Environment monitoring for the paranoid

I have three temperature + RH meters at home (two with wireless remote sensors, to put into the piano) to monitor the environment in and around my K-8 (when it was still around). I use three because I can’t trust any single one of them, so I average out the readings.

Although all of the meters record minimum/maximum over a 24 hour period I really would like to know how much the temperature and RH levels change, and I would like to know whenever the temperature/RH levels are outside of set limits. In other words, I need logging meters with realtime alarms.

Furthermore, I need RH sensors that I can trust. This means that the off-the-shelf units from the local hardware store or even from companies like Radio Shack and Scientific Oregon cannot be trusted unless they are calibrated once a year.

So back in early April I started doing some research online, and came up with two alternatives.

Option 1 – Veriteq SP2000 + Digi Connect Wi-SP

The Veriteq SP2000 temp/RH data logger is industrial grade, intended to be used as a replacement of the traditional charting units. Temperature is accurate to +/- 0.1degC, RH is accurate to +/-1%RH. One or more temp/RH data logger can be connected to via Wifi to a Windows PC. The Wifi links are encrypted using WPA2. The standard software provides configuration, management, data retrieval and presentation of data from the loggers. The data logger is tiny – just 7.1×5.3×2.0 cm. It contains a 10-year battery and no external power is needed. The wireless transmitter is also tiny – 10.64×4.267×2.537 cm.

There is also additional software (at additional cost) that allows realtime monitoring and display of data from all the loggers on the network, and has immediate visual, e-mail, or audible alarm notification of out-of-compliance conditions. Wifi connectivity to the control PC is done via the Digi Connect Wi-SP module.

The entire system is not cheap. The cost of each sensor location is SGD1685.25 (incl. GST). The cost of the management station is zero, unless you have to buy a PC with Windows XP. I assume that there is already a Wifi network in place. If you want realtime monitoring and alarming then the software will cost SGD963 (incl. GST) to manage up to 5 sensors.

RH calibration is done in Singapore.

Option 2 – Fourier Systems MicroLog System

A cheaper alternative is Fourier System’s MicroLog PLUS wireless data logging solution. It adds wireless (but not Wifi) transmission capability to their MicroLog range of data loggers. A two-sensor package (with the higher resolution sensors) costs about USD1000. Each additional sensor (with wireless transmitter) costs USD370.

It is sufficient for environmental monitoring purposes for pianos. Temperature measurements are accurate to +/- 0.2 degC, while the RH measurements are accurate to +/- 2%.

The data logger page is here.
The wireless transmitter page is here.

RH calibration is done in Singapore.

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5 responses

  1. wow.. only thing I can say is your ship will be one of the luckies in the world.. guess how you treat it is much better than how I treat my babies ^^

    Anyway, the institute I found near our office can indeed rent the room for the practice. Let’s see how it will turn around. http://www.musicis.org (all korean though^^)

  2. Ship? You mean piano! I will probably end up getting the MicroLog system with two sensors, one for outside the piano and for inside the piano. Need to save up for it though!

    I generally look after my stuff anyway because I’m paying money for it. 🙂

  3. June,

    Could I please trouble you to find out how much the room rental is, and what quality of piano they provide?

    Thanks!

  4. Sure I can find out for you. But don’t expect too much as it’s mainly for the students in the institute.

    Yes, your piano.. I thought you used “ship” as metaphor, but you meant as it is.^^ ” The ship with your piano has left Hamberg port”.. haha

    June

  5. Heheh…of course I won’t be expecting anything other than Young Chang or Samick, but hopefully the pianos are in decent condition.

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