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TEMPer USB thermometer


TEMPer USB thermometer

I now have a "server closet" where I keep my home server, terastation, switch, dsl modem, wifi station, ups and so on. In order to track the temperature inside the closet I ordered a "USB Thermometer" from usb.brando.com.hk. You just plug it into the USB port of a Windows computer and it will measure the ambient temperature.

The device arrived in an envelope within a few days together with a mini cd-r. That's right, not a factory made cd-rom but a normal burn-it-at-home cd-r with the software on it. And the software seems quite home made as well.

I read some review saying the device was "designed to be used in laboratories". Right.

You need two drivers to get it to work. First a USB-Serial -adapter and then a driver for the thermometer. It seems they use some old thermometer solution designed for serial-connection and simply put it on the same USB stick as a USB-to-Serial -adapter. But it works. And the temperature is very close to what my stand-alone thermometer says when placed nearby.

The software shows most of the captions in English and is capable of logging temperatures at different intervals - although only as a list on screen, not to a file. There is a "updata software" option in the software as well, but it is only a mailto: link to a suspicious looking address".

Not a great device but not very expensive either and it works. I just wish they had made logging to file available and used fewer colors in the user interface.

There are two alternative programs available for this device:

  • TermoHID (link updated 10.9.2011)
  • UTAC (link updated 28.4.2011)

Both of these are much better than the original one.

Comments

I've had one of these for a month or so. It's been plugged in but I have not been running the program. Today when I when to start the program it would not work. When I touched the unit I was surprised to find it VERY HOT. I unplugged it let it cool. Plugged it back in and it works. It's been running for an hour now and no heat.

Also, I thing the c temperature scale is accurate, but the f scale is off by 10 degrees. I found a conversion formula on Google that indicates f=9*c/5+32. That would make the 20c = 68f. The TEMPer USB thermometer indicates 20c = 80f. It's always run like this even before it became HOT.

Has anyone else had this VERY HOT TO TOUCH happen to their TEMPer USB thermometer?

Has anyone ever figured out a way to rewrite the program to make f accurate, log the data or e-mail notifications if it got too hot?

R

Thank you for your comment. I now checked mine and it is still cool although it has been connected for a couple of weeks now to the USB port on my 24/7 home server.

I noticed one store selling this where they claimed the software was written in .net and could easily be modified. It might simply be a matter of polling a serial port and converting whatever number you get out of it to either C or F and then it could be written to a log file which would be usefull.

Since I am not American I have only noticed that selecting Fahrenheit gives a large number that doesn't really tell me anything so I have no idea about how accurate or inaccurate that number is. It sounds strange though that they would have gotten such a conversion wrong but considering the way the software looks perhaps one should not be surprised.

It was running and seemed to be staying cool. I figured I would learn to measure the temperature in C since it seams to be accurate. I went to turn in tonight and before I did I pulled up my server running the TEMPer and found the .net error. I closed TEMPer and tried to reopen and it came up with "device error". I ran downstairs to check and sure enough it was HOT again. I e-mailed the company the last time and this is the reply I received.

"I felt that was sorry very much.

if TEMPer is very hot, then it is bad, When normal work it does not have any own quantity of heat nearly.
You may go to trade one, looks for you the supplier.
the attached file is new sw.

chenmer"

Attached was a file named temper.rar No instructions on what to do with the attached file. Anyone know hat to do? The extension did not match any extensions of the current TEMPer files.

I really need a solution to monitor this server. I'm about to install it 160 miles (257.49504 kilometers )away and I will not be able to run up and fix the TEMPer every time it get HOT. Also, If left unattended for a long time I don't know what the damage to the systems would be if it got too hot.
Anyone know of a different way to monitor a Server or even use it to turn an exhaust fan on and off based on the room temperature?

RAR files are archives (like ZIP). I use 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/) to unpack RARs and other formats that Windows can't handle natively.

Thanks that helped a lot. I unzipped the new update and I must say It is 10,000 x better than the original (ok the green needs to go).
This is great. First it appears as the C to F convention is fixed. My office is running at about 70-71 F and the TEMPer now says 71.6. Great Job Mr. Chenmer!

The layout is similar but now it is in English.
There were no instructions on how to install this update. I took a guessed. There was no set up file, so I deleted the TEMPer directory at C:\Program Files\rding\ and replaced it with the files I unpacked. It must be a self contained program. My shortcuts I created from the original version worked with this version.

