the permanent, colored inserts that divide the display into different portions.
We found that the exceptionally bright backlight made the screen visible even in direct sunlight. One caveat to this older type of display is that viewing angles are very poor, though the 01036M does better in this regard than many such displays.
The 01036M comes with a number of useful features, including a weather ticker and programmable weather alarms.
The weather ticker is contained within its own separate display, and as the name implies, it automatically scrolls through different info. You can choose to have this weather ticker scroll through the forecast, the phase of the moon, indoor comfort level, or the outdoor low and high temperatures of the week or month. You can also choose to include notifications when a record temperature is broken, as well as daily wind speed records, the current rate of rainfall, when the rain starts, time without rain, weather alarm messages, and sensor battery and signal status.
You can also program alarms to sound when certain weather extremes are recorded, including a wide range of different sensor readings like humidity, temperature, and wind speed.
We found after weeks of use that the AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M does an admirable job of reporting accurate readings from its various sensors.
However, it is important to note that your experience may vary based on the location of the weather station. For example, the wind speed may be less accurate if the wind is obstructed by a nearby building, and you may get sudden jumps in temperature If the sensor array is partially shaded.
Depending upon your situation, it may be impossible to place this, or any other weather station, in an entirely unobstructed location. But outside of human error and circumstance, the 01036M does its job well and should last for years given proper maintenance.
Connecting the AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M to your computer unlocks a ton of extra functionality. You will need to plug the base station directly into your computer via a USB connection and install the free AcuRite PC Connect software, which is downloaded from their website. Through this, you can download information from the weather station for analysis and sharing through your online “My AcuRite” account and Weather Underground.
By sharing your weather data online, you can access it anywhere through the website or via Acurite’s mobile app. This could be particularly useful in a number of scenarios—for example, if you were on vacation you could check the app, see that it had not rained, and phone a neighbor to ask them to water your garden.
With an MSRP of $199.98, this weather station is positioned at a mid-range price point. However, it is usually available for much less than that—as of the time of this writing, the AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M sells for between $120 and $160.
Considering the high build quality, ease of setup, and powerful array of sensors, we would consider the Acurite 01036M to be a reasonable value even at MSRP, and a deal at these lower proices.
Ambient Weather offers tough competition to the AcuRite 01036M with the WS-2902A weather station. On paper, the WS-2902A is the better system, offering all the same features as the 01036M for a lower MSRP ($169.99 vs $199.98), while also including extra perks like Wi-Fi connectivity and UV radiation monitoring. However, the AcuRite 01036M is significantly easier to set up, features more robust build quality, and can usually be found for nearly the same price as the WS-2902A.
A robust and well-rounded system that is remarkably easy to setup.
The AcuRite Pro Weather Station 01036M is built of high-quality materials that should guarantee many years of accurate reporting, and features respectable connectivity options. Perhaps its biggest advantage over the competition is how easy it is to set up, and we would recommend this weather station for those who just want the weather without the hassle.