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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Temp monitoring?

I would like to be able to measure temperature in different rooms/tanks/garage/outside and feed the data into a PC to look at time graphs etc.

Wireless would be a plus... but I would like to keep this reasonably inexpensive.

Something along these lines http://www.phanderson.com/T_kit/overview.html, but perhaps a bit simpler to set up/connect. USB rather than serial, etc.

Does anyone know how to do this? I know there are server room monitors and such, but that's too expensive. Computer components (CPU, hard drives) are measured, but not sure how to add sensors to that.

There's the Pinpoint temp monitor which is wireless and not too expensive, but it doesn't log any temps, just displays them.

Any ideas?


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 06:30 PM
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I'm going to assume programming a MCU, even if source code is available, is not an option; and the price of industrial temperature monitors is out of the question.

Try a wireless weather station with USB, like the "Oregon Scientific Weather station I600" on Ebay.

Or a wireless USB hub and a USB thermometer. You might find other uses for the hub as well.

Hackish, but free if you have these things - point a webcam at a wireless meat thermometer and a watch, and use time-lapse video software.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to assume programming a MCU, even if source code is available, is not an option; and the price of industrial temperature monitors is out of the question.
What's a MCU?

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Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Try a wireless weather station with USB, like the "Oregon Scientific Weather station I600" on Ebay.

Or a wireless USB hub and a USB thermometer. You might find other uses for the hub as well.
Thank you so much for these suggestions! I think that is what I was looking for. Need to do some research and see how I can expand these things.

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Hackish, but free if you have these things - point a webcam at a wireless meat thermometer and a watch, and use time-lapse video software.
Nice low tech approach.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 07:32 PM
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Thank you so much for these suggestions! I think that is what I was looking for. Need to do some research and see how I can expand these things.
Sure thing. Let me know what you choose and how it works out.

If you go the wireless USB hub route, you may want to check out USB data acquisition modules too. You can get digital IO, D/A and A/D conversion. Some computer (not MCU) programming may be needed to get the most from these.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I found a lot of USB temp data loggers, affordable and convenient, but not exactly what I am looking for. I'd like to be able to monitor things in real time too.

I want to be able to see how temperatures in one area affect another. Or how things like opening doors or adding fans affect temperatures.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Something like this is very close to what I want.

Would be nice to allow for more than 3 wireless sensors... but 4 areas (including the internal one) isn't bad.

The reviews aren't too great either...

Other than that, it can wireless-ly track temps (and humidity) and upload the results to a computer. Neat.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 09:53 PM
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The reviews aren't too great either...
Crippled by bad software. I'm not sure if you could easily write your own for this device.

But if you can program well enough to send and receive data over a serial port, I have some other possibilities.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Looking at this unit now... it allows for up to 10 temp sensors, which is what I really want.

4 aquariums, 1 canopy (to see how more/less bulbs and more/less cooling affect temps), 1 on the roof (outside temps), 1 in the garage, 1 in an unheated room, 1 in the pond, and one buried in the compost heap just for fun.

There is decent third-party software available here: http://wmrx00.sourceforge.net/

My only worry is that I spend about 300 bucks for this and in a year it just dies for whatever reason.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yet another option, possibly cheaper and better: TX60U-SET

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WeatherDirect TX60U-SET Internet Wireless Temperature & Humidity Remote Sensor, Monitor & Alarm
The WeatherDirect Internet (online) Wireless Temperature & Humidity Remote Sensor is a data logger, alarm, and remote monitoring system all in one high quality, low cost, well thought out package.
The base unit costs about $60, additional sensors $30. Sensors are more expensive than those available for the WMR weather station, but they come with an external probe, so no issue measuring temperatures in water (or a freezer, etc).

Allows up to 20 sensors. And since it is web-based, one could access the information from pretty much anywhere.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:32 PM
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Yet another option, possibly cheaper and better: TX60U-SET



The base unit costs about $60, additional sensors $30. Sensors are more expensive than those available for the WMR weather station, but they come with an external probe, so no issue measuring temperatures in water (or a freezer, etc).

Allows up to 20 sensors. And since it is web-based, one could access the information from pretty much anywhere.
That's pretty awesome. For what you are describing as your interest, that's definitely the best option so far.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Well I went ahead and placed an order for the kit + 5 extra sensors.

I'll report back with results.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 10:35 PM
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I've looked into the weather station things for outside weather monitoring. Watch out for the sensitivity on the monitor, some are not very accurate. I think I saw one that had a +/- 4*F
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I looked at many things. The one I chose has 0.2F resolution (which does not equal precision). Also I have a couple of gadgets from LaCrosse and mostly they are excellent.

One of the things that's neat is that each sensor has two channels for temp: the internal one, and a remote sensor one. So that turns the 6 sensors effectively into 12! I can measure the temp in the garage, and the aquarium that's in the garage using the same sensor.

The wireless range remains to be seen... for ex there are two/three walls and quite a few feet between where I want to place the gateway and where the sensor for the pond should go.

I am planning to turn the spreadsheety output into an Access database which is a bit more powerful for data mining than Excel. Can't wait.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:36 AM
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Yet another option, possibly cheaper and better: TX60U-SET
Now that sounds like a winner! Good find, I can't wait to see how it works out.
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