The Title Bar has TEMPer -40C to +120C, by Chenmer.

It has a "MAXTEMP:" and a "mintemp:" and to top it of it has an "AvTEMP:"!

It has a "Reading" button. (to start reading the temperature)

It has a "stop" button (to stop reading the temperature)

It has a "option" button!

In the options I can change from "Centigrade" or "Fahrenheit". I can select "recording interval(s). "comPort" selection is greyed out. Not sure why. Mine is plugged into USB. Device Type shows TEMPer and one of the best is the new 'Open Data" button. Here it records the recorded temperature reading s to C:/TEMPer/TEMPer2008Y1M17D17h.txt. It opens it right in the options screen. Very Nice!

It has "aboutTEMPer button (that has the version 5.0.0.0 copyright (C) riding 2007 a software update link temper_rding@126.com and a box with the following:
=========TEMPer series============
TEMPer: measure temperature+ OVERtemp alarm+data list file;
TEMPer70: base TEMPer+curve of temperature+multiChannel support ;
TEMPer98: base TEMPer70+curve+savedata offlinePC;
TEMPer07:measure Humidity + temperature;

Then it has the Stop and Star Recording selection options.

This is a much better program.

Now if it would only stop saying "NO response, try again" and crashing every time I change an option and sometimes when I start it. I don't know if it's because mine was over heated or what.

Is there anyway to post the RAR file so other can update?

This does indeed sound like a much needed improvement to the software. Thank you very much for your review of the new version, it encouraged me to e-mail and ask about the updated software. I got an automatic reply (no software yet) and based on it I realized the update is supposed to be available on their web site:

www.rding.cn/en/about.asp

However, the download link on the page does not seem to work.

So I got the new version now and it is a significant improvement (but you're right about the green). Still, it gives me unnecessary warning messages and there is still a lot that needs to be done before this is good software.

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the TEMPer GUI code (I uses Reflector to take a look) simply takes the C number and adds 60 to it.. which is not the correct conversion.

Ok, that is a pretty poor performance from the software developer. I used a serial port analyzer and looked at the communication between the software and the TEMPer device, unfortunately there was so much traffic that I lost interest in trying to figure it out. I also tried to use the nice looking software (with the source code available) at www.riccibitti.com/pc_therm.htm but even though it used the right COM port, it could not communicate with the sensor - obviously the TEMPer uses a different circuit than Ricci in his project.

Hi - that is very interesting.

I just bought one of these and have managed to install it as a serial port on linux using:

sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x4348 product=0x5523

but obviously I don't know the commands to communicate with the device - could you share the output of the serial communications with us and maybe we could work it out?

Check out this thread:
http://www.funponsel.com/blog/archives/2007/10/01/temper-usb-thermometer-for-laboratorians/

and this blog

http://nofeature.blogspot.com/2008/01/taking-advantage-of-your-temper-device.html

for an API that will let you write your own .NET app for this device.

The UTAC software is much better than the original software. A nice looking clean interface (certainly no green backgrounds here) with, a graph, an option to record to a file (txt or csv), ftp upload built in and even web server integration for remote viewing. Great. Thank you Björn Böttcher for this nice software.

http://blog.n4rf.net/solutions/utac

Hi dumell,

first... thanks for the good words about utac :-) but it has not an built in webserver yet, it's just an url catcher to load an update script on a webserver. but a built in webserver for remote viewing sounds like a good feature for the next version... :-) i'm on it...

Regards,
Bjoern

I think what you have done can be called "web server integration", as it is able to work together with a web server although there is no built in server. But regardless of what we call it, your software is a great gift to the community. Thank you.

It is interesting to see how many nice and cheap gadgets comes out of China and how poor the software often is. How come they are so good at building the hardware and at the same time poor at making the software?

Your software, compared to the original one, is one example, but I am also thinking in a larger scale. I am going to write a blog post about the iPhone, Symbian and Android and when I was thinking about it, I realized Android could be a real threat to the established cell phone manufacturers. China has a lot of companies that can make competing hardware, but they don't have competing software. With Android they do. They can make a feature rich but cheap handset, ad the open source Android OS and suddenly they are competing on equal terms with Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.

Utac is awsome!! Thanks

Also, I purchased 2 of the new version of the Thermometers. One worked at home very well. I take the other one to the office and I can not even make the software load properly. I can't be sure why the softwear won't load correctly. If the USB device is bad, how can I know so I won't keep trying to make it work? Will Windows xp (pro) continue to find new hardware if the device is GOOD by the drivers are not loaded? I can plug it in and then boot but no NEW device is found. I just need to get the driver loaded but it will not load. Virus software is McAfee Enterprise 8.5. I install lots of other software without issue. Just wondering??

