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  LLTemp Project  
     
    The Project:  
 




A GUI version for normal use, and a command line version to add remote administration of the program via SSH.

 

This project started as a way to come up with a temperature monitoring solution for sawmill equipment such as bearings, hydraulic units, plc cabinets ect..  The program had to monitor the temp, notify people of problems, store data for trending changes and integrate into their current internal web site.  In the end we came up with software and hardware solutions to make a very suitable remote monitoring system.

My goal with this project was to create a complete temperature monitoring system that was easy to use and had a simple interface without giving up too much functionality.  I decided to use Brian Lane's "DigiTemp" as the driver for this project because the easy to use command structure and outputs would be easy to wrap.  Basically creating a GUI and adding features I created a complete package that gives the user an easy to use interface, temperature logging, graphing, web page output, and alarm e-mail/text messages.  The interface allows the user to name each sensor and give it a alarm set level.  The user can then define things like e-mail settings, where the data should output, setup sensors, run the monitoring scripts and view data logs.  All the data is sent to an "output " directory where each sensor has a temp log, a combined sensor html output, a combined sensor log and graph.  The program will automatically use up to 10 sensors.

Along with the software we built our own sensors using the Dallas DS18B20 and DS2438 sensors chips.  The sensor is soldered to the end of the cat5e cable and then a hard plastic tube is used to cover the joint.  Using heat shrink and a wire end we heat shrink it all together making a protected nice looking sensor.  We also built our own hardwired hubs, we have made 2, 4 and 6 port hubs and all work well with the program.  Then, used in the equipment monitoring, we built custom remote temperature monitoring units to use on industrial equipment and wirelessly transmit data back to a server.  See the pics below.

Last we re-mastered MCN Live with our temp program included.  Now you can run the entire program live from a cd, or even install to a memory stick (see equipment monitoring). 

 
 
 
    The Hardware:  
     
 

For the applications we wanted to use this on we wanted to go as small as we could go without crossing the line into the complex world of embedded devices.  As few moving parts as possible, cost effective, easy to use for normal users and last, efficient and stable.

We ended up using a Little Valley motherboard,  17cm/17cm was plenty small enough for our applications.  Finished, the board had 1.33 Celeron processor, D-Link wireless, 256mb ram, and a 2gb usb memory stick for the hard drive.  "Wireless Monitoring"

For sensor hardware we used the Dallas DS18B20 and DS2438 sensors.  We used cat5e cable because of its availability, and added a loop end to make it easy to attach to things.  Then we built our own hard-wired hubs to open the possibility of easily adding sensors to the wire.

The entire system comes out to around $360.00 per unit.  The best part, all the components are off the shelf common computer parts.

     
 
 
 
 
    Implementing The Project:  
     
    Server Cabinets

Using 2 sensors and installing the program on one of my Linux servers we can now monitor the server cabinets and notify people when there is an issue.  These sensors can attach to just about anything.  If the server cabinets reach a user specified alarm level, the program will send e-mails and text messages to notify of the issue.

 
    Boiler Heating System

We also installed these sensors in several places on a wood fired boiler.  Using 5 sensors we attached one to the water output side, one on the water return side, one in the boiler room, one outside and one inside the house.  Now we can monitor boiler temps, boiler room temperature the outside temperature and the house temperature.  Not only do we get the notification of an issue but we can trend the temperature inside, outside, boiler temp and house temp in relation to each other.

 
    Industrial Equipment Monitoring

First we built a custom remote monitoring station.  The board is only 17cm x 17cm.  We re-mastered MCNLive with our program included and then installed system to a usb flash drive, that's right, an entire operating system with our program preinstalled running from a usb stick.  The program was set up using "Watch"  to run the script every hour.  Being wireless the data is transferred directly to the web server where we wrapped all the data up into a single temperature monitoring web site.  Using this rig, and the same sensors we were able to attach sensors to bearing housings, hydraulic units, motors, ect. and closely monitor critical machine components. 

 
 
 
    Other Screen Shots:  
     
   
 
 
         
 

Compatible Adapters:  Dallas DS9097U-SO9 (--or--)  ibuttonlink LINK45

Compatible Sensors:  DS1820, DS18B20, DS18S20, DS2438-temp only

 
 
 
 
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