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  • 1 Post By kspalding

Remote Monitoring and Alerts

This is a discussion on Remote Monitoring and Alerts within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; It's really getting to be the time of the year when the combination of a ...

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  1. #1
    raybark's Avatar
    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    Ray Barkalow
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    Default Remote Monitoring and Alerts

    It's really getting to be the time of the year when the combination of a greenhouse and overnight temperatures can lead to sleepless nights.


    I have a remote, RF alarm system linked to a Sensaphone, but I wanted to be able to remotely monitor the conditions in the greenhouse too. LaCrosse Technologies now sells a system called "LaCross Alerts" that includes an RF transmitter (range 200' / 60m), and receiver that connects to your internet router. You can monitor the Temp and RH via any browser connecting to their website, and if the conditions reach user-configurable limits, it will send you a text alert.


    I installed one yesterday, and I really like it. My greenhouse is about 100 feet from the house, which has aluminum siding on it, so I was very pleased to see that the measured "link quality" was between 94% & 100%.


    Here is a screen shot of the LaCrosse Alerts display on their website:
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    The graph on the right is excellent. I have mine set up to "report in" every 5 minutes (2 is the minimum), and you can see the cycling of the heater, and the effect of the little bit of sunlight we've gotten.


    Due to the wind, and branches hitting the power lines, we had a short power outage, and I received an alert telling me that no data had been sent for a period of time, so that's good too, warning of outages.


    The <$100 purchase price includes 1 year of alerts and 5 years of online monitoring. If you want alerts to continue after year one (and they will let you know that part of the subscription is running out), it's $0.99/month, or another $11.88/year - well worth it in my opinion.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Bruce Brown
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    Default

    This past February when the 'polar vortex' went through Arkansas, we lost about two-thirds of our collection. Some of the orchids we were growing were with us over twenty years and many were gifts or purchases of mature plants that had been divided back in the early 90's. The heater in the greenhouse failed because of the thermal coupler. Once that quit working the heater stopped. The pipes in the greenhouse that ran along the inside walls froze and split open showering a great portion of our slipper orchids. When I found the problem it was at least a day later in -8 degree temperatures. The water had formed an ice sculpture where it was 'misting' out of the broken pipe. The ice covered the entire end of the greenhouse and kool-cell. It was horribly -- beautiful. We were completely shocked as we have an exterior alarm system that is temperature controlled. The thing is - we didn't remember to switch it to "winter" at the end of the 'Summer' season. Long story short - a system like you got above sounds like a sound investment. Anything that takes human error out of the equation.

    At the end of the summer I was still removing dead, frozen plants. Good news is that when it came time (Friday) to move my tropical plants in from the deck before the first frost, I had plenty of space in the greenhouse this year. LOL. Let us know how the system works as it gets colder, Ray. This sounds like something I need to start saving up for before it gets too cold here. (BTW - I remembered to flip the switch on the alarm to 'Winter' when we lit the pilot light on Friday. Now let's hope the heater keeps working.)

    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Carol
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    Default

    Oh, we have a LaCrosse alerts weather station and it quit reporting to the website. I think we've had it a year and didn't know we'd have to subscribe to keep the service! That answered a big question for us. We don't need the report so much though, we just check it during the day when we want to know things. We've been happy with it though.

  4. #4
    kspalding's Avatar
    kspalding is offline Senior Member
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    Kim
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    There is nothing wrong with making a mistake..... unless you do it twice . Better luck to you this year Bruce.

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