Martin Tithonium (tithonium) wrote,
Martin Tithonium

Looking for remote temperature monitoring systems

So, I've been spending some time this morning googling to no avail, so I thought I'd ask lazyweb and see if anybody had some ideas...

I want to set up temperature monitoring for various parts of nerdvana. I'd like at least two sensors outside (on opposite sides of the house), and some more inside (basement, bunker, living room, bedroom, kitchen, and dining room, probably). I'd like them to be wireless, and preferably battery powered. I'd like to be able to receive their data with a computer, so the data can be integrated into my network management console, and I get have it email me when the computers are cooking, etc.

The first part is easy.. there are plenty of wireless weather stations out there, and you can buy sensors on the cheap. $17 or so for simple AA-powered units with no display (and often as cheap for those with). But, they're designed to work with specific base stations, and are probably going to use some internal protocol, and some random frequency, which I can't tell my linux box to go listen to. The base stations also tend to be limited to 3 or so remote probes.

I've found a few places that make nice remote all-in-one units, and also provide usb or serial-connected receivers you can use, but these units tend to cost $1500-$2000 per sensor, and have a lot more crap in them than I need.

Does anybody know of anything that might provide what I'm looking for? Optimal would be some remote sensors that can talk 802.11, but I doubt I can find that in a battery-powered setup (tho, in some cases, plugged-in would be fine). Second to that would be a base-station type setup that a) can cope with at least 5 remotes AND b) can output all its data via serial/usb/ethernet/802.11. And I'm really looking to spend less than $500 on this whole thing, if possible. If that's just completely impossible, I might start with fewer sensors and add more as funding permits.
Tags: air conditioning, computers suck, death by idle processor cycles, server farming
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