Remote monitoring of humidity


Bijan
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I just set up a remote monitoring system for my 2 coolidors (humidity + temperature). I got some extra sensors and put one in the cold storage room itself, one in the main part of the house and one outside in the back yard. So I should be able to know when my boveda packs go dry, if temperature goes too low or too high, and if heating/AC fails in my house while I'm away. Also can monitor actual temperature and humidity outside, as weather apps are not always accurate when weird localized weather happens.

It's an interesting product, comes in 2 sensor and 5 sensors versions, and has a wired/ethernet gateway. Communicates over 2.4GHz between gateway. and sensors but doesn't use wifi or bluetooth so battery life of sensors is 5-10 years.

It's got a web dashboard and email/mobile alerts.

Anyone else doing something like this?

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I got the Tempy.io system:

https://tempy.io/

It's kind of expensive and has a couple of concerns/issues.

First is that it is accessed through a web portal, so if the company goes out of business and it shuts down the device is pretty useless. I feel that since the parent company (https://www.mcthings.com/) sells the generic sensors and software to access the data that something could be done.

Second problem is more general, and affects most remote sensors whether bluetooth, wifi or in this case custom protocol. The humidity sensor accuracy is +-3%. There are many +-1% humidity sensors, mainly for the humidor market, but none that I have found have remote reporting functionality.

The advantage of this system for me was that setup was about 30 minutes, and batteries should last 5+ years. So it was very straightforward.

Edit: Also it has an update interval of about 2 minutes. I think some of the wifi sensors at least report much less frequently to conserve battery power. The Bluetooth ones might report as often though.

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Here's a screenshot of the screen with all the data for the devices.

There are also graphs of the temperature, humidity, etc. for each device, but I'll post some of those after I have a full day/24 hours of data. Otherwise there's a weird period where it settles from room temperature down to wherever I placed the sensor.

Screen Shot 2020-12-14 at 4.00.00 PM.png

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Here's the actual output instead of a screenshot. The screenshot made the number a bit hard to read.
TEMPY DEVICES
 
 
NAME TEMP HUM DEW AIR LAST SEEN SIGNAL BATTERY EDIT
Backyard -0.28°C 55% -8.33°C 100.16kPa 2020-12-14 16:02:23 signal-cellular-12.png    
C&C Humi 8.85°C 60% 1.42°C 100.16kPa 2020-12-14 16:02:20 signal-cellular-12.png    
Cold storage 8.36°C 57% 0.25°C 100.15kPa 2020-12-14 16:01:02 signal-cellular-12.png    
Inside 21.70°C 33% 4.67°C 100.05kPa 2020-12-14 16:02:40 signal-cellular-14.png    
Premium Humi 8.97°C 60% 1.54°C 100.17kPa 2020-12-14 16:02:34 signal-cellular-12.png    
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I use wirelesstags.net . Hey theyre not the greatest im sure. The app is mostly OK, the sensors trend in right directions but im sure arent too accurate. But it suits my purpose really. I mainly had it when i was away for long period of time so i could know when the power went off at home and the fridge temp needed to be reset..... also so that i know when my brother opens the door to my humidor ?

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4 minutes ago, LordAnubis said:

also so that i know when my brother opens the door to my humidor ?

I thought you figured this out based on humidity/temperature changes and wondered how sensitive these tags are. Then realized it has a motion sensor ???

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1 hour ago, LordAnubis said:

I use wirelesstags.net . Hey theyre not the greatest im sure. The app is mostly OK, the sensors trend in right directions but im sure arent too accurate. But it suits my purpose really. I mainly had it when i was away for long period of time so i could know when the power went off at home and the fridge temp needed to be reset..... also so that i know when my brother opens the door to my humidor ?

I've found them to be pretty accurate. I calibrated them and checked it after 6 motnhs and still right on. What gives you that impression?

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9 minutes ago, jackupster said:

I've found them to be pretty accurate. I calibrated them and checked it after 6 motnhs and still right on. What gives you that impression?

I haven't used them but the spec sheet data seems to indicate they are in the +-2-5% accuracy range on humidity. Generally about 2-3% average across the full range (with a worst case of 5%) not sure if it's lower in 60-65% range which we are interested in.

