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Old 01-25-2009, 06:55 AM   #1
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


I just bought an add-on wood furnace which is going to replace my central oil furnace as my primary source of heat. The add-on will be plumbed into my existing ductwork alongside the oil furnace and has its own blower to move air through the house. The oil furnace will be used as a backup for when I can't burn wood for whatever reason. In the interest of efficiency and safety I want to be able to constantly monitor the following temperatures:

Outdoor ambient
Indoor ambient
Flue gas
Plenum air

I found this a company ( http://www.weedtech.com/ ) which makes a USB adapter card which allows 4 separate thermocouples to be adapted to one USB cable. The company also produces software that allows the user to construct a custom layout to display the temperatures in realtime. I'm not looking for anything fancy, I just want to be able to turn on my laptop and see the following:

Outdoor - 19F
Indoor - 70F
Flue gas - 550F
Plenum air - 200F

So all in all this is a relatively simple device, but I'd like to take it one step further. Rather than have to physically connect the card to my laptop via a USB cable, I'd like to mount the card in the basement near the furnace which is located near the wireless router. Would there be a way to feed the signal from the card through the wireless router so that I could access the information from anywhere on my home network?

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Old 01-25-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


Would there be a way to feed the signal from the card through the wireless router?

i don't think so, not easily anyways.....however, they DO make very long USB extension cables......

DM

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Old 01-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


I agree with DM.

Although I'm not an expert in these matters I have been working on a home monitoring system for the past few months and temp is one module I haven't found as yet, in my price range.

Short of a hardwire USB you'd need a PC in the basement and then network to any other PC through the router as a wireless set-up.
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Old 01-25-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


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Short of a hardwire USB you'd need a PC in the basement and then network to any other PC through the router as a wireless set-up.

agreed.
i didn't even mention that because of cost.... and then leaving a machine on all day too. cable is certainly the way to go.

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Old 01-25-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


DM, any idea what the signal drop would be for a 30 or 40' run of USB?

I'm using both wireless and wired (USB) cameras for security monitoring. I found some 15 and 20' USB "extension cords" on ebay for cheap. These are the male/female ends so you can connect as many as you need. If I ran 40' to my 3rd floor would that degrade the signal too much?

Any direction you could point would be welcome.

As an afterthought, this would probably be key to the accuracy of a temp sensor as well.

Badfish, what's the cost of the software for the weedtech?
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


i ran 2 20' together once and noticed no problems.

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Old 01-25-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamus View Post
DM, any idea what the signal drop would be for a 30 or 40' run of USB?

I'm using both wireless and wired (USB) cameras for security monitoring. I found some 15 and 20' USB "extension cords" on ebay for cheap. These are the male/female ends so you can connect as many as you need. If I ran 40' to my 3rd floor would that degrade the signal too much?

Any direction you could point would be welcome.

As an afterthought, this would probably be key to the accuracy of a temp sensor as well.

Badfish, what's the cost of the software for the weedtech?
My guess is that those cheap USB cables are not rated CL-2 to be run in the walls.
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Old 01-26-2009, 12:15 PM   #8
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


I think USB is stated to be good for 15'. You can get extension cords which have a self powered USB hub at the female end which should buy you more range. I have heard of people using four of these to 60' and it still working. There must be a limit to how much you can support on the 500mA supply even if the USB manages to maintain synch over that distance.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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Networking a temperature monitoring system?


If you're interested in a much cheaper and simpler solution (at the expense of some functionality) check out a set of wireless thermometers, for example: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Instrum...dp/B0001U6OYK/

I use these to monitor various areas in my home, including a network closet, indoor and outdoor temperature, and attic space. The system works with a receiver unit (that I keep on my desk) and up to 3 wireless remote units. The receiver unit shows you the temp where it's located (I use this to monitor indoor temp), and lets you view the temperatures of the 3 wireless remote units. The remote units can be used with a wire-connected probe to fit temperature sensing into tight spaces.

The receiver will also keep track of the max and min temperatures of each location. This is very handy for answering questions like "how cold did it get outside last night?" or "how hot did my network closet get today?"

One warning: The specs say that the allowed range between remotes and the reciever is 100'. In practice, it seems to actually be a little less than that, especially if you're going through several walls. I'd only recommend using this if you can place all 3 units relatively close to the receiver.

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