Thanks,
Bob

Bob,

Having similar issues with XP Pro install. Can not recognize the device. I have tried connecting directly to the laptop vs. USB hub. Still no good.

Any luck on your end?

-Peter

Has anyone got a copy of the TEMPer driver or a download link?
I cannot find my drvier CD.

Does anyone have a working link to the driver software, i have missplaced my cd and the download url does not work, get a 401 error
any help would be much appreciated.

I have the new USB Hygro-Thermometer from here: http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=00455

But the Driver CD was completely blank so the device is useless. Does anyone have a download for this product?

http://usb.brando.com.hk/file/TEMPerHUM_V2.2.rar

Hi All

Albert Huntington has taken up where Björn Böttcher has left off (he has discontinued work on UTAC but released the code open source) including some great additions to the UTAC program. It will do multiple devices, has a web browser built in (which can handle your own custom scripts to check temperature from your own web server), runs self contained (ie no install necessary - as did the original UTAC), alerting - including email alerts. It's great.
At the moment I have three devices running to check differences in temperature in my attic since I added insulation - I monitor the outside temp, inside temp and attic temp. I plan on using it to monitor my solar water heating system to give me feedback of different configurations.
This program finally makes the TEMPer an amazingly useful product.
A great big thanks to Albert and Björn.

You can find it at http://www.alsgh.com/utac/

Hope this helps
Rob

Hi Folks,

I just wanted to let you know that I just released an updated version of my UTAC program that includes some stability improvements, interface improvements, and now works with TEMPer, TEMPerHUM & TEMPerNTC as well.

It's still living at http://www.alsgh.com/utac/

--Albert

I finally got my hands on a USB HID model of the TEMPer,
and have updated by 'usense' USB thermal sensors program
to be able to use it.

Version 1.2 is available from my github repo.

Should compile fine on any version of Linux, and may compile for MacOS X if you have libusb.

Thank you Jason for your work and the info.

I just purchased three of the rDing/PCsensor TEMPer USB thermometer devices - apparently the new generic HID interface. Windows recognizes and installs all 3 - first as 'PC Sensor' and then 'Human Interface Device.'

Software installed without problem (Windows XP Home SP3) but for each of the devices I get a 'No Sensor' message repeated at every read, and no temperature info. Tried all 3 devices in all 3 USB ports, which all work. Also tried all 3 on a fresh install on another computer (XP Pro SP3). I tried uninstalling the v10.3 software that came on the CD and replaced it with the v10.3 that I downloaded from their site (1kb difference in file size?), with the same result. I also tried updating the driver to the one I downloaded from their page, hoping it was the USB-to-serial, but is apparently not.

The website says the device should have a red light on when it is plugged in. The light flashes once when I plug it in, and then once the software loads the device light blinks, but is never solid. Is this what others experience with functioning devices?

I ordered 3 of these things hoping I would get 2 functioning ones! Albert's software sounds like it would be a great alternative to the included app, and I may wait for him to work out the details of using the HID driver. However I need to find out if I have defective devices soon in order to RMA them.

I appreciate any insight or advice on the subject.

One other pertinent detail:

.NET 3.5 with all updates installed

I had the same problem. Use this version of the software - it fixed the problem for me.

http://www.pcsensor.com/uploadFile/APPsoftware/Hid%20TEMPer%20V10.3.zip

Thanks, Rob.

Maybe they changed the file that this link points to since you downloaded it - that's the same one I tried where the "Hid TEMPer V10.3.msi" file shows as 1kb in size smaller than the one I have on the CD, and the hashes don't match. Still a no-go for me.

From reading the other posts here, it sounds like the manufacturer continues to monkey around with the software, and I caught it at a bad time. I even compared the hashes of the .msi files on each of the 3 CDs I got, hoping one might be different, but no luck.

I've contacted the online retailer that I purchased it from, and if they supply me with updated software or anything else of interest I'll share that info here.

Hi!

Exactly the same problem here!
Tried on 2 different PC's and all the software I found. Everything a no go! :(

It worked fine first day, than I restarted computer and still error: the type is not temper from Hid TEMPer I tried UTAC too but not find device...
I don't what to do.