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12 minutes ago, Bijan said:

I haven't used them but the spec sheet data seems to indicate they are in the +-2-5% accuracy range on humidity. Generally about 2-3% average across the full range (with a worst case of 5%) not sure if it's lower in 60-65% range which we are interested in.

Their site claims to be +/- 1%. I used Boveda Calibration kit both times and they were spot on. https://store.wirelesstag.net/products/wireless-tag-13-bit-temperature-and-humidity

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10 minutes ago, jackupster said:

Their site claims to be +/- 1%. I used Boveda Calibration kit both times and they were spot on. https://store.wirelesstag.net/products/wireless-tag-13-bit-temperature-and-humidity

Nice! That seems very accurate. I guess there is a mismatch between the link I posted and that one. But if it is accurate on calibration it sounds good.

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41 minutes ago, jackupster said:

I've found them to be pretty accurate. I calibrated them and checked it after 6 motnhs and still right on. What gives you that impression?

No cheap sensor is going to be accurate. I don't consider any of the current humidor sensors accurate. They serve a prupose, and that is for trending. whether my humidor is at 68 or 65 i don't care, i jsut want to know if its going up or down. If you sensor reads 65 it might make you all warm and fuzzy inside but it is hihghly likely the humidification is 2% under and your hygrometer is 2% over, so infact you're at 63 the whole time. All of our hygrometers are what they are, a guide, and they should be treated as such.

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7 minutes ago, Bijan said:

Nice! That seems very accurate. I guess there is a mismatch between the link I posted and that one. But if it is accurate on calibration it sounds good.

Yes...The calibration was easy. My only complaint is they use the batteries pretty quick...every 2 months until I turned refresh rate down and now 3-4 months per battery. 

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Just now, jackupster said:

Yes...The calibration was easy. My only complaint is they use the batteries pretty quick...every 2 months until I turned refresh rate down and now 3-4 months per battery. 

Ah that makes me feel a bit better about my choice. Tempy.io claim 5-10 years life with their 2 minute update interval, but they're bigger and use 2x AA, rather than a watch battery. They were supposed to come with Alkaline batteries (5 year life), but mine came with lithium (which supposedly should give 10 years). Otherwise the technology seems similar just different size/form factor.

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1 minute ago, Bijan said:

Ah that makes me feel a bit better about my choice. Tempy.io claim 5-10 years life with their 2 minute update interval, but they're bigger and use 2x AA, rather than a watch battery. They were supposed to come with Alkaline batteries (5 year life), but mine came with lithium (which supposedly should give 10 years). Otherwise the technology seems similar just different size/form factor.

These use the 2032 coin batteries...not nearly the power of a AA. 

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2 minutes ago, Bijan said:

Ah that makes me feel a bit better about my choice. Tempy.io claim 5-10 years life with their 2 minute update interval, but they're bigger and use 2x AA, rather than a watch battery. They were supposed to come with Alkaline batteries (5 year life), but mine came with lithium (which supposedly should give 10 years). Otherwise the technology seems similar just different size/form factor.

BTW I dont have to watch the battery levels...it tells me when it's almost dead! LOL

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5 hours ago, Bijan said:

I thought you figured this out based on humidity/temperature changes and wondered how sensitive these tags are. Then realized it has a motion sensor ???

It seems with mine I could do so, if I was watching the graph (I don't have a motion sensor). Humidity was stable at 60% for the last 12 hours in both coolers. I opened one to put in a couple of boxes and took a quick peak inside the other too. Humidity reading went down to 58% for one reading, then 59% next reading and back to 60% after that for the one I opened to put the boxes in. For the other one I took a quick peak I got one reading of 59% and then back to 60%. Didn't trigger my alert for 58% or lower level as it didn't last 5 minutes.

Edit: subsequently the humidor with the new boxes added went up to 61%. I'm assuming those boxes were more humid.

3 hours ago, LordAnubis said:

They serve a prupose, and that is for trending. whether my humidor is at 68 or 65 i don't care, i jsut want to know if its going up or down.

Yes, the old little LCD hygrometers I have inside my coolers read 63%-64%. The new sensors read 60%. I know whatever the actual humidity is it's fine for the cigars, so I just need to know if it goes up or down.

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