A Letter to George



Dear George,

I know that you are going to respond to whatever I write in response to your comments to me, but that is OK with me. I have rather enjoyed your tenaciousness and I do appreciate that you have a strong belief in the Acurite weather systems.

For all I know, the systems are flawless and all the people that have reported problems with them are clueless, just like you accuse me of being.

You could be correct in your assertion that how we placed the units relative to one another is the cause of many of the issues. However, during my tenure as a process improvement consultant, I learned that many complex systems have issues that require an iterative approach to refine and improve the quality of the units.

Manufacturers do not always get things right during the early lifecycle of products, and they need people like me and you to show them deficiencies or problems in their systems so that they can make improvements over time. Real-world testing and intense engineering sometimes are needed to debug complicated systems.

Now, getting back to my original story. I believe that if a display unit inside the house is properly showing the outdoor temperature of 37 deg F that is being sensed by the outdoor unit, there is no connection problem due to improper siting of either unit. This is a self-evident fact: the outdoor temperature is getting transmitted to the indoor unit and the data is accurate. There is no way that you can argue that point.

Like I showed in the video, I knew that the data was accurate because of other weather sources and I went outside to feel the chill in the air. When recording data, I do have a certain expectation that if the temperature was being sensed correctly and the data was transmitted to the indoor unit successfully, then the stored data that is aggregated every 12 minutes should be similar to 37 deg F, and not be in the mid to upper 70’s!

For the entire time I owned the unit, the data transmission between the internal display and the outside unit was always functional and accurate. The only problems I detected had to do with the quality of the stored data. This is why I disagreed with your assertion that the way the units were sited was the problem. The outdoor unit was not in any way affected by local conditions since it was located on my deck railing, about 16 feet away from my house.

Regarding your last comment and the personal attack it contained, I want to thank you for teaching me a new word. I didn’t know the word shill and I admit that I had to look up the definition! That doesn’t happen too often with me, so thanks for that one. I am not sure the word shill existed when I was learning vocabulary back in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. I just told my wife that you called me a shill, and she said:

What the hell is that?

Apparently, Toni didn’t know that definition either. She just told me to not worry about you because you are trolling my site. I didn’t know what that meant either!

I rather enjoyed realizing that you think I have a hidden agenda in writing this blog. You are the first person to ever accuse me of such a thing. It is kind of humorous actually, and a bit flattering that you think I could have pulled that charade off for the past 4 years and 225 articles.

I bet you think I am running a clandestine attack against Microsoft because of my Power BI articles. I bet you think Tableau is slipping me some cash under the table. Well, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if they sent me some extra currency since I am having to maintain two houses at this time, but I can assure you that my bank account shows no such activity.

The article in question represents 1 out of 225 publications I have written. That is 0.44%. In the 224 others, I have never had anyone accuse me of having a hidden agenda. The reason for that is that I don’t have a hidden agenda. What I have is passion for sharing knowledge and helping others learn by teaching them what I know how to do.

You and I share this passion. You are amazing in your beliefs and I honestly admire you for that. From my perspective, my weather system failed to deliver data of sufficient quality for the purposes of why I bought it. For that reason, I did solve my problem by returning it to Costco, so therefore I must be at least considered a bit of a problem-solver!

I could have gone down into my shop and tried a whole series of diagnostic tests to see if I could figure out why the recorded data didn’t agree with what was being shown on the display unit. I did this once with Microsoft back in the mid 1980’s and got offered a job because of my ability to debug an unknown issue. If you want to read about that, look for the article called the phone call of a lifetime and take a few minutes to read it.

Since I learned a long time ago to avoid spending too much time on issues like these because it is unlikely that I could resolve the issue or determine the cause, I took the easy way out and got my money back at Costco. That action solved my problem.

Although you accuse me of not knowing what I was doing, I documented what I was doing in an honest and straightforward manner, just like I have done in the entire history of this blog. I was just sharing a story and I wasn’t trying to be mean-spirited in any way.

Like so many of my other articles, I expected this to be read about 20 to 50 times and then die in the archives of this blog. Since you have decided to make this a personal attack, you are continuing to raise the awareness of Acurite functional and quality issues. I hope you realize that I didn’t publish one of your comments for a few months in hopes that you would stop your attacks.

I have nothing against Acurite – in fact, I think I might buy another unit and follow your most recent guidance when I install it. I really do like what they provide in terms of collecting a variety of weather data. I like the look and feel of the units. I really like having access to the weather conditions outdoors. Maybe, just maybe, the Acurite company has been able to improve their systems during the past year.

If it is OK with you, I would like to make a peace offering. If I do get another Acurite unit, I would like to discuss with you what I should do differently when installing my new unit. I am being sincere in this offer – no BS or hidden agendas. I want a truce and sharing of knowledge if you are willing to offer that to me.



4 thoughts on “A Letter to George

  1. I had no idea the home weather station community was so contentious. Sorry you have such people trolling your site Ken.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for writing. Last night when I wrote this my wife told me to quite wasting my time with this because George was just a “troll”. I didn’t know what she meant, but now that you have said it too, I guess that is what is going on. With the new technologies being developed, maybe George isn’t even real, maybe he is a bot that spews messages automatically. I don’t know anymore what is going on!

  2. Pingback: 3danim8's Blog - Using Tableau to Check Accuracy of Acurite Weather Station Data

  3. Again, I suggest you read the CWOP siting guidelines as I suggested at the start. Proper siting is essential to gathering good data, and good data is essential to come up with reasonable conclusions.

    Many folks report with Acurite equipment to CWOP where there data is analyzed for quality. Contrary to your conclusions, well-sited Acurite stations do pass muster. Many stations of other brands do as well. On the flip-side, many stations also fail due to poor siting… even those costing much, much more.

    You just can’t make up for poor siting practices.

    Sorry for this very late reply, but I would have responded earlier had I received an email and helped you with this.

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