Does anyone know if it is possible to input data from this device in Cacti or some other rrdb tool. I would love to use it as a way to monitor temps in a server room as well as create a graph of server room temp,Outside Temp, Rack Temp , CPU Temp all in 1 graph. If I could get data from this device in Cacti the rest would be cake.

Hi!

Has anyone tried using the temper in low temperatues? looks like mine has a bug so it shows the same temperature reading between about +2 and -3 °C. above and below these temperatures everything looks ok!
can someone try this on his device to check if every device has this bug or just mine? You can easily confirm this by putting the temper into a freezer for some time!

Hi TEMPer-fans!
Has anyone experiences with UTAC and Windows 7?
The original HidTEMPerHUM 10.2 works with Windows 7, but - you know - I don't want to use it.
I tried UTAC 0.1.2 and 0.1.2n, but i can't get it runnig...
Anybody any hints?
Thanks!
Bye, Marc.

I tried it on Windows 7 64 bit with severe consequences. Desktop stopped with blank (black display). Rebooting did not help. Safe mode with system recovery was the only option I could continue using my desktop. On my XP Pro IBM T43 this software works, but is not very reliable. It goess very easy to the "Program not responding" state at the top of the open window. The "better" software mentioned in an earlier comment goes to a site with "User Name" and "Password" page with no possibility to be registered.

I have it sort of running on Win7. I have two TEMPer devices (not TEMPerHUM) but only really getting the same reading on two pages. The two graphs are identical even though the sensors are in two very different temperature environments. Anyone have ideas?

Hi,

I just got hold of a couple of USB HID TEMPer sensors and was wondering if anyone has done any work with accessing them via Delphi. I have a HID class but I am unsure of the API for this device

OK! So, nobody seems to be using Delphi to examine these devices.
I have therefore done some work and knocked up a temperature logger for them of my own.
It can be found at http://www.play-time.demon.co.uk/ThermoHID/index.html

Let me know if you find it useful or have any ideas.

Cheers

spanishgold

Thank you spanishgold for your contribution. I have the old serial-port-in-a-usb-stick based device so I can't try your software, but it looks great.

Thanks SpanishGolg for your Delphi programm
do you have by any chances a dll that could be called from vb6 that will support a stdcall

People have been physically injured in the past while
tending to repairs related to damages from water.
The task of buying a used camper and making sure you get the best deal possible can prove daunting.
All you have to do is to have cedar paper, flexible sealants, flexible tape, a
carpet knife and other carpet cleaning tools.

I've purchased my 2nd. Temper device (this last one with hygrometer), and the only software It's runs ok is ThermoHID!
Thanks again, and please let us know if any update.
Laucha (from B.A. - Argentina)

Hello,
I have this TEMPer1
http://www.pcsensor.com/images/uploads/TEMPer1/Hid%20TEMPer1.main.jpg
With 30 m cable, UTAC finds 999°C !!!
with 8 m cable, its OK.

Is there a possiblity to have the sensor 30 m from my PC ?

The max usable length for USB devices is about 5 metres

I only know two ways to extend that distance:
1) Use hubs every 5 metres (see http://www.usb.org/about/faq/ans5 for an explanation).
2) Use a USB repeater cable (Google should find you some suppliers)

spanishgold

Thanks for answer Spanishgold
I know that usb cable must not exceed 5 m.
So I work with the sensor cable and I find that with 8 m it is OK but error if lenght exceeds 10m.
Perhaps restivisity of long cable change the value for the sensor ?

No. Data is sent digitally across the USB cable. i.e. The temperature is converted to a number and then sent to the PC.
The problems that occur are timing issues over long cable lengths.
USB was not designed for long cable lengths.
This is why the data needs to be re-transmitted (via a hub) every few metres.
The fact that you are getting good transmission on cables longer than 5m is probably due to tolerances and well made cable/slow data speed.

Regards

spanishgold

Actually, if you look at the image micsolaire posted a link to, you'll notice that there is a sensory cable (analog I presume) extending from the USB device. I did not know there is a version of this device where the sensor is not built into the USB "stick" but instead placed on the end of a sensory cable - but that is what it looks like.

See this link
http://www.digitalangel.ru/catalog/131133/

really - works

Thanks for the the link.
I cannot read russian but that helps me to find this product on Amazon (extended USB)

mic
http://lescuiseurssolaires.aceboard.fr/314414-6890-2959-0-thermometre-enregistreur.htm

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