Author Topic: Remote temperature monitoring  (Read 6043 times)

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Offline metherb

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Remote temperature monitoring
« on: September 06, 2011, 11:10:05 AM »
I'd like to take advantage of the knowledge base that everyone here seems to have and see if I can find a solution to a remote temperature monitoring problem.  I'd like to monitor the temperature (and ideally the humidity) at a remote site that does not have power or Internet.  In fact, it's out in the woods.  I make maple syrup and knowing what the temperatures are would really help me know when it's time to pick up sap.

The simplest idea that I have is a TX60U from LaCrosse (http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/tx60/), but this requires a hard wired Internet connection.  Is there a cellular modem that I could connect this two and have it only utilize the Internet connection on-demand?  Ideally I'd like to replace the battery about once a week.

I'm probably missing some other ideas so I'm wondering what other ideas are out there that don't cost a lot to monitor the temperature at a remote site.  If there are no low cost solutions, what would be the cheapest way to monitor the temperature remotely?

Thanks for your help!

Offline Bushman

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 11:18:29 AM »
It ain't gonna be cheap or easy I fear.  Here's a full kit that goes 4 weeks on batteries.  http://www.temperaturealert.com/Remote-Temperature/Temperature-Alert-Cellular-Sensor.aspx

Offline Bushman

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 11:24:56 AM »
Or attach a cellular modem for something like this:  http://www.webio.us/sales/index.html

Another thought is that there are some smartphones (Nokia, Motorola) that have temp sensors built in.

Offline Cynjut

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 11:27:55 AM »
I could design something that would work, but I don't know how economical it would be.

You'll only need this for a few weeks/a couple of months while the sap runs, right?

Everything could run off batteries, but there are few communication devices that would let you run a remote Internet connection for a month without some kind of recharge.

Is the site line-of-sight to something you own, or are there hills in the way?  Can you get LOS communication?  How far is the site from power/LOS?  

Standard "ethernet" can be run using outdoor cable for up to 100 yards, and temperature and humidity aren't so localized that you shouldn't be able to set up some kind of weather station near where you want to be.  Serial and USB cables should never exceed 10 yards without 'regeneration'.

I guess, really, that a lot depends on the real numbers and conditions.  The terrain will determine the communication medium, and that will determine what kinds of temperature and humidity sensors would be appropriate.


Offline ed2kayak

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2011, 11:53:52 AM »
 The terrain will determine the communication medium

right, is cell service available?
Ed
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Offline johnd

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 12:06:28 PM »
The other big factor is budget. If you're looking for a $100 solution then it probably doesn't exist.  If the budget will run into the $300-500 or more range and you've got cellular connectivity or eg maybe (long-range) WiFi or other wireless connectivity to some other property in the neighbourhood  then there is potentially a variety of solutions.
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Offline metherb

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Re: Remote temperature monitoring
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 01:54:13 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies.  While I was hoping for a $100 solution, it sounds like one does not exist.  The site I'd like to monitor is about 5 miles away as the crow flies on the other side of hill and there are no houses for about a mile or so on the road.  It's a section of woods that I drive a few hundred feet off the road to get to where I have tanks that contain the sap.

Cell service does exist.  In fact, there is a tower on top of the hill where the woods are.  I would really need the sensor for about 8 weeks, but it could be helpful to me to be able to determine if it's snowing up there and I could plow the road so I was thinking about putting something up there in November and taking it down at the end of March when the season ends.  I don't mind performing battery maintenance once a week until the season begins.

Is the temperature alert system the best way to go or is there a hyrbrid solution that can connect a sensor to a prepaid cell phone with a data plan?

 

anything